Silvia De Monte

Chargée de Recherche CNRS

Silvia De Monte]

Team « Eco-evolutionary Mathematics »

Pièce 307
Ecole Normale Supérieure
46 rue d’Ulm
75230 Paris Cedex 05, France
Tel: +
demonte at

Research themes

The evolution of collective behavior. Communities of organisms that express social behavior are found at every level of biological complexity, ranging from quorum-sensing in bacteria to human altruism. The feature of collective properties is that they do not only depend on one individual’s choices, but also on the choices of all the components of a social group. The establishment, on evolutionary time scales, and the dynamics, on ecological time scales, of communities of socially interacting individuals can be addressed theoretically as well as by experiments on microbial communities. I develop game-theoretical models of interacting individuals, that are meant to explicitely account of the processes of group formation in extant social microbes. I also explore how mechanistic approaches may helf elusidating the early stages of multicellular organization.

PhD student : Orso Maria Romano; Undergraduate students : Théo Maire; Collaborators : Paul Rainey (NZIAS, New Zealand).

The transfer of concepts between economics and evolutionary biology. Economics and evolutionary biology appear to share a certain number of basic concepts. This correspondence is motivated by the idea that both economic and biological systems undergo an optimization process, such that natural selection drives the emergence of most adapted types the same way as rational players adopt strategies with the highest performance. Within a work group composed of biologists, economists and philosophers of science I address the question of the extent to which such an analogy can hold when analyzing a range of terms that are commonly used in both disciplines.

Collaborators : Jean Baptiste André (EcoEvo Lab), Bernard Walliser (Paris School of Economics), Mikaël Cozic (Paris 12, IHPST), Jean Gayon (Paris 1, IHPST), Philippe Hunemann (IHPST)

Ecology and evolution of planktonic populations. Communities of unicellular organisms are fundamental determinants of marine ecology and of the global budgets of inorganic compounds. Plankton ecological and evolutionary dynamics thus encompasse multiple spatial and temporal scales. In my work, I focus on how physical turbulence can affect plankton biogeography, and more generally the distribution of biodiversity. In collaboration with the oceanography laboratory of Paris 6 (LOCEAN), I use nonlinear techniques to process satellite ocean-color data and determine the mechanisms structuring ’fluid dynamical niches’, that are visible as patches of different dominant phytoplanktonic type in the course of a plankton bloom. I also use remote sensing measure to define a proxy of biodiversity that is adapted to the moving fluid landscape of the open ocean, where mixing is often essentially determined by horizontal transport.

PhD student : Alice Soccodato; Collaborators : Francesco d’Ovidio (LOCEAN), Severine Alvain (LOG), Marina Lévy (LOCEAN), Chris Bowler (IBENS), Colomban de Vargas (Roscoff Marine Station)

Marine predators behaviour at the (sub)mesoscale. Even though marine predators often undergo basin-wide displacements that appear to be related to large scale environmental gradients, the environmental variability they experience in their everyday life occurs on much smaller spatiotemporal scales, and is underpinned by oceanic turbulence at the (sub)mesoscale. The landscape at this scale (10-100 kms, few days/weeks) is in the open ocean essentially shaped by surface currents, and can be assessed thanks to remote-sensing observations. In collaboration with LOCEAN (Paris) and with CEBS (Chizé), I study the interaction of marine predators behaviour with the physical landscape in order to clarify what is the rôle of transport fronts on the habitat choice of species that are potential indicators of ecosystemic changes.

PhD student : Alice della Penna; Collaborators : Francesco d’Ovidio (LOCEAN), Marina Lévy (LOCEAN), Christophe Guinet (CEBS), Henry Weimarskirsh (CEBS), Cédric Cotté (LOCEAN)


Della Penna A., De Monte S., Kestenare E., Guinet C. & d’Ovidio F. (2015) Quasi-planktonic behavior of foraging top marine predators , Scientific Reports 5: 18063.

Garcia T., Doulcier G. & De Monte S. (2015) The evolution of adhesiveness as a social adaptation, eLife 4:e08595

Rainey P.B. and De Monte S. (2014) Resolving conflicts during the evolutionary transition from cells to multicellular life Ann. Rev. Ecol. and Syst. 45:599-620.

