Permanent staff




    Yoël Forterre (project Plantmove coordinator)




Short bio: Yoël Forterre is CNRS Research Director at IUSTI, Aix-Marseille University. After a PhD in Marseille on granular flows, he moves for a post-doc in Cambridge, UK, to study instability problems in thin elastic sheets in relation to plant movements. Since his entrance at CNRS, he develops research in two parallel directions on granular physics and plant biomechanics.  This ERC project aims at gathering this background to tackle new problems at the interface of soft matter physics and plant biophysics.

Personal webpage link:




Geoffroy Guena




Geoffroy Guena is Assistant Professor at IUSTI and Aix-Marseille University. He was trained as a soft matter physicist in the area of wettings, drops evaporation and mass transfer in complex fluids. He now conducts research on plant biomechanics and soft poroelastic media, in relation with long-distance signaling and plant mechano-perception.

Personal webpage link:



Bloen Metzger



Bloen Metzger is CNRS Researcher at IUSTI, Aix-Marseille University. His research concerns the flow of particles at low Reynolds numbers, sedimentation, sheared suspensions, mixing and granular flows. He is co-advising Cecile Clavaud’s PhD on the ERC Plantmove project on the role of friction in the flow of colloidal suspensions.

Personal webpage link:




Olivier Pouliquen




Olivier Pouliquen is CNRS Research Director at IUSTI, Aix-Marseille University. His research concerns the physics of granular materials and dense suspensions. Since a few years, he has started to study plant gravitropism both at the macroscopic and cellular level.

Personal webpage link:


PhD and post-doc


Antoine Bérut (post-doc)



Antoine Bérut did his Ph.D entitled "Fluctuations and Interactions of Brownian Particles in Multiple Optical Traps" at the Laboratoire de Physique de l'ENS de Lyon, with Sergio Ciliberto and Artyom Petrosyan, between 2012 and 2015. He studied questions related to stochastic thermodynamics, using optical tweezers as a tool to control micro-systems where thermal fluctuations cannot be neglected. He joined the ERC Plantmove project as a post-doc from September 2015 to Octobre 2017 where he works on the physics of gravity detection by plants, shear-thickening suspensions and the flow of Brownian granular media. He then moved at the Institute of Physics in Rennes for a one-year post-doc in the Isabelle Cantat's group. Since September 2018, he is Assistant Professor (Maitre de Conférence) at the University of Lyon and Institut Matière Lumière.

Personal webpage link :



Cécile Clavaud (PhD student)



Cécile Clavaud is a graduate from the Master Sciences de la Matière of the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (ÉNSL) and from the École des Mines de Saint-Étienne (EMSE, engineering degree). From september 2015 to July 2018, she was a PhD student funded by the ERC program Plantmove at the Institut Universitaire des Systèmes Thermiques Industriels (IUSTI) advised by Yoël Forterre and Bloen Metzger. Her PhD topic was the physics of shear-thickening in dense suspensions and the development of new pressure-imposed techniques to study the rheology of colloidal suspensions close to jamming. Cécile Clavaud is now post-doc at the Laboratory SIMM at ESPCI, Paris.

Link to Cécile Clavaud's PhD:

Personal webpage link :


Jean-François Louf (PhD student)



Jean-François Louf did his PhD at the IUSTI Laboratory between 2012 and 2015 with Geoffroy Guena and Yoël Forterre, in collaboration with Eric Badel at PIAF Laboratory. During his PhD, he identified a generic mechanism of hydraulic signals generation in plants, using a biomimetic approach. He did a first post-doc in Virginia Tech at the Sunny Jung’s lab to study fluid mechanics problems applied to living systems. He then went back in France one year to join Philippe Marmottant's team at LIPHY, Grenoble, and moved for one other year in Denmark to work with Kaare Jensen at DTU. He is now post-doc at Princeton in Prof. Datta's lab.  

Personal webpage link :



   Hugo Chauvet (post-doc)




Hugo Chauvet did his Ph.D at Institut de Physique du Globe in Paris under the upervision of François Métivier on the fluid mechanics of rivers in relation with sediment transport and erosion. He joined the ERC Plantmove project in 2017-2018 as post-doc to work on the physics of gravity detection in plants in collaboration with the MECA team at the PIAF laboratory, INRA Clermont-Ferrand. He is now post-doc at INRA and Synchrotron SOLEIL to develop optical tools to study various biophysics problems in plants.

