Annuaire IPHC

L’IPHC | Thèses et stages Master » Les Doctorants de l’IPHC / The PhD Students of the IPHC » Pages pro » Anciens doctorants » PELLETIER Laure


Dernière mise à jour lundi 19 mai 2014, par Emilio ROJAS


Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien - IPHC
Département Ecologie, Pysiologie et Ethologie - DEPE
Ecologie fonctionnelle

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS
UMR 7178 CNRS/Université De Strasbourg - UDS

23 rue du loess, 67037 Strasbourg cedex 2, France

Contact : Laure Pelletier

Titre de la thèse : Les rôles du changement de l’environnement et de la qualité individuelle sur les stratégies de recherche alimentaire du manchot pygmée (Eudyptula minor)

Période : 2010-2013

Encadrant(s) : Yan Ropert-Coudert & André Chiaradia (Research Department, Phillip Island Nature Parks)


The mechanisms that influence population dynamics are still poorly understood but these could be assessed through the examination of the activity of free-ranging individuals. The goal of my PhD is to examine the influence of individual quality (especially age / experience) on the establishment of foraging and breeding strategies. A recent study on the Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) showed that the thermal structure of the water column, in which penguins catch their prey, has an impact on the birds’ foraging efficiency, and subsequently on their reproductive success. It would be interesting to examine more closely how individuals interact with their environment to maximize their reproductive success and look how individual quality influence the development of strategies that could increase the penguins’ fitness. For this, we will monitor known-age and sex little penguins on land, in the colony, but also during their foraging trip at sea, by the use of recording devices. Thanks to the automatic identification system in place since 1999 at Phillip Island we will also have access to the age, sex and reproductive status of each subject. Our aim is to examine how individuals of various age and/or experience are able to adjust their foraging and breeding behaviour to changing oceanographic conditions, including – but not exclusively – the thermal structure of the water column (e.g. presence / absence of a thermocline). The project will be conducted at the Phillip Island Nature Park in Australia, in collaboration with Dr. A. Chiaradia with whom Dr. Ropert-Coudert at the IPHC has been collaborating with since 2004. Data on reproductive and foraging activities will be collected over a period of 4 months (Sept-Dec) in 2010, 2011 and eventually 2012 (depending on the progress of the PhD), during the complete breeding season. I will also be able to access at-sea foraging data that have been collected annually since 2004. The loggers (accelerometers to determine the activity at sea and GPS to determine location at sea) will be deployed on an equal number of male and female individuals during each phase of the breeding period (incubation, guard, post-guard).

Keywords : Little penguin, bio-logging, foraging strategies, hunting efficiency, predator-prey interactions, individual quality, environmental conditions, behaviour

Publications / Communications


Pelletier L, Kato A, Chiaradia A, Ropert-Coudert Y. 2012. Can thermoclines be a cue to prey distribution for marine top predators ? A case study with little penguins. PLoS ONE (sous presse)


Pelletier L, Kato A, Chiaradia A, Ropert-Coudert Y. Can thermoclines be a cue to distribution of prey for little penguins ? 4th International Science Symposium on Bio-logging. March 2011. Hobart, Australia. (Communication oral)