The Alpine Marmot Project

Welcome to the Alpine Marmot Project

Sophie Lardy


PhD – ended in 2011



My research aims to better understand how social life has evolved. To this end, I study the relationship between the social context and individual performances, especilly in terms of survival and reproduction. During my PhD, I focused on the process of competition between individuals of the same sex in family groups.

I’m currently working as postdoctoral researcher at the CEFE in Montpellier.

Funding & Awards

Claude Leon Postdoctoral Fellowship, South Africa

National Grant of Ph.D., Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche

Darwin 200 Award, Society for the Study of Evolution

Field work support, Société Française d’Ecologie

Explora doc’, CMIRA Région Rhône-Alpes


Lardy S, Fortin D and Pays O. (2016) Increased exploration capacity promotes group fission in gregarious foraging herbivores. PLoS One, In press

Lardy S, Rey B, Salin K, Voituron Y and Cohas A. (2016) The beneficial effect of group size on oxidative balance in a wild cooperative breeder. Behavioural Ecology doi: 10.1093/beheco/arw114

Lardy S, Bonenfant C, Allainé D, Cohas A (2015) Sex-specific determinants of fitness in a social mammal. Ecology, 96 (11): 2947-59.

Dupont P, Pradel R, Lardy S, Allainé D and Cohas A (2015) Litter sex composition influences dominance status in Alpine marmots (Marmota marmota), Oecologia, 179 (3): 753-63

Ferrandiz-Rovira M., Lemaître J-F., Lardy S., López B.C., Cohas A. (2014) Do pre- and post-copulatory sexually selected traits covary in large herbivores? BMC Evolutionary Biology, 14: 1-9. pdf

Tafani M., Cohas A., Bonenfant C., Gaillard J.-M., Lardy S., Allainé D. (2013) Sex-specific senescence in body mass of a monogamous and monomorphic mammal: the case of Alpine marmots. Oecologia, 172:427–436. pdf

Lardy S., Allainé D. and Cohas A. (2013) Intrasexual competition and female dominance tenure in a singular breeding mammal, the Alpine marmot. Animal Behaviour, 86:1155–1163. pdf

Lardy S., Cohas A., Desouhant E., Tafani M., Allainé D. (2012) Paternity and dominance loss in male breeders : the cost of helpers in a cooperatively breeding mammal. PLoS One 7: e29508. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029508. pdf

Lardy S., Cohas A., Figueroa I., Allainé D. (2011) Mate change in a socially monogamous mammal: evidences support the “forced divorce” hypothesis. Behavioural Ecology, 22: 120-125. pdf

Conferences and invited seminars

Lardy S, Cohas A, Desouhant E, Tafani M, and Allainé D. (2012) Paternity and dominance loss in male breeder: The cost of helpers in a cooperatively breeding mammal, the Alpine marmot, SERL Ecology and Behaviour, 8ème rencontres, Chizé, France. Oral presentation.

Lardy S, Cohas A, Allainé D. (2011) The cost of helpers in cooperative breeders: mechanism and consequences of male-male competition in a cooperatively breeding mammal. ESEB, 13th congress, Tübingen, Germany. pdf

Lardy S, Cohas A, Allainé D. (2009) Divorce in a monogamous mammal, evidences supporting the “forced divorce” hypothesis. ESEB, 12th congress, Turin. pdf


Lardy S. (2009) Accès à la dominance et maintien de la dominance chez un mammifère à reproduction coopérative, la marmotte alpine, Marmota marmota. Centre d’Etude Biologique de Chizé. Invited by Dr. Chastel.

Lardy S. (2013) Evolutionary consequences of intra-sexual competition in social species. UMR Ecologie comportementale et biologie des populations de poissons, INRA, Saint-Pée sur Nivelle. Invited by Dr. Labonne.

Lardy S. (2013) Impact of sociality on fitness: insights from a long-term study of a wild mammal. CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos. Invited by Dr. Covas


Lardy S. (2012) Evolutionary consequences of intra-sexual competition in social species. the example of the Alpine marmot (Marmota marmota). Thèse de doctorat. Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon. pdf


” Head honcho” marmots with large gangs should watch their backs, says new study Feb 2012 – Field notes – Earthwatch Newsletter.