Marius Somveille

Marius Somveille

Postdoctoral Researcher

I obtained my B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Paris-Sud. I then crossed the Channel to pursue a PhD at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Andrea Manica at the Department of Zoology and Ana Rodrigues, who is based at the CNRS Center for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology in Montpellier, France. I investigated why birds migrate using a global macroecological approach. In October 2015, I joined the EGI as a postdoctoral fellow to continue my work on bird migration and, in particular, examine the impact of global changes on this natural phenomenon.

Research activities:

My research interests lie in understanding the processes underlying biodiversity patterns. In particular, I am fascinated by the phenomenon of animal migration, which is a great natural experiment to investigate what determines the distribution of species in space. Birds, being a diverse group of highly mobile organisms, have evolved one of the most impressive migration system in the animal kingdom, composed of hundreds of migrating species with very different traits, from couple-of-grams nectarivores (hummingbirds) to multi-kilograms carnivores (raptors), some migrating short distances while others undertaking extraordinary journeys across continents. They are therefore ideally suited to investigate the ecology and evolution of migration.

For my PhD, I studied the global ecology of bird migration using a macroecological approach. I mapped global diversity patterns in migratory birds and investigated the underlying processes driving birds to migrate the way they do. I developed a mechanistic model based on first ecological energetics principles that successfully predicts the key features of the global bird migration system.

My postdoctoral project builds on my previous work to study the impact of global changes on bird migration. I aim to investigate the history of distributional shifts that has accompanied the evolution of migration since the Last Glacial Maximum, and make a set of reliable predictions for the impact of future environmental changes on the global bird migration system.



Somveille, M., Rodrigues, A.S.L., Manica, A. (2015) Why do birds migrate? A macroecological perspective. Global Ecology and Biogeography 24: 664–674.

Feeney, W.E., Medina, I., Somveille, M., Heinsohn, R., Hall, M.L., Mulder, R.A., Stein, J.A., Kilner, R.M., Langmore, N.E. (2013) Brood Parasitism and the Evolution of Cooperative Breeding in Birds. Science 342: 1506–1508.

Somveille, M., Manica, A., Butchart, S.H.M., Rodrigues, A.S.L. (2013) Mapping Global Diversity Patterns for Migratory Birds. PLoS ONE 8: e70907.