Dr. Severine Vuilleumier
I am an evolutionary biologist who aims at understanding how spatial and temporal heterogeneity of the environment, the ecology of species and impact the persistence, the genetic, the genomic and the evolution of species and populations. Understanding how environmental spatial and temporal heterogeneity impacts the ecology, genetics and evolution of populations has driven each step of my career since my PhD. Following my master thesis as environmental engineer at Ecole Polytechnique fédéral de Lausanne, I investigated with models how environmental heterogeneity impacts species dispersal and more generally the dynamics of populations from a conservation perspective. Then, I explored more deeply how environmental heterogeneities impact metapopulation persistence during my stay in H. Possingham’s lab in Australia. Through my second postdoc with O. Seehausen and R. Lande, I went into theoretical population genetics, the field in which I have developed my current main research themes. My SNF Ambizione grant at the University of Lausanne allowed me to explore deeply how environmental heterogeneity impacts the fixation of genes in populations and the genetic diversity of populations, but also how it impacts metapopulation dynamics and metacommunities composition. I have now integrated in my research a strong evolutionary perspective but also a global dimension through inputs from different disciplines including inference of population parameters from genome data, experimental evolution and pathogens dynamics. Besides, I have also investigated the evolution of reproductive systems (Transition in number of mating type loci, Transition from male to female heterogamety and transition from sexual reproduction to parthenogenesis)
My current research aims at uncovering critical aspects to understand species adaptation to novel or fluctuating environments, dynamics of complex adaptations (character alterations requiring more than one novel mutation), and sources of extraordinary diversity. My research interests focus on the population genetics and evolution theory, but have also much wider outlooks. They provide theoretical expectations to analyse and interpret genomic data (e.g. sources of polymorphism, allele origin and history).
My past and current research investigations also provide predictions for setting global ecosystem management and conservation priorities (e.g. control of invasive species, population persistence and species colonization in complex environments).
I am exploring issues described in the research section of my group.
Group leader, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne.
"Chargé de recherche", Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne.
Scientific collaborator and lecturer; 75%, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL-Lausanne. Switzerland.
Postdoctoral research fellow, Department Fish Ecology and Evolution, EAWAG, Luzern, Switzerland and Ecology Behavior & Evolution, University of California, San Diego.
Postdoctoral research fellow, The Ecology Centre, University of Queensland, Australia.
Research engineer, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology in Lausanne, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL-Lausanne. Switzerland.
Ph.D. in Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL-Lausanne. Switzerland. Thesis: Dispersal modelling: integrating landscape features, behaviour and metapopulations.
Bachelor and Master's in Environmental Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL-Lausanne. Switzerland. Master's Thesis realized in Madagascar.