Homepage of Joël M. Durant

(Updated 17-Aug-17)


I am in a senior researcher and core member at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) a centre of excellence in the department of biosciences of the University of Oslo in Norway. My main working topic is to analyze the trophic interactions in regard to the environmental variability. I am looking particularly into the relationship between food abundance, time synchrony and reproductive success (to have more detail on my work see also my page at the CEES). I am fully involved in the marine research conducted at the CEES by running the monthly meetings. I wrote my PhD while in France at the Centre d’Écologie et Physiologie Energétiques (new name DEPE) in ecophysiology focusing on the energetic constraints put on the organisms by the environment during their annual cycle (reproduction, growth, wintering). During the same period and for seven years I was statutory teacher of biology and geology at different school levels.

I am Coordinator of MARmaED, Innovative Training Network (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action, grant agreement No 675997 for the period 2015-2019): www.marmaed.eu


Trophic interaction & Environmental variability


My research effort is mainly aimed at understanding the impacts of environmental variability on the population dynamics and phenology with special focus on marine populations and in an earlier life on seabirds. In other words I try to understand how population answer to these changes. I am particularly looking into the relationship between food abundance, time synchrony and reproductive success/recruitment. For this I am using historical time series analysis techniques. I used a significant part of my time studying ecosystem functioning using the match-mismatch hypothesis of David Cushing as a framework. I did this mainly on the Lofoten - Barents Seas system but also on the Southern Ocean and the Benguela Upwelling to give only two other systems.

I also address the question of the vulnerability of marine systems to environmental changes, using seabirds, which are among these ecosystems' main top consumers, as indicators.

I also study how climatic changes, expressed by different factors (weather package such as North Atlantic Oscillation, or Sea temperature…), influence different parameters of the food chain to which the seabird (e.g., Atlantic puffin Fratercula arctica, king penguin Aptenodytes patagonica) is the top predator. In this context, I studied three trophic levels: the plankton, the forage fish available for the seabird (e.g. Herring Clupea harengus for the puffin) and the seabird. Recently I broadened my scope with studies on other food chains such as fish-pelagic fish-plankton.


keywords : Predator-prey interactions, Life histories, Phenology, Ecological modelling




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Durant J.M. & Hjermann D.Ø. 2017. Age-structure, harvesting and climate effects on population growth of Arcto-boreal fish stocks. Marine Ecology Progress Series  577: 177–188  https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12210http://www.int-res.com/fileadmin/images/oa.jpg

Langangen Ø., Ohlberger J., Stige L.C., Durant J.M., Ravagnan E., Stenseth N.C., Hjermann, D.Ø. 2017. Cascading effects of mass mortality events in Arctic marine communities Global Change Biology 23: 283–292http://www.int-res.com/fileadmin/images/oa.jpg



Feng J., Durant J.M., Stige L.C., Hessen D.O., Hjermann D.Ø., Zhu L., Llope M., Stenseth N.C. 2015. Contrasting correlation patterns between environmental factors and chlorophyll levels in the global ocean. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 29(12): 2095- 2107.

Stenseth N.C., Durant J.M., Fowler M.S., Matthysen E., Adriaensen F., Jonzén N., Chan K.-S., Liu H., De Laet J., Sheldon B.C., Visser M.E., Dhondt A.A. 2015. Testing for effects of climate change on competitive relationships and coexistence between two bird species. Proceedings of Royal Society, B, London.  282(1807): 20141958 https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.1958


Paasche Ø., Österblom H., Neuenfeldt S., Bonsdorff E., Brander K., Conley D.J., Durant J.M., Eikeset A.M., Goksøyr A., Jónsson S., Kjesbu O.S., Kuparinen A., Stenseth N.C. 2015. Connecting the Seas of Norden. Nature Climate Changes 5: 89-92


Feng J., Stige L.C., Durant J.M., Hessen D.O., Zhu L., Hjermann D.Ø., Llope M., Stenseth N.C. 2014. Large-scale season-dependent effects of temperature and zooplankton on phytoplankton in the North Atlantic. Marine Ecology Progress Series 502: 25-37

Durant, J.M., Skern-Mauritzen, M., Krasnov, Y.V., Nikolaeva, N.G., Lindstrøm, U., Dolgov, A. 2014. Temporal Dynamics of Top Predators Interactions in the Barents Sea. PLoS ONE 9, e110933. http://www.int-res.com/fileadmin/images/oa.jpg

Durant. J.M. 2014. Trophic interactions and environmental variability. Thesis. Habilitation in Sciences from the University of Strasbourg, France


Stige, L.C., Dalpadado, P., Orlova, E., Boulay, A.-C., Durant, J.M., Ottersen, G., Stenseth, N.C. 2013. Spatiotemporal statistical analyses reveal predator-driven zooplankton fluctuations in the Barents Sea. Progress in Oceanography 120: 243-253

Chambers, L.E., Altwegg, R., Barbraud, C., Barnard, P., Beaumont, L.J., Crawford, R.J.M., Durant, J.M., Hughes, L., Keatley, M.R., Low, M., Morellato, P.C., Poloczanska, E.S., Ruoppolo, V., Vanstreels, R.E.T., Woehler, E.J., Wolfaardt, A.C. 2013. Phenological Changes in the Southern Hemisphere. PLoS ONE 8:e75514http://www.int-res.com/fileadmin/images/oa.jpg

