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See detailUn autre regard sur la participation des écoles et des élèves à l’enquête du PISA
Raiche, Gilles; Béland, Sébastien; Magis, David ULg

Conference (2017, November 16)

Le Programme international pour le suivi des acquis des élèves (PISA) a pour objectif de produire des indicateurs sur les habiletés et les connaissances qui contribuent au succès des élèves, des écoles ... [more ▼]

Le Programme international pour le suivi des acquis des élèves (PISA) a pour objectif de produire des indicateurs sur les habiletés et les connaissances qui contribuent au succès des élèves, des écoles, des systèmes éducatifs et des environnements d’apprentissage (CMEC, 2015, p. 7). Depuis 2000, l’enquête du PISA est planifiée à tous les trois ans pour les élèves de 15 ans en ciblant spécifiquement les matières suivantes : la compréhension de l’écrit, la culture mathématique et la culture scientifique. Dans le cadre de la dernière passation, les résultats des Canadiens à cette enquête ont été salués dans l’ensemble du pays : les élèves se classent dans le groupe des pays les plus performants pour toutes les disciplines couvertes. Par contre, le taux de participation des écoles ainsi que les taux d’exclusions des élèves au regard de divers handicaps, qui pourraient éventuellement avoir un impact sur les résultats et le classement international, ont été critiqués à travers le pays. Cette présentation a comme objectif d’étudier le rendement des élèves canadiens au programme international des acquis scolaires (PISA) entre 2000 à 2015 en fonction de différentes caractéristiques relatives à la participation des écoles et au taux d’exclusion des élèves présentant certains handicaps. Des modèles de régression linéaire à niveaux multiples sont utilisés à cette fin. [less ▲]

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See detailConstructing A Green Circular Society
Attia, Shady ULg

in Moula, Munjur; Pekka, Oinas; Jaana, Sorvari (Eds.) et al Constructing A Green Circular Society (2017)

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See detailH0LiCOW VII: cosmic evolution of the correlation between black hole mass and host galaxy luminosity
Ding, Xuheng; Treu, Tommaso; Suyu, Sherry H. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017), 472

Strongly lensed active galactic nuclei (AGN) provide a unique opportunity to make progress in the study of the evolution of the correlation between the mass of supermassive black holes (M_BH) and their ... [more ▼]

Strongly lensed active galactic nuclei (AGN) provide a unique opportunity to make progress in the study of the evolution of the correlation between the mass of supermassive black holes (M_BH) and their host galaxy luminosity (L[SUB]host[/SUB]). We demonstrate the power of lensing by analysing two systems for which state-of-the-art lens modelling techniques have been applied to deep Hubble Space Telescope imaging data. We use (i) the reconstructed images to infer the total and bulge luminosity of the host and (ii) published broad-line spectroscopy to estimate M_BH using the so-called virial method. We then enlarge our sample with new calibration of previously published measurements to study the evolution of the correlation out to z ˜ 4.5. Consistent with previous work, we find that without taking into account passive luminosity evolution, the data points lie on the local relation. Once the passive luminosity evolution is taken into account, we find that black holes in the more distant Universe reside in less luminous galaxies than today. Fitting this offset as M_BH/L[SUB]host[/SUB] ∝ (1 + z)[SUP]γ[/SUP], and taking into account selection effects, we obtain γ = 0.6 ± 0.1 and 0.8 ± 0.1 for the case of M_BH-L[SUB]bulge[/SUB] and M_BH-L[SUB]total[/SUB], respectively. To test for systematic uncertainties and selection effects we also consider a reduced sample that is homogeneous in data quality. We find consistent results but with considerably larger uncertainty due to the more limited sample size and redshift coverage (γ = 0.7 ± 0.4 and 0.2 ± 0.5 for M_BH-L[SUB]bulge[/SUB] and M_BH-L[SUB]total[/SUB], respectively), highlighting the need to gather more high-quality data for high-redshift lensed quasar hosts. Our result is consistent with a scenario where the growth of the black hole predates that of the host galaxy. [less ▲]

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See detailLe graffiti ou la consubstantialité du médium et de la situation d’énonciation
Mathy, Adrien ULg

