Florence Bansept (LCB)
Mathematical modeling of the ecology & evolution of host-associated microbiota
March 2023 - present | CENTURI group leader
2019 - 2023 | Post-doctoral: Modeling of microbial communities, in the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön, Germany
2015 - 2018 | PhD in Biology: Biophysical modeling of bacterial population dynamics
& the immune response in the gut, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France
2013 - 2015 | Msc in Physics: Macroscopic physics and Complexity - with honors
École Normale Supérieure, International Center for Fundamental Physics, Paris, France
2012 - 2013 | Bachelor in Fundamental Physics, École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
Campus Joseph Aiguier
About her research
My research uses statistical physics and mathematical modeling to study biological systems. I am particularly interested in microbial communities that live in association with hosts, a.k.a. microbiomes, and aim at addressing a wide range of related questions, like:
How do hosts and microbes co-evolve?
How is the microbiota diversity maintained in the host?
What are the control mechanisms that the host can exert on its microbiota at minimal costs?
How can within-host microbial dynamics impact an infectious spread at the scale of the host population?
Can microbiota modeling provide valuable insights for clinical applications or to public health decision makers?
To study these questions, I use a combination of analytical and numerical techniques with stochastic simulations and collaborate and frequently exchange with experimentalists.
Research on microbiome dynamics presents specific challenges. As meta-omics enable the gathering of more and more observational data, mechanistic modeling – that is, modeling that proposes causal mechanisms to explain observed data – remains crucially needed. One key challenge that requires particular efforts and that I find particularly exciting is the inference of dynamical parameters from indirect snapshot data – a problem similar to the one of a detective having to reconstitute what has happened from the clues on the crime scene only.