Philippe CHOLER – Senior researcher (DR) at CNRS

Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine
Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Univ. Savoie Mont Blanc, CNRS, LECA, F-38000 Grenoble
E-mail: philippe dot choler at univ-grenoble-alpes dot fr
Nationality: French. Age: 53

Research interest

My research aims at understanding the structure, dynamics and functioning of old-growth grasslands. I am particularly committed to the development of a whole-system approach examining the linkages between biodiversity, soil, climate, ecosystem functioning and human activities. More specificaly, my current research investigates the greening of high-elevation ecosystems including its spatial and temporal variability and its main drivers.


  • 2009.           Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches (HDR). University J. Fourier, Grenoble I, France.
  • 1999-2002. Ph.D. in Plant Ecology (with distinction). University J. Fourier, Grenoble I, France
  • 1990-1992. M.S. in Cellular & Molecular Biology. University Claude Bernard Lyon I & Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France
  • 1987-1989. B.S. in Physics and Mathematics. Lycée du Parc, Lyon, France

Professional employment

  • 2016-...       Senior Researcher (DR) at CNRS.
  • 2011-2016  Researcher (CR) at CNRS.
  • 2008-2009  Marie-Curie European Fellow (FP6 European Programme). CSIRO CMAR, Canberra, Australia.
  • 2003-2010  Assistant Professor. University J. Fourier, Grenoble I, France. Section CNU 67
  • 1993-2003  Lecturer (PRofesseur AGrégé). University J. Fourier, Grenoble I, France.

Current & past responsibilities in research management

  • 2020-...        French National Coordinator for eLTER, a European Research Infrastructure on Critical Zone and Social-ecological systems
  • 2015-2020   Director of the Research Department Particle physics, Astrophysics, Geosciences, Environment and ecology of the Univ. Grenoble Alpes
  • 2015-2020   Deputy Director of the Station Alpine J. Fourier in charge of research activities
  • 2013-2019   Director of the Zone Atelier Alpes, a Long Term Ecological Network (LTER) for the French Alps.


  • 2015-...        In charge of a field internship in alpine ecology for master students
  • 1993-...        Main lectures in Functional Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Ecosystem modeling. Computer lab using R.


  • 2021            Supervising two Ph.D students and managing three project engineers
  • 2003-2019   Supervision of 9 Ph.D. students and mentoring of more than 20 undergraduates.


Ongoing funded projects

  • 2021-2024 TOP Trajectories of agrO-Pastoral systems in mountains (a new ANR funded project)
  • 2019-2024  PASTORALP. A LIFE project on Pastures vulnerability and adaptation strategies to climate change impacts in the Alps

Main past funded projets (as Principal investigator)

  • 2017-2019 SENTINELLES DES ALPES : a long-term monitoring and research initiative on social-ecological systems of the French Alps (funded by Office National de la Biodiversité)
  • 2013-2016 ODYSSEE Opening new avenues to model the DYnamics of Species aSsemblages by integrating Ecology and Evolution: a case study from the mountain ecosystems of the Alps and the Carpathians (an ANR 'blanc international' funded project between France and Romania)
  • 2011-2013. CAMELEON: CArbon dynamics in Mountain Ecosystems: analyzing Landscape-scale Effects Of aNthropogenic changes (an ERA-NET Circle Mountain funded project).
  • 2011-2013. DIVGRASS: Plant Functional DIVersity of GRASSlands (an FRB-CESAB funded project).
  • 2011-2013. RETROMONT : Holocene history of high alpine watershed reconstructed from lacustrine sediments (a CNRS funded project).