The CESAB group ACTIAS, has received a major grant from the ANR (the French Agence Nationale de Récherche) for the project SPHINX, entitled Understanding and predicting species adaptation to environmental changes in insects.
The project goals are as follows:
(i) to build a comprehensive species-level phylogeny and to conduct the first diversification analysis of a diverse group of insects on a global scale incorporating the role of biotic factors (e.g. dispersal ability, diversity of host plants) and abiotic (eg. climatic and geological changes);
(ii) to analyse the evolutionary dynamics of ecological niches and to develop macro-evolutionary models combining phylogenetic, biogeographic and ecological variables; and
(iii) to experimentally test the ability of these modles to predict species responses to environmental changes by analysing, in the field, species communities of these moths in pristine and human-impacted habitats on three different continents.
"This grant greatly expands the scope of the results of the current ACTIAS project, and vice versa" commented the project leader Rodolphe Rougerie of the National Museum of Natural History.