Agathe Leriche

Maître de conférences

Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d’Écologie Marine et Continentale (IMBE)
Campus Aix Technopôle de l’environnement Arbois Méditerranée
Avenue Louis Philibert Bât Villemin - BP 80 F-13545 Aix en Provence cedex 4
Tél : +33(0)4 13 94 93 54

I am a research scientist with the Mediterranean Institute of marine and terrestrial Biodiversity and Ecology (IMBE), and a lecturer with Aix-Marseille University in France since 2009. I work at the interface between distribution ecology, biogeography, ecological modelling, and conservation ecology. My research applies modelling approaches to the study of mechanisms involved in the origin and dynamics of Mediterranean biodiversity and likely consequences of global change.

Keywords : distribution ecology - macroecology - conservation ecology - biogeography - species distribution patterns - congruence - global changes - research/management interface

2007 - 2009 : Postdoctoral fellow in ecological modelling and climate change, CSIRO, Forest Systems Science, Australia
2005 - 2007 : GIS Specialist, ENSIS-SCION, Biosecurity Unit, New-Zealand
2004 - 2005 : Research and Teaching Assistant (ATER) at Université Aix-Marseille II
2001- 2004 : PhD in environmental sciences, chemistry and health, specialisation in marine ecology (Université de la Méditerranée, Aix-Marseille II, France)

My research scope is distribution ecology, applied to biogeography and conservation ecology. My recent work focuses on understanding the ecological processes that shape the spatial patterns of distribution of tree species, communities, and their multi-facets biodiversity, at different spatial scales (Euro-Mediterranean basin). I aim to identify the drivers, past and/or contemporary, natural and/or human-induced, of biodiversities and to determine whether and how community structure, composition and dynamics may be affected by global changes.

I have also performed several researches devoted to ecology of invasions, and in particular the assessment through modelling approaches of biosecurity risks associated to insect pests, pathogens and weeds. I was a member of the Australian CRC (Cooperative Research Centre for National Plant Biosecurity) and of the Pest Risk Mapping Group (international panel of modellers focusing on pest risk modelling practice). I still have interests in developing and refining ecological methods for estimating pest risk, and post-border pest management.

I am member of the Climond team involved in the not-for-profit initiative intending to share specially formatted environmental data for use in ecological modelling (species distribution modelling, species niche modelling, pest risk analysis and pest risk assessment, species vulnerability modelling, assessing biofuels and other crop potential and threats, climate change research ;

Main publications

Web of Science ResearcherID C-3151-2008

Cartereau M., Baumel A., Leriche A., Médail F., Santos Guerra A., Saatkamp A.(2023) Germination niche of the endangered dragon tree Dracaena draco (L.) L. subsp. draco of the Macaronesian Islands. Flora 308

Cartereau M., Leriche A., Médail F., Baumel A. (2023) Tree biodiversity of warm drylands is likely to decline in a drier world. Global Change Biology 29 : 3707-3722

Cartereau M, Leriche A, Baumel A, Ondo I, Chatelain C, Aronson J, Médail F (2022) Global bioregionalization of warm drylands based on tree assemblages mined from occurrence big data. Frontiers of Biogeography. 14.3, e56435

Ladent E, Leriche A, Thomas B, Millon A (2021) Weak evidence of spatial segregation between the vulnerable southern water vole (Arvicola sapidus) and the two main invasive mammals of European freshwater ecosystems. Écoscience.

Monnet A-C, Cilleros K, Médail F, Albassatneh MC, Arroyo J, Bacchetta G, Bagnoli F, Barina Z, Cartereau M, Casajus N, Dimopoulos D, Domina G, Doxa A, Escudero M, Fady B, Hampe A, Matevski V, Misfud S, Nikolic T, Pavon D, Roig A, Santos Barea E, Spanu I, Strid A, Vendramin G & Leriche, A (2021) The WOODIV database : occurrences, functional traits, and phylogenetic data for all Euro-Mediterranean trees. Scientific Data 8(89).

Albassatneh MC, Escudero M, Monnet A-C, Arroyo, J, Baccheta G, Bagnoli F, Dimopoulos P, Hampe A, Leriche, A, Médail F, Nikolic T., Ponger L, Vendramin G G & Fady B (2021) Spatial patterns of genus-level phylogenetic endemism in the tree flora of Mediterranean Europe. Diversity and Distribution 00 : 1-16.

