(Picture: Simon Rowell)
Initially trained as an entomologist, I became biologist and anthropologist since my appointment as a senior lecturer in agroecology at the University of Neuchâtel where I direct an interdisciplinary bachelor program in … biology anthropology! At the beginning of my career, I naively thought that my biological toolkit (molecular tools, field experiments) was sufficient to understand environmental problems. As soon as I applied my new social science toolkit (mostly based on qualitative data obtained through semi-directive interviews and participatory observation) I realized how much I missed. After five years, I could measure the extent to which the movement of invasive pest species, the resistance of honeybees to pathogens or the outcome of a biological control program has little to do with the purely biological traits of the insects we are studying. Insect pests move along humans or the goods they ship around the world. Honeybees became susceptible to some pathogens after being « domesticated » by humans. The introduction of some biological control agents has sometimes nothing to do with its flight capacity or its reproduction mode but can be explained by the strong bond between producers and their crops.
I currently work on topics such as:
How to improve environmental risk assessment procedures in the field of biological control? And in particular which place should social aspects have in risk assessment of biological control agents? Model systems I mobilize to answer these questions comprise the chestnut gall wasp, the box tree moth or the Rubus alceifolus/ Cibdelha jantica system at La Réunion Island
How neonicotinoids affect honeybees?
Can maggots be used as a source of protein for poultry and fisheries in West Africa?
Can biological and social science tools improve NGO actions in the field of development?
Why a blog?
Science isn’t just about publishing in high impact journals. Scientific research is also about informing the public about new findings. This blog is ment to provide an overview of my agroecology research, to present peer review research along with general audience article, article written by scientific journalists but also scientific-artistic projects.
Université de Neuchâtel
Institut de Biologie
laboratoire de Biologie du Sol
+41 (0)32 718 31 47