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Fish community structure and ecosystem properties in a global change context


Humans are modifying the composition of biological communities through habitat loss and resource depletion (fishing). Changes in biota may have even greater effects on ecosystem properties than changes in abiotic parameters. However, the vast majority of studies dealing with the relationship between the composition of ecological communities and ecosystem functioning have concentrated on relatively simple systems (primary producers), have investigated at small scales (experiments) and have only considered the number of species to describe ecological communities. Time has come to shift towards (i) the study of complex systems (high trophic levels), (ii) large scale investigations and (iii) descriptors of ecological communities that take into account the role of organisms in ecosystems. The FISHECO fellowship aims at providing a high level training as well as a boost for career development to a promising full professor of 38 years old who has the ambition to lead research projects on the relationships between fish community structure and coastal ecosystem functioning within a context of global change. The Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, and more particularly Pr. Bellwood, has been very influential worldwide on this research topic. The originality of Prof Bellwood’s approach is to consider the functional role of fish species in assessing the link between community structure and ecosystem functioning (eight publications in Science or Nature). While Europe has a long tradition of excellence in fishery science (fish as a food resource) Pr. Mouillot will work on the overlooked role of fish in ecosystems. This fresh view would bring fundamental shifts in coastal management strategies. After training two years using fish communities on coral reefs as a case study, the fellow (i) will share his acquired knowledge with European research networks and with European students, and (ii) will use these new competencies to built up innovative funding proposals

Call for proposal

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Place eugene bataillon 2
34095 Montpellier

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Aurore Marcos (Ms.)
EU contribution
No data