Chargé de Recherche (CR1)
Centre de Biologie pour la Gestion des Populations
INRA, Montpellier, France
simon.fellous [arobase] supagro.inra.fr
I am an evolutionary biologist working on the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape the interactions between organisms. I study the coevolution between symbionts and hosts - in other words, I try to understand why parasites transmit the way they transmit, and why we suffer from infection as we do.
My approach is primarily experimental. I worked with a number of systems including mosquitoes, Drosophila, spider-mites, cilliates, bacteria, virus and microsporidia.
I am particularly interested in two topics:
- What is the role of parasites and symbionts in evolutionary innovation? Many of them laternate between positive and negative effects on their host (see Trends in Parasitology paper, 2009), these variations along the mutualism-parasitism continuum may permit the adaptation of the host to its environment (See Nature Reviews Genetics paper, 2011).
What I do at INRA:
My project focuses on life-cycle complexity and its consequences for the ecology and evolution of an insect pest, the invasive fruit-fly Drosophila suzukii.
Further details will come later. In the meanwhile, feel free to contact me directly for questions, internship applications and collaborations.
... what I did before...
Third Postdoc (2011-2012):
I joined Maria Navajas' group at CBGP-INRA (the french agronomic council) in Montpellier, France.
The aim of my work was to investigate on the specialisation of the herbivorous pests, Tetranychus urticae and T. evansi, to their host plants. We used a combination of microcosm experiments, experimental evolution, population genetics and whole-genome sequencing to carry out this exciting and international project.
With master 2 student Marion Orsucci (now PhD student with Rejane Streiff, CBGP-INRA), we investigated the competitive interactions between our two mite species. She tested hypotheses about intra-specific genetic variation, environmental heterogeneity and spatial dynamics.
Second Postdoc (2009-2011):
I worked with Oliver Kaltz and Michael Hochberg at the Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier (ISEM) in southern France.
Teaming up with Johan Ramsayer, PhD student with Mike Hochberg, and master 2 student Elodie Parrain, we investigated, in microcosms, how evolution in response to parasites, predation and inter-specific competition may be interlinked and thus affect the community formed by paramecia and the bacteria upon which they feed and their specific viruses (Biology Letters 2012 ; papers in prep.).
Together with Alison Duncan (postdoc) we
studied how the structure of environmental
variation affects the
coevolution between a freshwater cilliates, Paramecium caudatum,
and its bacterial parasites of the genus Holospora (Proc B 2011 ; Evolution 2011).
With master student Elsa Quillery, we investigated the genetic factors
that determine the movement of parasites between host patches and their
successful invasion (Ecology Letters 2012 ; Biology Letters 2011).
First Postdoc (2008):
I worked with Brian Lazzaro (Cornell University, USA) on the ecological immunity of fruit-flies, Drosophila melanogaster.
After studying how larval environment affects larval and adult immune variation (Molecular Ecology 2010), I used a quantitative genetics approach to identify the genetic correlations that link larval and adult immune investments (Molecular Ecology 2011). Molecular biology tools allowed me to phenotype the animals in an efficient and original maner.
With Miguel Rosado and Punita Juneja, from the same lab, we studied the response of D. melanogaster larvae and adults to oral exposure to bacterial pathogens.
I did my PhD with Jacob
C. Koella at Imperial
College London, Silwood
Park Campus, (
In parallele to these studies, I also investigated the details of the biology of the parasite Ascogregarina culicis (JEB 2009).
WORKSHOP: Shared traits, extended phenotypes or G x G x E interactions: the role of the ‘environment’ in the evolutionary ecology of host-parasite interactions.
Photos (can be freely used for scientific communication but not for publication)Back to the first page and my photography (click me)
Publications (January 2013):
20. Fellous, Duncan, Coulon & Kaltz, 2012, PLOS ONE.
19. Chevin, Gallet, Gomulkiewicz, Holt & Fellous. 2012, Phil Trans Royal Soc.
18. Fellous, Duncan, Quillery, Vale & Kaltz, 2012, Ecology Letters.
15. Duncan, Fellous & Kaltz, 2011, Evolution.
14. A.B. Duncan, S. Fellous, E. Quillery & O. Kaltz, 2011, Research in Microbiology.
10. A.B. Duncan*, S. Fellous*,
S. Accot, R. Alart, M. Chantung Sobandi, K. Cosiaux & O. Kaltz, 2010. FEMS Microbiology Ecology.