Maître de Conférences
Ph.D., University of Tours (France), 2003.
- Overall coordination of the European Erasmus Mundus Master Course International Master in Applied Ecology (IMAE) (www.emmc-imae.org)
- Member of Comité National Unversitaire-CNU 67 (Population Biology and Ecology)
- In charge of Erasmus –Socrates & international exchange in Biology
My research program seeks to understand intra-specific chemical recognition and communication on different models.
Chemical communication within isopod crustaceans and especially Armadillidium vulgare. These crustaceans are especially diverse, and are a common component of many ecosystems. My work on the Isopoda includes identification of species specifics chemical compounds and also characterisation of individual odor according to the mating status and the presence or absence of Wolbachia.
I’m conducting this research in collaboration with Didier Bouchon and Laurent Lemée (University of Poitiers). It is supported by funding from CNRS.
The post-mating effect on honey bee queen physiology, behavior and pheromone production. My current research focus is on the biology of honey bee (Apis mellifera) biology. Queen quality clearly plays a critical role in maintaining healthy and active honey bee colonies. My first study aimed at understanding the short term effect of mating in honey bee queens and the effects of mating number, mating quality, and quantity effect on different parameters. I looked at these effects via behavioral analyses, analytical chemistry on different queen glands, and functional genomics to determine the effects of mating parameters on honey bee queen pheromone profiles, physiology, gene expression, and queen-worker interactions. Singly vs. multiply inseminated queens have significantly different pheromone profiles (Queen mandibular gland and Dufour’s gland), queen-worker interactions, gene expression level in the brain and fat bodies. The insemination volume and semen appear to have direct consequence on queen-worker interactions, queen gland chemical composition, and queen gene expression. The highest volume inseminated queens are the most attractive to workers, and queens inseminated with semen are more attractive than queens inseminated with saline solution. These studies reveal how insemination quality affects the queen and the entire colony organization, and show the need to develop improved instrumental insemination techniques. The results of my research can now be applied to improve queen quality and thereby minimize how often colonies need to be restocked, which will directly benefit beekeepers. Moreover, such studies may identify genetic markers for queen quality that could be used for breeding programs.
I’m conducting this research in collaboration with Professor David Tarpy (NCSU) and Dr Christina Grozinger. It is supported by funding from USDA-NRI, NCSU, and the Eastern Apiculture Society.
The effect of activation of the immune system on nestmate recognition and chemical patterns. I also have developed another research program, which has been recently funded by the USDA, that focuses on the effect of activation of the immune system on social interaction and chemical communication. The research will include microarray analysis to correlate changes in social interactions with gene expression differences. Some of my previous research showed that activation of the worker immune system alters cuticular hydrocarbon profiles and social interactions (Richard et al. submitted). These results suggest that disease and pathogen load are communicated to other individuals via changes in chemical profiles, and thus chemical communication may play an important role in disease transmission within social insect colonies. I now want to further explore the effect of immune response on honey bee social interaction and chemical communication. Specifically I plan to stimulate different pathways of the immune system using a gram-negative bacteria, E. coli, (to stimulate the Imd arm of the immune system) and latex beads (to stimulate the encapsulation pathway which responds to viruses and other parasites). Also I wish to better understand the genes underlying the chemical profile changes by using micro-arrays. These studies will lay the groundwork for more extensive research into the multiple pathogens and pests that affect honey bees, including viruses (i.e., sacbrood and deformed wing virus), bacteria (i.e., Paenibacillus larvae, which causes American foulbrood disease), fungi (i.e., Ascosphaera apis, which causes chalkbrood disease), ectoparasites (i.e., Varroa mites and tracheal mites, Acarapis woodi), and endoparasites (i.e., Nosema apis).
I conduct this research collaboration with Dr. Arnaud Aubert (Université François Rabelais, Tours) and Dr Christina Grozinger (NCSU). It is supported by funding from USDA-NRI (2007-2010), project where I am Co-Principal Investigator.
1. Beauché F., Richard F-J., 2013 The best timing of mate search in Armadillidium vulgare (Isopoda, Oniscidea). Plos One 8(3): e57737.
2. Richard F-J., Holt H. H., Grozinger C M., 2012. Effects of immuno-stimulation on social behavior, chemical communication and genome-wide gene expression in honey bee workers (Apis mellifera). BMC Genomics 13, 558. Highly accessed
3. Richard F-J., Coby S., Tarpy D.R., Grozinger C. M., 2011. Effects of instrumental insemination and insemination quantity on Dufour’s gland chemical profiles and Vitellogenin expression in honey bee queens (Apis mellifera). Journal of Chemical Ecology 37: 1027-1036.
4. Richard F-J., Aubert A., Grozinger C. (2008). Modulation of nestmate recognition by immune stimulation in honey bees, Apis mellifera. BMC Biology, 6:50.
5. Aubert A., Richard F-J. (2008). Social management of LPS-induced inflammation in Formica polyctena ants. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 22 (6) : 833-837.
6. Richard F-J., Poulsen M., Hefetz A., Errard C., Nash D. R., Boomsma J. J. (2007). A possible genetic background for the chemical recognition profiles of fungi cultivated by Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 61 (11) : 1637-1649.
Tel : +33 (0)5 49 36 64 07
Fax : +33 (0)5 49 45 40 15
I also have a personal website with wildlife pictures. You can find many different insects (honey bees, ants, wasps, beetles, flies…), spiders, and others bugs. I also have pictures of horses, birds, fishes, amphibians and reptiles from different countries.
Feel free to look at the pictures: http://fjfourmi.free.fr/