Vinciane Mossion

Research interests

My PhD research focuses on plant systematics, taxonomy and evolutionary processes promoting diversity using a fern species, Botrychium lunaria

B. lunariais a small circumboreal fern species of the Ophioglossaceae family. It occurs in a wide range of habitats mainly in open spaces such as meadows. Fifteen years ago, B. lunariaconsisted of only two subspecies (B. lunariasubsp. lunariaB. lunariasubsp. melzeri) but recent studies in North America and Western Europe revealed a much greater genetic diversity requiring the construction of a Lunaria clade known as the B. lunariaspecies complex. To date, there are seven accepted taxa with this species complex while four more are under investigation. 

My project aims to characterise the taxa relationships within the B. lunariaspecies complex on the global-scale distribution, acquiring data from uninvestigated regions such as Eastern Europe and Asia, and will highlight the evolutionary processes that led to their differentiation.  Many of the species are difficult to identify morphologically (e.g., cryptic taxa), and will require a multidisciplinary approach combining molecular phylogeny, geometric morphometrics and ecological niche modelling. 

Ultimately, this project will lead to the release of an identification key based on morphological and ecological traits to make our basic research accessible to non-specialists such as the public and workers involved in biodiversity management and conservation.


Teaching activities

Practicals of general botany and botanical excursions, B. Sc. biology.



March 2016 – present: PhD candidate, in the Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics, University of Neuchâtel. Project title: “Systematics and taxonomy of the Botrychium lunariaspecies complex (Ophioglossaceae)”

2015-2013: Research assistant, in the Earth and Life Institute Biodiversity (ELIB), Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. Project title: “Phylogeny and taxonomy of the genus Rhinanthus(Orobanchaceae)”. Teaching assistant in plant biology, physiology, systematics and molecular ecology.

2012: Scientific collaborator in the Natural History Museum of Aix-en-Provence (AIX), France. “Scientific valorization of botanical data and vulgarization of botanical collections”

2011-2009: M.Sc. in Ecology, Evolution, Biodiversity and Biometry, University Claude Bernard Lyon1, France. Master thesis: “Influence of environmental factors and phenotypic traits on the quality of Roe deer diet’s”

2009-2005: B. Sc. In Organism and Population biology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Limoges, France.

Vinciane Mossion

Assistante doctorante



+41 32 718 23 61

Bureau D318