Current research

 
I am interested in biological invasions and the impact introduced mammals can have on invaded communities of oceanic islands. In particular, I am interested in the population dynamics of invaded trophic webs and the control of introduced mammals for the restoration of insular ecosystems. I focus on the efficiency of control methods, and on the potential chain reactions triggered by the sudden removal of the introduced species. So far, I have only used mathematical models, but my research projects involve conservation programs with field work for the restoration of oceanic islands. To know a bit more about this research, read this page:


Past research

Before getting the current position, I did a two years postdoc at the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. I was interested in the population dynamics of obligate cooperatively breeding species, especially meerkats (Suricata suricatta) and African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus). Some of these species demonstrate a high rate of group extinction, which may be due to the existence of a critical number of helpers below which the group cannot subsist. I studied the demographic consequences of the existence of this minimum group size threshold, generating an Allee effect, through mathematical modelling and analysis of field data collected by collaborators. I also studied the theoretical impact of natural enemies (predators, competitors, parasites) on these species.

 

I also did a one-year postdoc at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (at the University of California San Diego), where I studied, through mathematical modelling, the effects on native fauna of feral cats introduced onto oceanic islands, and the implication of the presence of other alien species for the feasibility and the consequences of cat control.

 

 
I did my Ph. D. Thesis in France, Lyons, at the Biometry Lab.. During these years, I studied the epidemiology of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus in populations of feral cats. This study was achieved through observational field work and mathematical modelling. You can read abstracts about this subject in the Abstract page. The full text of my Ph.D is available as a pdf file, downloadable from the Publications page.

 

You can read the abstract of my published papers from the Publication page above. You can also download most of them as PDF files.
 


 

Send me an email: franck.courchamp@u-psud.fr