Continuing to present insect enthusiasts who are still interested or already more confirmed, Passion-Entomologie met an entomologist also captivated by terrariophilia and retrogaming – an area less explored by our blog -. Marius is 24 years old and has excellent knowledge acquired in the field and in the laboratory. Who knows, maybe you will meet him on some beautiful summer day in the Loire valley and its surroundings, around Angers, Candé or Mauges-sur-Loire, accompanied by his inseparable Nikon.
A big thank you to Marius, graduate of the Master 2 in Behavioral Ecology, Biodiversity and Evolution at the François Rabelais University of Tours (lien), for having accepted to answer with enthusiasm to the questions of Passion-Entomologie.
Marius is currently conducting work on parasitism in social insects…
Marius, how did you come this passion for entomology and photography ?
I’ve been passionate about insects and arthropods in general since I was a little boy
I’ve been passionate about insects and arthropods in general since I was a little boy in fact, I’ve never stopped lifting rocks or digging through grass in the hope of seeing something move. However, my passion had a real turning point when I started to raise arthropods of all kinds and from all horizons (beetles, ants and myriapods in terrariums invaded my room and the house!).
My passion for photography came later, with the acquisition of my first SLR (a Nikon D40 and its famous 18-55mm, a memory as vivid as ever!). The switch to macro photography then came naturally and allowed me to combine my pleasures.
Its website here.
What type of photographic material will accompany you in the field ?
I now use a Nikon D300 equipped with a Nikon AF-S 60mm micro f/2.8. The 60mm offers bokeh (ie artistic background blur) corresponding to my sensitivity: I attach a lot of importance to it, sometimes even more than to the subject that it values enormously and that it fits in a very aesthetic context. But I’ve always hesitated to take a Nikon 105mm AF VR f/2.8 for the comfort it offers. At 60mm it is sometimes complicated to photograph certain subjects, the distance between them and the lens can prove constraining…
Do you use a lot of photo editing and processing software? Which ?
Photoshop only serves me to calibrate my image and correct contrasts, but it rarely goes further : I try to stay as close as possible to the natural. The work is primarily in the field: in this sense, post-processing is, it seems to me, of interest only to sublimate the cliché.
I still work in RAW format to make up for some adjustment errors in the field if necessary. Digital offers the opportunity to hang many photos of the same subject and then select the best ones. Sometimes I stay a long time on an insect to photograph them under many different angles…well, when this one authorizes me !
Its website here.
You work frequently in your home region, Anjou : do you have some anecdotes about your entomological walks ?
My best entomological memories in Anjou are the many excursions I made with a friend to look for the famous kite lucan. It may sound simple, but our journeys through the forest, at nightfall or at dusk, armed only with a flashlight, remain excellent memories for me. To arrive on the ground and hear the males flying around the treetops is simply magnificent.
What “mythical” insects would you like to meet in nature, in Anjou or on more exotic trips ?
Hard to answer ! (laughs) Regarding my region, I would quote the rosalie (Rosalia alpina). In fact, I have only seen this longicorn once, near the Loire, west of Angers, and my wish would be to be able to photograph it in its natural environment, one evening or one morning at the first hour, when the light is so beautiful.
Otherly, but it is a more distant horizon, to observe the Dynastes hercules in its medium would be for me the absolute dream. I already had the chance to raise this giant (it was Dynastes hercules lichyi since Dynastes hercules hercules is protected in France).
What are the fields of entomology that attach you the most ?
The study of eusociality in insects first ! Hymenoptera and orthoptera are fascinating in their organization. Although they have already been studied a great deal, there is, of course, still a great deal to explore. The molecular approach opens new perspectives, such as the study of the role of genes in the evolution of sociality. Of course, through my studies I am also interested in all evolving issues. So when these are mixed with insects, they become doubly interesting!
You have just obtained a Master 2 in Behavioral Ecology, Biodiversity and Evolution in Tours: what are your ambitions for the future ?
I oriented my professional project to make my passion my profession. The research community attracts me a lot, I hope to become a researcher, engineer or teacher-researcher. One thing is clear in my mind anyway: I will work with arthropods !
Find Marius at these two addresses
In the same section, you can discover the interviews of
- David GIRON (entomologist-researcher CNRS – IRBI-Université de Tours)
- Henri-Pierre ABERLENC (entomologist – CIRAD)
- Nicolas MOULIN (independent entomologist)
- Patrice BOUCHARD (entomologist researcher – University of Ottawa)
- Bruno MERIGUET (Entomologist – Office Pour les Insectes et leur Environnement – OPIE)
- Adrian Hoskins (Internationally renowned Entomologist – Rhopaloceran Butterfly Specialist)
- Christophe Avon (Entomologist at LEFHE, Director of MAHN-86 and Founder of World Archives of Science – WAS)
- Pierre-Olivier Maquart (Entomologist specializing in African Cerambycidae and Amblypyges – Doctoral student at the University of Sterling)
- Yves Carton (Director of Research emeritus at CNRS – Author of”History of entomology – Relations between French and American biologists – 1830-1940“)
- Gérard Duvallet (Professor emeritus at the Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, researcher at the Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE)
- Pierre Kerner (Lecturer in Evolutionary Development Genetics at the University of Paris Diderot)