Conference (2017, October 12)

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See detailCaractérisation de disques de poussière exozodiacale par interférométrie stellaire en infrarouge proche et moyen
Marion, Lindsay ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Nous savons aujourd’hui que notre système solaire n’est pas un cas isolé dans la galaxie et qu’il pourrait potentiellement en exister des milliers d’autres. La recherche de ces systèmes est devenue un ... [more ▼]

Nous savons aujourd’hui que notre système solaire n’est pas un cas isolé dans la galaxie et qu’il pourrait potentiellement en exister des milliers d’autres. La recherche de ces systèmes est devenue un centre d’intérêt majeur de la recherche en astrophysique au XXIème. La présence de poussière chaude et tiède est étroitement liée à la présence de planètes dans un système stellaire. En effet, elle provient généralement de la formation du système planétaire, du dégazage de comètes, et de collisions d’astéroides, comme c’est le cas dans notre système solaire. Il est donc devenu primordial de détecter et caractériser la poussière tiède/chaude autour d’étoiles en séquence principale. L’intérêt de l’étude des disques de débris tièdes/chauds est double : d’une part, les détecter et les caractériser nous permet d’obtenir plus d’informations sur la formation d’un éventuel système planétaire et sur la dynamique du système (mécanisme de piégeage de la poussière, ré-approvisionnement du disque de poussière chaudes à partir d’un disque de poussière plus froide, plus éloigné, présence de planètes qui nettoient le disque interne, etc) ; d’autre part, les disques de débris tièdes/chauds peuvent complètement masquer une planète lors de tentatives de détection en imagerie directe. Il convient donc de les détecter pour discriminer ces étoiles pour les missions futures de détection d’exoplanètes par imagerie directe. Le présent travail vise à poursuivre l’étude des disques tièdes/chauds commencée au début des années 2000. Dans un premier temps, nous recherchons la présence de compagnon au sein de l’échantillon d’étoiles dédiées au programme de détection d’exozodis afin de fournir un échantillon non biaisé pour la recherche de disques de débris tièdes/chauds. Grâce aux détections de compagnons, nous révisons également la statistique d’étoiles binaires de type spectral A. Ensuite, dans un nouvel échantillon défini spécifiquement à cet effet, nous étudions la corrélation possible entre présence de poussière tiède et chaude. Nous arrivons à la conclusion qu’il existe une corrélation entre présence de poussière tiède et chaude et que la poussière tiède pourrait donc servir de réservoir à la poussière chaude. Toutefois, pour confirmer ce résultat, d’autres études devront être menées. Ensuite, nous résumons les avancées réalisées au LBTI et mettons en exergue les progrès réalisés sur la méthode statistique de traitement de données pour des observations de nulling. Enfin, nous étudions le système de beta Pic au travers d’observations dans l’infrarouge moyen réalisées avec MIDI. Cette étude nous permet de conclure qu’il n’y a pas de poussière tiède dans les zones internes (~ 1.5 UA) du disque de Pic et que la poussière chaude qui cause un excès en infrarouge proche est probablement alimentée par le dégazage de comètes envoyées dans le système stellaire interne par la planète se trouvant aux environs de 9 UA. [less ▲]

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See detailPhysical properties of L-type asteroids: a link to the primordial Solar System?
Devogele, Maxime ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

A few years ago, asteroid polarimetry allowed to discover a class of asteroids exhibiting peculiar phase polarization curves, collectively called "Barbarians" from the prototype of this class, the ... [more ▼]

A few years ago, asteroid polarimetry allowed to discover a class of asteroids exhibiting peculiar phase polarization curves, collectively called "Barbarians" from the prototype of this class, the asteroid (234) Barbara. All such objects belong to the L visible plus near infrared based taxonomic class. The anomalous polarization has been tentatively interpreted in terms of high-albedo, spinel-rich Calcium-Aluminum inclusions (CAI) that could be abundant on the surfaces of some of these asteroids, according to their spectral reflectance properties and to analogies with CO3/CV3 meteorites. Such CAIs are among the oldest mineral assemblages ever found in the Solar System. Barbarians' surfaces could therefore be rich in this very ancient material and bring information on the early phases of planetary formation. During this thesis, a systematic campaign for photometric, polarimetric and spectroscopic characterization has been conducted. These observation campaigns allowed improving our general knowledge about these peculiar asteroids and highlighting the link between polarization and polarimetric properties. Our observation also allowed discarding the hypotheses involving peculiar shape for these asteroids. However, as it was suggested, a link between the presence of CAI and the polarimetric response was found. Our observations show that the relative abundance of CAI is correlated with the polarimetric inversion angle. This is the first time that a direct link between polarimetric and spectroscopic properties is found. [less ▲]

