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International projects

FRNQT (Québec) 2014-2018

This bilateral project (De l’échelle du mésocosme à celle du Nunavik : Développement d’un bioindicateur pour le suivi de la contamination métallique en région minière) is co-leaded by Dr. Claude Fortin (INRS-ETE, Canada) and Dr. Soizic morin (ECOVEA). In this project, we explore the links between aqueous metal speciation and uptake by river biofilms. The long-term objective is to develop a tool for the biomonitoring of metals in mining areas. The field work is performed in collaboration with the industry Nunavik Nickel in northern Canada.

NSF Eager

The proposed research on: “Collaborative proposal MSB-FRA: Developing a predictive framework for the patterns of commonness and rarity in freshwaters,” is led by Dr. Sophia Passy from the University of Texas at Arlington in collaboration with researchers from the Washington State Department of Ecology, US, from the EABX ECOVEA team, INRAE, France, from the University of Helsinki, and from the Finnish Environment Institute, Finland. Intensive research over the past decades has shown that diverse communities are more efficient in performing functions and providing services to humans. However, biodiversity is rapidly declining, especially in freshwaters, which suffer much higher extinction rates than terrestrial habitats. Therefore, a comprehensive assessment of the degree of rarity in freshwaters, which determines the risk of extinction, is urgently needed. The ongoing Eager project represents the largest investigation of species abundance distributions in freshwaters, generating a baseline for the extent of rarity in this ecosystem. Changes in species abundance distribution (SAD) in response to disturbance have been recognized as an early warning for impending local extinctions. The patterns of commonness and rarity in species groups of conservational or environmental importance are evaluated to assess their responses to niche vs. dispersal-related factors. Based on the findings, specific recommendations for watershed management will be made, focusing on the preservation of these groups in basins where they are in high proportions.

Interreg DiadES

Diadromous fish (shads, lampreys, eel, salmon, trout & mullet) are migratory, moving between fresh and marine waters. Through their journey, they provide ecosystem services (e.g. income, food, recreation) to local communities but few quantitative estimations exist. These services could be threatened by climate change due to spatial reallocation of fish and related benefits. DiadES aims to assess and enhance ecosystem services provided by diadromous fish in the Atlantic Area, and in parallel, the conservation status of these species, by explicitly considering in their management expected impacts of climate change on their distributions. DiadES will positively impact diadromous fish management in the face of global climate change by improving awareness and knowledge on the services provided by these species and the need to set common management measures targeting both anthropogenic pressures & climate change; favouring a joint promotion of ecosystem services related to diadromous fish in the Atlantic Area to the wider public; ensuring a sustainable ecosystem services provision by these species, combining exploitation & conservation, in support of Atlantic Area local economies and quality of life.

FP7 MARS Managing Aquatic ecosystems and water Resources under multiple Stress

MARS supports managers and policy makers in the practical implementation of the WFD, of related legislation and of the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources by conducting new research and synthesising existing knowledge concerning effects and management of multiple stressors in surface water and groundwater bodies; by advising the 3rd RMBP cycle and the revision of the WFD; and by developing new integrated tools for diagnosing and predicting multiple stressors in water resource management. The consortium includes 19 research institutes and five water boards and environment agencies. MARS engaged with ongoing and finalised European initiatives addressing related topics, thus acting as an integrating project. Work was organised at the scales of water bodies, river basins and Europe; at each scale there is a direct link to water managers and decision makers. Nested within the scale structure, we employed a suite of methods: flume and mesocosm experiments to better understand the effects of selected stressor combinations with a focus on extremes and hydrological stress; linkage of “abiotic” and “biotic” models to predict effects of stressor combinations at a river basin scale; large-scale data analysis employing existing databases, but including additional variables, to gain a Europe-wide overview of stress, status and ecosystem service.

Interreg SUDOANG

SUDOANG will provide managers with common tools and methods that contribute to the conservation of the European eel and its habitat in the SUDOE area. Provide common management and assessment tools. User-friendly web application that hosts several tools for managers to analyse stock indicators and different management scenarios. Design a strategy to obtain data for coordinated and long-term monitoring. An eel-sampling network that includes 10 pilot basins in the Mediterranean and Atlantic, representative of the different ecosystems of the SUDOE area. Reinforce the cooperation between the stakeholders involved in eel stock governance. A governance platform that contributes to the concerted and effective management of eel.

