Cyril Piou




Job experience and education

Since August 2017 - Scientist at CIRAD, Bios, The Center for Biology and Management of Populations

August 2015 - August 2017 - CIRAD scientist working in cooperation at the National Anti-locust center of Aït Melloul and the Ibn Zohr University of Agadir 

Sept. 2013 - August 2015 - CIRAD scientist working in cooperation at IAV Hassan II, Horticultural complex of Agadir and together with the National Anti-locust center of Aït Melloul

Sept. 2010 - August 2013 - Scientist at CIRAD, Bios, Pests and Diseases unit, Acridology team

July 2008 - August 2010 - Post-Doc with Etienne Prévost at INRA of St Pée sur Nivelle (64). Project: Potential effects of climate change on life history strategies of Atlantic salmon.

April 2007 - June 2008 - Post-Doc with Uta Berger at Dresden University (Germany). Project: Proposing an information criterion for individual-based models.

October 2003 - March 2007 - PhD with Uta Berger and Candy Feller at the Center for Tropical Marine Ecology of Bremen University (Germany). Project: Patterns and individual-based modeling of spatial competition within two main components of Neotropical mangrove ecosystems. PDF

September 2001 - Sept. 2003 - Master of Science ISATEC (International Studies in Aquatic Tropical Ecology). Field work at the Institute of Marine Studies of Belize University. Project: E ffects of hurricane disturbances on mangrove forest structure, studying the case of Belizean offshore islands and KiWi model simulations.


Research projects


My work in the acridology team of CIRAD-CBGP is mainly focusing on desert locust in Western Africa. I've also been involved in research activities on the South American Locust (Schistocerca cancellata) and Senegalese grasshopper (Oedaleus senegalensis), but mainly on the second axis of the two that I've been working on since 2010 :

  1. Phenotypic plasticity of Schistocerca gregaria
    In this axis, we are trying to understand deeper the processes linked to phase polyphenism of desert locust. 

    • In 2011-2012 a first project in collaboration with Marie-Pierre Chapuis, Christine Pagès and Benjamin Pélissié, showed us some parental and heritable effects of some growth-related individual parameters.
    • Since 2012, I'm collaborating with Koutaro Maeno to test maternal effects on survival and behavior of hatchlings.
    • In 2014-2017, the co-supervision of Jamila Dkhili, PhD candidate at the Ibn Zohr University of Agadir, documented the vegetation effect on group behavior of desert locusts hoppers. We were using Individual-Based Models and laboratory experiments.
    • Since 2020, in the framework of the ANR-JCJC PEPPER project, we are studying with Camille Vernier, PhD student on evolution of phase polyphenism, the individual behaviors of locusts in different olfactif conditions.

  2. Modeling of gregarization risk and population dynamics of locusts
    In this axis, we link environment, population levels and phase of desert locust in order to develop tools that could help in preventive management.

    • In 2010-2012, a first project in collaboration with Valentine Lebourgeois, Michel Lecoq and other team members analysed NDVI/MODIS maps and time series coupled with survey data from the national center of locust control of Mauritania (CNLA). This work proposed a methodology to spatially show the potential gregarization risk of desert locust from satellite images.
    • In 2014, a project for the Centre Royal de Télédétection Spatiale of Morocco allowed to improve the methodology and make it an operational tool for the National Anti-locust center of Morocco.
    • In 2012-2014, I worked with Sory Cissé, a PhD student from Mali under a grant from CLCPRO/FAO, who was studying density thresholds of gregarization from historical data and field observations.
    • In 2015-2017, we worked with IsardSAT and CESBIO on a project about soil moisture financed by ESA: the SMELLS project. The product of this project is now used by the affected countries through a web portal hosted by FAO.
    • In 2017-2020, I've co-supervized Mathias Kayalto, PhD student at the Ibn Zohr University of Agadir, who worked on geomorphological parameters influencing gregarization risk of desert locust in Tchad.
    • Since 2019, we are working on the ANR-JCJC PEPPER project that uses agent-based modelling to integrate knowlege about biology and ecology of desert locust in order to improve knowledge and forecasting risks associated to phase polyphenism.
    • Since 2021, with Lucile Marescot, we collaborate with the team of Arianne Cease to develop a population dynamics model of  the Senegalese locust to evaluate the potential of soil fertilization in the management of this grasshopper.
    • Since 2021, with CLCPRO/FAO, through fundings of the AFD, we develop tools to improve preventive management and study the effects of climate change on desert locust. 




