RESEARCH Evolutionary adaptation
and history
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teaching supervision field missions organisation and management franceville gabon la lekedi park la lope bakoumba virginie rougeron
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TRAINING Teaching & Supervision
research evolution adaptation plasmodium vivax-like african great apes chacma baboon virginie rougeron EXPERTISES Lab & Field missions
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virginie rougeron research evolution adaptation history population genetic

During the course of my carrier, I supervised several Master students, PhDs students, and Postdoc fellows.

As part of the research community, I actively participate in different research panels and instances

Mode of reproduction of Leishmania parasites

Resistance factors to Plasmodium

Evolution and adaptation of enteric viruses

Evolutionary history and adaptation Plasmodium parasites

Ecological adaptation to anthropogenic changes of chacma baboons


International Research Laboratory launched at the Sustainability Research Unit (NMU)


French National Centre for Scientific Research
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Nelson Mandela University; Sustainability Research Unit (SRU); George, South Africa
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Virginie Rougeron

Welcome to my website

“I  am a permanent staff of the CNRS since 2015, where I am developing multiple projects on the evolutionary and adaptive history of organisms. I have been working for six years in the Laboratory MiVEGEC first in Gabon, then in France, where my research was focusing on pathogens evolution. In 2020, the CNRS awarded me the bronze medal. During the course of my career, I have been the head of the team SHAPE and then HEAT in the laboratory MiVEGEC for 4 years.

I have been the  PI of several research funded projects, including one ANR-17-ERC3-002 on “Evolutionary adaptation of human Plasmodium vivax“, which lead to the sequencing of the first genome of African great apes P. vivax-like parasites. I have also been the PI of a PEPS ECOMOB project, which aimed to study the origin of the human P. vivax. This project leads to the identification of a southeast Asian origin of this parasite. Currently, I am the PI of an ANR JCJC that aims to study the evolutionary history and adaptation of pathogens in South America and of an annual CEBA project in which the main objective is to characterize non-human primate Plasmodium circulation in French Guyana.

Since December 2021, I moved to George in South Africa to join the International ‘Research Laboratory Reconciling Ecological and Human Adaptations for a Biosphere based Sustainability’, where I am implementing a large research project on the adaptation of chacma baboon populations in Austral Africa.”

Evolutionary biology


As a researcher in evolutionary biology, I have been for a long time specializing in the study of the evolutionary and adaptive history of organisms.

For 16 years now, I have been working on where, when, and how pathogens arose, adapted to new hosts, and evolved, which are fascinating questions in the world of infectious diseases. My interest in these questions was confirmed through my various research experiences, during which I was able to discover many facets of the evolutionary ecology of infectious diseases and carry out enriching field experiments. It is by combining these facets that we discovered a new species of parasites of the genus Plasmodium (agents of malaria), in African great apes, called Plasmodium vivax-like. Since this discovery, I have been developing my research projects around the evolutionary history and adaptation of this incredible parasite and other related pathogens.

Now that I integrated the International Research laboratory REHABS (‘Reconciling Ecological and Human Adaptations for a Biosphere based Sustainability’) based in George, South Africa, I am starting a new project on the evolutionary adaptation of chacma baboon populations to urban environments.

@ F. Prugnolle


Supervision & Teaching

“During the course of my carrier, I supervised several Master students, PhDs students, and Postdoc fellows.”

I also participated in different Master Modules such as “Quantitative epidemiology”. As part of my new affiliation in REHABS, I will actively participate in the implementation of a Master module on “Conservation genetics and genomics”.

Do not hesitate to contact me directly by email for any interest and to be enrolled in our research team.


