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Nicolas received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the National Veterinary School of Nantes, France, in 1989 and specialised in intensive animal production at the National Agronomic School in Rennes, France, in 1990. He was trained as a molecular virologist at the Pasteur institute in Paris (1995) and obtained his PhD in molecular virology from Rennes University (1998).

Nicolas has held a permanent position at the National Laboratory for Avian Pathology (now Anses-Ploufragan Plouzané laboratory) since 1991. He is now assistant head of the laboratory, head of the avian and rabbit virology and parasitology (VIPAC) research unit, and OIE expert for infectious bursal disease and avian metapneumovirus infections.

In 2007, Nicolas was one of the founding members of the European College for Poultry Veterinary Sciences, for which he now serves as Vice President.

Nicolas has been serving as the corresponding secretary of the French branch of WVPA since 2001 and, as such, he contributed to organising the XVIIIth WVPA congress in 2013 in Nantes. He joined the WVPA executive in 2015.