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Staff photo Mehdi Cherif

Mehdi Cherif

I am an ecologist at the frontier between ecosystem and community ecology.



Works at

Associate professor (absent) at Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
KB. H4, Linnaeus väg 6, Umeå, A4.42.21 Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

I strive to better understand the links between the biological components of ecosystems and their physical and chemical components. In concrete terms, I investigate how the building blocks of ecosystems, essential elements such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus, affect feeding interactions among species. For example, it has been shown that herbivores feeding on plants that are overly rich in carbon face deficits in other elements, such as nitrogen, and grow poorly. I strive to extend this multi-element vision of ecology, an approach called ecological stoichiometry, from the study of pairwise species interactions to the study of food webs, the whole set of species feeding on each other. In practice, I am involved in a project looking into the stoichiometric effects of reindeers on the mineralization of nitrogen by soil microbes in the arctic. I also study various plant-insect interactions in the field (leaf-eating insects on mountain birch trees) and in the lab, using willows, aspen (Populus tremula×tremuloides) and chrysomelid beetle species (Chrysomela tremulae and Phratora vittelinae). Concurrently, I explore how physical forces that act on each and everyone, such as gravity and drag, affect feeding interaction between species, and thus shape food webs. I collaborate with researchers at McGill University in Montréal, Canada, the University of Bath, in the UK, and the CNRS Experimental Ecology Station in Moulis, France, on a project that explicitly incorporates the effects of physical factors on the parameters driving trophic interactions. We have developed models of food webs as they emerge from species that interact according to these physical rules. My long-term goal is to come with a better understanding of the role of physico-chemical factors in shaping food webs and ecosystems, past, present and future.

Research area
Marine ecology

Hydrobiologia, Springer 2021, Vol. 848 : 961-991
Arnott, Russell N.; Cherif, Mehdi; Bryant, Lee D.; et al.
Ecological Entomology, Wiley-Blackwell 2019, Vol. 44, (1) : 118-128
Metcalfe, Daniel B.; Cherif, Mehdi; Jepsen, Jane U.; et al.
Functional Ecology, Vol. 33, (2) : 323-334
Portalier, Sebastien M. J.; Fussmann, Gregor F.; Loreau, Michel; et al.
Functional Ecology, John Wiley & Sons 2019, Vol. 33, (7) : 1233-1242
Sitters, Judith; Cherif, Mehdi; Egelkraut, Dagmar; et al.
Global Change Biology, John Wiley & Sons 2018, Vol. 24, (8) : 3692-3714
Creed, Irena F.; Bergström, Ann-Kristin; Trick, Charles G.; et al.
Frontiers in Marine Science, Lausanne: Frontiers Media S.A. 2017, Vol. 4
Cherif, Mehdi; Faithfull, Carolyn; Guo, Junwen; et al.
Ecosystems (New York. Print), Vol. 20, (7) : 1266-1277
Sitters, Judith; te Beest, Mariska; Cherif, Mehdi; et al.
eLS, John Wiley & Sons 2016 : 1-6
Cherif, Mehdi
Oxford Bibliographies in Ecology
Cherif, Mehdi; Elser, James
PLOS ONE, Vol. 11, (6)
Cherif, Mehdi; Granados, Monica; Duffy, Sean; et al.
Ecological Modelling, Elsevier 2016, Vol. 323 : 41-50
Portalier, Sebastien M. J.; Cherif, Mehdi; Zhang, Lai; et al.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, Vol. 280, (1754) : 20122453-
Cherif, Mehdi; Loreau, Michel
Stoichiometry and Research – The Importance of Quantity in Biomedicine, InTech 2012 : 357-376
Cherif, Mehdi
Oikos, Wiley-Blackwell 2010, Vol. 119, (6) : 897-907
Cherif, Mehdi; Loreau, Michel
Oikos, WILEY-BLACKWELL 2010, Vol. 119, (5) : 752-765
Doi, Hideyuki; Cherif, Mehdi; Iwabuchi, Tsubasa; et al.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ROYAL SOC 2009, Vol. 276, (1656) : 487-497
Cherif, Mehdi; Loreau, Michel
American Naturalist, McGill Univ, Dept Biol, Montreal, PQ H3A 1B1, Canada. Ecole Normale Super, Biogeochim & Ecol Milieux Continentaux Lab, UMR 7618, F-75230 Paris 05, France.: UNIV CHICAGO PRESS 2007, Vol. 169, (6) : 709-724
Cherif, Mehdi; Loreau, Michel
Journal of Animal Ecology, Univ Grenoble 1, CNRS, UMR 5553, Lab Ecol Alpine, F-38041 Grenoble, France.: BLACKWELL PUBLISHING LTD 2004, Vol. 73, (1) : 109-116
Despres, Laurence; Cherif, Mehdi