Locusts represent an important threat for agriculture in many areas in the world. No culture is saved. The cost of invasions rises to hundreds of million euros and the damages on property, on humans and on the environment are considerable.
Very mobile, these plagues can extend on tens of million of square km and quickly take regional or continental dimensions. Our goal is to contribute to (I) improving knowledge on biology of the pest locusts for better preventing their pullulations and (II), better managing the locust risk, by improving the strategies and the methods of control in the tropical and sahelian ecosystems.
Our team mobilizes itself around a scientific project whose privileged model is the Desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål, 1775), a species of major economic importance in the world and which is representative of the whole of the locust problems.
Our scientific project proposes a transverse approach centered on 3 sets of themes:
- Ecology and population dynamics
This research topic mobilizes approaches of ecology, demography and population genetics, in durable objective of management of the agricultural ecosystems. It envisages the fluctuations of the populations and apprehens the impact of the environment on these space-time distribution patterns. Three research orientations are approached on the Desert Locust:
– the structure and the dynamics of the solitary populations via the analysis in populations of the variation of DNA sequences;
– early localization of the favorable conditions and space teledetection;
– the risk of gregarisation and space modeling.
Genetics and evolution of the phase polyphenism
Our team is recently interested in the study of the features of life history and the genetic characteristics implied in the capacities of invasion and density-dependent phase shift. We develop an experimental approach of phenotypical and genetic measurements of plasticity, as well as simulation models of demo-genetics dynamics, to study under which conditions and with which swiftness some key characteristics of the phase polyphenism can emerge and evolve.
- Social, political and institutional brakes with the implementation of management strategis
Biological and ecological knowledge is supplemented by research in social sciences, so as to better perceive the brakes of society, policy and institutional matter, on the implementation of an effective control. It also acts, by the approach of modeling, to bring new lightings on the impact of the Desert locust and the effectiveness of the various preventive control strategies.
Our various research projects are detailed on our individual web pages, starting from the heading "Staff".
All the news