The scientific activities of ESE cover a wide range of research in ecology and evolution, focusing on the origin and dynamics of biodiversity and the evolution and functioning of ecosystems. Several ESE researchers study the effects of global changes, particularly climate change, for populations, communities and ecosystems, and the response to such changes.
Our approaches include in situ observations, experimentation, and mathematical modeling. Research projects are conducted at different scales, from genes to ecosystems, and a wide range of study organisms (plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms).
The disciplines underlying our research include plant ecophysiology, ecology (e.g. community ecology, conservation ecology, ecosystems ecology, population ecology), ecological engineering, ecotoxicology, systematics, evolution (e.g. functional and evolutionary genetics and genomics, co-evolution, evolution and development) and the social sciences for the study of socio-ecosystem adaptation. Some research projects developed at ESE involve interdisciplinary studies at the interface of ecology and social sciences. Among these projects, some are closely linked to societal concerns and contribute to the development of decision-making tools for managers of biodiversity and social-ecological systems.
Our scientific strategy facilitates and supports research programs in a context of global changes on a diversity of objects and species addressing questions in ecology and/or evolution or concerning interactions between ecological processes and the organization of human societies. This inclusive approach allows our unit to confront important problems and to stimulate interactions and exchanges that generate innovative ideas and fruitful research topics.
Research at ESE is conducted within a large network of interactions, at the local (IDEEV research federation FR3284, and various research institutes around Paris), national (GDR i.e., disciplinary research networks), and international levels. These interactions include researchers from human and social sciences, allowing us to better consider societal concerns in the projects. ESE is a member of the labex BASC (Biodiversity, Agroecosystems, Society, Climate), of which one of the federative topics is the application of concepts and methods in agroecology to increase sustainability of socio-agroecosystems.
ESE also contributes to teaching and outreach activities, both educational and intersectorial.