DR. MAXENCE GERARD
During my PhD degree (2014-2018) I mainly developed expertise in the analysis of bee phenotype, particularly on bumblebees and using geometric morphometrics. I developed geometric morphometrics in various contexts like taxonomy, conservation biology and (chemical) ecology. More specifically on taxonomy, I used this tool to discriminate halploid from diploid males of bumblebees, different cryptic species and also to identify wild bee fossils. About conservation biology and ecology, I assessed the impact of stressors on phenotypic variability in controlled conditions as well as the drivers of phenotypic variability on the field. I focused on the drivers of body size clines along latitudinal gradients and temporal series. For example, I tested the Bergmann’s rule in bees, an ecological rule that states that populations tend to be larger in colder environments, which is particularly observable in bears or Cervidae. In parallel, I worked on side projects on plant-pollinator interaction as well as conservation genetics. The goal of my present project is to investigate how wing modifications caused by increased temperature during development impact the flight performance and foraging behaviour of bumblebees.