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Clara LORD

Clara LORD's picture


Assistant professor


Sorbonne Université (SU)



+33 1 40 79 37 35


+33 1 40 79 37 71


MNHN Paris


Team 4: Larval dispersal and communities organization in austral and tropical island systems

Curriculum Vitae

Research topics

I work on goby species belonging to the Sicydiinae subfamily, which have developed particular life traits adapted to the colonisation of tropical island freshwater ecosystems. Indeed, rivers in tropical islands are colonised by species for which the life cycle is adapted to the extreme conditions found is these young environments, poor in nutrients and subject to strong climatic and hydrological variations. These species have developed an amphidromous life cycle: they reproduce in freshwater. Larvae hatch in the river and reach the sea where they undergo a marine phase. This phase is important in terms of the dispersal of the species and the duration of this pelagic larval life varies according to the species. Post-larvae recruit back to rivers where they metamorphose into juveniles, grow and reproduce. Sicydiinae gobies represent most of the insular freshwater biodiversity and have the highest level of endemism.

I use various tools to study Sicydiinae gobies. I work on larval traits by analysing the microstructure and the elemental composition of otoliths. Phylogeography also bring insights into the dispersal capacity of these species shedding light on the population structure of each species. Finally, I work on the diversification of Sicydiinae by using molecular phylogenies.


I am an assistant professor in the UMR Borea and I teach at the University Pierre et Marie Curie. I teach animal biology for first, second and third years. I also work with groups of first and second year students to help them with their orientation and professional integration.