Olivier Lourdais

Climate Sensitivity and Adaptive Ectothermal Strategies

I study the strategies of ectotherms (variable temperature animals) to cope with spatial and temporal variations in their environment. The anthropocene imposes unprecedented constraints and the response of species will depend on their physiological tolerance and their plasticity. Reptiles and amphibians are particularly vulnerable and provide excellent models for addressing these effects.

My approach combines field work (population monitoring) and experimental studies with three research axes: (1) Climate adaptation: Predicting the response to climate change requires clarifying the physiological and behavioural capacities of species. My research focuses on thermoregulation strategies, thermal dependence of performances and also water constraints. (2) Reproduction and parental influences: Reptiles and amphibians exhibit an astonishing variety of parental strategies to protect their embryos from environmental variations. My work aims to clarify embryonic sensitivity, the importance of parental care and generational conflicts in an evolutionary perspective. (3) Habitats and global change: Habitat degradation is a major cause of biodiversity decline. My work focuses on the influence of microhabitat quality and landscape structure on species occurrence and population dynamics. I also integrate the influence of environmental contaminants.

CNRS Research Fellow – ECOPHY team
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