Nicolas BECH

Assistant Professor

PhD thesis (Génétique de la conservation et du paysage des populations de lagopèdes alpins et de perdrix grises), University of Perpignan (France), 2010.

Research interest

Distribution and genetic populations

Genetic populations experienced considerable growth in recent decades through the development of techniques more sophisticated. Among these techniques, we can distinguish molecular and computational tools allowing to investigate a variety of elaborated questions. Indeed, the development of molecular markers combined with advanced softwares allowed the detection of fine scale polymorphism which in turn allow understanding the evolutionary history of populations at the individual scale. In parallel, this individual scale also benefited from the development of geomatic which brought tools able to geolocate individuals / samples with one meter resolution. The convergence of these technologies has driven the emergence of a new discipline defined by Manel et al. in 2003 as the ‘landscape genetics’.

Currently, taking into account that ecosystems are experiencing a significant change under the combined pressures of environmental and anthropogenic pressures, my research aim to assess the impact of these changes on the distribution of variability population genetics.

The climate and land use changes evolved since 1950. In Europe, these changes have disrupted ecosystems and their associated services which represent a major financial issue. Thus, monitor the evolution of agro ecosystems and their functional biodiversity becomes crucial and represents currently a very important problematic. The important landscape diversity and the notable agro-pastoral activities, occurring in the Poitou-Charente region, make of this region a privileged zone for study the ecosystem evolution. Thus, my researchs are studying the distribution of the genetic variability of the soil macrofauna, known for its fundamental part in the soil fertilisation and in the decomposition of the nutritive elements. In this way, isopods represent key species for ecosystems and so for associated services (David & Handa 2010, Berg et al. 2010).

Today, in a context where the massive sequencing offers new possibilities for studying of population genetics, it seems necessary to pursue and exploit the convergence of technology both molecularly , analytical and spatial . The essence of such a multidisciplinary approach (ranging from molecules to populations) represents, in my opinion, a particularly strong challenge in understanding the adaptive responses of populations and species in a changing environment.

Key words : landscape genetics, Conservation genetics, Microsatellite markers, gene flow, GIS, terrestrial Isopod

Selected publications

  • I. LITRICO, N. BECH, S. FLAJOULOT, D. CADIER, C. GIBELIN & P. BARRE (2008) Cross-species amplification tests and diversity analysis using 56 PCR markers in Dactylis glomerata and Lolium perenne. Molecular Ecology Ressources, 9:159-164.
  • N. BECH, J. BOISSIER, S. DROVETSKI, & C. NOVOA. (2009) Population genetic structure of rock ptarmigan in the ‘Sky Island’ of French Pyrenees: implications for conservation. Animal conservation, 12:138-146.
  • N. BECH, J.F. ALLIENNE, C. NOVOA & J. BOISSIER. (2010) Transferability of microsatellite markers among economically and ecologically important galliform birds. Genetics and Molecular Research, 9:1121-1129.
  • N. BECH, S. BELTRAN, J. PORTELA, A. ROGNON, J.F. ALLIENNE, J. BOISSIER & A. THERON. (2010) Follow–up of the genetic diversity and snail infectivity of a Schistosoma mansoni strain from field to laboratory. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 10:1039-1045.
  • N. BECH, S. BELTRAN, J.F. ALLIENNE, J. RESSEGUIER. & J. BOISSIER. (2012) Bird mortality related to collisions with ski-lift cables: do we estimate just the tip of the iceberg? Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 35, 95-98.
  • N. BECH, E. QUEMERE, C. BARBU, C. NOVOA and J. BOISSIER. (2013) Pyrenean Ptarmigan Decline under Climatic and Human influences through the Holocene. Heredity, 111: 402-409.
  • I. GIRAUD, V. VALETTE, N. BECH, F. GRANDJEAN, R. CORDAUX (2013) Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci for the isopod crustacean Armadillidium vulgare and transferability in terrestrial isopods. Plos One 8(10): 1-6.
  • V. VALLETTE, Y. BITOME, W. LE CLEC’H, M. JOHNSON, N. BECH, F. GRANJEAN (2013) Multi-infections of feminizing Wolbachia strains in natural populations of the terrestrial isopod Armadillidium vulgare. Plos One 8(12): 1-7.
  • S. MASSON*, C. FAIVRE*, R. CORDAUX, C. SOUTY GROSSET, C. DELAUNAY, D. BOUCHON, N. BECH. . (2014) Development of a microsatellite primer set to investigate the genetic structure of Armadillidium nasatum (Crustacea, Oniscidea). Journal of Genetics 93(2): 545-9.
  • C. MICHAUD, C. CHUPEAU*, N. BECH, M. THIERRY, M. SICARD, P. GREVE, S. BELTRAN-BECH (2016) Isolation, characterization and PCR multiplexing of microsatellite loci for two sub-species of terrestrial isopod Porcellio dilatatus (Crustacea, Oniscidea). Genetica 144:223-228.
  • N. BECH, T. FOUCART, T. FAUVEL, F. BRISCHOUX, D. BOUCHON, X. BONNET. (2016) Phenotypic variation contrasts with genetic homogeneity across scattered sea snake populations. Journal of Biogeography.



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