Home » News » The habitat of the Crau Plain Grasshopper under the microscope #3

The LIFE SOS Crau Grasshopper project team is expanding during the first half of 2023, with the arrival of Manon SCHAAN, a student in the “Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution” Master’s programme at the University of Aix-Marseille, for a 6-month internship.

Manon Schaan – study on thyme 2023 © Lisbeth Zechner CEN PACA

Supervised by Lisbeth ZECHNER (CEN PACA) and Thierry DUTOIT (IMBE), she will study a common and emblematic plant of the coussoul: the thyme!

This study follows a previous study on the habitat of the Crau Plain Grasshopper, carried out by Martin MEYER in 2022, also a student, which identified a potential correlation between the presence of the Crau Plain Grasshopper and that of thyme on the same sites.

Manon’s mission is therefore to explore this hypothesis in several ways:

On the scale of the whole of the dry Crau, she will collect and analyse historical data in order to measure the evolution of the distribution and abundance of thyme in the Crau over the last few decades.
At the same time, she will carry out field surveys on specific points already studied in 2003.

Finally, she will concentrate on the study of thyme at the scale of the sites where the Crau Plain Grasshopper is present and the sites that are being considered for reintroduction, in order to try to define whether the latter are favourable to this very particular insect.

The team is therefore pleased to welcome her and to see her reveal some of the secrets of this beautiful plant, queen of the coussoul and of Provence!


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