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See detailCeci n'est pas de l'abolitionnisme. Le régime juridique de la prostitution : un surréalisme à la belge?
André, Sophie ULg

in Revue de la Faculté de Droit de l'Université de Liège (2017)

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See detailImprovement of battery life of iPhones Inertial Measurement Unit by using edge computing Application to cattle behavior
Debauche, Olivier ULg; Mahmoudi, Saïd; Manneback, Pierre et al

Conference (2017, October)

Smartphones, particularly iPhones, can be relevant instruments for researchers widely used around the world in multiple domains of applications such as animal behavior. iPhones are readily available on ... [more ▼]

Smartphones, particularly iPhones, can be relevant instruments for researchers widely used around the world in multiple domains of applications such as animal behavior. iPhones are readily available on the planet, contain many sensors and require no hardware development. They are equipped with high performance inertial measurement units (IMU) and absolute positioning systems analyzing users movements, but they can easily be diverted to analyze likewise the behaviors of domestic animals such as cattle. Using smartphones to study animal behavior requires the improvement of the autonomy to allow the acquisition of many variables at a high frequency over long periods of time on a large number of individuals for their further processing through various models and decision-making tools. Storing, treating data at the iPhone level with an optimal consumption of energy to maximize battery life was achieved by using edge computing on the iPhone. It reduced the size of the raw data by 42% on average by eliminating redundancies. The decrease in sampling frequency, the selection of the most important variables and postponing calculations to the cloud allowed also an increase in battery life by reducing of amount of data to transmit. [less ▲]

See detailFirst-principles study of tungsten trioxide:structurale properties and polaron formation
Hamdi, Hanen ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Résumé L’oxyde de tungstène (WO 3 ) est un composé qui a été énormément étudié du fait de la richesse de ses propriétés physiques et de leurs utilisations pour des applications technologiques. En effet ... [more ▼]

Résumé L’oxyde de tungstène (WO 3 ) est un composé qui a été énormément étudié du fait de la richesse de ses propriétés physiques et de leurs utilisations pour des applications technologiques. En effet, WO 3 est le matériau électrochromique le plus connu grâce à sa capacité de changer de couleur de manière réversible lorsqu’il est soumis à des ondes électromagnétiques ou bien sous l’application d’un champ électrique. Au niveau industriel, les matériaux électrochromiques, dont WO 3 fait partie, sont utilisés principalement dans la fabrication de fentêres à haut rendement énergétique, de verres intelligents, de rétroviseurs anti-reflets, de toits ouvrants, de batteries ou de cristaux photoniques accordables. Il est intéressant de noter que toutes ces propriétés sont liées au dopage et donc directement à la formation de polarons et de bipolarons qui vont influencer les transporteurs de charges. Bien que ce composé ai été largement étudié expérimentalement et théoriquement, il reste encore des questions pertinentes et non résolues concernant les propriétés structurales de WO 3 et la caractérisation des polarons dans WO 3−x . Cette thèse est ainsi dédiée en premier temps, à analyser et comprendre les différentes tran- sitions de phase du WO 3 sur base de calculs ab-initio basés sur la théorie de la fonctionnelle de la densité (DFT) et de reproduire les mesures expérimentales. Plus particulièrement, nous avons montré que WO 3 est un matériau anti-ferroélectrique à l’état fondamental et que c’est possible de le rendre ferroélectrique sous l’application d’un champs électrique. En second temps, nous avons élargi nos précédentes études de WO 3 à l’état pur sans defaut, en explo- rant théoriquement les effets des lacunes d’oxygène sur les propriétés physiques de WO 3 . Nous avons discuté le développement du polaron, qui est due à l’ajout d’un électron extèrieur dans la supercellule de l’état fondamentale de WO 3 , en fonction de la taille de la supercellule en utilisant des calculs de premier principe. Nous avons ainsi confirmé des travaux expérimentaux précédents reliés au polaron dans WO3 . [less ▲]

