Research at iEES Paris - iEES Paris

iEES-Paris develops generic theories on ecological and environmental systems in order to predict their dynamics in the context of global and local changes. It contributes to innovation in the sustainable management of biodiversity, ecosystems and agroecosystems and biological resources, to promote society’s ecological transition.

  • Understanding to predict :

iEES Paris has a wide range of expertise in virtually all areas of ecology, from population dynamics to ecosystem ecology, through the processes of adaptation, microbial ecology and ecology of social organisms. It is also one of the first French poles in science of soil and water, particularly recognized for its expertise on biogeochemical cycles, physics and soil biology, the dynamics of watersheds. Last, it develops very original works in sensory ecology, focused on environmental physiology, neurophysiology and genomics of insect olfaction in the context of global changes.

iEES Paris uses a variety of methods : mathematics, statistics, long-term observations, field experiments, experiments in controlled conditions, isotopic chemistry, molecular biology. The modelling of ecological systems at various scales of time and space is performed in all teams as a tool for synthesis and concept development, and a tool for the prediction of environment evolution.

  • Understanding to act :

iEES Paris contributes to the development of innovative tools and strategies for the rehabilitation of degraded environments, environmentally sustainable management of biological resources and ecosystem services, and adaptation to global changes. It establishes short and medium term partnerships with public authorities, private companies and non-governmental organizations. It promotes interdisciplinary research within permanent transversal programmes.

Ecological engineering

Using ecological theory and the latest results of research, iEES Paris works on the ways to better control natural and artificial ecological systems in order to improve their performance and durability. It develops indicators of ecosystem quality as a tool for decision-making and evaluation of environmental management. The research focuses on biodiversity as a major determinant of the characteristics of the environment.

Urban ecology 

The urban lifestyle has become the dominant way of life of human beings. iEES Paris works on cities, suburban and impacted rural areas by applying the current concepts and methods of ecology. The objectives are to better understand the functioning and dynamics of the urban environment, to promote a more sustainable and efficient management of living organisms and ecological processes in cities, and to bridge the gap between ecological constraints and energy, economic, social and cultural constraints in the city of tomorrow.

Environmental and ecological risks in the South 

Our scientists have developed long term research partnership in countries from southern hemisphere, particularly in Africa and Asia. They perform works dealing with the evaluation of human activities impact on the global environment, natural resources and human health. They participate to programs on alterative management of ecological systems and rehabilitation of degraded areas, as well as they study the impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and environmental quality degradation and contribute to the development of adaptation strategies.

Convergence of sciences ecological for one more sustainable agriculture north and south

Agriculture and its sustainability lead to very important challenges both for human societies and biodiversity. (1) The global human population is still increasing while agriculture yields are reaching a plateau in intensive agriculture in the North. (2) Yields of subsistence agriculture remain too low in the South. (3) Agriculture and, especially, intensive agriculture, have a strong negative impact on biodiversity and natural ecosystems. (4) Agriculture is not sustainable due to its dependence on many non-renewable resources (fossil fuels, phosphorus…). (5) Agriculture often exploits soil fertility in a non-sustainable way (losses of organic matter, degradation of soil structure, losses of biodiversity). One of the solutions to take up these challenges is to better use the knowledge developed by ecological sciences to develop agroecological practices. The goal is to maximise the use of ecological processes driven by farmers to decrease the use of inputs and increase agriculture sustainability. This approach is relevant both in the North for intensive, agriculture that is using too much inputs, and in the South, for subsistence agriculture that cannot use much inputs. To achieve these goals it is important to mobilize all fields of ecology (functional, ecosystem, population, evolutionary, microbial ecology) but also all relevant connected fields (pedology, hydrology, geochemistry, physiology, genetics). In this context, the transversal axis of research « convergence of ecological sciences for a sustainable agriculture in the South and the North” aims at federating research in agroecology within the laboratory.