• June 21st : the MetaSUB global sampling day (MetaSUB gsd2021) in the Marseille subway is coming back this year the 21st of June 2021. News on this sampling day are coming soon!
  • May: our new paper on the microorganisms in urban environment has just been released in the prestigious journal Cell!!!! You want to understand how each city has its own genetic map, check this page

Some of the press release (French and English):
Le Monde 
Courrier International
Huffington Post
The New York Times

  • April : You want to know more about viruses of mosquitoes in the south of France? You can read our new article on this subject (.pdf here). Press coverage (in French): LM-BdR et Var-08_05_2021-20
  • March: Alexia has successfully defended her PhD thesis, congratulations Alexia and we wish you all the best for your scientific career and personal accomplishments!
  • January : Caroline Sekaniec has join our group for a 2 month-internship (BTS). Se will be working on algal cultures and infections.


January – November: holala, we are very late in our news page! Too many things have happened this particular year, so we will just list few of them:

      • Nicolas got a junior group position at the Pasteur Institute in Paris (France) and an ERC-Starting Grant. His webpage can be found here. Congrats Nico and cannot wait for future collaborations!
      • Alexia’s revue on the human virome published (link here)
      • We were confined…. (March)
      • Christelle got a research director position at the CNRS
      • Interview of Christelle (in french) for the general press (l’Humanité): Micro-organismes. A l’ombre des bactéries, ces virus indispensables à la vie. Anne-Corinne Zimmer, May 2020.
      • Thomas Pitot (Master 2 student, January-June) has joined our group to develop a project on viruses (NCLDVs) infecting algae
      • We are confined again… (November)

On-going projects: 

The Holodiv project (collaborator): Hologenome diversity and adaptation in Mediterranean gorgonians: tools for new management strategies of marine forests (D. Aurelle, M. Bally & C. Desnues). Project financed by the A*MIDEX foundation.

The Phycovir project: Biodiversity and ecological role of viruses infecting microalgae (G. Blanc & C. Desnues). Project financed by the A*MIDEX foundation.

The MetaSEW project: the MetaSUB consortium focusing on the dynamics of microbial communities (bacteria, viruses) with a specific emphasize on SARS-CoV-2 in sewages (website)



January: Our team has moved to the Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography located on the beautiful site of Luminy. We are now part of the team “Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology“. Thanks to all our new colleagues for the warm welcome! Exciting new researches and collaborations are already emerging…. More news on these will come soon!

1 January: Happy new year from the Pathovirome team!



6 December: Wonderful interdisciplinary and international collaboration between our team (Nicolas Rascovan and me) and Karl-Göran Sjögren and Kristian Kristiansen from Sweden, Rasmus Nielsen, Eske Willerslev and Simon Rasmussen from Denmark! Our new article on the origin and spread of plague during the Neolithic is out in the Cell journal. You can check the article here!


Here are also few links on media coverage in:
Nature by Ewen Callaway
Sciencemag by Lizzie Wade
ScienceNews by Bruce Bower
The Guardian by Ian Sample
Discover Magazine by Rony Dengler
The Atlantic By Sarah Zhang

27 November: It was an honor to be Captain Déclic for the Declic2018 speed-meeting events organized by the Cercle FSER. We all shared a wonderful experience at promoting Science among high school students from the Lycée Saint Exupéry (Marseille). Many thanks to the professor (Ines Freyssinel), the organizers (Andrea Vargas), all the high school students and the best Déclic ambassadors ever 😉 (Harilanto Andrianjakarivoni, Alexia Bordigoni, Asma Boumazza, Eya Ben Azzouz, Benoît Desnues, Aïssatou Diallo, Christian Gestreau, Laetitia Gay, Nathalie Mangelinck and Loucine Mitoyan!

23 November: Maxime Gaudin has successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled “Human RNA bait library depletion for pathogen discovery using shotgun metagenomic sequencing”. Congratulations Maxime and we wish you all the best for the future!

November: Harilanto has been elected president of the Hippo’Thèse association of Aix-Marseille University PhD students and young researchers in biology. Congrats Harilanto!
Facebook link of Hippo’Thèse 

November: Welcome to Harilanto Andrianjakarivony who has started her PhD thesis on the ecogenomics of human viral pathogens in anthropized coastal environments! She will be co-supervised by Yvan Bettarel from MARBEC and me. Have a lot of fun Hari on this very exciting project!

