LabEx ARBRE — PhD & Postdoc Day

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The LabEx ARBRE PhD & Postdoc day will be held this year on Monday, October 17

This annual event is designed to highlight the work of young and upcoming researchers currently working in the four LabEx ARBRE thematic areas — Integrative Biology, Functional Ecology, Wood Material and Forest Economy / Ecosystem Services. Organized by the PhD and postdoctoral students themselves, participants working in different disciplines and research areas will have a chance to share the focus and dynamics of their own projects and to learn about projects happening in other labs via a series of presentations, discussions, and a scientific poster exhibit.

This year’s organizing team

  • Océane Nicolitch (PhD Student, UMR 1136 IAM + UR 1138 BEF)
  • Remi Wortemann (Postdoc, UMR 1137 EEF)
  • Maira Pereira (Postdoc, UMR 1136 IAM)
  • Julien Sainte-Marie (Postdoc, UR 1138 BEF)
  • Van Tho Nguyen (PhD Student, UMR 1092 LERFOB)
  • Nicolas Valette (PhD Student, UMR 1136 IAM)

About registration

The deadline to register for all participants (including visitors) is Friday, September 16. The deadline to submit abstracts is Friday, September 23. All abstracts should be written in English (maximum 300 words). A number of participants will be selected to give oral presentations (15 minute presentation + 5 minutes for questions). Other participants will present a poster. If you are selected to present a scientific poster, please plan for a shorter presentation of 3 minutes.

As a reminder, for all PhD students and postdocs supported by LabEx ARBRE, registration is mandatory. PhD students and postdocs working with LabEx partner labs / institutions are welcome and highly encouraged to participate as well. The selected presentations and the full conference program will be made available at the beginning of October.

Follow this link to register : Registration Form
For additional information please contact Océane Nicolitch or Remi Wortemann

Appel à projets 2017

appel à projets 2017





L’appel à projets 2017 a pour objectif de soutenir des projets originaux en accord avec les quatre actions thématiques d’ARBRE, se situant sur des fronts de science ou présentant un potentiel de valorisation important. Une attention particulière sera portée aux projets venant conforter l’ouverture à l’international du LABEX ainsi qu’aux projets montrant une ouverture vers la R&D en accord avec les recommandations du plan Recherche et Innovation 2025 de la filière Forêt-Bois.

Un objectif prioritaire d’ARBRE est également de promouvoir le couplage entre recherche et formation. Les actions de formation et de médiation scientifique mobilisant les activités des équipes du LabEx sont donc aussi fortement encouragées.

Date limite de dépôts des projets : 3 octobre 2016
par e-mail à:

En savoir plus

ARBRE Publication — PNAS


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Unexpected origins of photosynthesis

The conversion of light solar energy into chemical energy, a process named photosynthesis, is one of the most important biological reactions on earth. An international team of researchers from the Université de Lorraine and INRA, together with the Universities of Freiburg (Germany) UPMC (France) and the University of California at Berkeley (United States), has obtained evidence of unexpected origins of photosynthesis. Using the moss Physcomitrella patens as an experimental model, the researchers have shown that throughout their evolution, organisms belonging to two different biological domains have contributed to the elaboration of modern photosynthetic organisms able to fix CO2. This result, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), marks the completion of research initiated more than forty years ago.

Oxygenic photosynthesis occurs in land plants, algae and some photosynthetic bacteria called cyanobacteria. In this process, oxygen becomes liberated from water molecules and CO2 incorporated into organic molecules as sugars. Photosynthesis is the origin of the fossil energy and organic matter available on earth today. It also plays a key role in maintaining constant oxygen levels in the atmosphere and in reducing CO2 levels, thereby minimizing the greenhouse effect.

