Prof. Catherine Fernandez’s CV


Professeur at Aix-Marseille University
Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d’Ecologie
Aix-Marseille University Campus de St Charles, Case 4
3 Place Victor Hugo -13331 Marseille Cedex 3, France

Scientific Activity  (Date & Position)

  • Since 2009 Professor at Aix-Marseille University (Marseille, France). Field: Mediterranean ecosystems functioning – Chemical Ecology (role and importance of the secondary metabolism).
  • 2001-2009 Associate professor and PI at the University of Provence (Marseille, France). Field: Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems functioning (role and importance of the plant secondary metabolism).
  • 1997-2001 Assistant professor at the University of Corsica Pascal Paoli (Corte, France). Field: Coastal and lagoonal ecosystems functioning.
  • 1994 – 1997 Researcher Contract: GIS Posidonie (Scientific Agency for Marine environment Study) Corsican center (Corte, France). Field: seagrass ecosystems functioning.  -CRITT Corse Technologie (Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer, Corte, France). Field: nutrition and growth of sea urchin for an aquaculture project.

Education (Year & diploma)

Habilitation thesis:

(allows professors to supervise PhD research work) in Ecology, University of Provence, Marseille, France:
“Form coastal lagoon to forest: Approach of Mediterranean ecosystems functioning”.
July 2005.

Ph.D Ecology and population Biology, University of Corsica Pascal Paoli (Corte, France). “Growth and nutrition of Paracentrotus lividus with artificial feeds for an aquaculture project” (1991-1996). September 1996


  • Since 2012: DFME Team Leader (Diversity and Functioning: from Molecules to Ecosystems) -15 permanent researchers; 3 technicians and engineers; 10 students.
  • Principal Investigator for 7 research programs participation in 20 research prg
  • Since 2004: member of the National Comity of University section 67 (Ecology),
  • Since 2009: member of the Review Panel of l’AERES (French national agency) and European Science Fundation
  • Reviewer for about 20 international journals in terrestrial and marine ecology
Research Topics

  • Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems functioning: plant secondary metabolism as driver of ecosystem functioning and biodiversity evolution: (i) how does the impact of environmental conditions affect the production of secondary metabolites, (ii) how do these metabolites, once released into the environment, affect biodiversity and dynamics of vegetation (allelopathic processes), (iii) how does the presence of secondary metabolites act on the cycles of matter.
  • Studied ecosystems: Marine and terrestrial Mediterranean ecosystems

Publications (Total and 5 Main publications)

52 Publications in JCR journals (IFmean= 2.15 ; hindex : 15) ; 32 Congress participations

  • Fernandez C, Pasqualini V, Boudouresque CF,Johnson M, Ferrat L, Caltagirone A, Mouillot D, 2006. Effect of an exceptional rainfall event in a Mediterranean coastal lagoon. Estuar. Coast Shelf S. 68: 259-270.
  • Ormeño E., Mévy J. P., Vila B., Bousquet-Mélou A., Greff S., Bonin G., Fernandez C., (2007). Water deficit stress induces different monoterpene and sesquiterpene emission changes in Mediterranean species. Relationship between terpene emissions and plant water potential. Chemosphere, 67 (2): 276-284).
  • Olivier R.; Lavoir A.V.; Ormeño E., Greff S.; Staudt M.; Fernandez C. (2011). Compost spreading in Mediterranean shrubland indirectly increases biogenic emissions by promoting growth of VOC-emitting plant parts. Atm. Env. 45 : 3631-3639.
  • Prevosto B., Monnier Y., Rippert C., Fernandez C. (2012). To what extent do time, species identity and selected plant response variables influence woody plant interactions? Journal of Applied Ecology. 49 (6): 1344–1355.
  • Fernandez C., Santonja M., Gros R., Monnier Y., Chomel M., Baldy V., Bousquet-Mélou A., (2013). Allelochemicals of Pinus halepensis as drivers of biodiversity in Mediterranean open mosaic habitats during the colonization stage of secondary succession. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 39 (2): 298-321.