October: Congratulation to Emily Chase for her success in the competitive DOC2AMU program! During her PhD thesis, Emily will study the biodiversity and ecological role of viruses infecting microalgae. She is co-supervised by Guillaume Blanc from the Mediterranean Istitute of Oceanography (MIO) and me. Welcome Emily!

January: Our new article published in ISME Journal in collaboration with Yvan Bettarel, Thierry Bouvier, Jean-Christophe Auguet Corine Bouvier and Patrice Got from MARBEC, Thanh Chi Mai and Ngoc Van Bui from the IBT of Hanoi about the impact of corallivory on microbes in scleractinians (full access here).

January 17: Invited by the Pr. Philippe Sansonetti, Christelle has given a seminar to the prestigious Collège de France about the “Exploration of the human virome: from symbiosis to pathology“.

January 02: We welcome Karine Bertotti and Kelly Goldlust in our team for their M2 internship this year! Enjoy!


October 09: In The Conversation this month, a new press article from Christelle about the MetaSUB project: “Bactéries, virus et champignons, les autres usagers du métro“.
Also in:
La tribune or Slate

October 1st: Alexia Bordigoni obtained a very competitive fellowship from the Ministry of Research (MNRT) for completing her PhD about viruses and vaginal dysbiosis in our lab. Congrats Alexia and happy to spend the next 3 years with you!

June 20: We did it! 120 samples collected in the subway for the MetaSUB project. Thanks to the whole MetaSUB Marseille team! Check the progression of the GLOBAL CITY SAMPLING 2017 here.


April-May: Nils (Polytech Marseille) and Nicolas (BTS Marie Curie Marseille) have joined the lab to do projects on functional metagenomics. Kelly (Master 1) has joined the lab to conduct a project on gemycircularviruses.

March: new website 😉

February: We have moved out… our lab is now relocated in a brand new Institute! Pictures will be uploaded soon!

January: Alexia and Caroline have joined our team to work on viruses in bacterial vaginosis and giant viruses respectively. Welcome both in the crazy lab 😉


August: blue column 😉 Welcome Mathieu on our beautiful planet and congrats to the happy parents!

February: Viral metagenomics: are we missing the giants? recently published in Current Opinion in Microbiology. You can freely download the publication at this link

January: Sarah has successfully defended her PhD thesis!!!! Wonderful job and congratulations!!!!  We wish you all the best for your future (great) scientific career!

January: Stéphanie Gambut has joined the team for completing her master 2. She will work on virus associated with non-human primates. Welcome Stéphanie!


December: in the December issue of Frontiers in Microbiology, we report the identification and isolation of a Faustovirus-like virus in hematophagous arthropods and its detection in their animal hosts. Open access at this link!

September: Raja Duraisamy has joined the Pathovirome team for a 2-years post-doctoral position. Raja is a virologist, specialized in virus discovery/viral metagenomics, molecular epidemiological studies, sero-epidemiological studies, diagnostics and surveillance. Raja will develop a project on the detection of novel pathogens in humans and animals.

July: Sébastien Halary has joined the Pathovirome team for a 2-years post-doctoral position. He will develop a projet focusing on viral networks in case of human pathologies! Welcome Sébastien!

July: Maxime and Laure have successfully defended their master thesis and DUT! Congrats to both of you!!! Maxime has obtained a PhD fellowship from the research ministry, he will start in October in our team!

April: Laure Sauvat will work with Sarah on the detection of RNA viruses by molecular approaches for her 3-month DUT training. Welcome Laure!

March: Christelle and Sonia are in Vietnam for a mission whose objective is to study changes in viral communities associated with grazed corals! More information and pictures on the PATRICIA project funded by the TOTAL foundation and initiated by Dr. Yvan Bettarel will be published soon!

January: Maxime Gaudin has joined the team to develop his master 2 project on giant viruses associated with humans! Welcome Maxime!

September: The Pathovirome team supports “Sciences en marche

July: Nicolás Rascovan is on board ;-). Nicolás is our new postdoc, he will develop a project at the interface between ecology and infectiology. Welcome Nicolás!