  1. Diouf, E. G., T. Brévault, S. Ndiaye, E. Faye, A. Chailleux, P. Diatta, and C. Piou. 2022. An agent-based model to simulate the boosted Sterile Insect Technique for fruit fly management. Ecological Modelling 468:109951. DOI
  2. Lawton, D., P. Scarth, E. Deveson, C. Piou, A. Spessa, C. Waters, and A. J. Cease. 2022. Seeing the locust in the swarm: accounting for spatiotemporal hierarchy improves ecological models of insect populations. Ecography e05763. DOI
  3. Piou, C., G. Zagaglia, H. E. Medina, E. Trumper, X. R. Brizuela, and K. O. Maeno. 2022. Band movement and thermoregulation in Schistocerca cancellata. Journal of Insect Physiology 136:104328. DOI
  4. Maeno, K. O., C. Piou, and S. Ghaout. 2022. Allocation of more reproductive resource to egg size rather than clutch size of gregarious desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) through increasing oogenesis period and oosorption rate. Journal of Insect Physiology 136:104331. DOI
  5. Trumper, E. V., A. J. Cease, M. M. Cigliano, F. Copa Bazán, C. E. Lange, H. E. Medina, R. P. Overson, C. Therville, M. E. Pocco, C. Piou, G. Zagaglia, and D. Hunter. 2022. A Review of the Biology, Ecology, and Management of the South American Locust, Schistocerca cancellata (Serville, 1838), and Future Prospects. Agronomy 12:135. DOI
  6. Bates, A. E., R. B. Primack, B. S. Biggar, T. J. Bird, [329 co-authors] , C. Piou, [11 co-authors] , and C. M. Duarte. 2021. Global COVID-19 lockdown highlights humans as both threats and custodians of the environment. Biological Conservation 263:109175. DOI
  7. Maeno, K. O., C. Piou, S. O. Ely, S. A. O. Mohamed, M. E. H. Jaavar, S. Ghaout, and M. A. O. B. Ebbe. 2021. Density-dependent mating behaviors reduce male mating harassment in locusts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118:e2104673118. PDF
  8. Chapuis, M.-P., B. Pélissié, C. Piou, F. Chardonnet, C. Pagès, A. Foucart, E. Chapuis, and H. Jourdan-Pineau. 2021. Additive genetic variance for traits least related to fitness increases with environmental stress in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Ecology and Evolution 11:13930– 13947. DOI
  9. Gay, P.-E., E. Trumper, M. Lecoq, and C. Piou. in press. Importance of human capital, field knowledge and experience to improve pest locust management. Pest Management Science. DOI
  10. Vovides, A. G., M.-C. Wimmler, F. Schrewe, T. Balke, M. Zwanzig, C. Piou, E. Delay, J. López-Portillo, and U. Berger. 2021. Cooperative root graft networks benefit mangrove trees under stress. Communications Biology 4:513. DOI
  11. Maeno, K. O., C. Piou, M. R. Kearney, S. O. Ely, S. A. O. Mohamed, M. E. H. Jaavar, and M. A. O. Babah Ebbe. 2021. A general model of the thermal constraints on the world’s most destructive locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Ecological Applications 31:e02310. DOI
  12. Ayllón, D., S. F. Railsback, C. Gallagher, J. Augusiak, H. Baveco, U. Berger, S. Charles, R. Martin, A. Focks, N. Galic, C. Liu, E. E. van Loon, J. Nabe-Nielsen, C. Piou, J. G. Polhill, T. G. Preuss, V. Radchuk, A. Schmolke, J. Stadnicka-Michalak, P. Thorbek, and V. Grimm. 2021. Keeping modelling notebooks with TRACE: Good for you and good for environmental research and management support. Environmental Modelling & Software 136:104932. DOI
  13. Kayalto, M., M. Idrissi Hassani, M. Lecoq, P.-E. Gay, and C. Piou. 2020. Cartographie des zones de reproduction et de grégarisation du criquet pèlerin au Tchad. Cahiers Agriculture 29:14. DOI