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See detailContraintes et stratégies d’amélioration de la filière maïs au Rwanda
Musabanganji, Edouard ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

For more than a decade, Rwanda has adopted a series of policies and strategies aimed at economic development and the improvement of the living conditions of its predominantly agricultural population. In ... [more ▼]

For more than a decade, Rwanda has adopted a series of policies and strategies aimed at economic development and the improvement of the living conditions of its predominantly agricultural population. In agriculture, implementation of these strategies and related programs has been accompanied by a series of advances in the adoption of farming technologies and increasing agricultural production. However, the country's economy is still characterized by subsistence agriculture, and for the maize sector in particular, the country is continuously depending on imports to meet domestic demand, and maize processing plants always operate below their productive capacity. This research aims to examine the level of competitiveness of this sector in the current production and marketing conditions in order to identify existing constraints and formulate the strategies that can improve the level of economic performance of maize production and maize marketing system. The data used to study the economic performance of maize production come from close monitoring of maize production activities on a sample of 50 producers from five maize producers’ cooperatives selected in the districts of Huye, Rusizi, Gasabo, Burera and Bugesera during two growing seasons. They were supplemented by direct observation, interviews with targeted resource persons, and focus group discussions. The analysis was done using group analysis and appropriate statistical methods. The study of the maize marketing system used the 'Structure-Conduct-Performance' model with data collected from a sample of 150 producers and 17 assemblers selected in the districts of Burera, Bugesera and Huye, and 15 transporters, 5 wholesalers and 15 retailers selected at the national market of Kigali. The results revealed that for many producers, the yield is very low compared to theoretical expected yields, production costs are higher and exceed sales prices, gross margin and family labor income are negative, and the gross added value created by maize producers is not high even though it is positive. The analysis showed that the increase in the selling price positively influences the gross margin, added value and family labor income, and that the rational use of improved seeds, chemical fertilizers and soil conditioners improves the yield. This clearly shows that improving the selling price and rational use of inputs can significantly contribute to making maize production a more profitable and income-generating activity. The study also identified challenges that hamper the production process. These include non-availability of, and low access to inputs, inadequate technical support, limited financial resources and low access to formal agricultural credit, high marshlands rental fee, method of fixing the maize floor price and lack of mechanisms ensuring its use by potential buyers, the lack of storage infrastructure, and the unsustainability of inputs subsidies granted by the government. At the marketing level, the results revealed that several actors are involved in the marketing of maize. The study also revealed that maize imported from Uganda is sold on domestic market at lower prices than locally produced maize, which attests the increase in the cost of maize production in Rwanda compared to Uganda and the low level of competitiveness of the local maize compared to Ugandan maize. The improved status of feeder roads and the high level of access to price information by actors were highlighted among the technological innovations that helped improve the marketing system of foodstuffs in general and maize in particular, which was also evidenced by the level of integration observed between districts maize markets and the national market of Kigali. However, the lack of enough capital and low access to formal credit were noted as major constraints by most of the chain actors. In the light of all these results, it is clear that the production and marketing of maize are not done in good conditions at all levels. This in turn undermines the sector's ability to respond adequately to domestic demand, generate income for actors and integrate itself into both domestic and regional markets. Therefore, strategies aiming at scaling-up the maize production and marketing, and improving working conditions of the sector operators were recommended. These strategies include the implementation of actions to improve access to finance by farmers and other actors; making inputs avail and accessible; reorganizing the marketing system especially in terms of fixing and using the floor price; making available storage facilities where necessary; improving the monitoring, training and sensitization of maize producers on farming techniques and the use of improved technologies; and harmonizing the marshland rental fee at national level. [less ▲]

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See detailSemantic externalism(s) and cognitive transparency
Leclercq, Bruno ULg; De Brabanter, Philippe

Conference (2017, September 22)

