Evolutionary Biology & Ecologyebe-Welcome.html
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phone: +32 (0)2 650 44 97

e-mail: Denis.Fournier@ulb.ac.be

Personal website

Research interests

Biological invasions

Biological invasions have major ecological and economical consequences, especially by disrupting trophic cascades and by homogenising biodiversity. Each invasion process is characterised by three stages: the introduction, the establishment of viable populations, and their proliferation in the new environment. Demographic, ecological and genetic mechanisms occur in each stage.

Our researches aim at studying biological invasions in social insects and lie on a combinatory approach including genetic, behavioural, chemical and ecological data.

Life-history traits of humivorous termites

Humus-feeding termites are abundant and ecologically important in soils of neotropical rainforests. However, their reproductive and dispersal strategies remain poorly known.

Our interests are directed towards investigating population genetic structure and reproductive and dispersal strategies of a guyanese Cavitermes species.

Biological invasions     behaviour     Pheidole     Ants     Dispersal strategies     Solenopsis     Native range     Colony     Molecular analyses     Insects     Reproductive strategies     Nestmate recognition     DNA     Mating systems     Ecology     Evolution of sex     Reproductive conflicts     Population genetics     Pest management     Bombus     Field     Bees     Evolutionary ecology     Cataglyphis     Cavitermes     Chemical recognition     Wasmannia     Biodiversity     Kin composition     Sampling     Termites     Linepithema     Global warming     Clonality...

Selected publications

Aron S, Lybaert P, Baudoux C, Vandervelden M, Fournier D (2016) Sperm production characteristics vary with level of sperm competition in Cataglyphis desert ants. Functional Ecology 30, 614-624.
   Abstract & PDF

Fournier D, de Biseau J-C, De Laet S, et al. (In press) Social structure and genetic distance mediate nestmate recognition and aggressiveness in the facultative polygynous ant Pheidole pallidula. PLoS ONE.

Moerman R, Vanderplanck M, Roger N, et al. (2016) Growth rate of bumblebee larvae is related to pollen amino acids. Journal of Economic Entomology 109, 25-30.
   Abstract & PDF

Wauters N, Dekoninck W, Hendrickx F, Herrera HW, Fournier D (2016) Habitat association and coexistence of endemic and introduced ant species in Galápagos Islands. Ecological Entomology 41, 40-50.
   Abstract & PDF

Fournier D, Hanus R, Roisin Y (2015) Development and characterization of microsatellite markers from the humivorous termite Cavitermes tuberosus (Isoptera: Termitinae) using pyrosequencing technology. Conservation Genetics Resources 7, 521-524.
   Abstract & PDF

Gérard M, Michez D, Fournier D, et al. (2015) Discrimination of haploid and diploid males of Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera; Apidae) based on wing shape. Apidologie 46, 644-653.
   Abstract & PDF

Wauters N, Dekoninck W, Herrera H, Fournier D (2014) Distribution, behavioral dominance and potential impacts on endemic fauna of the tropical fire ant Solenopsis geminata (Hymenoptera: Myrmicinae) in the Galápagos archipelago. Pan-Pacific Entomologist, 90, 205-220.
   Abstract & PDF

Fournier D, Tindo M, Kenne M, et al. (2012) Genetic structure, nestmate recognition and behaviour of two cryptic species of the invasive big-headed ant Pheidole megacephala. PLoS ONE 7, e31480.
   Abstract & PDF

Foucaud J, Orivel J, Fournier D, et al. (2009) Reproductive system, social organization, human disturbance and ecological dominance in native populations of the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata. Molecular Ecology 18, 5059-5073.
   Abstract & PDF

Fournier D, Aron S (2009) No-male’s land for an Amazonian ant. Current Biology 19, R738-R740.
   Abstract & PDF

Fournier D, de Biseau J-C, Aron S (2009) Genetics, behaviour and chemical recognition of the invading ant Pheidole megacephala. Molecular Ecology 18, 186-199.
   Abstract & PDF

Aron S, Steinhauer N, Fournier D (2009) Influence of queen phenotype, investment and maternity apportionment on the outcome of fights in cooperative foundations of the ant Lasius niger. Animal Behaviour 77, 1067-1074.
   Abstract & PDF

Foucaud J, Fournier D, Orivel J, et al. (2007) Sex and clonality in the little fire ant. Molecular Biology and Evolution 24, 2465-2473.
   Abstract & PDF

Fournier D, Estoup A, Orivel J, et al. (2005) Clonal reproduction by males and females in the little fire ant. Nature 435, 1230-1234.
   Abstract & PDF

Fournier D, Keller L, Passera L, et al. (2003) Colony sex ratios vary with breeding system but not relatedness asymmetry in the facultatively polygynous ant Pheidole pallidula. Evolution 57, 1336-1342.
   Abstract & PDF



PhD students


phone: +32 (0)2 650 22 67     e-mail: sihellem@ulb.ac.be


  1. Modalities of Asexual Queen Succession in the neotropical humivorous termite Cavitermes tuberosus and implications of reproductive organisation on alate sex ratio


phone: +32 (0)2 650 49 58     e-mail: romainmoerman@hotmail.com


  1. Multifactorial analyses of bumblebees decline

MSc students


  1. Social insects and biological invasions


  1. The impact of endosymbionts on the reproductive system and sex-ratio of the tropical humivorous termite Cavitermes tuberosus

Previous MSc and PhD students

Sophie DE LAET

  1. Genetic diversity, intraspecific chemical variations and nestmate recognition in the ant Pheidole pallidula


  1. Reversion to monogyny in cooperative foundations of the ant Lasius niger - Effects of queen phenotype and social environment


  1. Evolutionary origin of sexuals and sex-ratio in the termite Cavitermes tuberosus

María Luisa Martín Cerezo

  1. Predicting the invasion risk by the tropical fire ant Solenopsis geminata across the Galápagos Archipelago


  1. Invasive ant species and global warming - risk prediction using geospatial models


  1. Population genetics, chemical recognition and aggressive behaviours of the invasive ant Pheidole megacephala in its native range


  1. Impact of the invasive ant Solenopsis geminata on the endemic fauna of the Galápagos islands - Genetic and ecological context


BIOL-F-314   Recherche et communication scientifique

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Webmaster  -  Copyright ebe 2016

  1. Group Denis Fournier     Genetics, ecology and evolution of invasive social insects

© Alex Wildhttp://www.alexanderwild.com/
© Alex Wildhttp://www.alexanderwild.com/
© Alex Wildhttp://www.alexanderwild.com/
© Alex Wildhttp://www.alexanderwild.com/