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Sylvain Pincebourde

Chargé de Recherche en écologie physique, Université de Tours

I am an ecologist interested in several aspects of the biology of organisms. My main research theme concerns the role of microclimate in modulating the response of organisms to environmental changes. I am interested in how the spatial and temporal microclimate heterogeneity can help organisms in buffering all or part of the climate change. I use thermal ecology concepts and approaches to understand how organisms are adapted specifically to the thermal patterns in their microhabitat.

Forecasting the impacts of [micro-]climate change
My general interest is to understand how organisms interact with their biotic and abiotic environments at a spatial scale relevant to the organism. Organisms experience abiotic fluctuations (e.g. temperature) within their microhabitat, but most of the time these fluctuations are not the ones we measure with weather stations at the regional scale. A comprehensive description of the biophysical mechanisms that characterize the microclimate of species is needed, especially if we are to forecast the ecological effects of the climate change to come. Moreover, microclimatic conditions are heterogeneous in space, especially at local scale. Little is known, however, on the impact of such heterogeneous conditions on the population dynamics of organisms and biotic interactions, two key components in community structure and ecosystem functioning. My general aim is to characterize the microclimate of interacting species to estimate its impact on biotic interactions and population dynamics. Further, biophysical modelling of microclimatic conditions can be used to forecast the direction and amplitude of the microclimatic change as induced by global change. Such a perspective obviously appeals to a highly integrated and multidisciplinary approach. I am an ecologist with knowledge in physiological ecology of invertebrates and plants as well as in environmental biophysics.


  • –present
    Chargé de Recherche en écologie physique, Université de Tours