Entité de rattachement
Biologie intégrative des populations, Evolution moléculaire (BIPEM)
Habilité(e) à diriger des recherches


Réseaux sociaux
claudie.doums [at] ephe.psl.eu
claudie.doums [at] mnhn.fr
01 40 79 80 37

12 rue Buffon


75005 Paris

Responsabilités hors unité

Doyenne de la section des Sciences de la Vie et de la Terre de l'EPHE-PSL




Evolutionary ecology, molecular ecology, reproductive strategies, life-history traits, morphology, phenotypic plasticity, social conflicts, social insects.

Evolution of supergenes in ants (ANR SOGENANT)

Supergenes are groups of neighbouring genes inherited as a single Mendelian element. They play a central role in the evolution of complex phenotypes. Recently, our PhD student, Antoine Taupenot,  has discovered a novel social supergene in the ant species Myrmecina graminicola accompanied by another (smaller) supergene determining wing polymorphism (presence or absence of wings in the queen). This unique and original system of supergenes offers a great opportunity to shed light on the intricated multilevel effects of supergenes combining selfish and cooperative effects and on the powerful role of supergenes as drivers of adaptation, especially through their effects on dispersal. 

The aim of our project is therefore to combine genomics, ecological, behavioural and chemical approaches to better characterize the evolutionary history of these supergenes and the maintenance of their associated polymorphisms in the ant genus Myrmecina. Our project addresses two main questions: (i) How do these supergenes evolve at a deep evolutionary scale? and (ii) Which mechanisms act on the maintenance of the supergene polymorphism?

A PhD student, co-supervised by Thibaud Monnin, Stefano Mona and myself, Joshua Ducancel is starting on this project. 

!!!!!!!! We are looking for a new PhD student starting in Septembre 2024 !!!!!!!   

!!!!!!!!! The full application can be found in the document below !!!!!!!!


Collaborators: ISYEB (S. Mona), IEES-Paris (T. Monnin, M. Molet), LEEC Villetaneuse (P. D’Ettore)


Evolution of sex and sexual selection in C. Cursor 

C. Cursor is a peculiar thermophilic ant in which the queen mate with males from different colonies to produce workers but use thelytokous parthenogenesis (originating daughters by asexual reproduction) to produce part, if not all, of the new queens (Doums et al. 2013; Pearcy et al. 2004). With Nicholas Smith, an ATER of EPHE-PSL, we are currently testing the hypothesis that sexual reproduction is selected for in peripheral populations submitted to more stressful environmental conditions. We are also testing whether inbred queens originating from successive generations of thelytoky differ from outbred queens (sexually produced) for different life-history traits (thermal resistance, size, fecundity) and chemical profiles (cuticular hydrocarbons). 

Mating strategies can be of considerable importance when the queen mate with several males on the ground as it is the case in C. cursor. We discovered that workers aggress males during mating, acting as a potential filtering process and indirect source of sexual selection (Helft et al. 2015, Eyer et al. 2022). With Pascaline Chifflet-Belle, a Diploma internship, we are currently testing whether workers might play a role in limiting the mating efficiency of immigrant males by aggressing differentially males according to their genetic proximities to the young queens. 

Collaborators: IEES-Paris (T. Monnin), LEEC Villetaneuse (P. D’Ettore)




 Urban ecology

Cities can be used as in situ replicates to assess the responses of organisms to environmental changes, such as increased heat or pollution. Using the small ant, Temnothorax nylanderi, we tested whether urban colonies differ from rural ones. We showed that urban and rural populations are not genetically differentiated (Khimoun et al 2020) whereas they differed by some foraging behaviors (Jacquier et al. 2023) and by their sensitivity to a major pollutant (Cadmium) (Jacquier et al. 2020). With Marie Gressler, a PhD student co-supervised by M. Molet, we tested whether urban ants show less bioaccumulation and are better at detoxifying. 

Collaborators: IEES-Paris (M. Molet), LEHNA Lyon (B. Kaufman). 



CV claudie english 2023-EPHE.pdf Format (Pdf) - 187.85 Ko


PhD grant starting in septembre 2024 Format (Pdf) - 262.99 Ko


  • Jacquier L., Molet M. & Doums C., 2023Urban colonies are less aggressive but forage more than their forest counterparts in the ant Temnothorax nylanderi. Animal Behaviour vol. 199, , p. 11-21
  • Doums Claudie, Chifflet-Belle P., Lenormand T., Boulay R. & Villalta I., 2023A putatively new ant species from the Cataglyphis cursor group displays low levels of polyandry with standard sexual reproduction. Insectes Sociaux , , Publisher: Springer Verlag tex.hal_id: hal-04270868 tex.hal_version: v1
  • Jacquier L., Doums C. & Molet M., 2022Spring colonies of the ant Temnothorax nylanderi tolerate cadmium better than winter colonies, in both a city and a forest habitat. Ecotoxicology , ,
    0963-9292, 1573-3017
  • Eyer P. A., Finand B., Mona S., Khimoun A., D’ettorre P., Fédérici P., Leroy C., Cornette R., Chifflet-Belle P., Monnin T. & Doums C., 2022Integrative characterization of genetic and phenotypic differentiation in an ant species complex with strong hierarchical population structure and low dispersal abilities. Heredity , ,
    0018-067X, 1365-2540
  • Jacquier Lauren, Molet Mathieu, Bocquet Céline & Doums Claudie, avril 2021Hibernation Conditions Contribute to the Differential Resistance to Cadmium between Urban and Forest Ant Colonies. Trace metals such as cadmium are found in high concentrations in urban environments. Animal and plant populations living in… Animals vol. 11, n° 4, p. 1050 Publisher: MDPI tex.hal_id: hal-03215336 tex.hal_version: v1
  • Honorio Romain, Jacquier Lauren, Doums Claudie & Molet Mathieu, 2021Disentangling the roles of social and individual effects on cadmium tolerance in the ant Temnothorax nylanderi. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society vol. 134, n° 4, p. 823-834 Publisher: Linnean Society of London tex.hal_id: hal-03391659 tex.hal_version: v1
    0024-4066, 1095-8312
  • Honorio Romain, Doums Claudie & Molet Mathieu, 2021Worker Size Diversity Has No Effect on Overwintering Success under Natural Conditions in the Ant Temnothorax nylanderi. Insects vol. 12, n° 5, p. 379
  • Jacquier L., Doums C., Four-Chaboussant A., Peronnet R., Tirard C. & Molet M., septembre 2020Urban colonies are more resistant to a trace metal than their forest counterparts in the ant Temnothorax nylanderi. Cities can be used as in situ replicates to assess the responses of organisms to environmental changes, such as increased heat… Urban Ecosystems , , ISBN: 1083-8155 Publisher: Springer Verlag
  • Honorio Romain, Doums Claudie & Molet Mathieu, 2020Manipulation of worker size diversity does not affect colony fitness under natural conditions in the ant Temnothorax nylanderi. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology vol. 74, n° 8, p. 104
    0340-5443, 1432-0762
  • Khimoun Aurélie, Doums Claudie, Molet M., Kaufmann Bernard, Péronnet R., Eyer P.A. & Mona S., 2020Urbanization without isolation: the absence of genetic structure among cities and forests in the tiny acorn ant Temnothorax nylanderi. Biology Letters vol. 16, n° 1, p. 20190741 Publisher: Royal Society, The tex.hal_id: hal-02464191 tex.hal_version: v1
    1744-9561, 1744-957X