Martine Rahier

Domaines d'activités

Originally from Belgium, and mother of one, Martine Rahier holds an Engineering degree in Agronomy from the Free University of Brussels (1977). She continued her studies in the USA at the Universities of Cornell and Berkeley, and obtained a PhD in Science from the University of Basel in 1983, and “Habilitation” in Ecology from the University of Zurich in 1993.

Granted a professorship by the Swiss National Science Foundation in 1988, she became a Professor of Entomology and Animal Ecology at the University of Neuchâtel in 1994. In 2001, she founded the “Plant Survival” National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR), a network comprising more than 200 people. In 2008, she was elected rector of the University of Neuchâtel ending in August 2016.

Martine Rahier has been a member of several national and international university committees, from appointment commissions to committees designing study programmes in various universities; she has also been president and member of committees assessing research programmes and projects, as well as of scientific associations. Author of numerous publications, she has also supervised a large number of doctoral theses.

Martine Rahier was a member of the Rectors’ Conference of Swiss Universities (2008-2016) and president (2013-2015) of the “swissuniversities”. She is member of the German accreditation council since 2013, vice-president of European University Association since 2015, member of the council of the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria since 2017, and board member of WWF Switzerland since 2017.


Selection des publications

Röder, G., Rahier, M. and Naisbit, R.E. Are ecological interactions between the specialist herbivores and phytopathogens of an alpine plant mediated by induced responses? PLoS ONE 2011. (pdf)

Triponez, Y., Buerki, S.; Borer, M., Naisbit, R.E., Rahier, M. and Alvarez, N. Discordances between phylogenetic and morphological patterns in alpine leaf beetles attest to an intricate biogeographic history of lineages in postglacial Europe,  Molecular Ecology In press 2011 (pdf)

Borer,M. , van Noort, T,. Rahier, M. and Naisbit, R.E. 2010. Positive frequency-dependent selection on warning color in alpine leaf beetles, Evolution 64:3629-3633, 2010 (pdf)

Borer, M., Alvarez, N., Buerki, S., Margraf, M., Rahier, M. and Naisbit, R.E. The phylogeography of an alpine leaf beetle: divergence within Oreina elongata spans the Quaternary, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.57 703-709, 2010 (pdf)

Röder, Gregory,  Rahier, M. and Russell E. Naisbit, Counter-intuitive developmental plasticity induced by host quality. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 275, 879-885, 2008 (pdf)

Yann Triponez, Russell E. Naisbit, Julien Bernard Jean-Denis, Rahier, M. and Nadir Alvarez. Genetic and environmental sources of variation in the autogenous chemical defense of a leaf beetle Journal of Chemical Ecology (2007) 33, 2011-2024, 2007 (pdf)

Röder, G., Rahier, M.  and R.E. Naisbit. Coping with an antagonist: the impact of a phytopathogenic fungus on the development and behaviour of two species of alpine leaf beetle. Oikos., 116: 1514-1523,.2007 (pdf)

Margraf, N., Verdon, A., Rahier, M.  and Naisbit, R.E. Glacial survival and local adaptation in an alpine leaf beetle. Molecular Ecology 16 (11),  2333-2343, 2007 (pdf)

Verdon, A., Margraf, N., Davison A.C., Rahier, M.  and Naisbit, R.E. Conserved oviposition preferences in alpine leaf beetle populations despite host shifts and isolation, Ecological Entomology 32, 62-69, 2007 (pdf)

Kalberer N. M., Turlings T. and Rahier M. An alternative hibernation strategy involving sun-exposed "hotspots", dispersal by flight and host plant finding by olfaction in an alpine leaf beetle. Entomologia Experimentalis et applicata. Volume 114, Issue 3, 189-196, 2005

Campan E., Callejas A., Rahier M. and Benrey B. Interpopulation variation in a larval parasitoid of bruchids, Stenocorse bruchivora (Hymenoptera: Braconidae): Host plant effects, Environmental Entomology, 34(2) pp.457-465, 2005

Margraf N., B. Gautschi and Rahier M. Isolation  and characterization of microsatelliete of the alpine leaf-beetle Oreina elelongata.  Molecular Ecololgy Notes 5:2, 419-420, 2005

Gotthard K., Margraf N., Rasmann S. and Rahier M. The evolution of larval foraging behaviour in response to host plant variation in a leaf beetle. Oikos, volume 109:3, 503-512, 2005

Gotthard, K., Margraf, N. and Rahier, M. Geographic variation in oviposition choice of a leaf beetle: the relationship between host plant ranking, specificity, and motivation. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 110:3, 217-224, 2004

Gallusser, S., Guadagnuolo, R. and Rahier, M. Genetic (RAPD) diversity between Oleria onega agarista and Oleria onega ssp (Ithomiinae, Nymphalidae, Lepidoptera) in north-eastern Peru. Genetica 121: 65-74, 2004

Kalberer, N. and Rahier, M. Reproductive cost of flight in the alpine leaf beetle Oreina cacaliae. Proceedings of the fifth International symposium on Chysomelidae, Iguazu, Brasil 2000, Editor D. Furth,& M. V. Macedo, Paperj Publishers, In Press, May 2002

Ballabeni, P., Gotthard, K., Kayumba, A. and Rahier, M. Local adaptation and ecological genetics of host-plant specialization in a leaf beetle. Oikos, In Press, Oct 2002

Ballabeni, P., Conconi, D. , Gateff, S. and Rahier, M. (2001) Spatial proximity of two hosts influences oviposition and larval distribution in a leaf beetle. Oikos 92: 225-234

Ballabeni, P, Wlodarczyk, M. and Rahier, M. (2001) Does enemy-free space for eggs contribute to a leaf beetle's oviposition preference for a nutritionally inferior host plant? Functional Ecology 15: 318-324.

Kalberer, N. and Rahier, M. (2001) Attraction of a leaf beetle (Oreina cacaliae) to already attacked host plants. Journal of Chemical Ecology 27, 647-661.

Haegele, B. and Rahier, M. (2001) Determinants of the seasonal feeding of hte generalist snail Arianta arbustorum (l.) at six sites dominated by plants from the Senecioneae (Asteraceae). Oecologia 128: 228-236.

Ballabeni, P. and Rahier, M. (2000) Influence of mixed diet on the quantitative genetics of leaf beetle larval performance on different hosts. J. Evol. Biol. 13: 98-106.

Ballabeni, P. and Rahier, M. (2000) Performance of leaf beetle larvae on sympatric host and non-host plants. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 97: 175-181.

Hägele, B. and Rahier, M. (2000) Choice, performance and heritability of performance of specialist and generalist insect herbivores towards cacalol and seneciphylline, two allelochemicals of Adenostyles alpina (Asteraceae). J. Evol. Biol. 13: 131-142.

Martine Rahier

Professeure ordinaire



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