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Bruxaux Jade


PhD Student (under the supervision of Christophe Thébaud and Guillaume Besnard)

Icone contact Email

Research topics :
    • Genomic
    • Phylogeny
    • Phylogeography
    • Conservation
    My PhD project :

    I’m currently working on museum samples of Goura sp., the biggest pigeons in the world, living in New Guinea. Museum specimens are very helpfull for such species which are difficult to catch, which are in places difficult to access linked to political instability, and which are protected by restrictive laws. This specimens are often very old (sometimes more than 100 years, coming from the first explorations conducted in New Guinea by Wallace and his colleagues) and DNA is not always good conserved. New sequencing technologies make this data more easily available.

    After sequencing this samples, i’m first trying to clarify their taxonomy. It is currently based on morphological data, and distinguishes 3 or 4 species regarding the authors. For this I’m using whole mitochondrial genome and a few nuclear sequences.

    Then I’ll try to understand the speciation of these species : they all live in the same environment (lowland and partially flooded forest) without current geographic barriers, but their range don’t overlap (parapatric distribution). This curious pattern is interesting as an example of others birds distribution discribed in New-Guinea : lots of bird species or subspecies share the same limits to their distributions. These limits could maybe be related to past event (geological or climatic ones).

    Even if birds are a well known group, their phylogeny is still studied, and one of the more difficult family to place inside is the Columbidae family. Several studies were conducted to clarify the relationships inside this family but they are not always consistent. 

    So a second part of my PhD thesis will be to clarify this family’s phylogeny, using museum samples too, and especially to place inside the Goura sp and their closest relative, which can be considered as "big peculiar pigeon".