Marie-Elodie Perga


Prof. Marie-Elodie Perga


Office: Geopolis 3215

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.

Side research topics (the science you do with the brain and the guts)

I also work on questions related to the sustainability of the research process itself. And results plead for many structural changes to the research process itself.


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, and then Full Prof in 2022.

Recent Publications

See here