MALY - Freshwater systems, ecology and pollution

Rivers of all types are complex living systems, and we still do not know much about how they work. Understanding the functional mechanisms which determine the structure of aquatic populations is essential in order to assess and anticipate the impact of human activities on running water ecosystems.

The MALY research unit

The research unit seeks to provide operational responses to diagnose pollution, especially toxic pollution, and disturbances resulting from hydraulic structures or river facilities. This research is tackled at various spatial levels, ranging from the reach to the catchment area. The unit is also conducting research, appraisal work and technical support to improve the quality of aquatic environments and reduce discharge linked to human activities.
The teams are studying the transfer of agricultural pesticides to water resources and the characterisation of urban-area pollution, working to improve sewage treatment and assess how microbial communities contribute to the ecological functioning of aquatic systems.

The chemistry laboratory plays a support role in these activities and contributes to the appraisal work and research carried out as part of the research topics: in particular, it is developing tools for the speciation and assessment of organic contaminant and metal bioavailability, and is playing a part in policing aquatic environments. Most of the laboratory's scientists have a special role in one or more research topics, often in close collaboration with the team working on this topic in the unit.

Research topics



LPTC (Physico-Toxico-Chemistry of Natural Systems Laboratory) University of Bordeaux 1 Véolia water TETIS (Territories, Environment, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information) joint research unit ONEMA University of Savoy University of Girona (Spain)
University of Claude Bernard - LYON I NIWA, New Zealand Epur nature INRA (Scientific Institute for Agronomic Research) Rhône-Alpes Regional Authority Rhône-Alpes Regional Environmental Agency
University of Claude Bernard Lyon I IFREMER (French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea) University of Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III Compagnie Nationale du Rhône University of Blaise Pascal Water agencies
SINT EDF (French Electricity Board) Deltares CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research) Grand Lyon, Water Management Departmental Councils
Rhône-Mediterranean-Corsica water agency Suez Environnement University of Liège CEA (Atomic Energy Commission) PACA (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) Regional Authority  
Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing University of Rheims University of Paul Verlaine, Metz University of Montpellier II

Public Health Laboratory - Environment


Head of Research Unit

Pascal Boistard


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