Etienne graduated in Populations and Ecosystems Biology at the University of Sciences and Technology of Lille (USTL, France) in 2002. During his PhD completed he studied the nest morphogenesis in ants and its self-organized basis under the supervision of Jean-Louis Deneubourg (USE lab, ULB). After completing its PhD in october 2010, Etienne collaborated with the LUBIES team and got involved in a field experiment focusing on biological control of bark beetles, and worked as science teacher at secondary school level. Since October 2012, he is now post-doctoral fellow at the “Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique” (FNRS, Brussels, Belgium).
Spatio-temporal patterns of resources colonization in bark beetles: experimental and theoretical study of the strategies of Dendroctonus micans and Ips typographus (FNRS; 2012-2015).
This work focuses on spatio-temporal patterns produced at various scales by bark beetles during host tree infestation by both adults and larvae. It is thought that the large diversity of patterns exhibited is due to environmental constraints (nature and availability of the resources). The goal of the study is to investigate the formation of these patterns in Dendroctonus micans and Ips typographus, two bark beetle species that show opposite behaviours on the wide range of ecological traits (infestation strategy, level of gregariousness, nature of interactions between individuals).
The investigation is conducted according to 3 axes: 1°) a qualitative and quantitative description of the multi-scale patterns (trees patch, trunk, larval cavities; lab & field experiments), 2°) a characterization of the underlying mechanisms (individual and collective behaviours, larvae and substrate characteristics; lab experiments), 3°) the identification of the patterns functionality and the quantification of their adaptive value (experiments & multi-agent simulations).
- Modulation of nest morphogenesis by colony size in ants.
Ants nests exhibit a wide structural diversity: variations in chambers and tunnels size, and in the proportion and configuration of these simple building blocks characterize these architectural differences. It is known that the interaction between digging activity and nest shape influences the shift from chamber to tunnel excavation and hence affects the whole nest morphogenesis. This investigation's goal is to characterize the effect of colony size and its variation during time on the nest morphogenesis.
Office telephone: +32-2-650 32 18
- Toffin E. & Deneubourg JL. (submitted). Template effect of gravity during nest morphogenesis in ants.
- Toffin E. , Kindekens J. & Deneubourg JL. Excavated substrate modulates growth instability during nest building in ants. Proc Roy Soc London B. 2010, 277:(1694), 2617—2625
- Toffin E. , Di Paolo D., Campo A., Detrain C. & Deneubourg JL. Shape transition during nest digging in ants. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2009, 106:(44), 18616–18620
(press coverage in Nature Research Highlights)
- Le Bourg E., Toffin E. & Massé A. Male Drosophila melanogaster flies exposed to hypergravity at young age are protected against a non-lethal heat shock at middle age but not against behavioral impairments due to this shock. Biogerontology. 2004, 5: 431—443
Activités de diffusion
- Toffin, E.. Auto-organisons-nous ! Structurer la pensée et l’action dans la Transition. Gaïa Scienza (Centre d'écologie urbaine). 2013, 7, 60–63. (sur le site du Centre d'écologie urbaine)
- Vereecken, N., Toffin, E. and Michez, D. Observations relatives à la biologie et à la nidification de quelques abeilles sauvages psammophiles d'intérêt en Wallonie. 2. Observations estivales et automnales. Parcs et Réserves 2006, 61(4) (.pdf 1Mo)
- Vereecken, N., Toffin, E., Gosselin, M. and Michez, D. Observations relatives à la biologie et à la nidification de quelques abeilles sauvages psammophiles d'intérêt en Wallonie. 1. Observations printanières. Parcs et Réserves. 2006, 61(1) (.pdf 1Mo)
- Toffin, E. & Rasse, P. (Sep. 2009). Exposition de moulages et de résines de nids de la fourmi Lasius niger. Insectes bâtisseurs.
- Toffin, E. & Rasse, P. (Dec. 2006). Creusement chez la fourmi Lasius niger et digitations, ou « Quand les fourmis se mettent à la physique ». L'ULB S'EXPOSE.