ECOBIM network

Studying chemical contamination and its effects

Since 2004, the international French-speaking network ECOBIM has brought together about 120 people from 30 research teams in bilateral collaborative actions in the field of ecotoxicology of aquatic environments on 2 axes, trans-Atlantic and trans-Mediterranean. The Network also counts among its members actors from the economic and cultural world: aquaculture resource operators, parks, aquariums,…. Ecotoxicology must adapt to the changing context of environmental chemical contamination (new molecules, interactions with climate change, etc.) by developing new skills in environmental assessment tools and methods. The joint approach along the continuums is promoted, through work on all anthropized aquatic ecosystems: mainly rivers and large estuaries. This network also aims to contribute to academic training at doctoral and pre-doctoral level through a well-established presence of teams in European and North American universities, but also to contribute to informing the public about the environmental consequences of pollution.

The main objectives of the network are:

  • acquire scientific knowledge on new forms of chemical contamination by promoting a multidisciplinary approach between biologists and chemists
  • promote their application to the operational component of monitoring programmes, in particular by harmonising methods of data analysis and exploitation
  • develop relevant biological models for monitoring aquatic environments
  • promote in situ observation by organizing joint work on internationally important workshop sites
  • access shared analytical means and heavy experimental means


Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer (France)

Université du Québec à Rimouski (Canada)

The ECOBIM Network in a few actions

– Coordination of bi-lateral research projects funded by: ANR, NSERC, OSPAR, Franco-Quebec Cooperation Programs,…

– Scientific animation

  • member mobility :stays of students, researchers, post-doctoral fellows
  • scientific meetings : methodological workshops (immunotoxicology, genotoxicology,…) since 2004 ; annual network facilitation conferences since 2006
  • multi-annual environmental assessment workshops on remarkable sites (St. Lawrence Maritime, Saguenay Fjord, Baie de Seine, Rade de Brest,…)

– Training through research : co-supervision of Master’s/Master’s students ; supervision of co-supervised doctorates

– Development of Digital Training Support


Europe: Pr Michel AUFFRET (Université de Brest, France, LEMAR)

North America: Pr Richard St LOUIS (UQAR, Qc, Canada)

ECOBIM’s webite

GDR “Polymers and Oceans”

GDR-plolymeres et Ocean

The environmental issues related to the presence of plastics are now unanimously recognized. The national (governments) and international (European Union, United Nations) institutions have taken action to better understand the consequences of the presence of these plastic debris in the environment and to try to reduce their releases

The mission of the GDR “Polymers and Oceans”, recently created under the aegis of the CNRS, is to federate the French scientific community (composed by chemists, physicists, biologists, ecologists, ecotoxicologists, oceanographers, economists and sociologists) working on the fate of plastics in the environment to support the emergence of multi-scale and new interdisciplinary research.

The main objectives of this GDR are:

  • to define the main scientific questions and methodological obstacles around this topic;
  • to structure very diverse scientific communities and facilitate the establishment of scientific and technical collaborations between disciplinary fields to support multidisciplinary approaches that are essential to meet the challenges of this topic;
  • to promote collaboration between academic research and industrial research/innovation in relation to competitiveness clusters (e.g. Brittany-Atlantic and Mediterranean MER Poles, IAR) and learned societies (e.g. SFP, SCF, GFP) ;
  • play an active role in the implementation of new experimental protocols to assess the fate of polymers in the aquatic environment ;
  • create an information exchange platform offering an open window to respond to the many requests from economic actors, the media, NGOs and politicians and influence institutional prospects ;
  • participate in the dissemination of scientific knowledge acquired through the organization of an annual national conference and thematic schools.

More information on the website of the first meetings of this GDR

Ika Paul-Pont and Arnaud Huvet are involved in the scientific council of this GDR.


Rade de Brest

In May 2012, the Zone Atelier Brest Iroise, in France, was recognised by INEE-CNRS (Institute of Ecology and Environment, French National Center for Scientific Research). It is coordinated by two laboratories of the European Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM) : LETG Brest – Géomer and LEMAR, and includes several Breton laboratories doing research on 4 major topics concerning the coast :

  • Vulnerability to coastal hazards
  • Land-sea transfers and their consequences for socio-ecological systems
  • Conservation of biodiversity and land-use management
  • Relations between sciences and society.

Its objective is to improve our understanding of the functioning and evolution of coastal social-ecological systems in a changing environment and within a perspective of integrated management, by favouring an interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach along the land-sea continuum.



The main objective of LMI DISCOH is to study ocean-atmosphere, biogeochemical and ecological dynamics in the CHS in order to understand and anticipate the effect of intra-seasonal, interannual, decadal and climate change variability on coastal ecosystem dynamics. LMI contributes to the effective implementation of the ecosystem approach to fisheries.

From a scientific point of view, the LMI “DISCOH” complements projects under development (ANRs PEPS and TOPINEME, etc.) and aims to improve coordination between projects. In particular, LMI aims to direct the efforts of its participants towards major cross-cutting scientific issues.

In addition, LMI “DISCOH” supports the development of high-level Masters in Marine Sciences in Peru by promoting the participation of IRD researchers and other foreign scientists (courses and supervision of theses) and by supporting student and faculty exchanges, particularly in the region.

More information on the LMI DISCOH website



The host partners of the International Joint Laboratory ‘Tropical Atlantic Interdisciplinary laboratory on physical, biogeochemical, ecological and human dynamics’ (IJL TAPIOCA), the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) and the Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE) have a long history of interaction with IRD in marine science. Brazil recently recognized the major importance of the natural resources and mineral stocks along its 7,500 km of coastline (called “Blue Amazon” by the Brazil’s authorities) and TAPIOCA team members are involved in a variety of scientific and academic projects aiming at resolving key question on climate variability, biogeochemical, physical, biological and human interactions in the tropical Atlantic Ocean.

Tapioca brings together nearly 90 scientists and students involved in research projects such as the “Pirata”, “Abraços” or “Mafalda” projects. The laboratory will focus on research areas related to climate change and marine spatial planning. The laboratory will strengthen research in the field and invest in the training of new students.

TAPIOCA’s medium- and long-term objective is to create an inter-university centre of excellence in tropical marine sciences with all the scientists involved.

More information here.