Scientists connecting through Twitter

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Francis Martin followed Josh Neufeld for his interests in microbial ecology and developing new approaches in microbial metagenomics. Josh followed Francis for his agile use of the social media tool employing visual descriptions to communicate his expertise and passion for mycorrhizae and the mycology/ecogenomics link. They met for the first time on July 24 when Josh, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada – presented a seminar to the IAM team at the INRA center in Champenoux.


The title : Unearthing soil biogeochemistry through stable-isoptope probing and metagenomics.

Exploring microbial diversity represents an exciting frontier of biological research. Recent developments in molecular methods have enabled unprecedented access to microbial community composition, including active, uncultivated, and novel microorganisms. This talk will highlight two stable-isotope probing studies from my research group that are anticipated to interest scientists at the INRA, including a) exploring degraders of plant-derived substrates in order to retrieve novel glycoside hydrolases from functional metagenomic libraries, and b) targeting denitrifying bacteria in agricultural soils to identify denitrifiers that would likely not have been detected with existing probes and primers. These studies demonstrate the value of isotope-based enrichment of active microbial community members for exploring soil biogeochemical cycling, while generating new enzyme targets with potential biofuel and bioproduct applications.

On Twitter

Josh expressed his appreciation for how Twitter is an excellent tool to encourage students to engage in science within a framework that can be maintained professionally – but while also providing a platform for experienced researchers to exchange expertise – or like what took place here, to learn about what’s happening in other labs. “It connects us when we would not have otherwise crossed paths”.

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To learn more about how this meeting came about, read the short  Interview with Francis Martin

2016 Call for project proposals

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The primary objectives of the ARBRE 2016 Call for proposals are to strengthen international development within the LabEx and to provide funding for innovative projects aligned with ARBRE’s four thematic axes (integrative biology, functional ecology, wood-material and forest economics), which propose to advance science or which present significant valorization potential.

ARBRE also prioritizes supporting projects linking research and education. Projects which propose to incorporate training and scientific mediation with activities of LabEx research units are strongly encouraged.

Deadline to submit proposals : 30 September 2015
by e-mail to: klett@nanAppcy.inra

For more information

ARBRE Interview — Christine Strullu-Derrien

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Christine 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.

Follow this link to read the interview Christine granted us recently.
ARBRE Interview — Christine Strullu-Derrien


An Agroforestry Experimental Site in Bouzule

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Passing through Bouzule — a breath away from the INRA campus in Champenoux — don’t miss discovering a new experimental site… It is an instrumented agroforestry experimental research site managed by the Joint Research Unit (INRA-UL) for Forest Ecology and Ecophysiology (EEF) in close collaboration with the Joint Research Unit (INRA-UL) Agronomy and Environment Laboratory (LAE). Its installation began one year ago as part a project funded by LabEx ABRE, Agro-TCR.

What is agroforestry?
Agroforestry is defined as an intensive land management system that optimizes the benefits from the biological interactions created when trees and/or shrubs are deliberately combined with crops and/or livestock. This innovative practice is emerging in the European agricultural context as a way to promote ecologically diversified farming systems.

What is the objective of the project?
The objective is to establish an instrumented plantation associating nitrogen-fixing species (alder, alfalfa) with economically viable species (poplar, wheat) planted on an agricultural plot on the experimental farm La Bouzule in the town of Amance. The 5-hectare plantation consists of strictly ‘forest’ plots (pure poplar, pure alfalfa, mixed aspen/alder), strictly agricultural plots (pure wheat, pure alfalfa) and agroforestry plots associating trees with agricultural crops (mixed poplar/alfalfa, mixed alder/wheat) to evaluate the fertilizing effect of nitrogen fixatives versus non-fixatives. Additionally, two herbaceous cover mixtures were planted in plots composed solely of trees to estimate their effect on the growth of trees, and vice versa, as well as the effect the plantation has on the overall diversity of plant association and its dynamics during the plantations operational period. This last objective aims to study ways to compensate for two negative aspects of the highly discredited monocultures: their low biodiversity and their impact on the landscape.

While full instrumentation of the experimental site is currently ongoing, the site has already includes a weather station for continuous measurements of atmospheric moisture levels and temperature, and sensors have been placed at varying depths in the different plots to track changes in the moisture and temperature of the soil.

What are the challenges?
The experimental site challenges are threefold, as it is at once an experimental research site, a site used for student training and a functioning showcase for Lorraine farmers who have questions or concerns about the technical feasibility of these systems.

Still in its construction phase, within the next few years this experimentation site may prove to be an important support for numerous projects and research partnerships.

Learn More ..


  •  Read the Agro-TCR project description on the LabEx ARBRE webe site : Here

photo credit  j. galet

ARBRE Interview — Peter Oviatt

PO greenhousePeter Oviatt is a doctoral student in the program History, Anthropology, and Science & Technology Studies (HASTS), at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He studies the interactions of fungi, plants and people, typically in soils of high human impact. Whether found in urban gardens, truffle orchards or vast swaths of industrial monocultures, his area of focus is the rhizosphere: the vital underground where roots meet fungi. Peter investigates the formation of knowledge and shifting perceptions of soil-dwelling fungi and their symbionts. He pays close attention to scientific and non-scientific collaborations, particularly where applications of such knowledge impact societies, livelihoods and landscapes.

His central subject is mycorrhiza, a symbiosis between filamentous fungi and the roots of most terrestrial plants. With the management of mycorrhizal fungi that act as plant fertilizers, soil “remediators,” or producers of edible mushrooms, a mycorrhiza economy has taken shape whose complexities demand investigation. Similarly, with expanding interest in functional fungi, the ways in which various publics perceive and interact with landscapes, microbes, and soils continue to change. Through this work with mycorrhiza, Peter hopes to shed new empirical light on topics as diverse as agro-ecology, land use, and environmental perceptions writ large.