Screenshot 2016-07-04 10.06.03In plant cells, CO2 fixation involves several enzymes in the Calvin-Benson cycle. The efficiency of CO2 fixation notably conditions agronomical yields. Studies of two of these enzymes, fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase) and sedoheptulose-bisphosphatase (SBPase), began more than forty years ago. By performing biochemical and genetic analyses in the moss Physcomitrella patens, the researchers have gained access to the molecular structures and catalytic and regulatory properties of these enzymes allowing them to trace back the evolution of the photosynthetic systems.

Surprisingly, the two moss enzymes are rather similar in structure and catalysis but they differ in their regulatory properties and phylogenetic origins. They were found to likely derive from two different biological domains. Indeed, one of the sequences is predicted to derive from alpha proteobacteria while the other one is closer to Archaea. These results support unexpected  hypotheses  concerning the origin of photosynthetic organisms which seem to consist of a patchwork of genes inherited from more primitive non-photosynthetic organisms which later adapted to constraints linked to the functioning of oxygenic photosynthesis. This work represents an important step toward understanding the functioning and regulation of photosynthesis and to gaining further control on plant yield.

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The results presented in this study were obtained principally from a collaboration between the Unité mixte de recherche Inra-Université de Lorraine « Interactions Arbres-Microorganismes » (IAM) and the laboratories of Plant Biotechnology in the Biology Faculty, and Biochemistry in the Chemistry and Pharmacy Faculty of Freiburg University. Additional cooperation involved laboratories at the Institut de Biologie Physico-chimique (IBPC) in Paris and the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at the University of California, Berkeley.

This article corresponds largely to the doctoral work of Désirée Gütle in a co-tutelle between Nancy and Freiburg with help on the French side through a doctoral grant from MENRT and from LabEx ARBRE, and on the German side through funding from Excellence Initiative of the Bundes Republik Deutschland including the structures SGCBM, BIOSS, FRIAS from Freiburg. The Université franco-allemande contributed funding to both sides.

LEF hosts its 2016 Biennial Workshop

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The Laboratory of Forest Economics will hold its biennial workshop this coming Thursday, 30 June

9h00 – Jacamon conference room
AgroParisTech, 14 rue Girardet, Nancy
Scientific program

Guest speakers :

  • Maarit Kallio (LUKE – Natural Resources Institute Finland)
    “Reducing the non-ETS GHG emissions with wood-based fuels – impacts and trade-offs within wood-using sectors”
  • Frank Wätzold (Brandenburgische Technische Universität, Cottbus)
    “Costs of uncoordinated site selection with multiple ecosystem services”
  • Jette Bredahl Jacobsen (University of Copenhagen)
    “Which portfolio mix do Danish forest owners apply?”
  • Marc Hanewinkel (University of Freiburg)
    “The Socio-Economics of Forest Adaptation to Climate Change”
  • Charles palmer (London School of Economics)
    “Was von Thünen right? Cattle intensification and deforestation in Brazil”
  • Mikolaj Czaijkowski (Université de Varsovie)
    “Using geographically weighted choice models to account for spatial heterogeneity of preferences”
  • Philippe Delacote (LEF)
    “Climate change impacts on the forest sector: the role of adaptation”Screenshot 2016-06-28 15.49.03

ARBRE Interview — Yan-Shih Lin

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Yan-Shih Lin

Postdoctoral researcher

24 June 2016





Yan-Shih Lin is an ecophysiologist and a modeler. Her research is centered on bridging the gaps between the experimentalists’ and the modelers’ worlds.  She has recently joined the EEF unit to direct the INTERDROUGHT project, a collaborative project between INRA (Nancy-Lorraine), the University of Lorraine and the WSL institute in Switzerland.