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See detailDéfinition d’un outil d’aide à la décision spatiotemporel structurant et articulant les potentialités de développement agricole : cas du Niger
Andres, Ludovic ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

The concern about food insecurity in rural populations needs to be rethought and adapted to the overall living conditions of households by shifting to a concentrated spatial scale and a long-term analysis ... [more ▼]

The concern about food insecurity in rural populations needs to be rethought and adapted to the overall living conditions of households by shifting to a concentrated spatial scale and a long-term analysis. This change will allow identifying territories on a finer scale than the national level in order to allocate development objectives and to link them to areas with high development potential. The finer level of analysis will also allow regrouping the actions carried out on a smaller scale in order to structure all the activities carried out on the targeted area and population. The general comment that the development and emergency aid has been focused in circumscribed areas and that the level of analysis is based on two scales, one "macro" (national, regional, departmental) and the other "micro" (village, community, household, individual and community) reinforces the need to create an intermediate level of analysis. The latter will serve to improve the structure other actions carried out at different levels and the articulation of the activities to be carried out and the targeted population. From a state of the art analysis of subject such as development, targeting, territory, food security, resilience, etc; different finding have led to the definition of a major question and an objective which form the core structure of the present dissertation. The research question is defined as "how to structure the targeting and identification of areas with high potential to articulate all the emergency and development actions carried out on several scales of analysis?”. At the end of these observations, the objective of this research is "the establishment of a tool to support spatial and temporal decision making in structuring the emergency and development actions and targeting of populations subjected to food insecurity ". Three considerations emerge from this objective and research question: spatiotemporal analysis and targeting, development potentials, rural production systems. The various productions are also studied over a long series in order to consider the yield variations over time. Finally, these two analyzes, spatial (systems) and temporal (yields) are crossed in order to demonstrate the contribution of this decision-supporting tool in the articulation and structuring of the other two levels of targeting populations to food insecurity. The decision-supporting tool has been tested on the case study of the Nigerian population. The main outcomes are: the characterization of the opportunities and constraints of the Nigerian rural production systems; the identification of the products to be developed by production system; the identification of the most promising pathways by means of the distribution of the yields by systems. Finally, an essential point must be made about the increase of conservation methods and transformations for increasing the added value obtained by Nigerian households. At the end of this dissertation, the tool demonstrated its importance in structuring and articulating the targeting of food insecurity in the field of emergency aid and development: The territorial zones in the production systems identify the problems to which one or several solutions must be found. Production systems allow a concentration of actions according to the definition of the general and specific objectives of the agricultural development assistance programs. Potential outputs to be developed in production systems allow diversification of agriculture and structuring of development from a national point of view. The actions defined by the Technical and Financial Partners at the level of a village, a community and / or a commune can be more easily integrated into this scale of analysis and can be structured later in national development policies Agricultural policy. The increase in productivity in Niger depends on the development of products within the most favorable zones and not on the whole territory. However, this tool is complementary to the other targeting tools already in place. It should also be complemented by the same type of analysis at the level of West Africa and an analysis of the flows and prices condition to favor the flow of production. [less ▲]

See detailLipin-1 regulates cancer cell phenotype and is a potential target to amplify the effect of metabolic inhibitors
Brohée, Laura ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

An increased lipogenesis was reported in various cancers and its inhibition represses proliferation and induces apoptosis of cancer cells while barely affecting most normal cells. The family of lipins ... [more ▼]

