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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

Partners

Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer (France)  http://www-iuem.univ-brest.fr/fr

Université du Québec à Rimouski (Canada)  http://www.ismer.ca/

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

Contacts

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

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

ECOBIM’s webite

Ika Paul-Pont, CNRS Bronze medal 2019

With her colleagues from the PANORAMA team, and especially Arnaud HUVET, Ifremer researcher at LEMAR, their work on micro and nano-plastics is among the most cited in our laboratory.

Visit her page on Google Scholar.

See here her personnal page on our site to access her current projects, and click here to read her interview ‘in French) in IUEM’s letter of April 2019.

In 2018 her work was the subject of an article in Sciences-Ouest (in French also), in a special report on microplastics :

A Model of Mercury Distribution in Tuna from the Western and Central Pacific Ocean: Influence of Physiology, Ecology and Environmental Factors

Patrick Houssard, David Point, Laura Tremblay-Boyer, Valérie Allain, Heidi Pethybridge, Jeremy Masbou, Bridget E. Ferriss, Pascale A. Baya, Christelle Lagane, Christophe E. Menkes, Yves Letourneur, et Anne Lorrain

ABSTRACT :

https://pubs.acs.org/appl/literatum/publisher/achs/journals/content/esthag/2019/esthag.2019.53.issue-3/acs.est.8b06058/20190129/images/medium/es-2018-06058g_0006.gif

  • Information on ocean scale drivers of methylmercury levels and variability in tuna is scarce, yet crucial in the context of anthropogenic mercury (Hg) inputs and potential threats to human health. Here we assess Hg concentrations in three commercial tuna species (bigeye, yellowfin, and albacore, n = 1000) from the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO).
  • Models were developed to map regional Hg variance and understand the main drivers. Mercury concentrations are enriched in southern latitudes (10°S−20°S) relative to the equator (0°−10°S) for each species, with bigeye exhibiting the strongest spatial gradients. Fish size is the primary factor explaining Hg variance but physical oceanography also contributes, with higher Hg concentrations in regions exhibiting deeper thermoclines.
  • Tuna trophic position and oceanic primary productivity were of weaker importance. Predictive models perform well in the Central Equatorial Pacific and Hawaii, but underestimate Hg concentrations in the Eastern Pacific. A literature review from the global ocean indicates that size tends to govern tuna Hg concentrations, however regional information on vertical habitats, methylmercury production, and/or Hg inputs are needed to understand Hg distribution at a broader scale. Finally, this study establishes a geographical context of Hg levels to weigh the risks and benefits of tuna consumption in the WCPO.

Observed spatial variation in mercury concentrations (mg*kg −1 , dry weight) for bigeye, yellowfin, and albacore muscle samples captured in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Gray lines outline the five biogeochemical regions as defined in Houssard et al., 2017: NPTG (North Pacific Tropical Gyre), WARMm (Warm Pool modified), PEQD (Pacific Equatorial Divergence), SPSGm (South Pacific Subtropical Gyre modified) and ARCHm (Archipelagic deep basins modified) along with AUS-TAZ (Australia-Tasmania) and NZ (New Zealand).

CITATION :

Houssard, P., Point, D., Tremblay-Boyer, L., Allain, V., Pethybridge, H., Masbou, J., Ferriss, B.E., Baya, P.A., Lagane, C., Menkes, C.E., Letourneur, Y., and Lorrain, A. 2019. A Model of Mercury Distribution in Tuna from the Western and Central Pacific Ocean: Influence of Physiology, Ecology and Environmental Factors. Environmental Science & Technology. doi:10.1021/acs.est.8b06058.

Click here for the IRD news about this study (in French).

Ecotox - expo in tubo

EcoTOX

Origin :

It is largely accepted by researchers interested in the functioning of aquatic ecosystems submitted to anthropogenic pressure that chemical contaminants, biological toxins and even, nanoparticles, interact with biological systems, from individual health to more complex levels of the ecological organization. For decades, the LEMAR laboratory has managed national and international research programmes aiming to better understand the environmental impact of this pollution in coastal ecosystems. This expertise has allowed our scientists to manage or get a partnership in several research networks in aquatic ecotoxicology (see links below).

Objectives :

  • Scientific animation
    • sharing expertise in basic scientific fields (chemistry/biology/ecology)
    • funding strategy
    • links with marine environment monitoring facilities
    • partnership with institutes in charge of pollution research or water quality monitoring
    • links with research networks in aquatic ecotoxicology
  • Communication
    • information on grant proposals, job opportunities, …
    • external visibility of LEMAR in this field (recruitment of collaborators and students, others universities, local and regional actors, ….)
    • internal visibility (PhD management, meetings, ….)
  • Academic training
    • involvement of the LEMAR staff in academic education in marine sciences (including new numeric tools)

Animation  :

Michel AUFFRET (UBO), Gabriel DULAQUAIS (UBO), Claire HELLIO (UBO)

Organization of the meetings :

Internal meetings every 3 months, including presentations about projects in ecotoxicology. Invited speakers will be scheduled as well.

External links:  Le réseau international en écotoxicologie des milieux aquatiques ECOBIM

Projets

MicroLag

MICROLAG

MP digestive gut oyster

NANOPLASTICS