Timothy A Mousseau

Timothy A Mousseau
University of South Carolina | USC · Department of Biological Sciences

PhD - McGill University

About

312
Publications
107,310
Reads
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16,098
Citations
Introduction
Professor Mousseau’s formal training was in ecology and evolutionary biology with an emphasis on understanding how organisms adapt to seasonal environments. More recently, his research has focussed on the impacts of radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters on natural populations of animals, plants and microbes. Future directions include atomic bomb test sites and the space environment.
Additional affiliations
October 2019 - October 2020
NASA
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • SURA/LASSO/NASA Visiting Scientist with the plant radiation research group.
August 2014 - August 2015
Chubu University
Position
  • Visiting Professor
December 1999 - April 2000
Sorbonne Université
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Visiting Professor at Pierre et Marie Currie University sponsored by CNRS

Publications

Publications (312)
Article
Full-text available
Evidence that exposure to environmental pollutants can alter the gut microbiota composition of wildlife includes studies of rodents exposed to radionuclides. Antwis et al. (2021) used amplicon sequencing to characterise the gut microbiota of four species of rodent (Myodes glareolus, Apodemus agrarius, A. flavicollis and A. sylvaticus) inhabiting th...
Article
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The barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) poses a number of fascinating scientific questions, including the taxonomic status of postulated subspecies. Here we obtained and assessed the sequence variation of 411 complete mitogenomes, mainly from the European H. r. rustica, but other subspecies as well. In almost every case, we observed subspecies-specific...
Chapter
Geographical variation refers to differences among populations in genetically based traits across the natural geographic range of a species. Understanding the factors that create and maintain geographical variation helps elucidate the causes of evolution. In the simplest case, we divide these factors into purely genetic versus environmental compone...
Preprint
Insights into the evolution of non-model organisms are often limited by the lack of reference genomes. As part of the Vertebrate Genomes Project, we present a new reference genome and a pangenome produced with High-Fidelity long reads for the barn swallow Hirundo rustica. We then generated a reference-free multialignment with other bird genomes to...
Article
Full-text available
Sperm quantity and quality are key features explaining intra- and interspecific variation in male reproductive success. Spermatogenesis is sensitive to ionizing radiation and laboratory studies investigating acute effects of ionizing radiation have indeed found negative effects of radiation on sperm quantity and quality. In nature, levels of natura...
Article
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Environmental disasters offer the unique opportunity for landscape-scale ecological and evolutionary studies that are not possible in the laboratory or small experimental plots. The nuclear accident at Chernobyl (1986) allows for rigorous analyses of radiation effects on individuals and populations at an ecosystem scale. Here, the current state of...
Article
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• Camera traps have become an extensively utilized tool in ecological research, but the manual processing of images created by a network of camera traps rapidly becomes an overwhelming task, even for small camera trap studies. • We used transfer learning to create convolutional neural network (CNN) models for identification and classification. By u...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic stressors, such as radioactive contaminants released from the Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi accidents, deteriorate ecological and evolutionary processes, as evidence for damaging effects of radioactive contamination on wildlife is accumulating. Yet little is known about physiological traits of animals inhabiting contaminated areas,...
Article
Full-text available
Species identity is thought to dominate over environment in shaping wild rodent gut microbiota, but it remains unknown whether the responses of host gut microbiota to shared anthropogenic habitat impacts are species‐specific or if the general gut microbiota response is similar across host species. Here, we compare the influence of exposure to radio...
Article
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Dogs were frequently employed as laboratory subjects during the era of atomic bomb testing (1950–1980), particularly in studies used to generate predictive data regarding the expected effects of accidental human occupational exposure to radiation. The bulk of these studies were only partly reported in the primary literature, despite providing vital...
Preprint
Point 1: Camera traps have become an extensively utilized tool in ecological research, but the processing of images created by a network of camera traps rapidly becomes an overwhelming task, even for small networks. Point 2: We used transfer training to create convolutional neural network (CNN) models for identification and classification. By utili...
Article
Full-text available
The present study concerns arthropod populations in two different environments, cultivated and natural regions of Djanet. We conducted qualitative and quantitative surveys over two seasons (summer and winter). Three sampling methods were used: pitfall traps, sweep nets, and yellow pan traps. Overall, 4480 individual arthropods were captured represe...
Article
Full-text available
