My specialty is animal parasitology and my research activities are divided into four main themes:
I work on two large groups of parasites: the Cirripedia (barnacles) and Trichostrongylina (Nematodes) intestinal parasites terrestrial vertebrate
Through a comparative study of various barnacles, my colleague Nicolas Rabet and I are interested in the origin of barnacle parasitism. The cirripede group is therefore a very interesting one in which to understand the relationships between organisms. Indeed, even within this group, there are many sessile animals attached to a mineral or a living organism (such as barnacles on mussel shells) substrate. When a cirripede settles on a living organism, the "degrees of relationship" can range from simple phoresis (mussel/barnacle) or mutualism (sponge and the barnacle Acasta), to the extreme relationship of parasitism (green crab and Sacculina). My new research project is to study these interactions between the biological life cycles and the morphology of various barnacles; the morphogenesis of the larvae; and their coevolution with their host. We would also like to understand how they "choose" their host, which can be highly specific (as in the phoresis between the barnacle and whale).
In this comparative approach, we use the Sacculina (Sacculina carcini), which is a parasite of the green crab (Carcinus maenas) and the sessile barnacles Balanus amphitrite and Elminius modestus. We compare in detail the morphology, anatomy and larval behavior of these different species to better understand the acquisition of substrate selectivity and anatomical changes following metamorphosis.
Our objectives are to understand the evolution of the Trichostrongylina nematodes by studying the biology (life cycles, morphogenesis, distribution, histopathology, and host-switching assays) and the systematics of these parasites from morphological and molecular analyses. I am also interested in creating a knowledge base for the identification of Trichostrongylina species.
I have been an Assistant Professor at UPMC since February 2004 where I teach courses on organism biology, parasitology, and professional career skills.
The laboratory work and discussion sections for organism biology courses are for 2nd and 3rd year students.
The laboratory work and discussion sections for symbiosis in marine and terrestrial environments course are for master 1 students.
Discussion section for professional career skill courses are for master 1 students and 2nd year students.