Yvan Perez

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PhD - Maître de Conférences

Mediterranean Institute of marine and terrestrial Biodiversity and Ecology (IMBE)

UMR IMBE | Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, IRD, Avignon Université

Station Marine d’Endoume
Chemin de la Batterie des Lions, 13007 Marseille


My research team : Origin and Evolution of the Biodiversity (OEB)


I have a long-standing interest in marine invertebrate Biology. I obtained my PhD in 1999 from the University of Provence with a thesis on the cytomorphology of the digestive system in Chaetognatha. I’m currently working in a group which studies a broad range of animal taxa using morphological and molecular tools to highlight macro and microevolution processes and understand the evolution of animal diversity.

My research focuses on the description of the morphology and development regarding cell lineage and gene expression mainly in the nervous and sensory system of Chaetognatha. For a better understanding of the evolution of these enigmatic and understudied metazoans, I also study their phylogenetic relationships thanks to morphological and molecular data.

In 2011, I founded the Startup Coral Biome located at the Campus University of Luminy. The goal of Coral Biome is to develop and produce marine natural products (MNPs) of interest for major public health issues such as cancer, inflammation and multi-drug resistant infectious diseases thanks to our own biomass production facility and our coral farm partners around the world.


Oxusoff L, Préa P, Perez Y: A complete logical approach to resolve the evolution and dynamics of mitochondrial genome in bilaterians. PLoS ONE 03/2018; 13(3):e0194334., DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0194334

Gasmi S, Nève G, Pech N, Tekaya S, Gilles A, Perez Y: Evolutionary history of Chaetognatha inferred from molecular and morphological data: A case study for body plan simplification. Frontiers in Zoology 11/2014; 11(1):84., DOI:10.1186/s12983-014-0084-7

Müller CHG, Rieger V, Perez Y, Harzsch S: Immunohistochemical and ultrastructural studies on ciliary sense organs of arrow worms (Chaetognatha). Zoomorphology 06/2014; 133(2)., DOI:10.1007/s00435-013-0211-6

Corse E, Rampal J, Cuoc C, Pech N, Perez Y, Gilles A: Phylogenetic Analysis of Thecosomata Blainville, 1824 (Holoplanktonic Opisthobranchia) Using Morphological and Molecular Data. PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(4):e59439., DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0059439

Perez Y, Rieger V, Martin E, Müller CH, Harzsch S: Neurogenesis in an Early Protostome Relative: Progenitor Cells in the Ventral Nerve Center of Chaetognath Hatchlings Are Arranged in a Highly Organized Geometrical Pattern. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B Molecular and Developmental Evolution 05/2013; 320(6):179-93., DOI:10.1002/jez.b.22493

Winkelmann C, Gasmi S, Gretschel G, Müller CHG, Perez Y: Description of Spadella valsalinae sp. nov., a neo-endemic benthic chaetognath from Northern Adriatic Sea (Croatia) with remarks on its morphology, phylogeny and biogeography. Organisms Diversity & Evolution 06/2012;, DOI:10.1007/s13127-012-0108-0

Karsenti, Acinas SG, Bork, Bowler C, De Vargas C, Raes J, Sullivan M, Arendt, Benzoni F, Claverie JM, Follows M, Gorsky G, Hingamp P, Iudicone D, Jaillon O, Kandels-Lewis S, Krzic U, Not F, Ogata H, Pesant S, Reynaud EG, Sardet C, Sieracki ME, Speich S, Velayoudon D, Weissenbach J, Wincker P, Abergel C, Arslan D, Audic S, Aury JM, Babic N, Beaufort L, Bittner L, Boss E, Boutte C, Brum J, Carmichael M, Casotti R, Chambouvet A, Chang P, Chica C, Clerissi C, Colin S, Cornejo-Castillo FM, Da Silva C, De Monte S, Decelle J, Desdevises Y, Dimier C, Dolan J, Duhaime M, Durrieu de Madron X, d’Ortenzio F, d’Ovidio F, Ferrera I, Garczarek L, Garet-Delmas MJ, Gasmi S, Gasol JM, Grimsley N, Heilig R, Ignacio-Espinoza J, Jamet JL, Karp-Boss L, Katinka M, Khalili H, Kolber Z, Le Bescot N, Le Gofff H, Lima-Mendez G, Mahe F, Mazzocchi MG, Montresor M, Morin P, Noel B, Pedros-Alio C, Pelletier E, Perez Y, Picheral M, Piganeau G, Poirot O, Poulain J, Poulton N, Prejger F, Prihoda J, Probert I, Rampal J, Reverdin G, Romac S, Romagnan JB, Roullier F, Rouviere C, Samson G, Santini S, Sarmento H, Sciandra A, Solonenko S, Stemmann L, Subirana L, Sunagawa S, Tanaka A, Testor P, Thompson A, Tichanne-Seltzer V, Tirichine L, Toulza E, Tozzi S, Veluchamy A, Zingone A: A Holistic Approach to Marine Eco-Systems Biology. PLoS Biology 10/2011; 9(10).

