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Evolutionary genetics of species with complex life cycles: Data and Modelling Integration

The DMI research group aims at deciphering selective and demographic evolutionary processes shaping the evolution of genetic diversity in species with complex mating systems and life cycles, using both modelling and experimental approaches.


Team Learders: Christian Burban & Pauline Garnier-Géré

Manager : Florence Le Pierres 

Backgroud and motivation

To fulfil our principal objective, the analysis of high throughput genomic and phenotypic data clearly requires complementary approaches. These will first validate data quality for their optimization, and second compare various methods allowing the robustness of observed patterns to be tested. Combining experimental trials and simulations will aid in inferring the best evolutionary scenarios. In this context, our group is addressing more specifically the following questions:

Research Questions:

  • What are the roles of life history traits (mating systems, fitness components, traits linked to demography…) and ecological factors (e.g. abiotic constraints) in adaptive and speciation processes for organisms with long life cycles, or in those of their associated species?
  • What are the genomic bases (architecture / determinants / constraints) of adaptive and divergent traits within species complexes?
  • How to infer the best demographic scenarios and estimate different types of selection at the molecular level, in the context of developing ABC methods or more generalist simulation tools for evolutianory processes?
  • How to predict the adaptive traits’ variation in natural populations, in particular from data integrating micro-environmental variation?
  • How to test the interactions among genomes, among genotypes and environments, and among genes in the accumulation and maintenance of reproductive barriers between species?

These questions are tackled at different time scales, for different types of evolutionary and demographic scenarios (expansion, bottlenecks, rapid adaptation/invasions, domestication), by studying biological models belonging to different perennial or woody species families from temperate or tropical climates (e.g. Pinaceae, Fabaceae, (Notho)/Fagaceae, Rosaceae, Lecythidaceae), or to their associated insect species (e.g. Pine processionary moth Thaumetopoea sp, …).


Adaptation, speciation, modelling, mating systems interactions among genomes, life history traits, demographic inferences

Staff members


fixed-term employees/Post-doc

PhD students

Christian Burban (IR INRAE) 

Pauline Garnier-Géré (CR INRAE)

Myriam Heuertz (DR INRAE)

Camille Lepoittevin (IR INRAE)

Frédéric Raspail (IE INRAE)

Modification date : 16 August 2023 | Publication date : 12 February 2019 | Redactor : C Burban