H2020 FutureMares

FutureMARES is an EU-funded research project examining the relations between climate change, marine biodiversity, and ecosystem services. The project activities are designed around three Nature-based Solutions (NBS): (1) Effective Restoration (NBS1), (2) Effective Conservation (NBS2), (3) Sustainable Harvesting of Marine Resources (NBS3).

​The consortium is conducting its research and cooperating with marine organisations and the public in five Case Study Regions across the globe. The main goal is to provide socially and economically viable actions and strategies in support of nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation. The partnership will develop these solutions to safeguard future biodiversity and ecosystem functions to maximise natural capital and its delivery of services from marine and transitional ecosystems. To achieve this, the objectives of FutureMARES are: (1) Understand the links between ecological functions and ecosystem services, (2) Deliver projections of future climate change hotspots and refugia, (3) Explore climate change impacts in field and mesocosm experiments, (4) Conduct novel socio-ecological vulnerability assessments, (5) Perform economic analyses of different nature-based solutions, (6) Co-create our research activities with decision- and policy-makers, and (7) Communicate & engage with a broad range of stakeholders in our focus regions.

National projects


Aquaref is a consortium of laboratories in charge of aquatic ecosystem quality assessment. The « hydrobiology » section is coordinated by a scientist from EABX. Its missions are to identify the methodological needs to perform such assessments, to program and ensure the development of corresponding protocols, and to assist operators in their implementation by producing technical/standardized documents and providing professional training, Aquaref hydrobiology carries a national program that funded several projects from the Unit : applied research (AQUAREF B3 (2013-2018) "Définition des sources d’incertitude du protocole diatomées en cours d’eau"), production of standardized protocols, expert networks facilitation (, professional training. EABX plays an important role in the production of knowledge and methodologies concerning aquatic ecosystems, and is therefore a key partner of the OFB, that in turn finances many research activities: determination of ecological processes driving biodiversity patterns (OFB DISPERS), multidecennal biodiversity dynamics (OFB DYNABIO), biodiversity conservation (OFB MOMIE, OFB CONTANG), ecological status assessment methods (OFB IPBL, AFB 2016-2018 n°3, 23, 87).

ADEME (CyaTox Track)

CyaTox_Track aims at validating a decision support tool in an innovative colorimetric biosensor format to identify and quantify toxic cyanobacteria in water and aquatic environments. Based on a molecular approach, easy to use, fast and at low cost, it will allow to anticipate the risks related to cyanobacteria blooms that are harmful to health and the environment.

ANR Antibiotox ANTIBIOTOX (Fate of antibiotics and associated resistance genes in agroecosystems Ecotoxicological risk for functional microbial communities of the receiving river systems, PI: Fabrice Martin-Laurent, INRAE Dijon)

seeks a better understanding of the fate and ecotoxicological impact of sulfonamides along the soil::water continuum with a strong focus on aquatic ecosystems. Genetic adaptation of microorganisms in response to antibiotic exposure is assessed, to allow the development of innovative tools for antibiotic environmental risk assessment with high-potential industrial applications.


Modélisation Mécaniste de la BioAccumulation des contaminants organiques dans le réseau trophique de la Sole Solea solea dans l’estuAiRe de la Gironde.


Lipids as Indicators of Pollution In Diatoms: towards an integrated ecotoxicity framework for aquatic and terrestrial plants. This project aims to strengthen ecotoxicological approaches based the diatomic compartment of watercourses, in order to highlight pesticide pollutions.

INOTOP (Conservatoire du littoral, Labex COTE)

The INOTOP project aims at evaluating the potential ecological benefits of the tidal restoration of estuarine marshes from the north part of the Ile Nouvelle (Gironde estuary) through an analysis of the structure and functioning of aquatic trophic food webs and an evaluation of the dynamics of ecosystem services supported by terrestrial and aquatic components of restored biodiversity in response to management actions.

MicMAq (Labex COTE)

This project (Impact of Micropollutants on the Microbiome of Aquatic organisms) proposes a multidisciplinary approach combining ecology, ecotoxicology and molecular biology to study the response of the microbiome associated within the gut of the critically endangered European eel to environmental stressors. One aim is the identification of key drivers of microbiome composition amongst a large range of variables including water physicochemistry, presence of trace metals and organic pollutants and life history of fish.