Rieger V, Perez Y, Müller CHG, Lacalli T, Hansson BS, Harzsch S: Development of the nervous system in hatchlings of Spadella cephaloptera (Chaetognatha), and implications for nervous system evolution in Bilateria. Development Growth and Regeneration 06/2011; 53(5):740-59., DOI:10.1111/j.1440-169X.2011.01283.x

Rieger V, Perez Y, Müller CHG, Lipke E, Sombke A, Hansson BS, Harzsch S: Immunohistochemical analysis and 3D reconstruction of the cephalic nervous system in Chaetognatha: Insights into the evolution of an early bilaterian brain?. Invertebrate Biology 03/2010; 129(1):77 - 104., DOI:10.1111/j.1744-7410.2010.00189.x

Marlétaz F, Gilles A, Caubit X, Perez Y, Dossat C, Samain S, Gyapay G, Wincker P, Le Parco Y: Chaetognath transcriptome reveals ancestral and unique features among Bilaterians. Genome biology 07/2008; 9(6):R94., DOI:10.1186/gb-2008-9-6-r94

Harzsch S, Müller CHG, Rieger V, Perez Y, Sintoni S, Sardet C, Hansson BS: Fine structure of the ventral nerve centre and interspecific identification of individual neurons in the enigmatic Chaetognatha. Zoomorphology 02/2008; 128(1):53-73., DOI:10.1007/s00435-008-0074-4

Marlétaz F, Martin E, Perez Y, Papillon D, Caubit X, Lowe CJ, Freeman B, Fasano L, Dossat C, Wincker P, Weissenbach J, Le Parco Y: Chaetognath phylogenomics: A protostome with deuterostome-like development. Current Biology 09/2006; 16(15):R577-8., DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2006.07.016

Papillon D, Perez Y, Caubit X, Le Parco Y: Systematics of the Chaetognatha under the light of molecular data, using duplicated 18S ribosomal DNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 04/2006; 38(3):621-34., DOI:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.12.004

Papillon D, Perez Y, Fasano L, Le Parco Y, Caubit X: Restricted expression of a median Hox gene in the central nervous system of Chaetognaths. Development Genes and Evolution 08/2005; 215(7):369-73., DOI:10.1007/s00427-005-0483-z

Papillon D, Perez Y, Caubit X, Le Parco Y: Identification of chaetognaths as protostomes is supported by the analysis of their mitochondrial genome. Molecular Biology and Evolution 12/2004; 21(11):2122-9., DOI:10.1093/molbev/msh229

Nicolas S, Papillon D, Perez Y, Caubit X, Le Parco Y: The spatial restrictions of 5’HoxC genes expression are maintained in adult newt spinal cord. Biology of the Cell 01/2004; 95(9):589-94., DOI:10.1016/j.biolcel.2003.09.004

Papillon D, Perez Y, Fasano L, Le Parco Y, Caubit X: Hox gene survey in the chaetognath Spadella cephaloptera: Evolutionary implications. Development Genes and Evolution 05/2003; 213(3):142-8., DOI:10.1007/s00427-003-0306-z

Perez Y, Casanova JP, Mazza J: Changes in the structure and ultrastructure of the intestine of Spadella cephaloptera (Chaetognatha) during feeding and starvation experiments. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 02/2001; 256(2):291-292., DOI:10.1016/S0022-0981(00)00228-8

Casanova JP, Duvert M, Perez Y: Phylogenetical interest of the chaetognath model.
Mésogée /2001; 59: 27-31.

Perez Y, Casanova JP, Mazza J: Degrees of vacuolation of the absorptive intestinal cells of five Sagitta (Chaetognatha) species: Possible ecophysiological implications. Marine Biology 01/2001; 138(1):125-133., DOI:10.1007/s002270000438

Duvert M, Perez Y, Casanova JP: Wound healing and survival of beheaded chaetognaths. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 10/2000; 80(5):891-898., DOI:10.1017/S0025315400002873

Casanova JP, Perez Y: A dwarf new Spadella (Chaetognatha) from Bora Bay (Miyako Island, Japan). Cahiers de Biologie Marine 01/2000; 41(2):137-141.

Perez Y, Arnaud J, Brunet M, Casanova JP, Mazza J: Morphological study of the gut in Sagitta setosa, S. serratodentata and S. pacifica (Chaetognatha). Functional implications in digestive processes. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 12/1999; 79(06):1097-1109., DOI:10.1017/S0025315499001356

Book chapters

Harzsch S, Perez Y, Müller CHG: Chaetognatha. Structure and Evolution of Invertebrate Nervous Systems, Edited by Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa, Steffen Harzsch, Günther Purschke, 01/2016: chapter Chaetognatha: pages 652-664; Oxford University Press., ISBN: 0199682208, 9780199682201

Harzsch S, Müller CHG, Perez Y: Chaetognatha. Evolutionary Developmental Biology of Invertebrates 1. Introduction, Non-Bilateria, Acoelomorpha, Xenoturbellida, Chaetognatha, Edited by Andreas Wanninger, 08/2015: chapter Chaetognatha: pages 215-240; Springer Vienna., ISBN: 978-3-7091-1861-0, DOI:10.1007/978-3-7091-1862-7_10

Perez Y, Müller CHG, Harzsch S: The Chaetognatha : An anarchistic taxon between Protostomia and Deuterostomia. Metazoan Phylogeny: The Backbone of the Tree of Life New insights from analyses of molecules, morphology, and theory of data analysis, 1 edited by Wägele J. Wolfgang, Bartolomaeus Thomas, 01/2014: chapter The Chaetognatha : An anarchistic taxon between Protostomia and Deuterostomia: pages 49-77; DE GRUYTER., ISBN: 9783110277524, DOI:10.1515/9783110277524

Oral communications & conference proceedings

Muller CHG, Rieger V, Perez Y, Hanson B, Harzsch S: Neurophylogeny of Chaetognatha: Can Neuroanatomical Characters Shed Light on the Phylogenetic Position of Arrow Worms?. 1st International Congress on Invertebrate Morphology; 12/2008, DOI:10.1002/jmor.10683

Rieger V, Perez Y, Hanson B, Harzsch S: Neurogenesis in the Arrow Worm Spadella cephaloptera (Chaetognatha). 1st International Congress on Invertebrate Morphology; 12/2008; 01/2008