Marie Derrien

PhD Student in Marine Chemical Ecology

DFME team : Diversité et Fonctionnement des Molécules aux Ecosystèmes

Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d’Écologie Marine et Continentale (IMBE)
UMR IMBE | Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, IRD, Avignon Université

Station Marine d’Endoume
Rue de la Batterie des Lions


Mindful to the effects of current global changes on marine ecosystems, I have focused my training on understanding these phenomena.

During my first research works, I studied the impact of the temperature and ocean acidification increase on the interactions between calcifying and/or photosynthetic organisms.

Interested in chemical communication in marine fields, I started my PhD project entitled « Chemical mediation in the marine environment, an invaluable source of Ecosystem Services » (MUSE) in May 2021 at the Endoume Marine Station.
By working on the chemical cues released by sponges, I try to highlight their role in the structure and the functioning of the marine cave ecosystems.

Photo : T. Pérez

My supervisors are Thierry Pérez, Pierre Chevaldonné and Charlotte Simmler

Key words : marine ecology, natural chemical mediation, sponges, mysids, marine caves

Thématiques de recherche

In my PhD project, I am working on the role of secondary metabolites released by sponges as chemical cues in marine ecosystems.
My experiments are focused on the ecosystem functioning of Mediterrean marine caves.

Photo : P. Chevaldonné

My main objectives are to :
 Correlate the complexity of the chemical seascape with the diversity of sponges in underwater caves
 Study the behavioral responses of swimming organisms sharing the same ecological niche than sponges, in response to the chemical seascape.

This project leads me to developp a series of interdisciplinary scientific skills including :
Scientific diving to carry out on site experiments and observations
The design of aquarium settings to study behavioral response of swimming organisms
Image processing to determine the biological diversity of underwater caves communities
Analysing and processing LC-MS based metabolomics for the analysis of marine chemical cues

Ideally, all the data collected and results gathered during this phD project will enable to progressively understand the functioning of studied Mediterranean cave ecosystems, through chemical mediation.

Publications et communications orales

2022 : Participation to the International Sponge Symposium in Leiden (The Netherlands)

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2018 :

 Seminar and short presentation of my master thesis topic about the impacts of ocean acidification and warming on the coral-cyanobacteria interactions in the local newspaper and at CRIOBE in Moorea

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- Co-author in :
Legrand E., Riera P., Bohner O., Coudret J., Schlicklin F., Derrien M., Martin S., 2018. Impact of ocean acidification and warming on the productivity of a rock pool community. Marine Environmental Research 17, pp. 1-10