Link to the MECA team's staff at PIAF, INRA:



   Aloïs de Rivas (post-doc)





Aloïs de Rivas did his Ph.D in IRPHE, a CNRS and Aix-Marseille University research laboratory under the supervision of E. Villermaux. He studied dense spray evaporation and worked on how living animals (moths) could detect an odor source (chemotaxis). He joins the ERC Plantmove project in October, 2017 as a post-doc, to work on the question of how does a mechanical stimulation act on plants growth (thygmomorphogenesis). He is interested on knowing if long-distance signalization could be an hydrodynamic pressure type of signal.




Jeongeun Ryu (post-doc)






Jeongeun Ryu joined as a Post-Doc at IUSTI, CNRS starting from July 2018. She did her Ph.D on the water transport in plants at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in South Korea. Her Ph.D. thesis “Hydrodynamics of embolism and sap flow regulation in xylem vessels of plants” was selected as the best thesis in the division of fluid mechanics of Korean Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2017. Now, she is working on the physics of rapid movements of plants and deployable soft actuators in the ERC Plantmove project.





   Coraline LLorens (post-doc)




Coraline Llorens did her PhD in the LPMC laboratory in Nice with Médéric Argentina and Xavier Noblin. She studied the biomechanics of two ultra-fast motions in plant kingdom: the spores ejection of the fern sporangium and the prey capture by the traps of Utricularia inflata, an aquatic plant. Then she did her first year post-doc in the ILM laboratory in Lyon with Christophe Pirat to work on drop impacts on a granular medium. She joins the ERC Plantmove project to investigate hydraulic signals in non-woody plants.




   Baptiste Darboix-Texier (post-doc)




Baptiste Darbois Texier completed his Ph.D at the Hydrodynamics laboratory of the École Polytechnique (LadHyX) under the supervision of Prof. Clanet on the ballistics of sports balls. Then, he joined the team of Prof. Dorbolo at University of Liege to study fluid flows induced by a phase change. After that, he realized a postdoc with Prof. Melo at the University of Santiago where he focused on the topic of locomotion into granular media. He joins the ERC Plantmove Project in February 2019 to study the behavior of  shear-thickening fluids in simple hydrodynamical configurations.



    Hugo Perrin (post-doc)




Hugo Perrin did his Ph.D in the PPMH laboratory (ESPCI - Paris 7) with Bruno Andreotti. He studied the dissipative mechanisms at the microscopic scale of dynamical wetting contact lines. He then studied hysteresis in suspensions as a Post-Doc, a collaboration between EPFL with Matthieu Wyart  and IUSTI with Yoël Forterre and Bloen Metzger. He joins the ERC Plantmove project in June 2019 to further investigate the flowing properties of suspensions with repulsive colloidal forces.

Administrative management and communication



Romain Teychene (European project manager)



After some professional years in real estate and financial structures, I started working in the field of Research and European Funds in 2012 within OSEO (now BPI France) in charge of setting up and monitoring of programs receiving FEDER (European Regional Development Fund). Then, wishing to diversify my career, I had the opportunity to work in Switzerland within the EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) on projects benefiting from European aid as part of FP7. Attached to my region, and after this experience abroad, I returned to Marseille where I currently work as European project manager for ERC PLANTMOVE led by the principal investigator Yoel Forterre.





Karine Boudoyan (Scientific Information Manager)



Karine Boudoyan has worked in academic and research libraries for 15 years. She is currently chief librarian and webmaster at IRPHE, a CNRS and Aix-Marseille research laboratory. She provides access to and promote the discovery and use of local and external scientific information resources. She holds a master's degree in information management from the University Paul Valery (Montpellier, France).



We have built a strong collaboration with researchers from the MECA team of the PIAF laboratory (INRA/Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand) on several topics covered by the project:

Eric Badel works on the mechanics and hydraulics of wood. He recently put in evidence the existence of hydraulic pulses induced by bending in trees (Lopez et al 2014) and is fully involved in the part of the project on the role of poroelastic coupling in long-distance signaling (WP1).

Bruno Moulia works on how the shape and biomechanics of plants is controlled by external stimuli like wind or gravity. He recently proposed a unifying growth model of shoot gravitropism (Bastien et al 2013) and work with us on plant gravitropism (WP2).

Personal webpage link :

Valérie Legué works on how roots sense and perceive gravity using microscopy approaches which combines  molecular biology and biomechanics models. She is involved in WP2 on plant gravitropism.

Personal webpage link :

MECA team's website: