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OSUG - Terre Univers Environnement

Scientific priorities

13 September 2013 ( last update : 14 September 2017 )

Our research projects aim at understanding ecosystem functioning and the maintenance of biodiversity.
We are developing an integrated research (i) to describe the biodiversity patterns (spatial and temporal) at local to global scales, (ii) to understand the evolutionary and ecological processes shaping these patterns, and (iii) to depict the mechanisms underlying their dynamics in response to environmental forcing (climate change, pollution, land use change,...).
We rely on short- and long-term observation, experimentation and modelling. We use our results to model and predict the response of biodiversity and ecosystems to global changes. We address societal issues related to the evaluation of ecosystem services, environment management and conservation of biodiversity.
We are one of the few laboratories in France with a primary focus on mountain systems.

Our research is organized into 8 scientific thematics :

DIVADAPT — Adaptation, diversification and the origins of biodiversity
We are studying the genetic basis of adaptation and of speciation (reproductive isolation, shaping of hybrid zones ,...), and determining the evolutionary origins of biodiversity patterns (tempo and mode of species diversification, influence of environmental factors and key morphological innovations).
Methods: genome scans, genetic architecture, transcriptomics, phylogenies, comparative methods

INTERSPE — Species interaction networks: a functional perspective
This thematic focusses on the spatio-temporal dynamics of large herbivore communities in response to biotic and abiotic drivers, on the structure of interspecific networks and ecosystem functions (e.g. plant-herbivores/pollinators), on the modelling links between environmental drivers and ecosystem functioning
Methods: long-term monitoring, behavioural observations, chemical ecology, genetics, metabarcoding, ecological network analyses, trait-based models

PALEOENV — Paleo-environnements: A Long-term perspective on mountain ecosystems trajectories
We are reconstructing the trajectories of human-nature interacting systems to identify the drivers of the observed changes. This involves assessing the impact of human activities on the dynamics and functioning of environments, and modelling how these dynamics influence the distribution of biodiversity (e.g. development of communities after glacial retreats)
Methods: environmental DNA metabarcoding, isotope geochemistry, ancient DNA

MALBIO — Mathematics and string algorithmics for studying biodiversity
We are developing mathematical and computational methods for the analysis of DNA metabarcoding data (e.g., taxonomic assignment), the assembling of low coverage genome (e.g., organelle genomes from eDNA), and the analysis of individual whole genome resequencing data in population genomics (e.g.,detecting genome variation on non-model organisms)
Methods: clustering algorithms, supervised classifications, assembling algorithms, k-mer statistics, graph theory, statistical inferences

XPADE — Xenobiotic Pressure: Adaptation and Dysfunction of Ecosystems
We are studying the impacts of realistic multi-pollution pressures at the organism and sub-organism levels, the long-term impacts of pollutants under controlled conditions at a multigenerational scale, and the effect of pollutants under multiple environmental stresses in natural areas
Methods: micro/meso-cosms, ecotoxicology,genomics & transcriptomics, metabarcoding, population dynamics modelling

BIOGEOCHEM — Biogeochemistry: Linking biodiversity and nutrient cycling in permanent grasslands
We aim at understanding the interactions between functional biodiversity and biogeochemical cycling (N, C, H2O), at representing functional diversity in land surface models, characterizing the effect of nutrient cycling on the role of biodiversity and its impact on ecosystem resistance/resilience
Methods: remote sensing, sensors for climate, multi-isotopic approaches, metabarcoding, metatranscriptomics, carbon exchange, biogeochemical & land surface modelling,

MACROECO — Macroecology and metacommunity assembly rules: applications to biodiversity modelling and conservation
Our goal is to understand how history, environmental factors, and processes of species coexistence shape the assembly of communities and ecosystems. We are developing biodiversity models and statistical approaches for studying biodiversity as a function of time, space and level of organisation, and building quantitative scenarios of biodiversity (local to global scale) in link with conservation actions & management of protected areas
Methods: Transplant experiments, large-scale biodiversity surveys, metabarcoding, simulations, process-based & meta-community models

SERVALP — Dynamics of socio-ecosystems in a changing world
We are coupling ecological models for quantifying ecosystem services (effects of climate and land use on service-providing biodiversity, biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning). We are studying the mechanisms determining trade-offs and synergies among multiple ecosystem services, and building integrated scenarios of land use, biodiversity and ecosystem services by combining participative scenario building & ecosystem service models
Methods: geostatistics, land-use & agent-based models, ecological network analysis, social valuation, participative research, ...

Our research relies on several technical facilities.

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