Léo did his undergraduate studies in Theoretical Computer Science at the University of Bordeaux, France.
He then moved to Montpellier in October 2011 to pursue a doctorate at the interface between Computer Science and Developmental Biology. Supervised by C. Godin and P. Lemaire, he looked at the stereotypical development of ascidian embryos. He developed algorithms to reconstruct and track cell shapes across time from 3D movies of fluorescence acquired using light-sheet microscopy. He used these reconstructions to model cell-cell communications and showed that in ascidians, these communications are mediated, at least partially, by contact-area between cells.
After his Ph.D, in January 2016, Léo moved to Virginia, USA, in the group of Philipp Keller at Janelia Research Campus. There, he developed algorithms to detect and track cell positions over extensive periods of time during mouse embryogenesis. Using these reconstructions, he built the first cell fates and morphodynamic atlas of mouse embryonic development post implantation. The construction of this atlas was made possible by TARDIS, the algorithm he developed to co-register multiple embryos temporally and spatially.
Then in 2019, after an 8-month sabbatical backpacking around the world, he went to Berlin, Germany, to join the group of Dagmar Kainmueller where he started his work on Drosophila development.