ARBRE Interview — Jonathan Plett


jonathan post photoJonathan Plett is a molecular biologist who recently spent one month working with Francis Martin and his team on site at the INRA Nancy-Lorraine Center in Champenoux with the LabEx joint research unit IAM (Tree-Microorganism Interactions) furthering the study of symbiotic plant/microbe interactions.  Jonathan holds a PhD in biology from Queen’s University (Canada) and is currently a research fellow at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment housed within the University of Western Sydney (Australia) where he is studying how symbiotic fungi ‘talk’ with plants while colonizing their tissues.

Jonathan is an accomplished early career researcher with 28 publications/book chapters published in leading scientific journals including Nature Genetics, PNAS, Current Biology, Trends in Genetics and New Phytologist. The broad aim of Jonathan’s research is ‘to understand how plants are able to differentiate between symbiotic and disease-causing microbes…and how microbes try to influence the outcome of these plant/microbe interactions by using proteins to alter plant cellular function.’  The ultimate goal of his work is to ‘genetically identify new plant varieties that can ignore disease-causing organisms and that can enhance relationships with symbiotic organisms.  These plants will grow faster, produce more food and rely less on pesticides and fertilizers thus leading to more sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural and forestry practices.’

Jonathan was kind enough to talk with us recently about his science and his path as a researcher. To read the full interview, please follow this link :
ARBRE Interview — Jonathan Plett

A film about the Survivors project

new groupThe final round for the academic competition C’Génial took place recently on April 2nd. The participatory research project ‘Survivors’ (supported by LabEx ARBRE, INRA, the Permanent Centre for Environmental Initiatives (CPIE) of Nancy-Champenoux and by the College Duvivier of Einville-au-Jard) received the College-Research Partnership Award. Mrs. Marchal, the earth and life sciences teacher, together with her students prepared a film for the occasion.

To view the film “Survivors” :

To watch the awards ceremony, follow this link :

Annual residential seminar — EIR-A 2015




Forests in the French territories: challenges and risks
The Agreenium’s International School of Research
Nancy 12-17 April 2015


The Agreenium’s International School of Research is offering a doctoral course in Forest-Agronomy designed to improve the job prospects of doctoral students by raising their awareness of the major challenges facing society at the international level. This course is accredited under the “EIR-A” label and will be carried out within the framework of France’s Agricultural, Veterinary and Forestry Institute (IAVFF).

The residential seminar of 2015 will be held from 12 to 17 April to Nancy in the Museum-Aquarium Amphitheatre and at AgroParis Tech. It is organized by INRA Nancy Lorraine Center , the University of Lorraine and AgroParis Tech, Nancy. In the framework of this seminar, various conferences will be open to all PhD students in Lorraine: On Monday, 13 April (9h45-13h), ecosystem services and challenges posed by climate change affecting the evolution of forests will be addressed, Tuesday 14 April (9h-13h) will be devoted to issues related to tropical forests and/or management of temperate forests. Finally, on Wednesday 15, guests will be encouraged to attend a round table discussion on “integrity and ethics in research”, from 9h to 12h.

For more information, follow this linkSeminar program 2015

NFZ Summer School 2015 — FORESCALE

Forescale image

Climate change impacts on forest ecosystems

24 – 28 August 2015
Fafleralp, Lötschental (Valais) Switzerland



Real world solutions in climate change adaptation and mitigation often ask for interdisciplinary approaches. The NFZ – Summer School FORESCALE addresses challenges at the interface between different forest research disciplines at varying spatial scales.

NFZ.forestnet is a European research and higher education network which gathers French, German and Swiss institutions working on forestry, forest ecosystem and forest-related products. It aims at creating and developing collaborative research and education projects.

The goal of the NFZ Summer School 2015 is to identify research gaps at the interface between research disciplines at varying spatial levels in the context of climate change impacts on forest ecosystems. Experienced researchers in forest science will explore the possibilities and limits of disciplinary and interdisciplinary concepts in their field and will discuss possible approaches to overcoming barriers in implementing scientific know-how in forest management and policy.

