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Génétique Quantitative et Évolution - Le Moulon



Assistant Professor, AgroParisTech

Evolutionary genetics of selfish genes and speciation

  • speciation,
  • reproductive isolation,
  • selfish genes,
  • genomic conflicts,
  • domestication,
  • interspecific hybridization,
  • adaptation,
  • coevolution


+33 (0)1 39 33 23 61



  • Génétique Quantitative et Évolution - Le Moulon
  • Université Paris-Saclay, INRAE, CNRS, AgroParisTech
  • Ferme du Moulon
  • F-91190 Gif-sur-Yvette

Positions and Education

  • 2016-present: Lecturer (Maître de Conférences) AgroParisTech, Department of Life Sciences and Health (Evolutionary Genetics and Plant Breeding) / GQE-Le Moulon lab (Genome dynamics and crop adaptation team)
  • 2015-2016: Elementary school teacher (5th grade), Ecole Houdon (Paris XVIII)
  • 2009-2015: Lecturer (ATER) in Evolutionary and functional ecology at the University Paris-Sud and CNRS post-doc on evolutionary genetics of selfish genes in Drosophila at Evolutionary Genetics, Behavior and Ecology lab (EGCE), Orsay/Gif-sur-Yvette, France, with Catherine Montchamp-Moreau
  • 2007-2009: Post-doc on evolutionary genetics of selfish genes and speciation in Drosophila at the University of Rochester, Rochester NY, USA, with Daven Presgraves
  • 2002-2006: PhD on evolutionary ecology and genetics of speciation in ash trees Fraxinus sp., ENGREF-AgroParisTech / Ecology Systematics Evolution lab (ESE), Orsay, France, with Nathalie Frascaria-Lacoste.
  • 2001-2002: MSc on population biology and coevolution between Melampsora larici-populina rust and poplar, University of Nancy / Forest Pathology lab, INRA Nancy, France, with Pascal Frey.

Research interests

My research has mainly focused on the evolution of reproductive isolation during the process of speciation in plants and animals, as well as the evolution of selfish genetic elements and their impact in natural populations. I have worked on ecological prezygotic isolation (by habitat and phenology) and natural hybridization in European ashes in relation to climatic variation, in collaboration with Juan Fernandez-Manjarres (ESE lab, Univ. Paris-Sud). I have also worked on the evolution of post-zygotic isolation by hybrid incompatibilities in Drosophila. I am now collaborating with Karine Alix (GQE, DyGAP) on the consequences of genomic conflicts (eg TE-mediated processes) during interspecific hybridization and allopolyploidization in Brassica.

My research has also focused on the evolution of genomic conflicts in Drosophila, particularly those involving segregation distorters that subvert meiosis to their advantage. During Quentin Helleu’s PhD, we revealed for the first time a direct link between heterochromatin regulation and this kind of genetic conflicts. Besides meiotic drive, I have also worked on the impact of transposable elements on the evolution of insecticide resistance in Drosophila. I am also collaborating with Pierre Saumitou-Laprade, Philippe Vernet and Sylvain Billiard (EEP lab, Univ. Lille) on the evolution of mating systems in Oleaceae.


  • Master of Engineering

    • 1st year Mendelian and Population Genetics, Modelling in Population Biology
    • 2nd year Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics, Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology
    • 3rd year Population Genetics and Plant Breeding, Biostatistics
  • Master of Science

    • M.Sc. in Integrative Biology and Physiology (BIP), Agrosciences and Environment (AETPF), Evolutionary Biology and Ecology (BEE) with the University Paris-Saclay and Ecology and Evolution with the Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris. Evolutionary and Population Genetics


Courret C, Gérard PR, Ogereau D, Falque M, Moreau L, Montchamp-Moreau C. (2019) X-chromosome meiotic drive in Drosophila simulans: a QTL approach reveals the complex polygenic determinism of Paris drive suppression. Heredity, 6 (122) 906-915
Alix K, Gérard PR, Schwarzacher T, Heslop-Harrison JSP. (2017) Polyploidy and interspecific hybridization: partners for adaptation, speciation and evolution in plants. Ann Bot, 2 (120) 183-194
Helleu Q, Gérard PR, Dubruille R, Ogereau D, Prud’homme B, Loppin B, Montchamp-Moreau C. (2016) Rapid evolution of a Y-chromosome heterochromatin protein underlies sex chromosome meiotic drive. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 15 (113) 4110-4115
Meiklejohn CD. (2016) Heterochromatin and genetic conflict. PNAS, 15 (113) 3915-3917
Helleu Q, Gérard PR, Montchamp-Moreau C. (2015) Sex Chromosome Drive. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol, 2 (7) a017616
Bastide H, Gérard PR, Ogereau D, Cazemajor M, Montchamp‐Moreau C. (2013) Local dynamics of a fast-evolving sex-ratio system in Drosophila simulans. Molecular Ecology, 21 (22) 5352-5367
Gérard PR, Temunović M, Sannier J, Bertolino P, Dufour J, Frascaria‐Lacoste N, Fernández‐Manjarrés JF. (2013) Chilled but not frosty: understanding the role of climate in the hybridization between the Mediterranean Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl and the temperate Fraxinus excelsior L. (Oleaceae) ash trees. Journal of Biogeography, 5 (40) 835-846
Gérard PR, Presgraves DC. (2012) Abundant genetic variability in Drosophila simulans for hybrid female lethality in interspecific crosses to Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics Research, 1 (94) 1-7
Frascaria‐Lacoste N, Henry A, Gérard PR, Bertolino P, Collin E, Fernández‐Manjarrés J. (2011) Should Forest Restoration with Natural Hybrids Be Allowed?. Restoration Ecology, 6 (19) 701-704