Yan-Shih was kind enough to talk with us recently about her science and her path as a researcher.  Follow this link to read the full interview : ARBRE Interview — Yan-Shih Lin



IWEMM — A International Workshop on Edible Mycorrhizal Mushrooms

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The International Workshop on Edible Mycorrhizal Mushrooms (IWEMM)

10-17 October 2016
Cahors, France

The International Workshop on Edible Mycorrhizal Mushrooms (IWEMM) was intitially proposed at a workshop called “Ecology, physiology, and fruit-body formation of edible ectomycorrhizal fungi” at the International Congress on Mycorrhiza 1 (ICOM1) held in 1996 in Berkeley, California. The first edition was held in Sweden in 1998 and was followed by six workshops in New Zealand (2001), Canada (2003), Spain (2005), China (2007), Morocco (2011) and Guatemala (2013). The next workshop, IWEMM8, will be held for the first time in France (Cahors)10-17 October 2016 (

This week-long workshop will address all areas of research focused on edible mycorrhizal fungi (e.g. truffles and forest mushrooms) and will showcase the potential of South West France in this respect. Its aim is to support work in this field by bringing together specialized scientists, industry stakeholders, and end-users from all over the world. The overarching vision of the IWEMM is to protect, understand (taxonomy, phylogeny, biology, ecology etc.), grow, and sustainably use edible mycorrhizal fungi for the good of people and natural ecosystems alike.

The IWEMM8 International Scientific Committee (made up of over 25 scientists) and congress participants will consider the ecological, social, and economic potential of these organisms, particularly with regard to the context of a changing world with multiple socio-economic and environmental threats. Active research and increased knowledge in this field promises to offer significant solutions to long-term challenges affecting tree plantations and forest ecosystems.

For more information, visit the IWEMM8 website : IWEMM8

ARBRE Conference — André Chanzy

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AnaEE-France: an infrastructure for experimentation on continental ecosystems examines the sustainability of biological resources and ecological services

AnaEE-France (Analysis and Experimentation on Ecosystems) is a national research infrastructure for the study of continental ecosystems and their biodiversity. In a single integrated network it provides all the tools required to study, understand and model biological systems and conduct innovative biological research on gene-environment interactions, biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems. The infrastructure includes an Internet platform used to manage access to these facilities, share databases and house modeling tools. These digital tools offer services that can be used to simulate scenarios and are an effective means of transferring scientific results to the socio-economic sector. By bringing together experimental ecosystem research facilities, state-of-the-art in silico analytical platforms and modeling tools, and coordinating these facilities in a shared, and common direction while developing new tools and methods, this pan-European project promises to play a key role in improving European research on continental ecosystems.

Dr. André Chanzy, Research Director of the EMMAH Unit at the INRA PACA Research Center in Avignon and a coordinator for AnaEE-France, will present this infrastructure on Monday, June 27 at 13h15 in the main conference room at the INRA Center in Champenoux.

Andre Chanzy photos


Closing ceremony to honor the participatory research project SURVIVORS

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What exactly causes trees to die? This question has become increasingly important in the current context of global climatic changes and it is precisely what some 80 middle school students from the Collège C-M Duvivier d’Einville-au-Jard have spent three years trying to answer. Working alongside researchers from the INRA Nancy-Lorraine center, these students have played an active role in the participatory research project called SURVIVORS, a project supported by two additional partners, the Laboratory of Excellence ARBRE and the local Center for Environmental Initiatives CPIE Nancy-Champenoux.

In 2014, researchers working on this specific question invited local middle school students to take part in a large scale experiment with the view of testing two primary hypotheses to explain how trees die when exposed to certain hazards: they either die of hunger due to depletion of their carbohydrate reserves generated by their leaves, or they die of thirst after an irreversible failure of circulation transporting xylem sap from the soil to the leaves.