Durant, J.M., Hjermann, D.Ø. & Handrich, Y. 2013. Diel feeding strategy during breeding in male Barn Owls (Tyto alba). Journal of Ornithology. 154, 863-869

Durant, J.M., Hjermann, D.Ø., Falkenhaug, T., Gifford, D.J., Naustvoll, L.-J., Sullivan, B.K., Beaugrand, G. & Stenseth, N.C. 2013. Extension of the match-mismatch hypothesis to predator-controlled systems. Marine Ecology Progress Series 474: 43-52

       THEME SECTION: Harvested fish stocks in a changing environment http://www.int-res.com/fileadmin/images/oa.jpg

Durant, J.M., Ottersen, G. & Stenseth, N.C. 2013. Impacts of climate and fisheries on sub-Arctic stocks. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 480, 199-203 http://www.int-res.com/fileadmin/images/oa.jpg

Ottersen, G., Stige, L.C., Durant, J.M., Chan, K.-S., Rouyer, T.A., Drinkwater, K.F. & Stenseth, N.C. 2013. Temporal shifts in recruitment dynamics of North Atlantic fish stocks: effects of spawning stock and temperature. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 480, 205-225 http://www.int-res.com/fileadmin/images/oa.jpg

Durant, J.M., Hidalgo, M., Rouyer, T., Hjermann, D.Ø., Ciannelli, L., Eikeset, A.M., Yaragina, N. & Stenseth, N.C. 2013. Population growth across heterogeneous environments: effects of harvesting and age structure. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 480, 277-287 http://www.int-res.com/fileadmin/images/oa.jpg


Sabarros, P.S, Durant, J.M., Grémillet, D., Crawford, R.J.M. & Stenseth, N.C. 2012. Differential responses of three sympatric seabirds to spatio-temporal variability in shared resources. Marine Ecology Progress Series 468: 291-301

Durant, J.M., Krasnov, Y.V., Nikolaeva, N.G. & Stenseth, N.C. 2012. Within and between species competition in a seabird community: statistical exploration and modeling of time-series data. Oecologia 169, 685-694

Hidalgo, M., Rouyer, T.A., Bartolino, V., Cerviño, S., Ciannelli, L., Massuti, E., Jadaud, A., Fran Saborido-Rey, F., Durant, J.M., Santurtún, M., Piñeiro, C. & Stenseth, N.C. 2012. Context-dependent interplays between truncated demographies and climate variation shape the population growth rate of a harvested species. Ecography, 7, 637-649


                        Book chapter

Le Maho, Y., Durant J.M. 2011. Impacts of Climate Change on Marine Ecosystems. In: Vidas D, Schei PJ (eds) The World Ocean in Globalisation: Climate Change, Sustainable Fisheries, Biodiversity, Shipping, Regional Issues. Brill, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Leiden/Boston, p 133-146


Le Maho, Y., Saraux, C., Durant, J.M., Viblanc, V.A., Gauthier-Clerc, M., Yoccoz, N.G., Stenseth, N.C. & Le Bohec, C. 2011. An ethical issue in biodiversity science: The monitoring of penguins with flipper bands. Comptes Rendus Biologie, 334, 378-384.

Saraux, C., Le Bohec, C., Durant, J.M., Viblanc, V.A., Gauthier-Clerc, M., Beaune, D., Park, Y.-H., Yoccoz, N.G., Stenseth, N.C. & Le Maho, Y. 2011. Reliability of flipper-banded penguins as indicators of climate change. Nature, 469, 203-206.

Rouyer, T., Ottersen, G., Durant, J.M., Hidalgo, M., Hjermann, D.Ø., Persson, J., Stige, L.C. & Stenseth, N.C. 2011. Shifting dynamic forces in fish stock fluctuations triggered by age truncation? Global Change Biology. 17, 3046–3057.

Crawford, R.J.M., Altwegg, R., Barham, B.J., Barham, P.J., Durant, J.M., Dyer, B.M., Geldenhuys, D., Makhado, A.B., Pichegru, L., Ryan, P.G., Underhill, L.G., Upfold, L., Visagie, J., Waller, L.J. & Whittington, P.A. 2011. Collapse of South Africa’s penguins in the early 21st century. African Journal of Marine Science, 33(1), 139-156.


