Audrey Dussutour, CNRS Medal for Scientific Mediation !

Audrey Dussutour
Audrey Dussutour


The CNRS Medal for Scientific Mediation rewards women and men, scientists or research support staff, for their action, punctual or perennial, personal or collective, promoting science in society.

Audrey is now rewarded for her numerous and fascinating scientific works on the behavior and the cognition of ants and blob, through mediation actions.

With her book, several films, numerous exhibitions and festivals and recently a trip to the international space station, Audrey never stops making young and old dream !

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Antoine WYSTRACH, Bronze Medal of the CNRS !

Photo d'Antoine Wystrach

Antoine Wystrach is a passionate researcher, biologist by training, in love with neurosciences and evolutionary biology.

He completed his PhD at CRCA, studying ant navigation in the field. After a few years in the United Kingdom modeling the brain and behavior of insects during his post-doctorate, he joined the CRCA as a CNRS researcher.

Today, he studies ant navigation both in the lab and in the field using sophisticated tools such as virtual reality, 3D environments and neural network models...
Antoine's projects are currently supported by an ERC grant.

Congratulations Antoine !

Congratulations to Mathieu LIHOREAU, winner of an ERC Consolidator !

Mathieu Lihoreau
Mathieu Lihoreau – Photo © T. Gomez-Moracho

Mathieu and his collaborators biologists, engineers, modelers and ecologists will study the movement of pollinating insect populations (bees and bumblebees) under natural conditions to better understand and predict their impact on plant reproduction. They will develop a radar system to record the movements of hundreds of insects foraging over several kilometers. By coupling this system to robotic “plants”, the researchers will study how the structure of the landscape and the quality of available resources influence the choice of pollinators.

These experiments, unprecedented on a large scale, will allow the development of predictive models of pollinator movements and pollen flows, which will be tested on natural plant populations. On a longer term, this fundamental research may help to improve crop pollination or the conservation of declining plant or bee species, in a context of widespread environmental crisis.

Left: Trajectories of drones recorded by radar. Right: Bumblebees foraging on an artificial flower. (photo © T. Gomez-Moracho).

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Congratulations to Aurore Avarguès-Weber !

Aurore Avarguès-Weber, researcher at the CRCA-CBI, was awarded the CNRS Bronze Medal last night for her work on bee cognition.

This distinction rewards the first works of researchers who are specialists in their field. It also represents an encouragement by the CNRS to pursue well initiated and already fruitful research.

CRCA congratulates Aurore on this great award !










Congratulations to Claire Rampon !

Each year, the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (FRM) honours outstandingly talented researchers who dedicate their lives to reversing the disease front. On October 14, at the Collège de France in Paris, the FRM awarded 14 scientific and research prizes and 2 communication prizes.

The Scientific Awards recognize researchers who, through the originality of their professional careers, contribute to the progress of knowledge and advances in medical research today and tomorrow.

Claire Rampon, CNRS Research Director and Director of the CRCA, received the 2019 Marie-Paule Burrus prize. This Prize is intended to reward a researcher conducting research on neurodegenerative diseases.

Congratulations to Scarlett Howard !

Scarlett Howard, post-doctoral fellow under the direction of Aurore Avargues-Weber of the Giurfa/Devaud team, received the L’Oréal-Unesco Rising Talent Award for Women in Science 2019 !

Her project is to understand the intelligence of bees through virtual reality.

Scarlett is one of the five awarded women from Toulouse.


ERC Advanced Grant: Martin Giurfa awarded !

Martin Giurfa and his team

Through this competitive funding, the European Council Research supports and encourages the highest quality research in Europe, on the basis of scientific excellence.

Martin Giurfa is Exceptional-Class Professor in Neuroscience at Paul Sabatier University (Toulouse).

He was appointed in 2001 as the Director of the Research Center on Animal Cognition (CRCA, now part of the Center for Integrative Biology), a charge he occupied until the end of 2018 (he is now Deputy-Director of CRCA).

Martin created a world-leading research group dedicated to the study of how insects learn and adapt their behaviour to environmental challenges, and how this is supported by remodeling of their brain circuits.

In 2007, he was awarded a CNRS Silver Medal, as an acknowledgement of his outstanding career and scientific contribution to the field of integrative neurosciences.



See list of ERC Advanced Grant awardees



Aurore Avargues-Weber, bronze medal from the CNRS !


Aurore Avargues-Weber, a researcher at the Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition Animale (CRCA – CBI Toulouse), has just won the bronze medal from the CNRS.

The bronze medal is awarded for a first work dedicated to a researcher specialized in his field. This distinction represents an encouragement by the CNRS to pursue well initiated and already fruitful research.

More information (in french)




Basile COUTENS awarded at the “Workshops on Pharmacodependence and Addictovigilance”

His research, conducted in collaboration between B Guiard and M Lapeyre-Mestrede, (Pharmacoepidemiology Toulouse - INSERM UMR1027), focuses on the neurobiological effects and mechanisms of action of pregabalin, a molecule prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy, generalized anxiety or neuropathic pain. Pregabalin is under particular surveillance by health professionals due to an increasing number of cases of abuse.

Indeed, Basile has demonstrated in mice a potentially reinforcing effect of pregabalin without modifying the classic reward circuit, thus confirming the potential for abuse of pregabalin observed in humans. Basile Coutens' data suggest an original mechanism of action independent of the activation of dopamine neurons.

Basile Coutens

The CNRS-INSB Crystal Medal awarded to Gérard LATIL !

Gérard LATIL

This evaluation, conducted by the INSB, recognizes an ITA for his productive and dedicated career.

Gérard Latil is an assistant animal experimentation engineer at CRCA. He manages multiple species (arthropods and others) and is very involved in the implementation of original breeding methods for them.
It is also important to highlight his exceptional involvement in the popularization of science and the dissemination of knowledge at multiple levels of our society.

Congratulations to Gérard !