Quentin Schull


ADRESSE : Avenue Jean Monnet - Avenue Jean Monnet - 34200 - Sète - FR

Institut : IFREMER


Pôles communs : Observatoires


SIGNAL : Ornamental indicator of the quality of the fish and its habitat : the colour of the Royal seabream (Sparus aurata) and the Platax tahitien (Platax orbicularis), with the French Reseach Institute for the exploitation of the Sea IFREMER, Sète, France and IFREMER, Tahiti, French Polynesia (MARine Biodiversity, Exploitation and Conservation). We focus on understanding whether ornaments are dynamic signals of individual condition including body condition, oxidative stress, immunity, stress hormones, heart rate and metabolism (respirometry) and how it is shape by the environment. Collaborators : Dr. Jérôme Bourjea (UMR MARBEC), Dr. Denis Saulnier (Ifremer Tahiti, UMR EIO), Dr. Vincent A. Viblanc (CNRS Strasbourg), Dr. Claire Saraux (UMR MARBEC)

The evolution of social ornamentation : The King penguin. The evolution of flamboyant ornamentation in birds and other species has been a topic that has fascinated evolutionary biologists since Darwin. For monomorphic species, such as the king penguin, the evolution of mutual ornamentation might be explained by the necessity of both sexes to assess the quality of respective partners. In this project, we are working on figuring out the physiological determinants of ornamentation in males and females king penguins in order to understand to which extent those are condition dependent, and whether they are used in sexual or social contexts. This project is part of the 119 Polar project of the French Polar Institute (IPEV). Collaborators : Dr. Pierre Bize (Aberdeen University), Prof. Frederick Steve Dobson (Auburn University), Dr. Jean-Patrice Robin (CNRS Strasbourg), Dr. Stier Antoine (University of Turku), Dr. François Criscuolo (CNRS Strasbourg), Dr. Vincent A. Viblanc (CNRS Strasbourg)

From an evolutionary perspective, understanding the complexity of animal behaviors in nature requires a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Explaining the variety of behaviors used by animals during sexual reproduction presents one of the most challenging questions of evolutionary biology. Notably, one central question for behavioral ecologists is how individual quality may be advertised to social partners. More specifically, my interests are focused on determining how variable and dynamic sexual ornaments are, to what extent they reflect intrinsic individual quality, whether their dynamics are influenced by environmental factors, and how variation in sexual ornaments is ultimately linked to variation in individual fitness.


 Cellular and organismal ageing processes
 Physiological and behavioral determinants of individual quality
 Sexual Ornaments and sexual selection
 Life-history trade-offs and their underlying mechanisms
 Behavioral and ecological consequences of environmental change


2017-2019 Post-Doc IFREMER, IRD, UMR MARBEC, Sète France.
2016-2017 Lead researcher Polar Field season on King penguin, Possession Island, Crozet Archipelago (Southern Indian Ocean), IPHC-CNRS, Strasbourg, France
2013 to 2016 – PHD student at the University of Strasbourg and Department of Ecology, Physiology and Ethology (IPHC, Strasbourg, France), supervised by Dr. Jean-Patrice Robin and Dr. Pierre Bize.
2012 M.Sc. in Ecophysiology and Ethology at the University of Strasbourg, France.
2010 B.Sc. in Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of Strasbourg, France.


2018 (February-July) : Co-Supervision of 1 Chemist IT Student with Dr. Claire Saraux
2017-2018 (November-February : Co-Supervision of 1 B.Sc. Student with Dr. Jérôme Bourjea
2015-2016 (September- August) : Co-Supervision of 1 State Diploma for an internship of 1 year with Dr. Pierre Bize.
2015 (August) : Supervision of 1 B.Sc. Student with Dr. Vincent Viblanc.
2014 (June-July) : Co-Supervision of 1 M.Sc. and 1 B.Sc. student with Dr. Jean-Patrice ROBIN.
2013-2016 : Teaching assistant. Zoology : 64 hours per year for Bachelor Students in Cell Biology and Physiology at University of Strasbourg, France.


