Ethologie and evolutionary physiology – EPE

The EPE team considers animal physiology and behavior as phenotypic traits of individuals resulting from evolutionary processes, thus helping to explain individual fitness. Thus, physiology and behavior can only be fully understood and studied in relation to the natural environment in which animals have evolved for generations, disturbed by current changes. To carry out its programs, the EPE team relies on field studies and long-term monitoring of wild animal populations in North America, Europe, Africa and the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (Crozet). This field work is supplemented by studies carried out in laboratories and on individuals maintained under controlled conditions, in compliance with ethical rules.

The main goal of our work is to understand the energetic and non-energetic compromises to which individuals are subjected (mechanistic approach), and what are the consequences for their reproduction and survival (evolutionary approach). We take a particular interest in:

the evolution of animal sociality and its ultimate consequences for the individual, as well as the underlying mechanisms regulating group life. Our studies encompass many aspects of social systems: e.g. social organization, social structure (social networks), mating systems of wild animals.

the coevolution of sociality and individual life history traits, in particular the rate of aging and its regulatory mechanisms (oxidative stress and telomere erosion).

In summary, the EPE team studies the evolutionary compromises of animals, including humans, subjected to global changes, and tries to establish the nature of their physiological, behavioral and social mechanistic bases.

Scientific coordinator: Vincent VIBLANC

EPE Team Members