Let me express our gratitude for Dr K€ orblein's interest and deep analysis of our article. The authors have tried to answer every comment, that were very helpful to us. A few words about the methods of mathematical statistics that we use for analysis. Initially, many of our analyzes used linear regression, Poisson regression, quadratic and other t...
Article
Full-text available
Vertebrate gut microbiota provide many essential services to their host. To better understand the diversity of such services provided by gut microbiota in wild rodents, we assembled metagenome shotgun sequence data from a small mammal, the bank vole Myodes glareolus (Rodentia, Cricetidae). We were able to identify 254 metagenome assembled genomes (...
Article
Full-text available
1. Gut microbiota play an important role in host health. Yet, the drivers and patterns of microbiota imbalance (dysbiosis) in wild animals remain largely unexplored. 2. One hypothesised outcome of stress on animal microbiomes is a destabilised microbial community that is characterised by an increase in inter-individual differences compared with mic...
Article
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We re-analyzed field data concerning potential effects of ionizing radiation on the abundance of mammals collected in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ) to interpret these findings from current knowledge of radiological dose–response relationships, here mammal response in terms of abundance. In line with recent work at Fukushima, and exploiting a c...
Article
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Background: Ionizing radiation and chemical pollution can disrupt normal embryonic development and lead to congenital malformations and fetal death. We used official government statistical data for 2000–2017 to test the hypothesis that radioactive and chemical pollutants influenced the frequency of de novo congenital malformations in newborns of th...
Article
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This study uses population genomic data to estimate demographic and selection parameters in two sister lineages of the wild yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus and compare their evolution. We first estimate nucleotide and recombinational diversities in each of the two lineages to infer their population size and frequency of sex and then analyse the rate...
Article
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Perhaps the main factor determining success of space travel will be the ability to control effects of ionizing radiation for humans, but also for other living organisms. Manned space travel will require the cultivation of food plants under conditions of prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation. Although there is a significant literature concerning...
Article
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The long‐term contamination that followed the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl provides a case study for the effects of chronic ionizing radiation on living organisms and on their ability to tolerate or evolve resistance to such radiation. Previously, we studied the fertility and viability of early developmental stages of a castrating plant pathogen,...
Article
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Mitochondria are sensitive to oxidative stress, including that derived from ionizing radiation. To quantify the effects of exposure to environmental radionuclides on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) dynamics in wildlife, bank voles (Myodes glareolus) were collected from the chernobyl exclusion zone (CEZ), where animals are exposed to elevated levels of ra...
Chapter
Full-text available
Historically, radioecology is a branch of radiation biology that focuses on the movement of radionuclides through the biosphere and thereby affects ecological processes, but also the composition and the functioning of ecosystems. Modern radioecology has expanded to include studies of the consequences of radiation for biological processes (e.g., ada...
Article
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Nuclear accidents underpin the need to quantify the ecological mechanisms which determine injury to ecosystems from chronic low-dose radiation. Here, we tested the hypothesis that ecological mechanisms interact with ionizing radiation to affect natural populations in unexpected ways. We used large-scale replicated experiments and food manipulations...
Article
The effects of ionizing radiation on living beings have been studied under lab conditions and in the field. The first approach may often lack in realism, while the second may lack rigorous experimental approaches. Because ionizing radiation may interact with other stressors such as heavy metals and climatic conditions, it is difficult to assess the...
Article
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Telomeres, the protective structures at the ends of chromosomes, can be shortened when individuals are exposed to stress. In some species, the enzyme telomerase is expressed in adult somatic tissues, and potentially protects or lengthens telomeres. Telomeres can be damaged by ionizing radiation and oxidative stress, although the effect of chronic e...
Article
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This article presents the results of a workshop held in Stirling, Scotland in June 2018, called to examine critically the effects of low-dose ionising radiation on the ecosphere. The meeting brought together participants from the fields of low- and high-dose radiobiology and those working in radioecology to discuss the effects that low doses of rad...
Article
Soil is inhabited by a range of microbes, invertebrates and vertebrates that disintegrate and decompose dead wood and leaf litter. These communities can be perturbed by ionizing radiation from natural radiation sources or from radiation originating from nuclear accidents such as those at Chernobyl, Fukushima and Three Mile Island. We used experimen...
Article
