Program > Plenary Speakers

Plenary speakers

Thierry DUTOIT

Thierry Dutoit is a research director at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and a member of the Mediterranean Institute of Biodiversity and Ecology. Before joining the CNRS in 2012, he was Professor at the University of Avignon. He has co-authored more than 200 publications, 70 of which appeared in international indexed journals. He has also co-authored 50 scientific book chapters in the field of plant community ecology and conservation sciences. As a plant ecologist, the objectives of his research are mainly on assembly rules and species-coexistence in Mediterranean plant communities. He is particularly interested in the long-term recovery of Mediterranean grasslands after major disturbances in historical or recent times. Since 2000, he is particularly involved in concrete restoration projects of Mediterranean rangelands after agricultural or industrial degradations. During his talk, he will present the last conceptual advances in restoration ecology. He will address in particular the present paradigm shift between a costly and active restoration of the biodiversity of old cultural ecosystems and the passive restoration of the naturalness of new ecosystems. Nevertheless, several examples will be used to show how recent advances in ecological engineering can link these two concepts.

Read his abstract "Release or restore ecosystems?"

 Thierry Dutoit

François MASSOL

François Massol is a researcher at the CNRS in the team “Evolution & Ecology” of the unit “Evolution, Ecology and Paleontology” at the University of Lille (UMR 8198). His research covers the study of spatial dynamics of interspecific interactions and of diversification at intra- and inter-specific levels, mostly from a theoretical viewpoint. More generally, he is interested in evolutionary ecology questions pertaining to species interaction networks, spatially structured ecological systems, and the diversity and stability of these systems. He also participates in interdisciplinary projects with researchers from mathematics, computer science, physics and social sciences, in particular on questions related to modelling and statistically analyzing contact and interaction networks.

Read his abstract "Networks of interactions in ecology"

 François Massol


E.J. Milner-Gulland is Tasso Leventis Professor of Biodiversity in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, and leads the Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science. Her research falls within three broad themes: Motivations of natural resource users; social-ecological system dynamics; management of natural resource use. The first theme addresses the drivers of human behaviour, the second the feedbacks between behaviour and system dynamics, and the third the effects of interventions designed to alter behaviour and hence slow the rate of biodiversity loss. She has a particular interest in theconservation ecology of the saiga antelope in Central Asia, the sustainable use of wild resources such as bushmeat, evaluating the social impacts of conservation, and improving the effectiveness of incentive-based mechanisms such as PES and biodiversity offsetting in the marine and terrestrial realms.

Read her abstract "Understanding motivations as the key to addressing the illegal international trade in wildlife"



Anna Traveset is a research professor based at the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies (CSIC-UIB). Her research involves the study of plant-animal interactions in terrestrial ecosystems, especially island ecosystems. She works in different archipelagos, including the Balearics, the Canaries and the Galapagos, and is lately focused on the impacts of different types of disturbances on mutualistic interactions, specifically pollination and seed dispersal. Biological invasions are currently one of the main threats to natural systems, particularly on islands, and their negative impact is amplified under the scenario of global change and globalization that our planet is experiencing. Ecologists have begun only in the last decade to evaluate the role of mutualisms in the structure of communities as well as the fragility of many mutualistic interactions. Specifically, the impacts of invasive species on native mutualisms are still poorly documented, although the data available so far indicate that they are very relevant and that they should be considered in any habitat restoration program. In her talk, she will highlight the importance of incorporating positive interactions in the study of biological invasions and in the evaluation of their ecological and evolutionary impacts. She will show how the framework of complex ecological networks can help us understanding the mechanisms of alien species integration in the native communities as well as predicting species and interaction losses that might even lead to an extinction cascade in the invaded communities.

Read her abstract "Mutualisms: drivers, and in turn victims, of biological invasions"