The Alpine Marmot Project

Welcome to the Alpine Marmot Project

Mariona Ferrandiz-Rovira



Post-doctoral position (research and teaching)


tel. : +34 93 581 29 34

CREAF and UAB – BABVE Department

Campus de Bellaterra (UAB) Edifici C
08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès (Catalonia)


Current projects

I am still working with the Alpine marmot at both French Alps and Catalan Pyrennes (Marmot project). I also participate on a capture-mark-recapture program of the southernmost Iberian population of edible dormouse (Glis glis) with El Museu de Ciències Naturals de Granollers and on the role of vertebrates in woody species dispersion and forest assembly in new Catalan forests (FORASSEMBLY project).

As a university teacher I continuously work to improve my teaching skills (see my teaching dossier)

PhD: The role of the major histocompatibility complex in the wild: the case of the Alpine marmot (Marmota marmota). Thèse de doctorat. Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon. pdf

My thesis was focused on the study of the role of the Major Histocompatibilat Complex (MHC) in the wild using the alpine marmot (Marmota marmota) as a biological model. This thesis had as a main objective the understanding of the causes and consequences of the genetic diversity of the MHC, an important field of research in evolutionary biology, ecology, epidemiology and conservation. To carry out this thesis I reliably sequenced a large number of individuals (> 1000) at 4 MHC loci using next generation sequencing techniques and I developed a free software and available online that can be used for almost any biological model and genetic system.




2011-2015 PhD Degree at Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (France)
2010-2011 Masters in Terrestrial Ecology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Catalonia)
2004-2009 Degree in Biology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Catalonia)


PhD supported by two scholarships:
– Obra Social Fundació “La Caixa” for postgraduate studies (october 2011 – september 2013)
– VetAgrosup (October 2013 – March 2015)
Master’s degree supported by a scholarship:
– Becas de movilidad Ministerio de Educación (February-June 2011)
Training course at the Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive (Lyon, France) supported by a scholarship:
– Becas Argo (April-September 2010)


Ferrandiz-Rovira, M., Freixas L., Torre I., Míguez S., Arrizabalaga A. (2016) Male-biased litter sex ratio in the southernmost Iberian population of edible dormouse: a strategy against isolation? Animal Biology, 66: 415–425 pdf

Ferrandiz-Rovira M., Allainé D., Callait-Cardinal MP. and Cohas A. (2016). Mate choice for neutral MHC genètic characteristics in Alpine marmots: diferent targets in different contexts? Ecology and Evolution, 6:4243-4257. pdf

Bichet C., Sauzet S., Averty L., Dupont P., Ferrandiz-Rovira M., Ferrari C., Figueroa I., Tafani M., Rézouki C., López BC., and Cohas, A. (2016). Multiple geographic origins and high genetic differentiation of the Alpine marmots reintroduced in the Pyrenees. Conservation Genetics, 17: 1157–1169. pdf

Ferrandiz-Rovira, M., T. Bigot, D. Allainé, M-P. Callait-Cardinal and A. Cohas. (2015). Large-scale genotyping of highly polymorphic loci by next-generation sequencing: how to overcome the challenges to reliably genotype individuals? Heredity, 114: 485-493. pdf

Ferrandiz-Rovira, M., J-F. Lemaître, S. Lardy, B. Claramunt-Lopez and A. Cohas. (2014). Do pre- and post-copulatory traits covary in large herbivores? BMC Evolutionary Biology 14:79. pdf

Arnan X., Ferrandiz-Rovira M., Pladevall C., Rodrigo A. (2011) Worker size-related task partitioning in the foraging strategy of a seed-harvesting ant species, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobioliology, 65: 1881-1890. pdf

Llenas, M., Madurell-Malapeira, J., Nebot, M., González-Mateos, J., Susanna, I., Hernández-Ruiz, T., Pladevall, C., Ferrandiz-Rovira M., Hernández-Martínez, R. (2011) La grotte de vida tripa: a new middle pleistocene locality in south-eastern france, XXVII Jornadas de la Sociedad Española de Paleontología. pdf


Freixas L., S. Míguez, M. Ferrandiz-Rovira, I. Torre, and A. Arrizabalaga. 2016. Monitorització  de  les  poblacions  de  liró  gris  (Glis  glis)  en  zones  de   roureda mixta al Montseny (2012-2016). IX Trobada d’Estudiosos del Montseny. November 17th – 18th. Oral communication

Ferrandiz-Rovira, M., I. Torre, S. Míguez, A. Arrizabalaga and L. Freixas. 2016. Do local habitat and mother characteristics bias offspring sex ratio in  the most southern edible dormouse (Glis glis) populations of the Iberian Peninsula? 12th Ecology and Behaviour, SERL, Lyon, France. June 27th – July 1st. Oral communication. pdf

Ferrandiz-Rovira, M., Cohas A, Allainé D. and Callait-Cardinal M-P. Specific alleles of the major histocompatibility complex (mhc) class ii and age influence prevalence or abundance of intestinal parasites in alpine marmots (Marmota marmota). World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP), Liverpool, UK, August 16th – 20th. pdf

Ferrandiz-Rovira, M., Bigot T., Allainé D., Callait-Cardinal M-P., Radwan J. and Cohas A. (2013). Large-scale genotyping by next generation sequencing: how to overcome the challenges to reliably genotype individuals? 2nd Colloque Génomique Environnementale, Rennes, France, November 4th – 6th.pdf

Ferrandiz-Rovira, M., J-F. Lemaître, S. Lardy, B. Claramunt-Lopez and A. Cohas. (2012) Evolutionary trade-off between weapon length and sperm size in large herbivores. 8th Ecology and Behaviour,SERL in Chizé (France).

Arnan, X., Ferrandiz-Rovira, M., Pladevall, C., Rodrigo, A. (2011) Partición de tareas asociada al tamaño de las obreras en la estrategia de forrajeo de una especie de hormiga granívora. VI Congreso Ibérico de Mirmecología, TAXOMARA (Catalonia).


Investigación y Ciencia (2017) Marmotas alpinas 02/2017

UAB Divulga (2016) Reintroducing the alpine marmot into the Pyrenees 16/11/2016

El punt avui (2016) Les marmotes s’assenten al Pirineu tot i la trava genètica 26/07/2016

La Vanguardia (2016)2016_07_24_La_Vanguardia  La marmota se acomoda en el Pirineo 24/07/2016

El 9 nou (2016) Examen a la marmota del Ripollès 15/07/2016

La Veu de Sant Joan (2016) El @CREAF_ecologia i la @UAB han pogut determinar la procedència de les marmotes del Pirineu @Marionafr 13/07/2016

Diari de Girona (2016) La reintroducció de l’espècie fa que les marmotes colonitzin tot el Pirineu 12/07/2016

La 2 Noticias (2016) La marmota infiel 30/05/2016

Naya A. (2016) CREAF Female marmots “cheat on” their male partners 30/05/2016

La Vanguardia (2016)  Las hembras de marmotas son infieles para evitar la consanguineidad 30/05/2016

Gonay A. (2014) Film: Des scientifiques dans la montagne

Dupuis F. (2013) ALPES NATURE : Vanoise, objectif marmotte !  Alpes Magazine, n°142. pdf