• Hybrid Male Sterility in the fruitfly

    Setting up crosses using fruitfly transgenic males that carry a mini-white marker, which affects their eye pigmentation

  • Hybrid male sterility complementation

    Assessing fertility rescue in male fruifly sterile genotypes carrying candidate rescue alleles

  • Elucidating pheromone biosynthesis in the Pine caterpillar moth

    Cocoons and last instar larvae of Dendrolimus punctatus collected to study pheromone biosynthetic mRNA transcripts

  • Functional expression of insect pheromone biosynthetic enzymes

    Yeast-based expression system developped to study the biological activity of isolated biosynthetic gene transcripts in vitro

  • Investigating multi-components pheromone blend evolution

    Yponomeuta padella (Lepidoptera, Yponomeutidae) is a model species to study the evolution of mating signals

  • Investigating the Chemical Ecology of a solitary bee, Diadasia chilensis and its shelter orchid. Río de Clarillo, Chile.

  • Snapshot of the amazing insect diversity in morning sunshine, Rio de Clarillo Natural Reserve (Chile)

  • Pheromone producing structures of monotrysian and ditrysian female moths

    Biosynthetic delta11-desaturases are involved in pheromone production in primitive moths lacking differentiated gland structures

  • Understanding the evolution of sex pheromones with conjugated dienes from chemical ecology to molecular genetics

    Lasiocampids use conjugated dienes as pheromones

    and desaturase gene subfunctionalization accounts for their signals' complexity and diversification

  • Biosynthetic genes underlying multi-component pheromone production

    Field-collected small ermine moth caterpillars and pupae (Y. evonymella) allow studying pheromone biosynthetic genes

 Welcome and wishing you a nice exploration of the site!


Marjorie is a researcher in evolutionary biology currently working at Harvard University and the Broad Institute. The core theme of her research is the evolution of insect communication where she studies the molecular, functional and genetic basis of prezygotic and postzygotic reproductive isolation, and their ecological consequences. She is passionate by insects, and studies moths and butterflies, and the model fruitfly Drosophila.

She obtained her BSci and MS in Bioengineering from Gembloux Agro-Biotech, University of Liège in Belgium. She then moved to Sweden where she completed her PhD in Ecology in 2010 at the University of Lund in Christer Löfstedt's  research group. She then joined Daniel Hartl’s research group at Harvard to conduct research on the fruitfly as a VR and EMBO postdoctoral fellow. Marjorie recently joined Naomi Pierce's lab at Harvard in collaboration with the Broad Institute to study the genetic basis of insect sensory perception. She is a recipient of the 2016 Knut and Alice Wallenberg postdoctoral fellowship at the Broad Institute. 

Her PhD dissertation on the Evolution of mate signaling in moths combined biochemical, molecular and functional approaches to understand the biological activities of desaturase and reductase genes in multiple moth and butterfly taxa and retrace their evolutionary history. Marjorie notably developed and optimized in vitro assays using heterologous expression in yeast combined with GC-MS to identify the biological activity of dozens of biosynthetic enzymes, which served as a trigger to develop the pheromone brewery initiative led by Prof. Christer Löfstedt at Lund University, which further explores the potential of yeast and plants as mini-factories to produce environmentally friendly pheromone components to be used for pest monitoring. During her postdoc in the Hartl group, she worked with the fruitfly Drosophila and combined classical genetics, genomics and transgenics tools to identify loci responsible for post-zygotic incompatibilities that manifest in the form of male hybrid sterility between recently diverged fruitfly species, D. mauritiana and D. simulans


Contact Information

                Email: mlienard@fas.harvard.edu

Mailing address                                     Office address
Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge MA, 02138