  14. Meynard, C. N., M. Lecoq, M.-P. Chapuis, and C. Piou. 2020. On the relative role of climate change and management in the current Desert Locust outbreak in East Africa. Global Change Biology 26:3753–3755. DOI
  15. Maeno, K. O., C. Piou, and S. Ghaout. 2020. The desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, plastically manipulates egg size by regulating both egg numbers and production rate according to population density. Journal of Insect Physiology 122:104020. DOI
  16. Gay, P.-E., M. Lecoq, and C. Piou. 2020. The limitations of locust preventive management faced with spatial uncertainty: exploration with a multi-agent model. Pest Management Science 76:1094-1102. DOI
  17. Delay, E., and C. Piou. 2019. Mutual aid: When does resource scarcity favour group cooperation? Ecological Complexity 40:100790. DOI
  18. Dkhili, J., K. O. Maeno, L. M. Idrissi Hassani, S. Ghaout, and C. Piou. 2019. Effects of starvation and Vegetation Distribution on Locust Collective Motion. Journal of Insect Behavior 32:207-217. DOI
  19. Piou, C., P.-E. Gay, A. S. Benahi, M. A. O. Babah Ebbe, J. Chihrane, S. Ghaout, S. Cisse, F. Diakite, M. Lazar, K. Cressman, O. Merlin, and M.-J. Escorihuela. 2019. Soil moisture from remote sensing to forecast desert locust presence. Journal of Applied Ecology 56:966-975. DOI
  20. Escorihuela, M.J., Merlin, O., Stefan, V., Moyano, G., Eweys, O.A., Zribi, M., Kamara, S., Benahi, A.S., Ebbe, M.A.B., Chihrane, J., Ghaout, S., Cissé, S., Diakité, F., Lazar, M., Pellarin, T., Grippa, M., Cressman, K. and C. Piou. 2018. SMOS based high resolution soil moisture estimates for desert locust preventive management. Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment 11:140-150 DOI
  21. Akimenko, V. V., and C. Piou. 2018. Two‐compartment age‐structured model of solitarious and gregarious locust population dynamics. Mathematical Methods in the Applied Sciences 41:8636-8672. DOI
  22. Bagny Beilhe, L., C. Piou, Z. Tadu, and R. Babin. 2018. Identifying Ant-Mirid Spatial Interactions to Improve Biological Control in Cacao-Based Agroforestry System. Environmental Entomology 47:551-558. DOI
  23. Gay, P.-E., M. Lecoq, and C. Piou. 2018. Improving preventive locust management: insights from a multi-agent model. Pest Management Science 74:46-58. DOI
  24. Piou, C., M. E. H. Jaavar Bacar, M. A. O. Babah Ebbe, J. Chihrane, S. Ghaout, S. Cisse, M. Lecoq, and T. Ben Halima. 2017. Mapping the spatiotemporal distributions of the Desert Locust in Mauritania and Morocco to improve preventive management. Basic and Applied Ecology 25:37-47. DOI
  25. Dkhili, J., U. Berger, L. M. Idrissi Hassani, S. Ghaout, R. Peters, and C. Piou. 2017. Self-organized spatial structures of locust groups emerging from local interaction. Ecological Modelling 361:26-40. DOI
  26. Meynard, C. N., P.-E. Gay, M. Lecoq, A. Foucart, C. Piou, and M.-P. Chapuis. 2017. Climate-driven geographic distribution of the desert locust during recession periods: Subspecies’ niche differentiation and relative risks under scenarios of climate change. Global Change Biology 23:4739-4749. DOI
  27. Lazar, M., C. Piou, B. Doumandji-Mitiche, and M. Lecoq. 2016. Importance of solitarious desert locust population dynamics: lessons from historical survey data in Algeria. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 161:168–180. DOI
  28. Latchininsky, A., C. Piou, A. Franc, and V. Soti. 2016. Applications of Remote Sensing to Locust Management. Pages 263-294 in N. Baghdadi and M. Zribi, editors. Land Surface Remote Sensing: Environment and Risks. ISTE editions.
  29. Cissé, S., S. Ghaout, M. A. Babah Ebbe, S. Kamara, and C. Piou. 2016. Field Verification of the Prediction Model on Desert Locust Adult Phase Status From Density and Vegetation. Journal of Insect Science 16. DOI (open access)
