Arnaud Di Franco

Centre for Biodiversity Theory and Modelling
Station d’Ecologie Théorique et Expérimentale du CNRS
09200 Moulis, France

Phone: +33 (0) 5 61 04 05 87
Email: arnaud.difranco@sete.cnrs.fr


Research interests

My thesis subject aims to better understand the evolutionary history of photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms. To do so, I will focus on the diversity in evolution speed between the different group of organisms and use the available geological informations (like fossil records, records of large environment modifying event like massive extinctions or glaciations ) to try to explain the current diversity and adaptation mechanisms displayed by actual species.


As those species diverge a long time ago, it could be tricky to resolve the branching order inside this large group especially because most of the diversity is not represented anymore. Moreover, all those organisms acquired their photosynthetic ability by undertaking an endosymbiosis event meaning that they enslaved another specie inside themselves. This is leading to transfers of genes between the host and the symbiont that can induce some noises if the genomic data are not treated carefully in particular because the symbiont can also be one of the photosynthetic eukaryote. To solve those issues, part of my time will also be dedicated to the development of new genetic sequences analyzes pipelines.


Summary CV

I am a PhD student coming from Belgium. I studied Biology for 5 years at the university of Liège where I have done a master degree in molecular biology and biochemistry with a specialization in bioinformatics. The research topic of my final year was a small group of red algae called Cyanidiales which are small unicellular organisms living in harsh environment like hot springs, polluted waters or caves compared to other red algae which are mainly pluricellular marine organisms. The purpose of the research was to compare red algal proteomes to better understand the differences in living environment among this group. Before studying biology, I have also made a bachelor degree in Computer Graphics with a formation in web design.