Marie-Elodie Perga

Marie-Elodie Perga

Research interest

The Alpine region is subject to exacerbated climate changes. Besides, alpine inland waters have long been under intense human exploitation, leading to disturbances in nutrient loadings, global or local pollutions, fishing activities and hydrological regulation for hydropower. Lakes in and around the Alps have been evolving in a context of continuous and intensifying environmental changes over the last 150 years, to which they are responding through non-linear and somewhat unpredictable trajectories.

Our team studies how lakes in and around the Alps have been responding to environmental changes. Our focus is on both biogeochemistry and ecology, covering different space and time perspectives.

We combine paleo-ecological reconstructions from sediment archives, high- and low frequency monitoring data, laboratory experiments and modeling to mechanistically unravel alpines lakes vulnerability and responses in a context of global changes.


I graduated in Cell and Molecular Biology from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Lyon and in Numerical Ecology at the university Lyon 1 in 2001. I then did my PhD at the Alpine Centre for Research on Lake Food webs (CARRTEL, French National Institute for Agronomical Research, France), where I started to work on carbon fluxes in lake food webs using stable isotope methods. in 2004, I moved to the University of Victoria, BC (Canada) for a post-doc in A. Mazumder’s team to further my knowledge on food webs and trophic biomarkers. I got a junior research position at the UMR CARRTEL in 2006 and, from 2007, developed a large research program on Climate Change impacts on large, human-impacted lakes (IPER-RETRO) using paleo-ecological methods combined to statistical modelling. As a senior researcher, I extended my research to high-altitude lakes, adding high-frequency automated monitoring to my paleo- and field sampling toolbox. In January 2017, I got appointed Associate Professor in the University of Lausanne to build a research group at the Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics.

Recent Publications


NEW Masset T, Frossard V, Perga ME, Cottin N, Piot C, Cachera S, Naffrechoux E (2019) Trophic position and individual feeding habits as drivers of differential PCB bioaccumulation in fish populations. Science of The Total Environment, 674, 472-481.

Four, B., Thomas, M., Danger, M., Angeli, N., Perga M.E., Banas, D (2019). Using stable isotope approach to quantity pond dam impacts on isotopic niches and assimilation of resources by invertebrates in temporary streams: a case study. Hydrobiologia


Majdi, N., Hette-Tronquart, N. … ME Perga (in press) There’s no harm in having too much: A comprehensive toolbox of methods in trophic ecology. Food Webs.

Taranu, Z. , Carpenter, S., Frossard, V., Jenny, JP, Thomas, Z., Vermaire, J. and ME Perga (in press) Can we detect ecosystem critical transitions and signals of changing resilience from paleo-ecological records? Ecosphere (in press)

Thomas C. ,Frossard V.,Perga M-E, Tofield-Pasche N, Hofmann H. ,Dubois N., Belkina N. ,Zobkova M. , Robert S.,Lyautey E. (In press) Lateral variations and vertical structure of the microbial methane cycle in the sediment of Lake Onego (Russia). INLAND WATERS

Perga M-E, Bruel R, Rodriguez L, Guénand Y, Bouffard D (2018) Storm impacts on alpine lakes: Antecedent weather conditions matter more than the event intensity. Global Change Biology, 24, 5004-5016.

Parasitic versus nutritional regulation of natural fish populations. Frantz, A. Perga M.E., Guillard,J. 2018 (in press) Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4391

Large and deep perialpine lakes: a paleolimnological perspective for the advance of ecosystem science Tolotti, M., Dubois, N., Milan, M. , Perga ME et al. Hydrobiologia (2018).

Causal networks reveal the dominance of bottom-up interactions in large, deep lakes.
Frossard V., Rimet F., Perga M.-E., 2018. Ecological Modelling, 368 pp. 136-146.
Bioconcentration may be favoured over biomagnification for fish PCB contamination in high altitude lakes
Perga M.-E., Nellier Y.-M., Cottin N., Fanget P., Naffrechoux E., 2017. Inland Waters, 7 pp. 14-26.
Invasions Toolkit: Current Methods for Tracking the Spread and Impact of Invasive Species
Kamenova S., Bartley T.J., Bohan D.A., Boutain J.R., Colautti R.I., Domaizon I., Fontaine C., Lemainque A., Le Viol I., Mollot G. et al., 2017. Networks of Invasion: A Synthesis of Concepts pp. 85-182.
Tracking a century of changes in microbial eukaryotic diversity in lakes driven by nutrient enrichment and climate warming : Long-term dynamics of microbial eukaryotes
Capo E., Debroas D., Arnaud F., Perga M.-E., Chardon C., Domaizon I., 2017. Environmental Microbiology, 19 pp. 2873-2892.
A century of human-driven changes in the carbon dioxide concentration of lakes
Perga M.-E., Maberly S. C., Jenny J.-P., Alric B., Pignol C., Naffrechoux E., 2016. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 30 pp. 93-104.
Global spread of hypoxia in freshwater ecosystems during the last three centuries is caused by rising local human pressure
Jenny J.-P., Francus P., Normandeau A., Lapointe F., Perga M.-E., Ojala A., Schimmelmann A., Zolitschka B., 2016. Global Change Biology, 22 pp. 1481-1489.

Full list here