BECAME (LabEx COTE) BioactivE Compounds in Aquatic invasive Macrophytes: Ecological insights and potential industrial applications

At the frontier between ecosystem conservation and services, the BECAME project proposes a pioneering interdisciplinary approach (ecology, chemistry, technological transfer) to solve the acute ecological and societal problems caused by invasive macrophytes.


Transfer to the Adour-Garonne Water Agency of the DYLAQ project described below:  database creation with associated metadata, delivery to the partner (training, listening to the needs, creation of the necessary queries...).


The goal of LOGIPLAC is to provide a tool that GEOLANDES (a syndicate dedicated to the protection and management of the Landes lakes and ponds) will be able to directly use to assess the ecological status of its water bodies through the IPLAC index (national phytoplancton-based index for lakes).


This project aims at transfering the technology developped during the Trackcyano project to the Syndicat Rivières Côte Sud in charge of routine assessment of cyanobacteria.

TRACKCYANO (Captiven ANR-11-CNRT-0003 interne)

This project aims, through the development of a genetic biosensor, at a better characterization of the presence of cyanobacteria. This tool developed by the startup Microbia Environnement, in collaboration with Ecovea, allows a rapid genetic identification (D0 or D+1) of active live cyanobacteria

Plascote (Labex COTE, coord UMR EPOC)

The objectives of PlasCOTE (PLastics and ASsociated COnTaminants in thE Leyre river: fate, toxicity and awareness) are to characterize the presence of microplastics in the environment, their accumulation into aquatic organisms and potential biological elimination, and their role in the transfer of other contaminants. Toxicity of plastics and associated contaminants towards the biota is also assessed.

PhytoCOTE (Labex COTE coord UR ETBX)

This is a research project proposed by the pesticide group of LabEX COTE, part of the University of Bordeaux. It deals with the use of pesticides in agricultural systems, in particular their presence, transfer, bioaccumulation, and toxic potential in the agricultural and estuarine ecosystem continuum.

URBEST (Labex COTE ; coord UR ETBX)

Because estuarine cities are now called upon to anticipate the future impacts of global change, a wide variety of different issues (economic activities, urban growth, land-use planning, and environmental  policies) now need to be integrated into a single governance strategy. In that context the contribution of EABX team was to assess what are the  main  integration challenges identified in previous works to engage renaturation of estuarine waters ? And what is the best course of actions to take in terms of ecological benefits and feasability?

P-Phyte (Labex COTE coord UMR EPOC)

The objective of the project is to gain better insight into complex interactions between macrophytes and phosphorus in the lowland catchments of the Arcachon lagoon, including the Leyre watershed and the coastal wetlands of the Leyre estuary. The main purpose is to determine how aquatic plant activity intervene in the iron-phosphorus coupling by changing locally the pH and redox conditions through their metabolism and physical role.


The BiodiverCité project is supported by a funding from the Nature Division of Bordeaux Métropole (including grants from Bordeaux Métropole, Agence de l’Eau Adour Garonne, Département de la Gironde, and ADEME through Investments for the future Programs PIA3). This project is coordinated by the mixed research unit Biogeco (INRAE-Bordeaux University) and relies on a rich scientific and associative consortium, including EABX. Our objectives within the project were to produce an initial inventory of fish diversity within the lotic and lentic systems of the metropolitan territory (in association with the Fédération Départementale des Associations Agréées de Pêche et de Protection des Milieux Aquatiques de Gironde), and a contribution to the evaluation of current and prospective status of ecological networks within the territory using a mixed social sciences and landscape ecology approach.

Shadeau 1 (Région Nlle Aquitaine)

This first phase of the Shadeau projects targeted the effect of the climate change i) on the behaviour of adults Allis shad Alosa alosa during the reproduction; ii) on exchanges between basins.

Shadeau 2 (Agence de l'Eau Adour Garonne)

This project in cooperation with UMR Ecobiop and several local NGO aims to disentangle the effects of several potential causes of the crash of the Allis shad population).

Dylaq (Agence de l'Eau Adour Garonne)

Ecological Dynamics of Aquitaine Shoreline Lakes - Analysis and synthesis of past and current environmental and biological data. The project aims to collect scientific data (chemical, hydro-morphological, landscape, biological, management) acquired since the 1970s on all Aquitaine lakes, in order to analyze and bank them in a secure database.