  30. Pélissié, B., C. Piou, H. Jourdan-Pineau, C. Pagès, L. Blondin, and M.-P. Chapuis. 2016. Extra Molting and Selection on Nymphal Growth in the Desert Locust. PLoS ONE 11:e0155736. DOI (open access)
  31. Chapuis, M. P., C. Plantamp, R. Streiff, L. Blondin, and C. Piou. 2015. Microsatellite evolutionary rate and pattern in Schistocerca gregaria inferred from direct observation of germline mutations. Molecular Ecology 24:6107-6119. DOI
  32. Piou, C., M. H. Taylor, J. Papaïx, and E. Prévost. 2015. Modelling the interactive effects of selective fishing and environmental change on Atlantic salmon demogenetics. Journal of Applied Ecology 52:1629-1637. DOI
  33. Cisse, S., S. Ghaout, A. Mazih, H. Jourdan-Pineau, K. O. Maeno, and C. Piou. 2015. Characterizing phase-related differences in behaviour of Schistocerca gregaria with spatial distribution analysis. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 156:128-135. DOI
  34. Cisse, S., S. Ghaout, A. Mazih, M. A. Ould Babah Ebbe, and C. Piou. 2015. Estimation of density threshold of gregarization of desert locust hoppers from field sampling in Mauritania. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 156:136-148. DOI
  35. Delay, E., C. Piou, and H. Quenol. 2015. The mountain environment, a driver for adaptation to climate change. Land Use Policy 48:51-62. DOI
  36. Vogt, J., C. Piou, and U. Berger. 2014. Comparing the influence of large- and small-scale disturbances on forest heterogeneity: A simulation study for mangroves. Ecological Complexity 20:107-115. DOI
  37. Maeno, K. O., C. Piou, M. A. Ould Babah, and S. Nakamura. 2013. Eggs and hatchlings variations in desert locusts: phase related characteristics and starvation tolerance. Frontiers in Physiology 4. DOI
  38. Cisse, S., S. Ghaout, A. Mazih, M. A. O. Babah Ebbe, A. S. Benahi, and C. Piou. 2013. Effect of vegetation on density thresholds of adult desert locust gregarization from survey data in Mauritania. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 149:159-165. DOI
  39. Piou, C., V. Lebourgeois, A. S. Benahi, V. Bonnal, M. e. H. Jaavar, M. Lecoq, and J.-M. Vassal. 2013. Coupling historical prospection data and a remotely-sensed vegetation index for the preventative control of Desert locusts. Basic and Applied Ecology 14:593-604. DOI
  40. Feller, I., A. Chamberlain, C. Piou, S. Chapman, and C. Lovelock. 2013. Latitudinal Patterns of Herbivory in Mangrove Forests: Consequences of Nutrient Over-Enrichment. Ecosystems 16:1203-1215. DOI
  41. Maeno, K. O., C. Piou, S. Ould Ely, M. A. O. Babah, B. Pélissié, S. A. Ould Mohamed, M. E. H. Jaavar, M. Etheimine, and S. Nakamura. 2013. Plant Size-dependent Escaping Behavior of Gregarious Nymphs of the Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Journal of Insect Behavior 26:623-633. DOI
  42. Piou, C. and E. Prévost. 2013. Contrasting effects of climate change in continental versus oceanic environments on population persistence and micro-evolution of Atlantic salmon. Global change biology 19:711-723. DOI
  43. Maeno, K. O., C. Piou, S. O. Ely, S. A. O. Mohamed, M. E. H. Jaavar, M. A. O. Babah, and S. Nakamura. 2012. Field Observations of the Sheltering Behavior of the Solitarious Phase of the Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria, with Particular Reference to Antipredator Strategies. Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly 46:339-345. PDF