Schull Q, Viblanc VA, Dobson FS, Robin JP, Zahn S, Bize P, Criscuolo F. (2018). Assortative pairing by telomere length in king penguins and relationships with breeding success. Canadian Jounal of Zoology

Kriesell HJ, Aubin T, Planas-Bielsa V, Benoiste M, Gachot H, Yvon Le Maho, Schull Q, Vallas B, Zahn S
Le Bohec C. (2018). Sex identification of king penguins Aptenodytes patagonicus by morphological and acoustic analyses. Ibis

Schull Q, Saadaoui H, Dobson FS, Robin JP, Viblanc VA, Bize P. (2017). Experimental stress during moult suggests the evolution of condition-dependent and condition-independent ornaments in the King penguin (Aptendoytes patagonicus). Ecology and Evolution

Viblanc VA*, Schull Q*, Roth JD, Rabdeau J, Saraux C, Ulrich P, Criscuolo F, Dobson FS. (2017). Maternal oxidative stress and reproduction : Testing the constraint, cost and shielding hypotheses in a wild mammal. Functional Ecology

Weimerskirch H, Prudor A, Schull Q. (2017). Drones’ flights over sub-Antarctic seabirds leads to species- and status-specific behavioural and physiological responses. Polar Biol.

Viblanc VA*, Schull Q*, Cornioley T, Ménard JJ, Groscolas R, Robin JP. (2017). An integrative appraisal of the hormonal and metabolic changes linked to acute stress using energy-constrained penguins as a model. Gen & Comp Endocrinology.

Schull Q, Dobson FS, Stier A, Robin JP, Bize P, Viblanc VA. (2016). Beak color dynamically signals changes in fasting status and parasite loads in king penguins. Behav. Ecol. arw091

Schull Q, Viblanc VA, Stier A, Saadaoui H, Lefol E, Criscuolo F, Bize P, Robin JP. (2016). The oxidative debt of fasting : evidence for short to medium-term costs of advanced fasting in adult king penguins. J. Exp. Biol

Stier A, Romestaing C, Schull Q, Lefol E, Robin JP, Roussel D, Bize P. (2016). How to measure mitochondrial function in birds using red blood cells. Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

Viblanc VA, Dobson FS, Stier A, Saraux C, Schull Q, Pardonnet S, Bize P. (2015). Mutually honest ? Physiological qualities signaled by color ornaments in a monomorphic seabird. Biological Journal of the Linean Society.

Stier A, Schull Q, Viblanc VA, De Margerie E, Zahn S, Handrich Y, De Buffrénil V, Erbrech A, Guérin N, Martrette JM, Groscolas R, Criscuolo F, Bize P, Robin JP. (2015). How do adults and chicks of king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) face nutritional constraints while breeding or growing ? Acta Physiologica

Stier A, Bize P, Roussel D, Schull Q, Massemin S & Criscuolo F. (2014). Mitochondrial uncoupling as a regulator of life history trajectories in birds : An experimental study in the zebra finch. The Journal of Experimental Biology.

Stier A, Bize P, Schull Q, Zoll J, Singh F, Geny B, Gros F, Royer C, Massemin S & Criscuolo F. (2013). Avian erythrocytes have functional mitochondria, opening novel perspectives for birds as animal models in the study of ageing. Frontiers in Zoology.



Viblanc, V. A., et al. "Maternal oxidative stress and reproduction: Testing the constraint, cost and shielding hypotheses in a wild mammal." Functional Ecology. 32.3 (2018): 722–735.
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Viblanc, V. A., et al. "Mutually honest? Physiological ‘qualities’ signalled by colour ornaments in monomorphic king penguins." Biol. J. Linn. Soc.. 118.2 (2016): 200–214.
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MARBEC MARine Biodiversity, Exploitation and Conservation, est une unité de recherche qui regroupe des personnels de 4 organismes : l’IRD, l’Ifremer, l’UM et le CNRS. Son objectif est l’étude de la biodiversité marine des écosystèmes lagunaires, côtiers et hauturiers à différents niveaux d’intégration, depuis les aspects moléculaires, individuels, populationnels et communautaires, et des usages de cette biodiversité par l’Homme. Nous rejoindre