Pat2 (Agence de l'Eau Adour Garonne)

This project focuses on the monitoring of mineral pollution, more particularly trace elements (metals and metalloids) and organic pollution by targeting pesticides and a few polar metabolites, at the level of watercourses distributed in the north Adour Garonne watershed. One of the main objectives of this study is to establish the feasibility of large-scale deployment of passive samplers for routine monitoring of surface water quality.

CHOPIN (GIP Seine aval)

This project aimed to describe the state, dynamics and biomagnification of organic contamination in the food web of juvenile soles during their nursery phase in the Seine estuary. Thanks to contamination data obtained during the project in various zones and habitats and for several trophic levels, we implemented a toxicokinetic model for juvenile soles that we developed in the MOMBASAR project. We highlighted that the bioaccumulation of organic contaminant in juvenile soles can be highly variable in relation to available prey in the habitats food web and is highly related to temperature conditions. This asks topical questions on the efficiency of the nursery function associated to the estuary in the context of global changes.

Conservation Sturio 2017-2020 (Agence de l'eau Adour Garonne, Département de la Gironde)

This is the research component of the National Action Plan for the conservation of the European Sturgeon.

AquaVIT (Région Nouvelle Aquitaine)

This project proposes a multidisciplinary approach to the relationships between species, environments and managers concerning invasive macrophytes in the Great Aquitaine Lakes.

Déterminisme et écologie des macrophytes des lacs aquitains (Agence de l'Eau Adour-Garonne)

The main scientific question of this work is to understand how the native and introduced macrophyte communities allow to characterize the ecological state of Aquitaine lakes, taking into account the influence of parameters linked to hydrodynamics.

Programme de Recherche-Développement 2012-2018 : Nouvel indice diatomique Nouvelle-Calédonie - IDNC (OEIL)

Design of a bio-assessment index and a taxonomic atlas in order to assess the ecological quality of New Caledonian Rivers based on benthic diatoms.

Consacre (CPIR Ile de France, coord UR HYCAR, INRAE, Antony)

This pluridisciplinary project is addressing a set a questions in ecology, sociology and hydrology around the global issue of the continuity restoration of the river Seine . On our part, we are involved in a telemetry action looking at the movements of several diadromous species at two scales. Locally (i.e.) between the first and second dam to establish movements and home ranges to compare with a previous work we did below the fisrt dam. Regionally to identify the passability of obstacles.

Jourdain (Vendée EAU, coord CACG)

Mission of management assistance and consulting within the framework of a wastewater-recycling project. Preparation of specifications for the description of the initial state and for the design of water quality assessment surveys.

CLAQH (Région Nouvelle Aquitaine, coord UMR EPOC)

Diagnosis of the mercury contamination of the Landes and Medocain lake ecosystems. Potential impacts on human health.

MEILH (Région Bretagne, coord UMR LEMAR, Brest)

This project focuses on the role of the thin-lipped mullet (Liza ramada), an anadromous species, in coastal food webs in the European seas. More specifically, climate change consequences in terms of fatty acid transfer along the food web will be assessed, with mullet being the main biological vector between diatoms and upper trophic levels. A set of modelling tools will be used to integrate results of ecophysiological experiments on mullet into food-web models.

ROC (Agences de l'eau Adour Garonne et Loire Bretagne, ARS Aquitaine, coord UR ETBX)

The objective of the project is to conduct multidisciplinary research to develop tools and methods that will enable managers of drinking water supply services and their providers to build strategies for the patrimonial management of water networks (limitation of water losses and preservation of water quality).

MOMIE (Research and development contract INRAE/OFB)

This project focus on European sturgeon Acipenser sturio and it aims to (1) identify habitat preferences at sea (2) characterize trajectories from the Gironde estuary to the Sea thanks to pop-up satellite archival tags (3) test an eDNA identification method to detect spawners reproduction in large Rivers

REVE (ESR Région Nouvelle Aquitaine / Agence de l’eau Adour Garonne)

The project aims to (1) identify environmental variable influencing Acipenser sturio repartition in the Gironde estuary (2) characterize interspecific (A. sturio vs all fish species) interaction in this environment (3) use the previous results (1 & 2) to assess potential recolonization of Seine River and Elbe River (Germany). In parallel the project will (4) assess the life history tactics of stocked Acipenser sturio, with different life time spent in captivity, using low invasive multiple biochemical tracers to reconstruct migratory trajectory between the estuary and the sea. Scientific collaborations are planned at the European, national and regional scale.