This Summer School program is open to all PhD students and young scientists in forest research — The deadline for applications is 1 May 2015

For more information: NFZ Summer School 2015 — FORESCALE
Follow this link to apply: NFZ Summer School 2015 — Application Form

A journey through time !

photo LEGF copieChristine Strullu-Derrien is a visiting researcher from the Museum of Natural History in London working for 6 months with the IAM research unit with support from LabEx ARBRE. Her research focuses on the origin and evolution of Fungi and fungi-like microorganisms (oomycetes) associated with plants. She is interested in developing a multidisciplinary approach to bridge palaeomycology (study of fossil fungi), phylogenetics and genomics. Another focus of her research is the evolution of the various components of the vascular system in plants. Through this coupling of paleobotany and phylogenomics, Christine brings a modern vision to a discipline which is in the process of redefining itself thanks to developments in laser microscopy and synchrotron microtomography.

Christine will present her work on Wednesday, 8 April at 13h30 in the conference room at the INRA center in Champenoux.

All are welcome!

A LabEx seminar on the forest inventory

Jean-Christophe Hervé with the Forest Inventory Laboratory will present a seminar on the topic :

Recent developments in the national forest inventory and associated research issues




2 April 2015 — Conference Room
INRA, Champenoux
13h30 —14h30


France put in place relatively early (1960) a permanent program of forest resources assessment. The inventories were first organized by department according to cycles of about ten years. This system was used until 2004. The inventory method changed considerably in 2005 in that researchers transitioned to assessing continuous inventories for the mainland French territory by observing essential characteristics each year to arrive at a representative sample for the entire area concerned. Overall results are updated annually. The reasons for this change and developments associated with this method of continuous inventory allowing forest resources and their evolution to be characterized (rates of growth, harvesting, mortality) will be presented together with a new image of forests in France – a dynamic, new perspective.

The role of the FRA (forest resources assessment) in France will be also placed in an international context, particularly European, in which the issues of climate change and the strong dynamic of forests on this continent, as well as the political context of a reunified Europe have contributed strongly to rekindling interest inventory tools for national forests. This has also led to an emerging need greater harmonization at the international level, a process in which Europe plays a leading role. The presentation will discuss the new research issues associated with FRA, both at the level of increasing knowledge about forests for optimal use of inventory tools and new opportunities in the field of information production for forest resources and monitoring forest ecosystems.


The Survivors project featured in the Science & You newsletter

logo_sciences_and_you_0smaller survivors photo PFK


2 – 6 June 2015
Centre Prouvé — Nancy

An international cultural and scientific event open to anyone interested in science communication. Researchers, PhD students, mediators, business leaders, journalists or those just curious, are welcome.  Registration is open!

For more information about the event, follow this link Science & You
Read about Survivors in the most recent newsletter
Newsletter #10 – 23 March 2015

Montiers Symposium

MONTIERS title photo


Experimental forest site in Montiers




Forest ecosystems play an important role in global biogeochemical cycles and have also many other environmental contributions (air and water quality, carbon storage). Sustainable forest management guarantees forest multi-functionality. 

A day dedicated to presenting current research taking place on the experimental forest site in Montiers ( recently took place on Friday, March 20th at the INRA Nancy-Lorraine Center in Champenoux. The symposium was designed for researchers, research students, technicians, and forest managers working on the site of Montiers and for researchers who would like to work on the site or who are working on similar studies on other sites. Roughly 50 scientists participated (Univ. Louvain-la-neuve, Univ. Paris Sud, Univ. Strasbourg, Univ. Pau, Univ. Lorraine, Center G. Lippman, Andra, ONF, INRA Nancy BEF, IAM, EEF, LERFOB, DynAMic).

Following a presentaton about the Montiers site, the program included 15 presentations on biogeochemical cycles (water, nutrients, boron, selenium, chlorine), on quantification of certain stocks or flows (atmospheric dust, tree growth, soil fertility, energy balance, efficiency of production) and on soil microbiology (fungal and bacterial communities). The colloquium closed with a round-table discussion on the future of research at the Montiers experimental forest site, highlighting in partiular work at the multidisciplinary level.

Montiers : un site expérimental intégré. © Inra, M-P Turpault