I am a senior researcher at INRA (French institute for agronomical research). My project is focused on the study of establishment and expansion of introduced populations, with a special interest in biological control agents. I like to combine theoretical studies (mostly simulation models) with empirical approaches. I have been working mostly with lab microcosms using the micro-wasp Trichogramma, with some field-based projects on the side.

Elevator pitch: Invasion biology is painfully lacking empirical approaches, because introducing non-native species on purpose is (usually) bad. So we are left with all these theoretical predictions, and no way to test them… Luckily for the sake of science, we have developed alternative strategies to get around this problem. First, we can play God, create a whole new universe confined within the safety of our lab walls, and introduce whatever we please in it. Second, we can also be smart and choose to introduce only things that are ethically ok, namely biological control agents that have been cleared for unintentional effects. And the best thing is that we can combine these two strategies, so we can address issues relevant both for invasion biology AND biological control.

Trichogramma, the hero of our story

Behind the scene, where the magic happens (left: experimental landscape, unfolded for the picture ; right: landscapes stacked in boxes during experiment)