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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal AgroParisTech université Paris-Saclay

Welcome to ECOSYS

UMR ECOSYS - Ecologie fonctionnelle et écotoxicologie des agroécosystèmes


History and localization of the unit

The INRAE-AgroParisTech ECOSYS Joint Research Unit was created on 1 January 2015 through merging of the Environment and Field Crops (EGC) unit (head of unit, Enrique Barriuso between 2010 and 2015), the INRA Physicochemistry and Ecotoxicology of Soils of Contaminated Agrosystems (PESSAC) unit (head of unit, Christian Mougin, 2010-15), and the INRA and AgroParisTech staff of the Soil Organic Matter team of the BIOEMCO unit. This last group of staff had been previously integrated to the EGC unit since 1 January 2014. The EGC unit was created at the Grignon site in 2000 by the grouping of two units: the Bioclimatology and Soil Science unit and the Plant Ecophysiology team of the Agronomy unit. The PESSAC unit was created at the Versailles site in 2006 as the INRA pole of terrestrial ecotoxicology. This unit was the result of the merging of the Soil Science unit from Versailles (INRA Environment and Agronomy division - EA) and the Xenobiotics and Environment team of the Phytopharmacy unit (INRA Plant Health and Environment division - SPE).

The ECOSYS supervisors are INRAE (EA and SPE divisions, with the EA division as pilot division) and AgroParisTech (Agronomic, Forestry, Water and Environment Sciences and Engineering division - SIAFEE). Currently, the unit is located in three buildings, two at the Grignon site and one at the Versailles site. The whole unit will be regrouped in Saclay in 2021.

Structure of the unit

The unit is organized into disciplinary scientific teams, with transversal themes. Following the recommendations of the last evaluation committee, we started the five-year period with four scientific teams: Ecotoxicology, Soil Science, Plant Ecophysiology and Bioclimatology. In 2016, we merged these last two teams with the creation of the Eco&Phy team (Ecophysiology and Physical Chemistry of Vegetation-Atmosphere Interactions) (Fig. 1). Each of these three teams are preferentially located in one of the three buildings of the unit. Transversal themes are built on the conceptual framework of ecosystem services and define outputs from our research that contribute to certain ecosystem services. These transversal themes ensure a part of the valorization of the results, while simultaneously contributing to the structuring of the academic and R&D partnership as well as training through research. Technical groups common to the unit, whose staff remain attached to the scientific teams, ensure the development and maintenance of shared devices and tools. A "management and common services" team groups all support services and collective missions (Fig. 1).

Functional organization

Figure 1. Functional organization of ECOSYS unit

Organization of the unit project

Our new project is in continuity with the previous five-year period, but strengthening ECOSYS objectives and its identifying themes, and also strengthening the partnership especially in the context of the Paris-Saclay university to prepare our move to Saclay. A key constraint will be the management of scientific and technical skills: the existing ones, those to renew to cope with a large number of departures and the new ones to acquire.

These competences will be organized thanks to the three existing disciplinary scientific teams, with the structuring of the technical infrastructures by groups of activity and the creation of transversal technical poles: Environmental chemistry (analyzes), Observation, Experimentation, Geomatics and Modeling. Each technical pole will be coordinated by an engineer whose coordination task will return in their specific missions and profile sheet. 

The management of ECOSYS will be renewed for the new project. The general management will be ensured by a new director (Sabine Houot) and management team including the new head of Soil team (Patricia Garnier) and the actual heads of the Ecotox and Eco&Phy teams (Isabelle Lamy and Benjamin Loubet, respectively). A management Committee will be constituted including people with animation responsibilities (at least, coordinators of technical poles and structuring axes) and in charge of relation with teaching structures. The other statutory instances (Unit council and General meetings) will be maintained with a similar functioning as currently (Fig. 30).

The structuring themes will be coordinated as following:

  • Biomasses” theme: Sophie Genermont, helped by Florent Levavasseur, Céline Richard-Molard and Benoît Gabrielle.
  • Climate” theme: Raia Massad, helped by Patricia Garnier
  • Contaminants” theme: Carole Bedos, helped by Juliette Faburé and Laure Mamy
  • Diversity” theme: Corinne Robert, helped by Colette Bertrand and Alexandra Jullien

The technical poles will be coordinated as following:

  • Chemistry” pole: Marjolaine Deschamps, helped by Nathalie Cheviron and Patricia Laville
  • Observation” pole: Pauline Buysse, helped by Camille Resseguier
  • Experimentation” pole: an engineer to be recruited (IE), in the meantime, Alain Fortineau
  • Geomatics” pole: Jean-Marc Gilliot, helped by Emmanuelle Vaudour and Raia Massad
  • Modeling” pole: an engineer to be recruited (IR), in the meantime, Benjamin Loubet

The two analysis platforms will have an autonomous specific functioning:

  • Biochem-Env platform: with Nathalie Cheviron as technical manager and Christian Mougin as scientific head
  • “AgroSystèmes” Business Unit: with Marco Carozzi (INRA-Tranfert staff) as manager, and with Céline Decuq and Sophie Genermont in charge of links with ECOSYS or the technical and scientific aspects, respectively.

The supporting team will be coordinated by a new engineer to be recruited, especially in charge of the administrative and financial aspects. The other supporting missions, like security, quality, informatic services, will continue to function as currently.