Doxa A, Devictor V, Baumel A, Médail F, Leriche A. (2020) Beyond taxonomic diversity : Revealing spatial mismatches in phylogenetic and functional diversity facets in Mediterranean tree communities in southern France, Forest Ecology and Management 474 : 118318

Albert C, Hervé M, Fader M, Bondeau A, Leriche A, Monnet A-C, Cramer W. (2020) What ecologists should know before using land-use/cover change projections for biodiversity and ecosystem service assessments. Regional Environmental Change, 20, 106

Faure U, Domokos C, Leriche A, Cristescu B. (2020) Brown bear den characteristics and selection in eastern Transylvania, Romania. Journal of Mammalogy, Journal of Mammalogy, 101 (4) : 1177–1188

Albassatneh MC, Escudero M, Ponger L, Monnet A-C, Arroyo J, Nikolic T, Bacchetta G, Bagnoli F, Dimopoulos P, Leriche A, Medail F, Roig A, Spanu I, Vendramin GG, Hampe A, Fady B. (2020). A comprehensive, genus-level time-calibrated phylogeny of the tree flora of Mediterranean Europe and an assessment of its vulnerability. Bot. Lett. 167, 276–289

Medail F, Monnet A-C, Pavon D, Nikolic T, Dimopoulos P, Bacchetta G, Arroyo J, Barina Z, Albassatneh M-C, Domina G, Fady B, Matevski V, Mifsud S, Leriche A. (2019). What is a tree in the Mediterranean Basin hotspot ? A critical analysis. For. Ecosyst. 6.

Migliore J, Baumel A, Leriche A, Juin M, Medail F. (2018). Surviving glaciations in the Mediterranean region : an alternative to the long-term refugia hypothesis. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 187, 537–549.

Doxa A, Albert CH, Leriche A, Saatkamp A. (2017). Prioritizing areas for the conservation of coastal plant biodiversity under high urbanization pressure. Journal of Environmental Management 201 : 425-434

Hardion L*, Leriche A*, Schwoertzig E, Millon A. (2016). Species distribution 2.0 : An accurate time- and cost-effective method of prospection using street view imagery. PLoS ONE
* Authors contributed equally

Hardion L, Verlaque R, Saltonstall K, Leriche A, Vila B. (2014). Origin of the invasive Arundo donax L. (Poaceae) : a trans-Asian expedition in Herbaria. Annals of botany 114 (3) : 455-462

Kriticos DJ, Morin L, Leriche A, Anderson RC, Caley P. (2013). Combining a climatic niche model of an invasive fungus with its host species distribution to identify risks : puccinia psidii sensu lato in Australia. PLoS ONE 8(5) : e64479.

Kriticos DJ, Leriche A, Palmer DJ, Cook DC, Brockerhoff EG, Stephen AEA, Watt MS. (2013) Linking climate suitability, spread rates and host-impact when estimating the potential costs of invasive pests. PLoS ONE 8(2) : e54861.

Kriticos DJ, Webber BL, Leriche A, Ota N, Macadam I, Bathols J, Scott JK. (2012). CliMond : high resolution historical and future scenario climate surfaces for bioclimatic modelling. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 3 (1) : 53-64

Guichard S, Kriticos DJ, Leriche A, Kean J, Worner S. (2012). Individual based modelling of moth dispersal to improve biosecurity incursion response. Journal of Applied Ecology, 49 : 287-296

Leriche A, Boudouresque CF, Monestiez P, Pasqualini V. (2011). An improved method to monitor the health of seagrass meadows based on kriging. Aquatic Botany, 95 : 51–54

Pinkard E.A., Kriticos D.J., Wardlaw T.J., Carnegie A.J., Leriche A. (2010). Estimating the spatio-temporal risk of disease epidemics using a bioclimatic model. Ecological Modelling, 221 (23) : 2828-2838

Pinkard EA, Battaglia M, Bruce J, Leriche A, Kriticos DJ (2010). Process-based modelling of the severity and impact of foliar pest attack on eucalypt plantation productivity under current and future climates. Forest Ecology and Management, 259 (4) : 839-847

Kriticos DJ, Leriche A* (2010). The effects of climate data precision on fitting and projecting species niche models. Ecography, 33 (1) : 115-127
*Authors contributed equally

Guichard S, Kriticos DJ, Leriche A, Worner SP, Kean JM, Suckling DM (2010). Evidence of active or passive downwind dispersal in mark-release-recapture of moths. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 134 (2) : 160-169

