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Thierry Lodé (born 1956 in Tarbes) is a French biologist and professor of evolutionary ecology in a CNRS lab at the University of Rennes 1. He is also the vice president of a council for natural and biodiversity preservation, thus contributing to conservation biology. Lodé chiefly works to protect otters, polecats, minks, beavers, and amphibians.
His work deals mainly with sexual conflict, and stresses that sexuality appears as a confrontation between males and females. His work also focuses around the idea that "[n]o norms, no exclusive behaviors exist in natural sexuality but variations of sexual behaviors, from homosexuality to polygyny". He propounds the theory that as sexual conflict results in an antagonistic co-evolution, it leads to speciation.
Lodé has written more than 150 international scientific papers in English and four books. He is paraplegic due to a disease of the spinal cord (2005).
Thierry Lodé has studied supernormal stimuli in evolution and built a theory, based on the work of Konrad Lorenz, explaining that bilateral symmetry resulted from supernormal stimuli. Lodé said that bilateral symmetry is an essential characteristic of life. Most animals prefer to mate with sexual partners exhibiting symmetry, since symmetric traits are largely altered by growth and health and asymmetry often reveals a genetic or immune system, specifically MHC, problem.
Lodé argues that evolutionary divergences resulting from sexual conflict could lead to sympatric speciation. Believing that evolution is the best verifiable explanation for adaptation, he, like most scientists, opposes creationism, including intelligent design. Lodé also opposes some of the genetic conclusions of sociobiology and behavioral ecology, especially regarding kin selection, homosexuality, and sympatric speciation.
Lodé proposes that sexual conflict, as a new paradigm, provides valuable insight into evolutionary biology and refutes many of the widely used arguments for theories of sexual preference.
Rather than explaining that sex originated due to its reproductive advantages, Lodé, in his libertine bubble theory proposes that sex originated from an archaic gene transfer process among prebiotic bubbles without the prerequisite for reproduction.
Lodé is a nonconformist biologist, extolling a libertarian biology. He has also championed several radical human rights causes, particularly prison abolition. He supports freedom to access contraception, and is against the institution of marriage, both so to create equality between sexes and to end contemporary sexual taboos. He supported José Bové in his run during the 2007 French presidential election. He also collaborates on the weekly anarchist magazine Le Monde libertaire and the anarchist newspaper L'En-Dehors.
- Thierry Lodé Darwin et après ? Manifeste pour une écologie évolutive 2014 Eds Odile Jacobs, Paris
- Thierry Lodé La biodiversité amoureuse, sexe et évolution 2011 Eds Odile Jacob ISBN 978-2-7381-2640-5
- Thierry Lodé La guerre des sexes chez les animaux, une histoire naturelle de la sexualité 2006 Eds Odile Jacob ISBN 2-7381-1901-8 (Preface by Patricia Adair Gowaty, Distinguished Research Professor Odum School of Ecology University of Georgia)
- Thierry Lodé Les stratégies de reproduction des animaux 2001 Éditions Dunod Masson Sciences
- Thierry Lodé Génétique des populations 1998 Editions Ellipses
- Göran Arnqvist and Locke Rowe, Eds., "Sexual conflict", Princeton Univ. Press, 2005
- Thierry Lodé 2011 Sex is not a good solution for reproduction; the libertine bubble theory. Bioesay 33: 419–422
- Thierry Lodé "La biodiversité amoureuse, sexe et évolution" 2011
- Thierry Lodé "La guerre des sexes chez les animaux, une histoire naturelle de la sexualité" 2006
- Thierry Lodé "Les stratégies de reproduction des animaux" 2001 Éditions Dunod Masson Sciences
- Thierry Lodé 2011 Sex is not a good solution for reproduction: the libertine bubble theory. Bioessay 33: 419–432
- Thierry Lodé et al. 2004 Sex-biased predation by polecats influences the mating system of frogs. Proc Roy Soc 271 (S6):S399-S401
- Bifolchi A & Lodé Thierry 2005 Efficiency of conservation shortcuts: a long term investigation with otters as umbrella species. Biological Conservation 126: 523–527
- Thierry Lodé 2001. Genetic divergence without spatial isolation in polecat Mustela putorius populations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology.14 : 228–236