Peter earned an MA in Politics from The New School for Social Research in New York. He is currently working towards his PhD at MIT — Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Peter spent three weeks at the INRA Nancy-Lorraine center this summer to work with Labex ARBRE researchers in the Tree-Microbe Interactions Joint Research Unit (IAM) including François Le Tacon, Francis Martin, and Claude Murat. As he is still in the preliminary stage of his dissertation research, his current aim is to meet with many different researchers and gain a deeper understanding of their work, its influences and the broader network.

Peter 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 — Peter Oviatt

Presentations — Interface Project ONF-INRA

the presentationsThe Results Seminar for the ONF-INRA Interface Project was presented on June 23 by Paulina Pinto, Dr. Forest Sciences of AgroParisTech and project manager for the interface project “New tools for forest decision making in the context of climate change”.

This seminar was attended by 40 participants: INRA researchers, IGN researchers, Professor-researchers from AgroParisTech, members of the RDI and ONF managers, as well as representatives of the private forest owners.

Quentin Ponette, Professor of the University of Louvain, Olivier Picard, Director of the IDF-CNPF and the RMT Aforce and Eric Lacombe, Professor of forestry at AgroParisTech lead lively discussions on three topics related to: (i) new description methods for forestry stations using bioindication, (ii) prediciton of species distribution as a decision support tool in the context of climate change and (iii) application of these new tools on the scale of forest management.

Three presentations from this seminar (in French) are available via the following links :

Crédit photo:  M. Meuret – INRA

ANR Symposium Invitation

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The French National Research Agency (ANR) presents the upcoming symposium
“Dealing with climatic changes – The contributions of collaborative research projects”

Monday, July 6, 2015
Maison de la Chimie – Paris


This symposium is a valuable opportunity to present the latest research in the field of climate change conducted by projects funded by the ANR and the General Commissariat for Investment (CGI) – as part of the program Investments for the Future. The event has been organized as a side event featured at the international scientific conference “Our Common Future Under Climate Change”, taking place at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris from 7 to 10 July, 2015.

The symposium on July 6 will be structured around four plenary sessions:

  • Monitoring the climate change process
  • The impacts of climate and associated vulnerabilities
  • Mitigation strategies: policies and regulations
  • Towards alternative solutions?

In addition to these topical themes, poster presentations will show results related to emerging areas of interest, such as the impact of climate change on health, in particular, on infectious diseases.

The event will close with a roundtable discussion for an exchange on major advances, obstacles and prospects in the field of climate change.

For more information, please visit the symposium website : Symposium Presentation – Dealing with climate climatic changes – 6 July 2015

Follow this link for the program — Symposium Program

WONV Workshop

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Workshop On Non-Market Valuation (WONV)
AgroParisTech – Nancy

22-23 June 2015


The main objectives of this workshop are to provide a forum for dissemination of high quality papers in the field of non-market valuation and to create a network. The third edition of the workshop will take place at Laboratory of Forest Economics (LEF), in Nancy. Both theoretical and applied papers dealing with stated preference methods (contingent valuation, choice experiment) or revealed preference methods (travel cost method, hedonic pricing method) will be presented. The workshop is open to both young and experienced researchers.

Keynote speakers

  • Pr. Brett Day (University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
  • Pr. Stephane Hess (University of Leeds, UK)
  • Pr. Jurgen Meyerhoff (Technische Universitat Berlin, Germany)

Local scientific and organization committee: Jens Abiltrup, Serge Garcia, Claire Montagne-Huck
Coordinator: Pierre-Alexandre MAHIEU (University of Nantes, France)

Deadline — May 15th.
Cost —100€ for students, 150€ for non students
Contact: Claire Montagné-Huck ( )

For more information, visit the workshop website:



RMT AFORCE – Call for proposals

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Call for projet proposals for the AFORCE mixed technology network

Forests adaptation to climate change

Deadline for proposal submissions:
Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 17h00






Foresters and researchers have teamed up to create AFORCE, a mixed technology network (RMT) devoted to the adaptation of forests to climate change. AFORCE is a multi-stakeholder network: it brings together actors in research, development, management, education and training. Its purpose is to coordinate actions aimed at forest adaptation to climate change, and to provide managers with decision making support tools.

The RMT AFORCE has announced the new call for project proposals.

The objective of this call for proposals is to meet the needs of foresters, in terms of tools and availability of technical elements to accompany the adaptation of forests to climate change.

The priority is given to projects relating to the following themes:

  1. Adaptation Strategies, technical innovations and new forestry techniques ;
  2. Risk and economic evaluation of management decisions;
  3. Choice of species and origins.

The network is also offering the possibility this year to submit a letter of intent in anticipation of upcoming calls for project proposals.

Instructions for submission and a financial annex (attached) should be filled out and returned to us by September 9, 2015 by 17h00.

Please disseminate this call for proposals within your institutions and among your networks.

The 5th ReGeFor Workshop

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The next in the series of Workshops on Research and Forest Management


15, 16 & 17 June
INRA Nancy-Lorraine Center,
Conference Room



Forest management responding to innovations in the wood sector

If you are not able to attend the  REGEFOR Workshop, contribute to the work! A reflection, resultst, a proposal? Submit your singular or group voluntary contributions in the form of a short text or a poster by following the link below : CALL FOR VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS

For more information and regular updates, please visit the website : REGEFOR WORKSHOP