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Catherine Ozouf-Costaz


Catherine Ozouf

Research Engineer at CNRS, I spent my whole professional life at the Museum national d'Historie naturelle, Paris, in different teams. I firstly worked ten years on morphology and biology of Acanthomorphs, but also on Chondrichthyans (cartilagineous "fish"), and then moved to cytogenetics  (see the page). Most of my activities concern two Acanthomorph groups, Antarctic Notothenioïds and  Cichlids of the African great lakes. Notothenioïds include 122 species only, which diversified within a few million years by adapting to harsh environmental conditions and to the thermical isolation of the Southern Ocean (see the page). The Cichlids include more than 1500 species which mainly diversified in Tanganyika, Malawi and Victoria African lakes. These phenomenons of rapid species diversification in isolated geographic sectors with important environmental constraints are called "species flocks". Notothenioïds and Cichlids display a very wide shape and habitat diversity. I am interested in the numerous chromosomal changes which occurred during the evolution of these two groups. These phenomenons of diversification in isolated geographic sectors and with important environmental constraints are called "species flocks". Notothenioïds and Cichlids display a high diversity of shapes and habitats. I am interested in the numerous chromosomal changes which occurred during the evolution of these two groups. Provided warning precautions, their chromosomal characters can be used for systematic or phylogenetic purposes like other  morphological or molecular character.

Moreover, Cichlids include several species of economical interest (the Nile Tilapia, for instance) and Notothenioïds, apart their adaptive particularities which fascinate the whole scientific community, include species exploited in fisheries (like the Patagonian toothfish).These species genomes are subject to deep investigations and several are being entirely sequenced. Thus, it allows me access to other research fields in the frame of diverse collaborations and to use our ability by localizing,  in the chromosomes, genes linked to sex determination (for aquaculture) or to adaptations to extreme conditions (for the Notothenioïds). This also represents a way to access to new characters ( chromosomal gene mapping), thus permitting to develop new approaches (see the cytogenetic team website).

member of the team from 2003 to 2013