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Station d’Ecologie Expérimentale du CNRS
2 route du CNRS
09200 Saint-Girons, FRANCE

I was born and raised in a small town of the French Atlantic coast (La Chaume sur Mer) and by the age of five was catching my first reptiles. I do not remember my mum loving it but it never stopped from there...
I am interested in many aspects of the ecology and behaviour of reptiles, but lately have been working on phenotypic plasticity and its role in speciation processes. After a PhD (University of Western Australia), and a Post-Doc (University of Sydney), I am now permanently based in a CNRS lab in the South of France. I will be developing several new projects involving snakes and lizards species from the area.

Post Doc research (2006-2008) : Does adaptive plasticity play a significant role in the initial colonisation of novel habitats ?
Evolution occurs rapidly in small populations exposed to novel selective pressures, providing a uniquely powerful opportunity to understand the nature of evolutionary divergence. Tiger snakes (Notechis sp.) were isolated on many offshore islands by sea level rise, with consequent rapid divergence from their mainland progenitors in body size, relative head size and dietary habits. My project will clarify the role of plasticity in facilitating phenotypic modifications that allow successful colonisation of the new habitat, especially during the early stages of traditional adaptive (genetically-based) modifications of the fledgling population, using comparative analyses based on a comprehensive intra-specific phylogeny with a timeframe for isolation events.

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Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Aubret, F., Bonnet, X. and Shine, R. 2002. Fat is sexy for females, but not males : the influence of body reserves on reproduction in snakes (Vipera aspis, Viperidae). Hormones and Behavior 42:135-147.
  • Bonnet, X., Aubret, F. and Ladyman, M. 2003. Water, food and energy : plasticity on islands. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 134A : S127.
  • Aubret, F., Bonnet, X., Shine, R. and Maumelat, S. 2003. Clutch size manipulation, hatching success and offspring phenotype in the ball python (Python regius). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 78:263-272.
  • Aubret, F. 2004. Aquatic locomotion and behaviour in two disjunct populations of Western Australian tiger snakes, Notechis ater occidentalis. Australian Journal of Zoology 52:357-368.
  • Aubret, F., Shine, R. and Bonnet, X. 2004. Adaptive developmental plasticity in snakes. Nature 43:261-262.
  • Aubret, F., Bonnet, X., Maumelat, S., Bradshaw, D. and Schwaner, T. 2004. Diet divergence, jaw size and scale counts in two neighbouring populations of tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus). Amphibia-Reptilia 25:9-17.
  • Aubret, F., Bonnet, X., Shine, R. and Maumelat, S. 2005. Why do female ball pythons (Python regius) coil so tightly around their eggs ? Evolutionary Ecology Research 7:743-758.
  • Aubret, F., Bonnet, X., Harris, M. and Maumelat, S. 2005. Sex differences in body size and ectoparasite load in the ball python, Python regius. Journal of Herpetology 39:315-320.
  • Bonnet, X., Aubret, F., Lourdais, O., Ladyman, M., Bradshaw, D. and Maumelat, S. 2005. Do "quiet" places make animals placid ? Island versus mainland tiger snakes. Ethology 111:573-592.
  • Aubret, F., Bonnet, X., Shine, R. and Maumelat, S. 2005. Energy expenditure for parental care may be trivial for brooding pythons, Python regius. Animal Behaviour 69:1043-1053.
  • Aubret, F., Bonnet, X., Shine, R. and Maumelat, S. 2005. Swimming and pregnancy in tiger snakes, Notechis scutatus. Amphibia-Reptilia 26:396-400.
  • Aubret, F., Bonnet, X., Pearson, D. and Shine, R. 2005. How can blind tigersnakes (Notechis scutatus) forage successfully ? Australian Journal of Zoology 53:283-288.
  • Aubret, F., Bonnet, X. and Maumelat, S. 2005. Tail amputation, body condition and swimming performances in tiger snakes, Notechis scutatus. Journal of Experimental Zoology 303:894-903.
  • Aubret, F. and Bonnet, X. 2005. Influence of body reserves and eye-opacity on foraging behaviours of tiger snakes. Journal of Experimental Zoology 303:1075-1084.
  • Aubret, F. 2006. Aipysurus pooleorum (Shark Bay sea snake) : avian predation. Herpotological Review 37:93.
  • Aubret, F., Bonnet, X., Maumelat, S., Burghardt, G. and Bradshaw, D. 2006. Feeding preferences in two disjunct populations of tiger snakes, Notechis scutatus. Behavioral Ecology 17:716-725.
  • Aubret, F., Bonnet, X. and Bradshaw, D. 2007. Food versus risk ; : foraging decision in young Tiger snakes, Notechis scutatus. Amphibia-Reptilia 28:304-308.
  • Aubret, F., and Shine, R. 2007. Rapid prey-induced shift in body size in an isolated snake population (Notechis scutatus, Elapidae). Austral Ecology 32:889-899.
  • Aubret, F., Bonnet, X. and Shine, R. 2007. The role of adaptive plasticity in a major evolutionary transition : early aquatic experience affects locomotor performance of terrestrial snakes. Functional Ecology 21:1154-1161.
  • Aubret, F. 2007. Notechis scutatus (Australian Tiger snake). Cannibalism. Herpetological Review 38:341.
  • Aubret, F., and Shine, R. 2008. The origin of evolutionary innovations : locomotor consequences of tail shape in aquatic snakes. Functional Ecology 22 : 317-322.
  • Aubret, F., and Shine, R. 2008. Early experience influences both habitat choice and locomotor performance in tigersnakes. American Naturalist 171(4) : 524-531.
  • Aubret, F., and Shine, R. 2008. Causes and consequences of aggregation by neonatal Tigersnakes (Notechis scutatus, Elapidae). Austral Ecology 34(2) : 210-217.
  • Aubret, F. and Shine, R. 2009. Thermal plasticity in young snakes : how will climate change affect the thermoregulatory tactics of ectotherms ? Journal of Experimental Biology 213 : 242-248.
  • Aubret, F. and Shine, R. 2009. Genetic assimilation and the post-colonisation erosion of phenotypic plasticity in island Tiger snakes. Current Biology 19:22
  • Aubret F, and Shine R. 2009. Snakes face the heat. Research Highlights. Nature 463:138.
  • Aubret, F. and Shine, R. 2010. Fitness costs may explain the post-colonisation erosion of phenotypic plasticity. Journal of Experimental Biology 213(5) : 735-739.
  • Aubret, F., Michniewicz, R.J. and Shine, R. 2010. Correlated geographic variation in predation risk and antipredator behaviour within a wide-ranging snake species (Notechis scutatus, Elapidae). Austral Ecology 36 : 446-452.
  • Aubret, F., and Michniewicz, R.J. 2010. Warming up for cold water : influence of habitat type on thermoregulatory tactics in a semi-aquatic snake. Amphibia Reptilia 31(4) : 525-531.
  •  Bonnet X, Lorioux S, Pearson D, Aubret F, Bradshaw D, Delmas V, Fauvel T 2011. Which proximate factor determines sexual size dimorphism in Tiger snakes ? The Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 103:668−680.
  • Aubret F. 2012. Body size evolution on islands : are adult size variations in Tiger snakes a non-adaptive consequence of selection on birth size ? The American Naturalist, 179(6):756-67.
  • Durand J., Legrand A., Tort M., Thiney A., Michniewicz R. J., Coulon A. and Aubret ;F. 2012. Effects of geographic isolation on anti-snakes responses in the wall lizard, Podarcis muralis. Amphibia reptilia, 33:199–206.
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