Research Director , CNRS
Director of the Centre for Biodiversity Theory and Modelling in Moulis (France)
National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
Centre for Biodiversity Theory and Modelling in Moulis (France)
Station d’Ecologie Expérimentale du CNRS
09200 Moulis France
Telephone: +33 5 61 04 03 64
Email: michel.loreau [at] ecoex-moulis.cnrs.fr
Michel Loreau’s main research theme focuses on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. This topic has experienced a spectacular growth in recent years at the international level, a growth to which he has contributed very actively through both his scientific work and his responsibilities in major international programmes and initiatives. He has also contributed to the development of the theory of metacommunity and meta-ecosystem dynamics, which allows him to address the spatial dimension of biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and the relationship that links them.
Merging evolutionary biology and ecosystem ecology is another key objective of his work. He is developing new theoretical approaches and models that explore the evolutionary emergence of entire food webs and ecosystems, and the reciprocal constraints that ecosystem functioning and evolution of species exert on each other. In this context, he has a keen interest in the ecological and evolutionary role of material cycles as circular causal pathways that transmit indirect effects to all ecosystem components (ecology and evolution of indirect mutualism generated by nutrient cycling between plants and herbivores or decomposers, effects of the coupling of several biogeochemical cycles on the functioning and stability of ecosystems). Michel Loreau also devotes his activities to promoting the coordination of research efforts and the link between science and policy in the area of biodiversity and ecosystem services internationally. He played a key part in this domain by initiating and then chairing the LINKECOL European Science Foundation programme, by restructuring and then chairing the DIVERSITAS international programme, and by chairing the consultative process towards an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB).