VEUILLE Michel

VEUILLE Michel

Michel Veuille, after training in genetics, was a CNRS researcher in Gif-sur-Yvette, then became Director of Studies at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE, Paris). He prepared his thesis on the mechanisms of speciation and sexual selection. He studied sexual selection by repeatedly observing hundreds of genetic twins of fruit flies obtained by crossing lines made homozygous throughout their genome. This allowed him to refute or confirm hypotheses about the adaptive nature of sexual choices. A post-doctoral fellowship at Richard Lewontin's Harvard University (USA), allowed him to participate in the first research on DNA sequence polymorphism and, upon his return to France, to search for the molecular signature of natural selection in the genome. He has conducted numerous studies on this topic in African populations of Drosophila, demonstrating through coalescence theory that selection has had a positive effect on certain genes in the species' past. In addition to his scientific research, he has conducted several studies in the history of the theory of evolution, notably in collaboration with the philosopher Jean Gayon. From 1999 to 2007, Michel Veuille created and managed a CNRS unit without walls, the Evolutionary Genomics Research Group (GDR), bringing together a group of French, Belgian and Swiss teams studying the molecular genetics of populations. This GDR, later directed by Xavier Vekemans, contributed to the development in France of applications of coalescence theory. From 2003, Michel Veuille participated in the reform of the Museum by becoming the first director of the Systematic and Evolution department, which during his term of office saw the creation of an important laboratory, the UMR CNRS 7205 "systematic, evolution, biodiversity", which has since become the institut ISYEB (CNRS, EPHE, MNHN, UPMC). He was encouraged in this endeavour by the two directors of the Museum appointed after its reform, Bernard Chevassus and André Menez. He has had numerous research evaluation missions in France (notably at the Ministry of Higher Education and Research) and internationally. He was for a long time editor of the international journal Genetics. He was dean of EPHE.


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