Nearly 1,000 young beech trees from seeds harvested from forests in southern and northern Lorraine were planted 10 years ago in a specially designed nursery at the INRA Center in Champenoux where they were covered by a 500 square meter roof specially designed to intercept rain and to control the water supply. The experiment was designed to follow the growth and survivability of the beech trees in three contrasting conditions: watered beech trees without leaves removed (as the control), unwatered beech trees, and watered beech trees with leaves removed. Over a period of three years, the students followed the progress of this experiment as researchers. Each student was assigned their “own” beech tree to sponsor which they would monitor throughout the experiment; specifically this meant tracking its growth and conducting leaf removal each spring. They learned how to take precise measurements, attended workshop presentations where they learned about scientific methods specific to their experiment, but also about the diverse range of jobs and professions in the scientific community, and what kind of training is required to enter these professions. The final step for these young researchers was formatting and analyzing their results — and to try to answer the original question.

These students are now preparing to finish their third year (or last year of middle-school). To thank them for their participation and to celebrate with them for having been awarded several prizes (two being the 2015 Science and Society Prize awarded by the Lorraine Regional Council and the 2016 Prize for Academic Innovation), a ceremony was held on June 16 on site at the Collège d’Einville-au-Jard.

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ARBRE Presentation — All Researchers in Lorraine

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Come discover the “All researchers in Lorraine” project

Since its launch, LabEx ARBRE has committed to supporting projects aimed at developing training and dissemination to non-scientific audiences and promoting participatory research. On June 24, Pascale Frey-Klett and Annick Brun-Jacob (from the IAM research unit) will present an overview of one such project which perfectly illustrates this theme :

“All Researchers in Lorraine – from education to participatory scientific research”
Friday, 24 June — 13h30
INRA, Champenoux — main conference room


tous chercheurs lorraineFocus on Lorraine

The Tous Chercheurs project aims to establish research laboratories in Lorraine specifically designed for hosting middle school students and high school students for on-site visits of research centers, ultimately to introduce them to the scientific process through active participation. Tous Chercheurs (first launched 12 years ago in Marseille by Constance Hammond, Research Director at INSERM) is a multi-partner project between the University of Lorraine, INRA, the Laboratory of Excellence “ARBRE”, the Vigie de l’eau association and the Rectorate of the Grand-Est educational district. The project is specifically designed to offer support for integrating the investigative approach into science education and establishing continuity between high school and university level coursework. A parallel objective is to make ongoing research more accessible for non-specialist audiences (professionals, the general public, associations) by strengthening links between society and the scientific community. The research work experience program is supervised by PhD students and postdoctoral fellows who receive special training in the “All Researchers” educational approach. For doctoral students, this training is part of a transversal module offered by the University of Lorraine in partnership with INRA. A large part of the project’s success has been that it offers these students valuable teaching experience and the opportunity to reflect on their own careers in science.


ARBRE Conference — Frank Wätzold

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Dr. Frank Wätzold

Friday, 1 July 2016
11h00 — Main conference room, INRA (Champenoux)


Prof. Dr. Frank Wätzold is the Head of the Chair of Environmental Economics at Brandenburg University of Technology (Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany) where
research is focused on applying economic knowledge to problems related to environmental and resource management, in particular to the preservation of ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation. Dr. Wätzold will present a conference entitled :

A Novel, Spaciotemporally Explicit Ecological-Economic Modeling Procedure for the Design of Cost-Effective Agri-Environment Schemes to Conserve Biodiversity

Abstract :

Agri-environment schemes (AES) compensate farmers for land use measures that are costly to them but beneficial to biodiversity and the environment. We present an ecological-economic modeling procedure for the design of cost-effective AES to conserve grassland biodiversity, which is applicable to large areas, covers many endangered species and grassland types, and includes several hundred different types of mowing regimes, grazing regimes, and combinations of mowing and grazing regimes as land use measures. The modeling procedure also accounts for the spatial variations in the land use measures’ costs and in the effects on species and grassland types. The procedure’s main novelty is that it considers variations of the costs and impacts on species and grassland types that arise from different timings of the land use measures. Considering the spatial and the temporal dimension of land use measures makes the modeling procedure spatiotemporally explicit. We demonstrate the power of the modeling procedure by evaluating an existing grassland AES in Saxony, Germany, and identify substantial improvements in terms of cost-effectiveness.