Antoine Le Quéré holds a PhD in Microbial Ecology from Lund University in Sweden. His doctoral research generated new insights on the molecular events involved during the development and the functioning of a mutualistic interaction between a fungus and a tree known as “Ectomycorrhizal symbiosis”. This interaction is widespread in temperate and boreal forests and allows the trees to explore a tremendous soil volume through associated fungal mycelium proliferation, which promotes tree growth and sustainability. After a Post Doc at Geneva University where he studied molecular determinants of another type of plant microbe interaction, the legume-rhizobium symbiosis, the major contributor of the Biological Nitrogen Fixation, he was recruited at the French National Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) at the Laboratory of Tropical and Mediterranean Symbioses (LSTM) of Montpellier, France.
His research at IRD has focused on characterizing the molecular diversity of Nitrogen Fixing bacteria of interest for the resilience of extreme or vulnerable environments (metal contaminated, deserts,…) or more recently, at the joint microbiology laboratory (LCM) of Dakar, for productivity improvement of cowpea, a major protein source for rural populations in west Africa. Interested in transferring research results acquired in the field for decades to the civil society, he joined a multi actor team regrouping farmers, representatives of several national agencies involved in accompanying producers and agricultural cooperatives, researchers from various disciplines and the private sector to develop collectively in Senegal a sector connected to symbiotic microorganism based biofertilization.