investigates the behavioural ecology of Vertebrates in
natural and experimental environments through the study
of social structures, mating tactics, communication systems,
biological rhythms, space utilisation and population dynamics.
Ultimately, we aim at characterising the ontogeny and
plasticity of behaviours, their adaptive values for the
individuals, populations and species, which intimately
govern the evolution and biological diversity of animals.
rely on state-of-the-art technology for the measurement
of behaviour (Ethovision - video tracking, Observer Video
Pro, sonography, telemetry) and benefit largely from numerous
experimental facilities (over 100 aquaria, mesocosms,
artificial stream). The Unit includes three laboratories:
the Laboratory of Fish and Amphibian Ethology, the
Laboratory of Fish Demography and Hydroecology, and the Laboratory of Animal and Human Evolution.
fish behaviour focus essentially on the influence of the
physical, chemical, biological and social factors on the
behavioural repertoires and patterns, psycho-physiological
and psychomotor systems, reproductive strategies, habitat
selection and the interactions between predator and prey
[P. Poncin -
- J.C. Philipart
- M. Ylieff - J. Delcourt]. Regarding
amphibians, we focus on the phenotypic plasticity of newts and salamanders, in particular
the adaptive value of
polyphenisms, the effect of environmental variables on amphibian decline
[M. Denoël], and the development of behavioural biomarkers. Studies
of birds consist essentially in the analysis of individual
behavioural profiles and song repertoires, and in the
survey of wild endangered populations and species [M. Loneux].
Investigations on primates aim essentially
at analysing how social relationships vary within and
between groups, as a function of demographic factors,
resource availability, kinship and history of groups [M.C.