Yann Planque

Marine mammal ecology and feeding strategies

Currently working on my thesis at the CEBC, my research focuses on the feeding ecology of marine mammals, and on the identification of their resource acquisition strategies (at the colony and individual scales). My study models are the marine calf seal and the grey seal, which I study in a particular ecological context: at the southern limit of their European range (along the French coasts of the English Channel).
My objective is to identify the trophic/food niche of the sea-calf and grey seals, in the North-East Channel, in order to assess the potential overlap between these two species and the associated (potentially competitive) interactions. This work is based on different axes: the study of the diet of these two species (by analysis of faeces/stomach contents), the use of ecological markers (stable isotopes in the vibrissae), and the assessment of their hunting areas (by analysis of dive and spatial data from telemetric monitoring; GPS/GSM beacons fitted on seals). The acquisition of all these data allows me to get a good picture of the seal’s trophic/food niche, spatially and temporally, and also to identify the individual hunting strategies that structure this niche.
PhD in Marine Predators Team
Mail : yann.planque(at)univ-lr.fr
Tel : +33 (0)5 46 50 76 42


« Phoques en Crottes »

Dive into the feeding habits of two species of seals: the seal calf and the grey seal. Find out a little more about the diet of these species in the North-East Channel by analysing the contents of their droppings. You can also find out about their movements thanks to telemetric tracking beacons placed on the fur of some individuals.
The field presented in this film was carried out in the Bay of the Somme, and the laboratory analyses in La Rochelle.
Short film made for the Festival du Film [Pas Trop] Scientifique (FFPTS), organized by the ADocs (association of doctoral students and young researchers of La Rochelle University). Film broadcast on October 12, 2019 in La Rochelle.
As part of Yann Planque’s thesis on the “Trophic ecology of two sympatric species of seals at the edge of their range”, carried out at the Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé (CEBC, CNRS / La Rochelle University).