BOREA, Biologie des ORganismes et Écosystèmes Aquatiques



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The Research Unit BOREA « Biology of Aquatic Organisms and Ecosystems » aims at investigating evolutionary biology and ecology of aquatic organisms. The objective is to understand the origin, the role and the evolutionary mechanisms of aquatic biodiversity (from molecules to ecosystems) and to contribute predicting the responses to global, anthropogenic and climatic, changes.

A large array of biological models are studied, including micro-organisms (bacteria and diatoms) and metazoa (such as cnidaria, annelids, molluscs, crustaceans, echinoderms, chondrychthyans, teleosts, …). Models are chosen for their phylogenetic position, biological cycle, ecological and economic relevance.

Aquatic ecosystems investigated also cover a large spectrum: freshwater, coastal or oceanic hydrosystems; temperate, tropical or arctic regions; “natural” or highly anthropized environments.

The Research Unit BOREA is purposely interdisciplinary, and covers a large range of disciplines, allowing development of complementary and integrated investigation of the diversity and of the evolution of aquatic organisms and ecosystems: biochemistry, genomics, molecular and cellular biology, “Eco-Eco-Devo”, endocrinology, ecophysiology, ecotoxicology systematics, phylogeny, phylogeography, functional ecology, modelling, community ecology, biogeography, macroecology.

Basic research investigations performed in the Research Unit BOREA, open the way to various fields of expertise and valorization, such as: - Enrichment and management of collections ; - Taxonomy and inventories of aquatic biodiversity, databases ; - Establishment of bioindicators for species and ecosystems (evaluation and prediction) ; - Preservation and management of aquatic biodiversity ; - Development and diversification of aquaculture (for conservation or production) ; - Marine biotechnologies (bioactive molecules, nutraceutics, biomaterials, seafood traceability).

The Research Unit BOREA is affiliated to the National Museum of Natural History (MHNN), the University Pierre & Marie Curie (UMPC), Sorbonne Universities, the University of Caen Basse-Normandie (UCN), the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS), the Institute of Ecology and Environment (INEE) (UMR CNRS-7208), as well the Institute for Research and Development (IRD) (UMR IRD-207), and has a partnership with the University Antilles (UA).

The Research Unit BOREA has several locations: in Paris on campus Jardin des Plantes of MNHN and on campus Jussieu of UPMC, in Caen on UCN campus, in Concarneau and Dinard in the MNHN Marine stations, in Luc-sur-Mer in the UCN Marine station, and in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, on the UA campus. In the frame of the cooperation policy of IRD, some staff members are also posted in French Guyana, and in some South American Universities (Bolivia and Peru).

Team 1: Evolution of Biomineralizations and Adaptations to Environmental Constaints

Team 2: Reproduction and development of aquatic organisms : evolution, adaptation, regulations.

  • Axis 1: Genetic and epigenetic regulation of development and reproduction
  • Axis 2: (Neuro)‐hormonal control of development and reproduction

Team 3: Adaptation to Extreme Environment

  • Axis 1: Chemostynthetic symbioses in metazoans
  • Axis 2: Sensorial perception in hydrothermal shrimp
  • Axis 3: Deep-sea colonisation and adaptation to thermally variable environments: stress response in hydrothermal shrimp
  • Axis 4: Design and development of pressurised instruments

 Team 4: Larval dispersal and Communities organization in autral and tropical island system

Team 5: Diversity and interactions in coastal ecosystems

Team 6: Source and Transfer of organic matter in aquatic ecosystems

Team 7: Biodiversity, macroecologye and Aquaculture

  • Axis 1:Macroecology and global change.
  • Axis 2:Biodiversity services



Direction et/ou correspondant FIRE: 

Tarik Meziane (Directeur)


Tutelles de l'unité: 

MNHN  CNRS  Sorbonne Université

Université de Caen Normandie   IRD   Université des Antilles