Kriticos DJ, Watt MS, Withers TN, Leriche A, Watson M. (2009). A process-based population dynamics model to explore target and non-target impacts of a biological control agent. Ecological Modelling, 220 (17) : 2035-2050

Potter KJB, Kriticos DJ, Watt MS, Leriche A (2009). The current and future potential distribution of Scotch broom Cytisus scoparius (L) Link : a weed of commercial forestry, pastoral systems and natural ecosystems. Weed Research, 49 (3) : 271-282

Watt MS, Kriticos DJ, Alcaraz SM, Brown A, Leriche A. (2009) The hosts and potential geographic range of Dothistroma needle blight. Forest Ecology and Management, 257 : 1505–1519

Stephens AEA, Kriticos DJ, Leriche A. (2007) The current and future potential geographical distribution of the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera : Tephritidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research, 97 (4) : 369-378

Leriche A, Pasqualini V, Boudouresque CF, Bernard G, Bonhomme P, Clabaut P, Denis J. (2006) Spatial, temporal and structural variations of a Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadow facing human activities. Aquatic Botany, 84 (4) : 287-293

Leriche A, Boudouresque CF, Gravez V, Mayot N. (2006) Does coverage matter at meso-scale within a Posidonia oceanica meadow ? Comptes Rendus Biologies, 329 (9) : 733-741

Mayot N, Boudouresque CF, Leriche A. (2005) Unexpected response of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica to a warm-water episode in the North Western Mediterranean Sea. Comptes Rendus Biologies, 328 (3) : 291-296

Leriche A, Boudouresque CF, Bernard G, Bonhomme P, Denis J. (2004) A one-century suite of seagrass bed maps : can we trust ancient maps ? Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 59 (2) : 353-362

Scientific projects

2023-2026 PI of the Biodiversa+ project (under the BiodivProtect call) INTEGRADIV - 7 european partners

2015-2020 PI of the CESAB / OT-Med Labex project : WOODIV - Origin and congruence of taxonomic, phylogenetic, functional and paleoecological diversity patterns : the model of European-Mediterranean woody plant biodiversity.
Funded by the CESAB and Labex OT-Med. Collaborative program involving 12 laboratories from 8 European countries.

2012-2013 PI of the F2IR project « French Mediterranean biodiversity facing global changes : current issues and future prospects », supervising a post-doctoral fellow who works on the identification of the factors driving taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity patterns at the scale of French Mediterranean.
Project participation

2014-2015 Participation to the European Project (ENPI) GREAT-Med : Generating a Risk and Ecological Analysis Toolkit for the Mediterranean. Agathe Leriche works in collaboration with the post-doctoral fellowship to develop species distribution modelling framework and fragmentation analysis.

PhD and post-doc supervision

Since October 2023 - Post-doc - Manuel Cartereau (100% supervision) - Biodiversa+ funding
Efficient conservation of Mediterranean forests : an integrative assessment of the drivers and vulnerability of multi-taxa, multi-facet and multi-scale biodiversity patterns (INTEGRADIV)

Since 2022- Co-Supervisor of a PhD student, Charlotte Rault (with Y. Pinguet, A. Millon and A. Flitti)
Functional assemblage of bird communities : vulnerability to climate change and habitat alteration in the PACA region.

Since 2019- Co-Supervisor of a PhD student, Manuel Cartereau (with Pr. F. Médail and Dr Alex Baumel)
Extinction or persistence of trees in arid situations in the face of global changes ? Biogeographic modeling and conservation genomics approach applied to dragon trees.

2019 - Post-doc - Kévin Cilleros (100% supervision) - OT-Med funding
Finalization and structuring of the multi-faceted database of biodiversity and woody occurrences in the Euro-Mediterranean region ; phylogenetic and functional analyses of biodiversity ; congruence analyses ; analysis of drivers (contemporary / past, natural / anthropic) of the 3 facets of biodiversity.

