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Research themes

Research themes

IUEM research units project can be presented very schematically in four main topics, broken down into objects and processes that researchers wish to better understand.

The ocean, a major actor in the biogeochemical cycles and climate of our planet


  • Ocean warming and circulation in the past, present and future
  • The chemical composition of ocean (especially trace metals) and major cycles: ocean acidification, deoxygenation, carbon cycle, pollution (e.g. heavy metals)
  • Energy cycles, scale interactions and physical-biological coupling: from ocean turbulence < 1 km, to large eddies > 100 km and the global ocean.
  • The economic and legal challenges of global ocean change (warming, acidification)

Marine ecosystems and biodiversity


  • Physiological and adaptation processes of marine organisms
  • Properties of marine molecules, e. g. biofilms
  • Functioning of ecosystems and food webs
  • Cumulative impacts of exploitation pressures and biological and physico-chemical factors on the dynamics of exploited species and communities
  • Ecological, economic, social and legal determinants of the development of human activities such as fishing or aquaculture

Still unexplored oceanic depths


  • Deep-sea and ocean margin dynamics, associated earthquake risks, and mineral resource formation
  • Earth Mantle Dynamics and Continental Growth
  • Economic and legal stakes related to ocean domains
  • Micro-organisms in extreme deep-sea environments and hydrothermal sources

The coast, a complex and fragile interface


  • Physical processes in the coastal domain and at the land-sea interface, including interactions with atmosphere
  • Coastal territories, their dynamics and their vulnerabilities, both physical (teledetection, geomatics approaches) and human (societies evolution, uses)
  • Public policies Analysis and evaluation and development of tools and scenarios to assist collective choices for coastal development