Léa Frachon

Léa Frachon, Dr.

Senior Teaching and Research Assistant

Tel.: +41 (0)44 634 84 37


Research Interests:

Through ecological genomics approach, my research is driven by the understanding of how plants evolve adaptation strategies to face fluctuating environments. More specifically, I’m focusing on the evolutionary strategies adopted by plants in response to both abiotic and biotic factors. Understanding the genetic architecture of plant adaptation to complex ecological factors acting simultaneously remains one of my main challenge. The frame of my research is based on a realistic and ecological light, studying plants in their natural habitats.


One of my current research projects is focusing on the adaptation of a wild species, Brassica incana, to different pollinator communities and soil types. Based on 22 natural populations of B. incana in the Campania region (Italy), I characterized morphologic, reproductive and olfactory traits, as well abiotic factors (soil type and climate) and the associated pollinator communities with Luca Arrigo (PhD in our group). Moreover, genomic characterization is performed via a pool-sequencing approach in each of our populations with Illumina Novaseq technology. By adopting an ecological genomic approach with Genome-Environment Association (GEA) analyses and Genome-Wide-Association mapping (GWA) I will provide a better understanding of the molecular bases of plant adaptation to pollinator communities’ and different soil types.



October 2018- currently: Oberassistent at the Department of Systematic and Evolutionary biology, University of Zürich.

2017-2018: Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Naples (Italy) with Dr. Giovanni Scopece: “Adaptation of a wild plant species (Brassica incana) to pollinator communities and soil type”. Project in collaboration with Pr. Florian Schiestl at the University of Zurich (Switzerland).

2014-2017: PhD “Ecological genomics of the adaptation of the plant model Arabidopsis thaliana in spatially heterogeneous environment”. Laboratory of Plant-Microbe Interactions (LIPM, Toulouse, France) with Dr. Fabrice Roux.

2002-2013: Master in Ecology, Management and Evolution of the biodiversity. University of Lille, France.

2008-2011: Bachelor degree in Life and Earth Sciences. University of Lille, France.




Frachon L. (2020) Interaction networks and trait evolution. Report of the 43rd New Phytologist symposium. New Phytologist.

Frachon L.*, B. Mayjonade*, C. Bartoli*, N.C. Hautekèete & F. Roux. (2019) Adaptation to plant communities across the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana. Molecular Biology Evolution.

Scopece G., L. Frachon & S. Cozzolino. (2019) Do native and invasive herbivores have an effect on Brassica rapa pollination? Plant biology. 

Frachon L.*, Bartoli C.*, Carrère S., Bouchez O., Chaubet A., Gautier M., Roby D. & Roux F. (2018) A genomic map of climate adaptation in Arabidopsis thaliana at a micro-geographic scale. Frontiers in Plant Science 9:967.

Bartoli C.*, Frachon L.*, Barret M., Rigal M., Huart-Chauveau C., Mayjonade B., Zanchetta C., Bouchez O., Roby D., Carrère S. & Roux F. (2018) in situ relationships between microbiota and potential pathobiota in Arabidopsis thaliana. The ISME journal 12:2024-2038.

Frachon L.*, Libourel C.*, Villoutreix R., Carrère S., Glorieux C., Huard-Chauveau C., Navascues M., Gay L., Vitalis R., Baron E., Amsellem L., Bouchez D., Vidal M., Le Corre V., Roby D., Bergelson J. & Roux F. (2017) Intermediate degrees of synergistic pleiotropy drive adaptive evolution in ecological time. Nature Ecology and Evolution 1: 1551.

Hautekèete N.C., Frachon L., Luczak C., Toussaint B., Van Landuyt W., Van Rossum F. & Piquot Y. (2015) Habitat type shapes long-term plant biodiversity budgets in two densely populated regions in north-western Europe. Diversity and Distributions 21: 631-642.

Tayeh A., Hufbauer R.A., Estoup A., Ravigne V., Frachon L. & Facon B. (2015) Biological invasion and biological control select for different life histories. Nature communications 6:7268.

*Authors that contributed equally to this work.