Full-text available
Gut microbiota composition depends on many factors, although the impact of environmental pollution is largely unknown. We used amplicon sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes to quantify whether anthropogenic radionuclides at Chernobyl (Ukraine) impact the gut microbiome of the bank vole Myodes glareolus. Exposure to elevated levels of environmenta...
Article
Ionizing radiation from nuclear accidents at Chernobyl, Fukushima and elsewhere has reduced the abundance, species richness and diversity of ecosystems. Here we analyzed the taxonomic, functional and evolutionary diversity of bird communities in forested areas around Chernobyl. Species richness decreased with increasing radiation, mainly in 2007. F...
Article
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Filmmaker Ian Thomas Ash and biologist Timothy A. Mousseau have orbited one another in the courses of their fieldwork in and around Fukushima, Japan, since 2011. One traces human stories; the other tracks signs of biological change in wildlife. Both had investigated questions about the exposure of bodies to radiation. Their paths crossed at a works...
Article
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Exposure to ionizing radiation (IR) from radionuclides released into the environment can damage DNA. An expected response to exposure to environmental radionuclides, therefore, is initiation of DNA damage response (DDR) pathways. Increased DNA damage is a characteristic of many organisms exposed to radionuclides but expression of DDR genes of wildl...
Article
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In Chernobyl, chronic exposure to radioactive contaminants has a variety of deleterious effects on exposed organisms, including genetic damage and mutation accumulation. However, the potential for such effects to be transmitted to the next generation is poorly understood.We captured lesser marsh grasshoppers (Chorthippus albomarginatus) in the Cher...
Article
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The abundance and the presence of common cuckoos Cuculus canorus have been shown to pre- dict species richness of birds across Europe, while there are no such analyses available for other continents where species richness of parasitic cuckoos is larger. Here, we tested whether species richness of birds increased with the number of cuckoo species in...
Chapter
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Given increasing energy needs related to global development, and the spectre of climate change related to carbon dioxide (CO 2) emissions from fossil fuels, there is an urgent need for large-scale energy production that does not involve the production of greenhouse gases. Nuclear energy is one possible solution that has been embraced by developing...
Article
Premise of research. Low-dose ionizing radiation (LDIR) can generate deleterious mutations that may have significant negative impact on life-history traits. Methodology. Here we quantified the germination rate of seeds of 25 species of plants from multiple sampling locations at Chernobyl when grown under similar (controlled, nonirradiated, common...
Article
Background Environmental pollution in general, and radioactive contamination in particular, may deeply affect host-parasite relationships and their consequences for the evolution of organisms. The nuclear accident that occurred more than 30 years ago in Chernobyl resulted in significant changes in diversity and richness of microbial communities tha...
Article
We studied the abundance of the common cuckoo Cuculus canorus L. little cuckoo Cuculus poliocephalus L. and Asian cuckoo Cuculus saturatus L. and avian top predators as indicators of bird species richness (surrogate of biodiversity) in disturbed environments caused by radioactive contamination in Chernobyl, Ukraine and Fukushima, Japan, comparing t...
Article
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Wiregrass (Aristida beyrichiana) is a dominant groundcover species that facilitates fire in southeastern U.S.A. pine savannas, thereby limiting woody plant cover and maintaining a herbaceous dominated understory. In December 1993 two of us planted a plot of wiregrass (Aristida beyrichiana) in the midst of fire-maintained little bluestem (Schizachyr...
Article
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Radioactivity released from disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima is a global hazard and a threat to exposed biota. To minimize the deleterious effects of stressors organisms adopt various strategies. Plants, for example, may delay germination or stay dormant during stressful periods. However, an intense stress may halt germination or heavily affe...
Chapter
Full-text available
An international research team has analyzed their own studies and data available from the literature concerning the biological effects of chronic or acute exposure to ionizing radiation (IR) on humans and biota as a consequence of the Chernobyl accident. Mechanisms of their effects at the cellular, body, and population levels were studied and compa...
Article
Full-text available
Microorganisms have shaped the evolution of a variety of defense mechanisms against pathogenic infections. Radioactivity modifies bacterial communities and, therefore, bird hosts breeding in contaminated areas are expected to adapt to the new bacterial environment. We tested this hypothesis in populations of barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) from a g...
Article
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In April and August 2015, two major fires in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ) caused concerns about the secondary radioactive contamination that might have spread over Europe. The present paper assessed, for the first time, the impact of these fires over Europe. About 10.9 TBq of 137Cs, 1.5 TBq of 90Sr, 7.8 GBq of 238Pu, 6.3 GBq of 239Pu, 9.4 GBq...