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Centre de Biologie pour la Gestion des Populations - UMR Inra, IRD, Cirad, Montpellier SupAgro

Simon Fellous

CR1 INRA - Département SPE

portrait de Simon
Fruit-Fly Evolution and Community Ecology (FFECE)

About the Réseau Ecologie des Interactions Durables (REID), please refer to the official website:


About the Collectif Technique de l'Insecte Sterile, you can email me or Clelia Oliva at collectif.tis@gmail.com .

The Fruit-Fly Evolution and Community Ecology (FFECE) lab.


We study the ecology and evolution of fruit-flies, mostly Drosophila suzukii and D. melanogaster.

Our three main lines of research focus on symbiosis, life-cycle complexity (i.e. metamorphosis) and the Sterile Insect Technique.

Fruit-flies (Drosophilids as well as Tephritids) are both potent pests that attack numerous crops and excellent model organisms for lab studies. Due to some features of their life cycle, fruit-flies are often difficult to fight with traditional (i.e. outdated) control methods such as pesticide spraying. We believe, however, that a fine understanding of their ecology will allow mitigating fly attacks in evolutionary and sociological sustainable ways. To that aim, we must be able to predict evolutionary trajectories in response to human actions on their biotic environment. It will only be possible if we understand what makes a fly (i.e. symbiotic interactions with microbes, plants and other fly species), and how this is affected by internal constrains (e.g. genetics, in particular linked to metamorphosis) and external factors (e.g. community composition and dynamics). 

In the last few years we have invested a lot of thought and energy into creating ecologically realistic fly microcosms. In them we can study ecological and evolutionary processes. This has led to exciting collaborations with the Cavalli lab (IGH, Montpellier) and the Morrow lab (U. Sussex, UK). 

When I have time I'll develop on all this. In the meanwhile, send an email for further details.

Group members (October 2018):

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 19.54.35

Allan Debelle, Agreenskills postdoctoral fellow, and region Occitanie (2017-19). "SUPERSTERILE project: Improvement of the Sterile Insect technique performance on Drosophila suzukii, evolution and the details of sexual interactions

- Anne Xuéreb, Assistante Ingénieur. "Without whom nothing would ever happen in our lab"

- Antoine Rombaut, PhD student (2015-18), co-supervised by Patricia Gibert and Flavie Vanlerberghe. "Drosophila suzukii in the grapevine agro-system"

- Joris Froissard, technician (2018-19). work on Supersterile project

- Robin Guilhot, PhD student (2017-2020). ANR SWING, "The ecology of drosophila-bacteria-yeast symbiosis and its consequences to the management of polyphagous fly pests"

- Romain Gallet, postdoctoral fellow (2018-19). ERANET Pest Fruit Fruit project, "Improving enthomovectoring by taking into account sub-lethal effects of fungal pathogens"


Julie Collet, Agreenskills postdoctoral fellow (2016-18). "Evolutionary constrains between life-stages in Drosophila and the sustainability of biological control agents"

Visitors (past and present):

Julie Collet, Marie Sklodowska Curie fellow (2018-2020). "Evolution of female mating preferences in Drosophila suzukii". Julie is based in CEFE-CNRS but we are lucky enough to continue collaborating with her intensively.

- Kate Howell, lecturer University of Melbourne, visit in 2015-2016. Collaboration on "Of yeast and flies: natural variation of yeast symbionts in wild drosophila populations"

Allan Debelle, postdoctoral fellow University of Sussex, UK (2015-16). Supervision by Ted Morrow. "An ecologically realistic study of intersexual conflicts in Drosophila melanogaster"

Main collaborators:

- Patricia Gibert, LLBE, CNRS Lyon, France.

- Clelia Oliva, Collectif TIS.

- Vincent Debat and Antoine Fraimout, MNHN, Paris, France.

- Arnaud Estoup, CBGP, INRA, Montpellier, France.

- Marie-Pierre Chapuis, CBGP, CIRAD, Montpellier, France.

- European Ecotron of Montpellier, France.

- Giacomo Cavalli and Filippo Ciabrelli, IGH, CNRS, Montpellier, France.

- Elodie Vercken, ISA, INRA, Sophia-Antipolis, France.

- Anais Chailleux, CIRAD, Dakar, Senegal.

- Emilie Delete, CIRAD, Nairobi, Kenya.

- Delphine Sicard, SPO, INRA, Montpellier, France.

Recent publications:

see researchgate : https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Simon_Fellous

Team motto:

Mouche qui pete 2