Our Research

Working in nine regional centres, Irstea researchers are in direct contact with the various local areas, and their field observations form the basis of their research.
Environmental science actually closely interweaves experimentation, theoretical models and technological innovation, as demonstrated by their close partnership with public figures and the economic network.

Water Department

Availability of water resources, pollution, aquatic ecosystems, natural risks, irrigation, fishing, and development... water management is more of a worldwide issue than ever. Consequently, a European framework directive sets Member States the goal of attaining good ecological conditions for water bodies. Almost half of Cemagref's research work is deployed in studying and managing surface water and any associated activities. The institute runs a wide range of activities dedicated to water resources, aquatic environments, infrastructures and uses. It comes up with knowledge and tools to manage the short and long term, understand interactions and reciprocal effects between human actions and environments, establish models and improve management tools.


5 research topics:

Hazards and risks linked to the water cycle - Arceau

Biological and ecological responses to contamination of the aquatic environment: Ecotoxicology and bioindication - Belca

Water management, uses, services and impact - Geusi

Quality of aquatic systems and ecological restoration - Quasare

Risks associated with fast-moving gravitational phenomena, safety of hydraulic structures and vulnerability - Rivage

Environmental Technologies Department

Companies come up against the challenge of conciliating productivity and respect for the environment: they have become accountants, calculating the impact of their activities on resources and environments. Perfecting eco-technologies prioritises a global approach (from design to the end of their life) and a multi-criteria approach (environmental, economic and social components). The fields of application for research affect the agro-industrial sectors: agriculture and agro-food, waste management and storage, purification and new technologies. The innovations developed by the department's scientists are transferred to different industrial partnerships.

4 research topics:

Models, information systems and viable management of the environment - Motive

Structures, processes, flows, energy - SPEE

Water and waste technologies and procedures - TED

Integration, modelling and environmental assessment - Inspire

Land Use Department

On the scale of the rural and peri-urban territories, sustainable development depends strongly on how relations are managed between the natural environment and human activities. Multidisciplinary approaches combining ecology, remote detection and human sciences are particularly adapted to study this sustainable development process and tackle the territory in its different dimensions. They help us to realise just how the different uses can be arranged: residential, productive (agriculture and forestry particularly) and conserving the environment, appreciating their reciprocal effects and analysing public policies intended to manage them.

3 research topics:

Information and display systems for integrated management of the environment - Synergie
Land-based ecological systems, dynamics, vulnerability and engineering - Sedyvin
Spatial planning and multifunctional agriculture - DTAM