Raphaël Jeanneret

Raphaël Jeanneret's picture
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Scientific interests

Since September 2019 I hold a Junior Research Chair (JRC) at the Department of Physics of Ecole Normale Supérieure (LabEx ENS-ICFP). There I am starting a project aiming to study inducible cooperative behaviors amongst unicellular phytoplankton and their link to the evolutionary transition to multicellularity. Following the common adage “united we stand”, some motile and normally selfish algal populations, notably Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, phase separate into sticky clusters when (chemically) sensing predation danger nearby. Studying the microscopic features (e.g. cell-cell adhesion, chemotaxis) involved in such grouping process appears crucial to better understand the emergence and evolution of group individuality in the history of life. By applying microfluidic tools, cell micro-manipulation, advanced video microscopy and image analysis, this research will bring essential empirical insights into a centuries-old question.