  44. Piou, C. and E. Prévost. 2012. A demo-genetic individual-based model for Atlantic salmon populations: Model structure, parameterization and sensitivity. Ecological Modelling 231:37-52. DOI
  45. Vogt, J., A. Skóra, I. C. Feller, C. Piou, G. Coldren, and U. Berger. 2012. Investigating the role of impoundment and forest structure on the resistance and resilience of mangrove forests to hurricanes. Aquatic Botany 97:24-29. DOI
  46. Fontalvo-Herazo, M., C. Piou, J. Vogt, U. Saint-Paul, and U. Berger. 2011. Simulating harvesting scenarios towards the sustainable use of mangrove forest plantations. Wetlands Ecology and Management 19:397-407. DOI
  47. Bal, G., E. Rivot, E. Prévost, C. Piou, and J. L. Baglinière. 2011. Effect of water temperature and density of juvenile salmonids on growth of young-of-the-year Atlantic salmon Salmo salar. Journal of Fish Biology 78:1002-1022. DOI
  48. Tentelier, C. and C. Piou. 2011. Obstacles to migration constrain nest distribution of Atlantic salmon. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 20:400-408. DOI
  49. Piou, C., U. Berger, and K. Diele. 2010. Simulating Ucides cordatus Population Recovery on Fished Grounds. Pages 299-303 in U. Saint-Paul and H. Schneider, editors. Mangrove Dynamics and Management in North Brazil. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. DOI
  50. Feller, I., C. Lovelock, and C. Piou. 2009. Growth and Nutrient Conservation in Rhizophora mangle in Response to Fertilization along Latitudinal and Tidal Gradients. Smithsonian Contributions to the Marine Sciences 38:347-358. PDF
  51. Piou, C., U. Berger, and V. Grimm. 2009. Proposing an information criterion for individual-based models developed in a pattern-oriented modelling framework. Ecological Modelling 220:1957-1967. DOI
  52. Piou, C., U. Berger, and I. Feller. 2009. Spatial structure of a leaf-removing crab population in a mangrove of North-Brazil. Wetlands Ecology and Management 17:93-106. DOI
  53. Piou, C., U. Berger, H. Hildenbrandt, and I. Feller. 2008. Testing the intermediate disturbance hypothesis in species-poor systems: A simulation experiment for mangrove forests. Journal of Vegetation Science 19:417-424. DOI 
  54. Berger, U., V. Rivera-Monroy, T. Doyle, F. Dahdouh-Guebas, N. Duke, M. Fontalvo-Herazo, H. Hildenbrandt, N. Koedam, U. Mehlig, C. Piou and R. Twilley. 2008. Advances and limitations of individual-based models to analyze and predict dynamics of mangrove forests: A review. Aquatic Botany 89:260-274. DOI 
  55. Berger, U., C. Piou, K. Schiff ers, and V. Grimm. 2008. Competition among plants: Concepts, individual-based modelling approaches, and a proposal for a future research strategy. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 9:121-135. DOI
  56. Piou, C., U. Berger, H. Hildenbrandt, V. Grimm, K. Diele, and C. D'Lima. 2007. Simulating cryptic movements of a mangrove crab: Recovery phenomena after small scale fi shery. Ecological Modelling 205:110-122. DOI 
  57. Piou, C., I. Feller, U. Berger, and F. Chi. 2006. Zonation patterns of Belizean o ffshore mangrove forests 41 years after a catastrophic hurricane. Biotropica 38:365-374. DOI 
  58. Grimm, V., U. Berger, F. Bastiansen, S. Eliassen, V. Ginot, J. Giske, J. Goss-Custard, T. Grand, S. Heinz, G. Huse, A. Huth, J. U. Jepsen, C. Jorgensen, W. M. Mooij, B. Mueller, G. Pe'er, C. Piou, S. F. Railsback, A. M. Robbins, M. M. Robbins, E. Rossmanith, N. Rüger, E. Strand, S. Souissi, R. A. Stillman, R. Vabo, U. Visser, and D. L. DeAngelis. 2006. A standard protocol for describing individual-based and agent-based models. Ecological Modelling 198:115-126. DOI

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