Romain Dejeante

Profile picture of Romain Dejeante

With a scientific background in ecology, my research has been mainly focused on methods for the study of movement, mainly in Savanna but also in the Miami metropolitan area of South Florida.


Wildlife management — 9 months project in the MabLab (2019–2020)

Raccoon with GPS collar Raccoon with GPS collar

Animal movement behavior in human-dominated landscapes is shaped both by the supplementation of food resources and habitat fragmentation. Here, we investigated the implications of anthropogenic resources on movement behavior and pathogen spread in a population of raccoons (Procyon lotor) in an urban and recreational park in the Greater Miami Area of South Florida. First, mark-recapture monitoring (92 individuals) and GPS tracking (12 individuals) allowed us to determine the attractiveness of anthropogenic resource (specifically dumpsters) and to correlate it to body condition index, density and disease prevalence (specifically leptospirosis). Second, the spatial dynamics of pathogen spread and the movement response of the host to anthropogenic resources were tested by an individual-based model parameterized from empirical data. We found that selection for anthropogenic resources was correlated to higher body condition, smaller home-ranges and higher raccoon densities. The individual-based model further showed that anthropogenic resources increased the infection risk from the pathogen locally, but reduced the spread of infection by spatially isolating infected individuals. Further studies may be needed to experimentally confirm the spatial dynamics of our model.

More here about the raccoon project.

Social interaction dynamics — 3 years project (2021–2024)

Lion with GPS collar Lion with GPS collar

As social wild felids, African lions (Panthera leo) live in prides composed of related females (range 1–18), their cubs, and a coalition of cooperating males (range 1–9) which compete against other coalitions for the exclusive access to females. However, these conspecifics are never considered into the lion-habitat-use studies. We proposed to include both intrapride, interpride and intercoalition interactions into habitat selection analysis, which can be done for example by a social-integrated Step selection function.

Work in progress, more here.

Predator-prey interactions — 5 months project (2021)

Wildbeest (source:
Wikimedia) Wildbeest (source: Wikimedia)

While preys are known to respond both proactively and reactively to the risk of predation, few studies have investigated how these responses might differ according to the environmental conditions and to the multi-predator strategies. Here, we examined the behavioral adjustments of blue wildebeests (Connochaetes taurinus) to both long-term and short-term risks of predation by lions (Panthera leo) and African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) in South Africa’s Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, evaluated from fine-scaled spatial information collected on 22 wildebeests, 23 lions and 5 African wild dogs from 2019 to 2021. We hypothesized that wildebeest proactive responses would be stronger in response to a long-term risk of predation by ambushed rather than cursorial predators, and that reactive responses to short-term risk of predation would be stronger in low-viewshed landscape. We found that wildebeests did not avoid areas used by predators but selected higher viewshed landscape when the risk of encountering lions was higher. In contrast, risk of group fission increased when wildebeest moved in areas highly used by African wild dogs. Finally, wildebeest reactive responses were stronger after the encounter of lions at night and in low-viewshed landscape. Our results highlight the complexity of prey/multi-predator interactions, suggesting that prey responses are a combination of several behavioral adjustments depending on environmental conditions and predator hunting strategies.

Scientific conferences

Check Romain’s website for more updates!