2017/2019 - Post-doc - Anne-Christine Monnet (100%) - Funding CESAB/OT-Med
Database structuring and workflow ; collection of occurrence data ; literature review on the relevance for conservation of multi-faceted congruence analysis of biodiversity (over 10 years of publications)

2016 - Post-doc - Aggeliki Doxa (100%) - FI2R AMU funding
Analyses of multifaceted biodiversity on woody species in the Mediterranean (France)

Administrative responsabilities

Co-responsible of the 2nd year of the Adaptive Management of Biodiversity (GABi) finalization of the master’s degree in Biodiversity, Ecology, Evolution (BEE) of Aix Marseille University (already been in charge of this same finality (former model, speciality EEGB) from 2010 to 2016)
Member of the organization committee of the International Conference of Ecological Sciences SFE 2016
Co-leader of the PPM research team 2017 - 2023
Member of the site logistic commission at Arbois 2017 - 2023

I teach all my courses within the two years of the Master, both in the teaching units of the common core of the SET Master (>300 students) and within the BEE mention.

I teach mostly GIS, sampling design and ecological modelling (SDM).

 I’m in charge of 2 Teaching Units of the Master Mention BEE of AMU : UE “Spatialized Ecological Analyses” in M2 GABi, and UE “Spatial Analyses and Geographic Information Systems in Ecology” in M1 BEE.
 I’m in charge of the EU “GIS” of the distance learning part of the BEE master and the development of the audiovisual educational content.

Efficient conservation of Mediterranean...

par LERICHE Agathe

Efficient conservation of Mediterranean forests : an integrative assessment of the drivers and vulnerability of multi-taxa, multi-facet and multi-scale biodiversity patterns
Twitter / X : @integradiv
Website :

Assessing current and future biodiversity patterns, and their underlying drivers is of crucial importance to develop relevant conservation programs, and to promote sustainable development and human well-being. While biodiversity conservation research and actions have yet mostly focus on taxonomic diversity solely, considering the diversity of organismal traits (functional) and evolutionary lineages (phylogenetic) offers promise for effective conservation and the maintenance of resilient ecosystems to global change. Indeed, taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic facets of biodiversity respond neither at the same pace or scale, nor in the same way to drivers, especially to anthropogenic perturbations. The still fragmented knowledge about multifaceted biodiversity greatly limits our ability to anticipate current and future conservation needs. This is particularly true in the Euro-Mediterranean biome which offers a unique diversity of habitats, particularly threatened, and should experience drastic biodiversity changes by 2100 owing to its sensitivity to land use (due to ongoing increased population) and climate changes.

Main objectives
INTEGRADIV aims to achieve a better knowledge of forest ecosystems within the Mediterranean biome in Europe and to propose effective protection actions, which presents an extremely important societal challenge in the face of global change in this area. The main objective of INTEGRADIV is to develop an integrative approach to provide guidelines on how taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic facets of biodiversity should be encapsulated in realistic conservation plans.

Main activities
INTEGRADIV will rely on the assessment of ecosystem integrity (its degree of preservation) and vulnerability to global changes, notably based on an innovative quantification of trait-based and phylogenetic attributes distributions. The project will benefit from both existing and newly collected occurrences, life-traits and phylogenetic data to develop an innovative framework of biodiversity assessment considering multiple spatial scales (regional and euro-Mediterranean) and taxonomic groups. Considering the diversity of trees, butterflies and birds in the Euro-Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot, the key questions INTEGRADIV will address are : 1) Where are the high-value biodiversity areas ? 2) What is the level of ecological integrity of the Euro-Mediterranean forests ? 3) How were shaped spatial patterns of biodiversity, and how high are they vulnerable to climate and land-use changes ?

Using these questions as a guideline, INTEGRADIV will provide a prioritization scheme for guiding effective future conservation strategies that will integrate all facets of biodiversity with responsible use of public money. The prioritization tool aims to be implementable, to be used in the future for example. To ensure that the project aligns with stakeholder needs, it will engage in a joint learning process at the science practice-policy interface from the beginning of the project. INTEGRADIV results will be delivered to the stakeholder community through policy briefs, outreach publication and workshops all along the project.

Partners of the project
Partner 1 (coordinator) : Aix Marseille University, Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d’Ecologie, France
Association Internationale des Forêts Méditerranéennes, France
Ligue de Protection des Oiseaux PACA, France
Partner 2 : Universidad de Alicante, Department of Ecology, Spain
Partner 3 : Aarhus Universitet, Centre of Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World, Denmark
Partner 4 : Università degli Studi di Genova, Department for the Earth, Environment and Life Sciences, Italy
Partner 5 : Panepistimio Ioanninon, Biodiversity Conservation Lab, Greece
Partner 6 : Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department Environmental Geography, Institute for Environmental Studies, Netherlands
Partner 7 : Natural History Museum Aarhus, Research and Collections, Denmark

Duration of the project
Total grant : 1,582,164€