Research Community

Membership in Panels

“As part of the research  community, I actively participate in different research panels and instances”

2020 - ... Member of the MEEDIN, Centre for Research on the Ecology and Evolution of diseaseS,
2020 - 2021 Nagoya correspondant for the department, MiVEGEC Laboratory, France.
2020 - 2021 Member of the researcher recruitment comity of the CID52, ‘Institut Ecologie et Environnement’ at CNRS, France.
2019 - 2023 Member of the Scientific council of the ‘Institut Ecologie et Environnement’ at CNRS, France
2019 - 2020 Editor for Infection Genetics and Evolution journal.
2018 Reviewer for ERJ-CeMEB, University Montpellier II, France. Member of the comity for Master 2 DIPHE, University Montpellier II, France. Member of the recruitment comity for MCF 0681, University Montpellier II, France. Reviewer of the Master 2 of the student Silvia Rondon, University of Bogota, Colombia.
2015 Member of the jury for a Master 2, Ecole Doctorale Régionale, Franceville, Gabon.

MEEDIN – Centre for Research on the Ecology and Evolution of DiseaSes
Montpellier – link to the site

INEE Scientific Council – link to the site

Professionnal carreer

Date Line

diagram - cycle of leishmania parasites


diagram - genetic relation between south american populations virginie rougeron


diagram - phylogenetic tree constructed using entire vp1 sequences


schematic representation of the proposed origin p vivax

Evolutionary history

chacma baboons individuals followed tsaobis

Ecological adaptation

@ V. Rougeron

Mode of reproduction of Leishmania parasites
Schematic life cycle of Leishmania parasites. The life cycle starts when a parasitized female sandfly takes a blood meal from a vertebrate host (e.g., a human). As the sandfly feeds, infectious promastigote (metacyclic) forms of the parasite enter the vertebrate host. Within the vertebrate host, these forms are phagocytosed by macrophages where they differentiate into amastigote forms. The life cycle is completed when, during a blood meal, a female sandfly ingests infected macrophages. The parasites transform into multiplicative promastigotes inside the sandfly, and after migration into the sandfly’s proboscis, promastigotes transform into metacyclic promastigotes (infectious form) and must be delivered to a new host for the life cycle to continue.
Resistance factors to Plasmodium
Postdoc 1

Genetic relationship between South American P. falciparum populations, based on var DBLα types. Principal component analysis, where the colored dots represent the population isolates, and the colored ellipses represent 95% of the genetic variation within each population. Percentages of inertia are displayed directly along the respective axes (first axis: horizontal; second axis: vertical). South American population structure inferred by Bayesian clustering. Each isolate is a column and is partitioned into K colored components (K = 2).

Postdoc1@ V.Rougeron

@ V. Rougeron

Evolution and adaptation of enteric viruses
Postdoc 2

Phylogenetic tree constructed using the entire VP1 sequences (approximately 900 bp) of all enteroviruses EV-C serotypes.

Evolutionary history and adaptation
Plasmodium parasites

Schematic representation of the proposed origin in America of P. vivax. Main routes of the transatlantic slave trades, major European Empires between the 15th and 19th centuries in America are indicated with arrows. When the migration route and origin have been confirmed by genetic studies, arrows indicate the direction of the transfer. When migrations routes are still under debate, dashed arrows indicate the sense of the suggested transfer.

@ V. Rougeron

@ E. Huchard

Ecological adaptation to anthropogenic changes of chacma baboons
Tsaobis Baboons Projet

Chacma baboons individuals followed by the Tsaobis Baboon Project, a long-term study of a desert baboon population in Namibia.

About us

Field experience and teamwork

” After 16 years of research in ecology and evolution of organism’s adaptation, I am more than happy to collaborate, discuss, participate in conferences and workshops. My team has now high expertise in Plasmodium and more largely pathogens population genetics and genomics and is as such involved in multiple projects and formation.

We implemented multiple new protocols and technics to work mainly on non-invasive specimens. Finally, we also developed very good skills in samples collection in the field, going from non-human primate fecal samples, tsetse flies, mosquitoes, and other unexpected specimens. We are very happy to share our experience and help in any research project, do not hesitate to contact me for further information “

Lab field mission expertises-virgini rougeron south Africa
0 +
years of experience
Featured Services

"A research experience from the field to the laboratory"

A team who is collaborating in all levels of research (training, field and laboratory).
We are involved in student supervision and support all year long.
We have experience in field missions all around the world.
We are happy to share our laboratory expertise and protocols.
We participate actively in the formation of students and colleagues.
All our research is disseminated through articles and international conferences.
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