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Menu Institutions

SPS - Saclay Plant Sciences


3 questions to Axel de Zélicourt
Axel de Zélicourt

Axel de Zélicourt is an Assistant Professor in the "Signaling, regulation and metabolic interactions" team at the Institute of Plant Sciences of Paris-Saclay (IPS2, Orsay). He defended his PhD thesis in 2008 at the Laboratory of Plant Biology and Pathology at the University of Nantes. After several post-docs in France and Saudi Arabia, he was recruited as a Paris-Sud University Lecturer at IPS2.


1) What are your current research themes?

My project aims to understand and characterize the mechanisms of plant adaptation activated in response to the climate changes that we are already facing and which will intensify in the coming decades. It is mainly focused on the photosynthetic activity and its regulation. This research is of particular interest as the population is constantly growing, forcing us to increase agricultural yields accordingly.

2) Why did you choose plants as your research subject?

I always enjoyed working with plants. During my studies I wanted to join the Diplôme national d’œnologie, unfortunately this could not be done, so I continued with a more classical diploma in Biology, favoring plant sciences courses whenever possible.

3) How do you encourage students to choose careers in plants?

Based on this first academic year as an assistant professor, I find it quite difficult. I have the feeling that few students are interested in plant sciences. Compared to other areas of research in biology, it seems that plant sciences are often negatively considered by students. To encourage them to reconsider this field on an equal footing with other biological studies, I think it is important to break some preconceived ideas students can have about plant sciences, especially with young ones. This is why I encourage them to come and see for themselves during short internship, I also try to demonstrate the interest and the importance of the different research projects conducted in our institute.