Coral Reef Fish Metamorphosis & Nursery Ecology


Increasingly frequent and severe anthropogenic perturbations have modified the ecological functions of coastal water areas, such as their nursery role for many teleost fish species.
In these species, settlement in nurseries (e.g. seagrass beds, coral-reefs, mangroves) coincides with major transformations as larval fishes (initially pelagic) metamorphose in juveniles. Through this thyroid-hormone-mediated metamorphosis, fish develop morphological features, sensory abilities, and physiological functions adapted to their new coastal environment, therefore enhancing their growth and survival and promoting their recruitment in the adult populations.

Many studies have put a great emphasis at understanding, mainly in laboratory conditions, the impacts of climate change scenarios and waterborne endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) on the the reproductive functions and the early larval development in fishes. However, the impact of such perturbations in situ and in metamorphosing larval fishes has received very little attention.
Through my research on coral-reef fishes, I have developed an Eco/Physio/Devo framework that permits to better understand how climate change and EDC could affect the proceedings of metamorphosis and settlement. As settlement and metamorphosis are critical for fish populations’ stock sustainability, I seek to uncover the levels and the effects of current and predicted anthropogenic pertubations on fish metamorphosis proceedings, to better understand their potential outcomes on nursery ecology and fish population replenishment processes.


I am currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the CRIOBE marine station (Moorea, French Polynesia), in collaboration with the Université de Liège (Belgium) and Tetiaroa Society (French Polynesia). From 2014 to 2017 I was a PhD student in this same laboratory, within the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE) and PSL Research University, with a PhD fellowship obtained at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon.


Fish Eco-Physiology

Hormonal pathways, digestive systems, and ecological shifts

I seek to uncover the hormonal proceedings underlying reef fish life-history transitions (e.g. settlement) and their importance in the organism physiology (e.g. diet shift, microbiome shift, digestive tract remodeling, metabolic rates, swimming performance) and ecology (e.g. feeding behavior, schooling, survival).

Fish Neuro-Ecology

Sensory-organ histology and Behavioral ecology

I aim at understanding the link between the development/maturation of sensory organs and the acquisition of sensory abilities.

This involves various histological (e.g. dissection, tissue fixation, paraffin embedding, microtome sectioning, staining, electronic microscopy, SEM) and behavioral analyzes (e.g. choice experiments, task performances).

Fish Eco-Toxicology

Pollutants and stressors

I look at how climate change (e.g., temperature rise, oceanic acidification) and water pollution (e.g., waterborne pollutants, plastics, anthropogenic noises) can disrupt fish endocrine systems and consequently impair their development, behavior and survival.

To do so, I perform in situ and ex situ experiments to assess contamination levels and decipher how they impact fish ecology and physiology, with a particular emphasis on coastal nursery areas.



    Importance of metamorphosis in coral-reef fish larval recruitment

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    Coral-reef fish settlement patterns

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    Impact of oceanic acidification on coral-reef fish larval recruitment

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    Impact of environmentally-induced endocrine disruption during reef-fish larval recruitment

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    Importance and ontogeny of schooling behavior in coral-reef fishes

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    Monitoring of sea turtles populations, migrations, and nesting sites in French Polynesia

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    Variability of the head and fin morphometric traits in larval fishes vs. adult fishes and ecological implications

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Main research interests

Yet, I have dedicated most my research on coral-reef fish species, with a great emphasis on the convict tang Acanthurus triostegus.

. This website is dedicated to my research on COral REef FIsh MEtamorphosis (COREFIME) and other marine biology topics.

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