Durant, J.M., Crawford, R.J.M., Wolfaardt, A.C., Agenbag, K., Visagie, J., Upfold, L. & Stenseth, N.C. 2010. Influence of feeding conditions on breeding of African penguins – the importance of adequate local food supplies. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 420, 263-271


Durant J.M., Hjermann D.Ø., Frederiksen M, Charrassin JB, Le Maho Y, Sabarros P.S., Crawford R.J.M & Stenseth N.C. 2009. Pros and cons of using seabirds as ecological indicators. Climate Research 39 : 115-129 http://www.int-res.com/fileadmin/images/oa.jpg

Durant J.M., Gendner J.P. & Handrich Y. 2009. Behavioural and body mass changes before egg laying in the Barn Owl: cues for clutch size determination? Journal of Ornithology. 151, 11-17


Durant J.M., Hjermann D.Ø., Sabarros P.S. & Stenseth N.C. 2008. Northeast Arctic Cod population persistence in the Lofoten-Barents Sea system under fishing. Ecological Applications 18(3): 662-669

Durant J.M., Landys M.M. & Handrich, Y. 2008. Composition of the body mass overshoot in European barn owl nestlings (Tyto alba): insurance against scarcity of energy or water? Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology 178:563–571

Le Bohec C., Durant J.M., Gauthier-Clerc M., Stenseth N,C., Park Y.-H., Pradel R., Grémillet D., Gendner J.-P. & Le Maho Y. 2008. King penguin population threatened by Southern Ocean Warming. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.105(7): 2493 -2497

Cury P.M., Shin Y.-J., Planque B., Durant J.M., Fromentin J.-M., Kramer-Schadt S., Stenseth N.C., Travers M. & Grimm V. 2008. Ecosystem Oceanography: towards a balanced strategy for global change. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 26(6): 338-346


Durant J.M., Hjermann D.Ø., Ottersen G. & Stenseth N.C. 2007. Climate and the match or mismatch between predator requirements and resource availability. Climate Research 33(2): 271-283 http://www.int-res.com/fileadmin/images/oa.jpg 

Hjermann D.Ø., Melsom A., Ciannelli L., Dingsør G., Durant J.M., Eikeset A.M., Røed L.P., Ottersen G. & Stenseth N.C. 2007. Fish and oil in the Lofoten-Barents Sea system: a synoptic review of what is known and what is not known. Marine Ecology Progress Series 339: 283-299


Durant J.M., Anker-Nilssen T. & Stenseth N.C. 2006. Ocean climate prior to breeding affects the duration of the nesting period in the Atlantic puffin. Biology Letters 2: 628-631.

Criscuolo F., Bertile, F., Durant J.M., Raclot T., Gabrielsen G.W., Massemin, S. & Chastel, O. 2006. Body mass and Clutch size may modulate Prolactin and Corticosterone levels in Eiders. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 79(3): 514-521.


Durant J.M., Hjermann D., Anker-Nilssen T., Beaugrand G., Mysterud A., Pettorelli N. & Stenseth N.C. 2005. Timing and abundance as key mechanisms affecting trophic interactions in variable environments. Ecology Letters 8:952-958.

Stenseth, N.C., Mysterud, A., Durant J.M., Hjermann, D.Ø. & Ottersen. G. 2005. Uniting ecologists into a smooth, tasty and potent blend. Marine Ecology Progress Series 304: 289-292.


                        Book chapter

Durant J.M., Stenseth N.C., Anker-Nilssen T., Harris M.P., Thompson P. & Wanless S. 2004. Marine birds and climate fluctuation in North Atlantic. In Stenseth, N.C., Ottersen, G., Hurrell, J.W. & Belgrano, A. (eds).  Marine Ecosystems and Climate Variation: The North Atlantic, Oxford University Press, Oxford. pp. 95-105.


Durant J.M., Gendner J.P. & Handrich Y. 2004. Should I brood or should I hunt: a female barn owl’s dilemma. Canadian Journal of Zoology 82(7):1011-1016.

Cherel, Y. Durant, J.M. & Lacroix, A. 2004. Plasma thyroid hormone pattern in king penguin chicks: a semi-altricial bird with an extended posthatching developmental period. General and Comparative Endocrinology 136: 398-405.

Durant J.M., Anker-Nilssen T., Hjermann, D. & Stenseth N.C. 2004. Regime shifts in the breeding of an Atlantic puffin population. Ecology Letters 7:388-394.

Durant J.M., Massemin, S. & Handrich Y. 2004. More eggs the better: Egg formation in captive Barn Owls. Auk 121(1): 103-109.


Durant J.M., Anker-Nilssen T. & Stenseth N.C.2003 Trophic interactions under climate fluctuations: the Atlantic puffin as an example. Proceedings of Royal Society, B, London 270: 1461-1466.


Durant J.M. 2002. The influence of hatching order on the thermoregulatory behaviour of barn owl Tyto alba nestlings. Avian Science, 2: 167-173.


Gauthier-Clerc M., Le Maho Y., Gendner J.-P., Durant J. & Handrich Y. 2001. State-dependent decisions in long-term fasting king penguins, Aptenodytes patagonicus, during courtship and incubation. Animal Behaviour 62: 661-669. 


Durant J.M., Massemin S., Thouzeau, C. & Handrich Y. 2000. Body reserves and nutritional needs during laying preparation in barn owls. Journal of Comparative Physiology B. 170: 253-260.

Durant J. 2000. Energétique de la reproduction chez la Chouette effraie (Tyto alba). PhD thesis, University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France. (in French) 


Durant J.M. & Handrich Y. 1998. Growth and food requirement flexibility in captive chicks of the European Barn Owl (Tyto alba). Journal of Zoology 245: 137-145.