Background

Doctor of veterinary medecine (National Vet School of Lyon, Vet Agro Sup - France) ;

Master's degree in Ecophysiology & Ethology (Faculté des Sciences de la Vie, University of Strasbourg - France).


Phd research theme, context and objectives

Thermal Ecology and social thermoregulation of Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) during their moult.

Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina), as auxiliaries of oceanographers, are mostly studied about their foraging behaviour in sea. However, there are very few studies about their physiological and behavioral adaptations during their life cycle’s phases on land (for moult and reproduction). Social thermoregulation by huddling is a widespread strategy of energy saving, but associated physiological and behavioral adaptations are currently less explored. This PhD work rests on the study of social thermoregulation behaviour of elephant seals during their moult. We suppose that physiological and behavioral adaptations linked to huddling during the moult may be affected by individuals' body condition and local climate changes.

Our main objectives are to determine how elephant seals behave during the moult and cope with this energetic stress in accordance with weather conditions on land. This study will allow us to explore thermal ecology of a species facing strong energetic constrains in order to better understand how organisms are actually capable of getting used to their environment in the present context of global changes.

Many partners (CNRS UMR 7178, Strasbourg - France ; Dr. D. McCafferty, University of Glasgow - Scotland UK ; Dr. C. Guinet, CEBC CNRS Chizé – France) actively participate in this original approach which also aims for the development of a non-invasive method to evaluate energy expenditures by the use of infrared thermography.

Key words:  Social thermoregulation, Huddling, Thermal ecology, Infrared thermography, Moult, Marine mammals, Elephant seals


Supervisors

  • Marc Théry (UMR 7179, CNRS / National Museum of Natural History MNHN, Paris - France),
  • André Ancel (Ecology, Physiology & Ethology Department - DEPE, UMR 7178, Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien - IPHC CNRS / University of Strasbourg UdS - France),
  • Caroline Gilbert (UMR 7179, National Vet School of Alfort, ENVA - France)


Graduate school

ED 227 - Sciences de la Nature et de l'Homme (National Museum of Natural History - MNHN, Paris - France), Sorbonne University; Département Ecologie et Conservation de la Biodivrsité (EGB)

Communications 

Chaise L., Paterson W., Delalande L., Gallon S., Laske T., McCafferty D., Ancel A. & Gilbert C. (2016). Combination of heart rate, body temperature and accelerometry for behavioural study of Southern elephant seals during the moult. 12th Meeting - Ecology and Behaviour (Lyon, France)

Chaise L., Prinet I., McCafferty D., Toscani C., Gallon S., Vuarin P., Ancel A. & Gilbert C. (2015). Huddling of Southern elephant seals during their moult. 11èmesJournées Scientifiques du CNFRA (Comité National Français des Recherches Arctiques et Antarctiques ; Paris, France)

Chaise L., Prinet I., Toscani C., Gallon S., McCafferty D., Vuarin P., O'Toole M., Ancel A. & Gilbert C. (2015). Movement patterns and habitat selection of Southern elephant seals during their moult. 11th Meeting - Ecology and Behaviour (Toulouse, France)

Chaise L., Toscani C., Gallon S., McCafferty D., Ancel A. & Gilbert C. (2014). Habitat use and movement patterns of Southern elephant seals during their moult. 5th Bio-logging Science Symposium (Strasbourg, France)

Gallon S., Chaise L., McCafferty D., Toscani C., Ancel A. & Gilbert C. (2014). The moult in southern elephant seals : the cost of losing it all. 5th Bio-logging Science Symposium (Strasbourg, France)

Toscani C., Vuarin P., Chaise L., Gallon S., McCafferty D., Ancel A. & Gilbert C. (2014). Energetics of moult and huddling in Southern elephant seals. 10èmesJournées Scientifiques du CNFRA (Comité National Français des Recherches Arctiques et Antarctiques ; Paris, France)

Publications