De Monte S. and Rainey P.B. (2014) Nascent multicellular life and the emergence of individuality. J. Biosciences 39: 237-248.

Garcia T., Gregory-Brunnet L. and De Monte S. (2014) Differential adhesion between moving particles as a mechanism for the evolution of social groups. PLoS Comp. Biol. 10(2): e1003482.

De Monte S., Soccodato A., Alvain S. and d’Ovidio F. (2013) Can we detect oceanic biodiversity hotspots from space? ISME J 1-3

Sciascia R., Provenzale A. and De Monte S. (2013) Physics of sinking and selection of plankton cell size. Phys Lett A, 377: 467–472 .

d’Ovidio F., De Monte S., Della Penna A., Cotté C., Guinet C. (2013) Ecological implications of oceanic eddy retention: a Lagrangian approach, J Physics A 67: 254023.

Garcia T. and De Monte S. (2013) Group formation and the evolution of sociality. Evolution 67: 131-141 .

Giordano N., d’Ovidio F., Danø S. and Sørensen P.G., De Monte S. (2012) Dynamical responses of oscillating yeast cells suspensions to periodic forcing Journal of Computational Interdisciplinary Science 3: 77-86.

De Monte S., Cotté C., d’Ovidio F., Lévy M., Le Corre M., Weimerskirsh H. (2012) Frigatebird behaviour at the oceanatmosphere interface: integrating animal behaviour with multi-satellite data. J Royal Society Interface 9: 3351

Karsenti E. et al. (2011) A Holistic Approach to Marine Eco-Systems Biology PLoS Biol 9: e1001177

De Paepe M., De Monte S., Robert L., Lindner A.B. and Taddei F. (2010) Emergence of Variability in Isogenic Escherichia coli Populations Infected by a Filamentous Virus. PLoS One 5: e11823.

d’Ovidio F.*, De Monte S.*, Alvain S., Dandoneau Y., Lévy M. (2010) Fluid dynamical niches of phytoplankton types PNAS 107: 18366.

De Monte S.*, d’Ovidio F.*, Danø S. and Sørensen P. G. (2007) Dynamical quorum sensing: Population density encoded in cellular dynamics PNAS 104: 18377 .

da Silva I. G., De Monte S., d’Ovidio F., Mirasso C., Toral R. (2006) Coherent regimes of mutually coupled Chua’s circuits Phys. Rev. E 73: 036203.

De Monte S., d’Ovidio F., Mosekilde E., Chaté H. (2006) Low-dimensional chaos in populations of strongly-coupled noisy maps Progress of Theoretical Physics S161: 27-42.

De Monte S., d’Ovidio F., Chaté H., Mosekilde E. (2005) Effects of microscopic disorder on the collective dynamics of globally coupled maps, Physica D 205: 25-40.

Rinaldi S., Gragnani A., De Monte S. (2004) Remarks on antipredator behaviour and food chain dynamics. Theor. Pop. Biol. 66: 277-286.

De Monte S., d’Ovidio F., Chaté H., Mosekilde E. (2004) Noise-induced macroscopic bifurcations in globally coupled chaotic units Phys. Rev. Lett. 92: 254101.

De Monte S., d’Ovidio F., Mosekilde E. (2003) Coherent regimes of globally coupled dynamical systems Phys. Rev. Lett. 90: 054102(1-4).

Hauert C., De Monte S., Hofbauer J., Sigmund K. (2002) Replicator dynamics for optional public good games J. Theor. Biol. 218: 187-194.

C. Hauert, De Monte S., Hofbauer J., Sigmund K. (2002) Volunteering as red queen mechanism for cooeration in public goods games Science 296: 1129-1132.

De Monte S. and d’Ovidio F. (2002) Dynamics of order parameters for globally coupled oscillators Europhys. Lett. 58: 21-27.

Danø S., Hynne F., De Monte S., d’Ovidio F., Westerhoff H., Sørensen P. G. (2002) Synchronization of glycolytic oscillations in intact yeast cells Faraday Discuss. 120: 261-275.

PhD thesis:

"Collective dynamics in populations with microscopic variability", Ph.D. Thesis (pdf or gzipped ps)

Former students:

Updated 21 December 2015 by Minus