Romain Philippe Savary

GR C2 525 (Bâtiment GR)
Station 2
CH-1015 Lausanne

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Domaines de compétences

My research focus on "ecosystem building symbiosis", i.e, strong and long term symbiosis between phylogenetically distance organisms that are at the basis of important ecosystems. During my PhD I have been studying arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, a fungal symbiont forming symbiosis with 70% of land plants and thus at the basis of most fungal-plant based ecosystems. I was interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms allowing the positive interactions and stabilizations between such distant partners. For my Post-doc here at EPFL, I have move to probably the most important underwater ecosystem building symbiosis, the coral symbiosis. I am studying what disrupt the symbiosis in the context of climate change. Indeed, recent heat waves in the last decade have revealed the fragility of this ecosystem, as they impaired the symbiosis between the coral host and its algae. This impairment lead to coral bleaching, leaving the host without it symbiont and without food. This phenomenon is probably one of the biggest threats to this large biologically and economically important ecosystem. I am thus trying to understand what are the molecular mechanisms on both side of the symbiosis that lead to its breakdown as well as how certain coral are more resilient than other. We thus focused on the thermal refuge in the northern Red Sea, where corals were shown to be able to survive to large increase in temperatures.


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