An increased lipogenesis was reported in various cancers and its inhibition represses proliferation and induces apoptosis of cancer cells while barely affecting most normal cells. The family of lipins encompasses three members: lipin-1, -2 and -3. All exhibit dual functions as enzymes, catalyzing the de-phosphorylation of phosphatidic acid to diacylglycerol, and as co-transcriptional regulators. Thus, they are able to regulate lipid homeostasis at several nodal points. However, no studies addressed the involvement of these proteins in cancer progression neither in vitro nor in vivo. During this PhD work, we first investigated the importance of lipin-1 on prostate cancer cell phenotype. We showed that lipin-1 expression is increased in various cancer cell types both in vitro and in vivo in human prostate tumor samples. The specific inhibition of lipin-1 in prostate and breast cancer cells demonstrated its critical importance for cell proliferation and migration through deregulation of several intracellular signaling pathways. This study demonstrated for the first time that the targeting of lipin-1 is a potential new anti-cancer strategy that could be used alone or in combination with drugs like rapamycin. During the course of these investigations, we also observed a compensatory regulation between lipin-1 and lipin-2 preventing the complete inhibition of lipins enzymatic activity when using a siRNA approach. Therefore, we focused our interest on inhibiting all lipins through treatment with a pharmacological inhibitor, propranolol. This drug also induced a blockade of the late phases of autophagy, likely because the inhibition of all lipins decreases diacylglycerol synthesis, which is required for the maturation of autolysosomes. Autophagy is a pro-survival mechanism induced by several stresses or by anticancer agents. In the case of the glycolysis inhibitor 2DG, the induction of autophagy limits its anticancer effects in monotherapy. In the light of their individual specific effects on cancer cells, we hypothesized that the combination of propranolol and 2DG might exert a more than additive toxic effect on cancer cells. In this second study, we report that combined treatment is effective on preventing prostate cancer cell proliferation, inducing cell apoptosis, altering the function of several organelles as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus in vitro but also in suppressing tumor growth in vivo. Altogether, our data suggest that lipins are key players involved in cancer progression. Targeting lipins, alone or in combination with other treatments, could open new avenues in anticancer therapy. [less ▲]

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See detailPhenotyping hygienic behavior and studying diversity in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.): methodological issues and solutions
Leclercq, Gil ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are a crucial resource for world agriculture. The global stock of honey bees has increased over the last five decades. In contrast, honey bees have been declining in several ... [more ▼]

Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are a crucial resource for world agriculture. The global stock of honey bees has increased over the last five decades. In contrast, honey bees have been declining in several regions, especially in the northern hemisphere. Among the factors responsible for these regional declines, the parasitic mite Varroa destructor plays a central role and is considered as one of the main threats for apiculture. A sustainable solution to the problems caused by V. destructor is to breed Varroa-resistant honey bees. In this context, in Belgium, a research project was developed with the aim of studying the diversity of honey bees in Wallonia, and selecting, within this “local” diversity, Varroa-resistant honey bees. This project required methods to accurately phenotype Varroa-resistance traits, and methods to study the diversity of honey bee populations. In this thesis, we decided to work on these methods, which are a prerequisite for such research project. Two independent objectives were developed: (1) solving the controversy and methodological issues regarding the quantification of hygienic behavior in honey bee colonies, and (2) designing a new method to study the diversity of honey bee admixed populations covering a large-scale area, using pool-based sequencing data. The hygienic behavior of worker bees contributes to the social immunity of honey bee colonies. The manifestation of this behavior consists in detecting and removing unhealthy or dead brood. In this thesis, we reviewed the drawbacks, the benefits, and the methods to test for hygienic behavior, in honey bee colonies. We concluded that, while hygienic behavior was efficient against some brood diseases, it was difficult to draw any definitive conclusion on the efficiency of this behavior against V. destructor. Hygienic behavior likely contributes to Varroa-resistance, but the controversy is fueled by the use of inappropriate bioassays to quantify the hygienic removal of Varroa-infested brood. In our experiments, we showed that a commonly used bioassay, the freeze-killed brood removal bioassay, was unreliable to approximate the benefits arising from the hygienic removal of Varroa-infested brood. As an introduction to the second part of the thesis, we reviewed how human has contributed to reshape the diversity of honey bee populations worldwide, except in Africa. Human management was shown to increase the proportion of admixed populations, sometimes to the detriment of subspecies populations (such as in Belgium). Then, we presented a new approach to study the admixture of hybrid honey bee populations. It was based on a reduced representation of the genome (through genotyping-by-sequencing). In this approach, we enabled the use of pool-based sequencing data by simulating an individual genotype for each pool, sampled from a hybrid colony. Finally, some conclusions and discussion were brought on a few perspectives and research avenues about (1) the phenotyping of hygienic behavior towards Varroa-infested brood, and (2) the study of admixture in honey bee populations. [less ▲]