Suzanne C. Mills

Associate Professor at EPHE in Evolutionary Biology and Conservation
CRIOBE, Moorea, French Polynesia
Laboratoire d'Excellence "CORAIL"

Please contact: Suzanne Mills




My research
Understanding how individuals optimize reproductive strategies to maximize their fitness is a major goal in evolutionary biology and how they continue to do so in the face of variation in their surrounding environment is a major goal for conservation. My research is both fundamental and applied and considers both goals by examining the physiological mechanisms linking individuals to changes in their environment.

Coping with change is key both in the short-ecological- and in the long-evolutionary-term and the stress axis is critical in this process. The neuroendocrine system is a major pathway that integrates environmental change either through modification or permanent changes that impact major life history traits. I study extrinsic variables (e.g. social interactions), as well as more recent novel stressors (e.g. climate change and anthropogenic disturbance) in order to understand the mechanisms governing reproductive strategies and determine whether organisms are under strong selection pressure to evolve successful strategies to mitigate the negative effects of environmental change.

Across a diverse range of environmental situations, we often ask "How do glucocorticoids help organisms survive the different anthropogenic and climatic stressors that they are subjected to today?".

As a behavioural ecologist I also study trade-offs in male life-history traits as well as genetic constraints expressed between the sexes, to test sexual selection theory.


2007- Tenured Associate Professor, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes

2006-2007 Maitre de Conferences, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE)

2002-2006 Academy of Finland post-doctoral researcher at Centre of Excellence, University of Jyvaskyla, FINLAND with Prof. Tapio Mappes and University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, USA with Prof. Barry Sinervo

2001-2002 John and Pamela Salter Trust post-doctoral researcher at University of East Anglia, U.K with Prof. John D. Reynolds

1998-2001 NERC Ph.D. student at University of East Anglia, U.K with Prof. John D. Reynolds

1997-1998 Research assistant with Dr. Simon Jennings at Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, M.A.F.F. (now C.E.F.A.S.), Lowestoft, U.K.


2011            Habilitation a Diriger des Recherches (EPHE)

1998-2001 Ph.D. in Evolutionary Ecology, University of East Anglia, U.K.

1995-1996 Masters in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, University of Montpellier II, France.

1993-1994 Maitrise in Oceanography (1st), University of Aix-Marseille, Marseille, France.

1991-1995 B.Sc. (Hons) Biological Sciences (2.1), University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K.


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