Health, Disease Ecology, Environment, and Policy


Creation date: 2023
Dr. Serge Morand


Southeast Asia is a hotspot for endangered biodiversity and emerging infectious diseases. The region combines the effects of demographic dynamics (urbanization, aging populations), economic dynamics (economic corridors and integration into globalization), environmental dynamics (climate disruption, atmospheric pollution, biodiversity loss), changes in land use (agricultural intensification, extension of commercial plantations) and insufficiently reasoned use of biocides (pesticides, antibiotics). Since 2008, a series of collaborative projects have focused on the links between changes in habitats, biodiversity and health (zoonotic and vector-borne diseases, emergence of antibiotic resistance), with a series of ANR-funded projects: CERoPath (2008-2012), ANR CP&ES BiodivHealthSEA (2012-2016), FutureHealthSEA (2017-2022), ANR FarmResist (2018-2022).

The International research laboratory HealthDEEP manages, on behalf of CNRS, the international coordination (biodiversity and zoonosis prevention) of the PREZODE PEPR (2024-2027) as well as PREACTS ASAMCO (Prezode-Afd) (2024-2028) on behalf of IRD.


HealthDEEP’s objectives are to :

  • foster multidisciplinary and cross-sector collaborations on the transmission of diseases at the wildlife / livestock / environment interface in One Health approach through the development of collaborative research projects;
  • contribute to the development of landscape- and nature-based solutions for integrated territorial strategies, in close collaboration with communities and local authorities, in a context of climate change;
  • strengthen dialogue in Global Health / One Health / Planetary Health between science and public policy at local, national and international levels, notably through involvement with international organizations (IUCN, FAO, WHO, WHOSA, UNEP, UNDP) or regional organizations (ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance, Southeast Asian One Health University Network).

HealthDEEP research themes are: Biodiversity, Societies, Ecology, Microbiology, Parasitology, Health geography, Public policy and governance of biodiversity and health, One health, Planetary health.


1. Thailand International Cooperation Agency Innovative Animal Health: 2019 – 2025

PI: Serge Morand

The “Innovative Animal Health” project aims to improve animal health capabilities through the development of innovative tools for detecting and preventing health risks at the human-animal-environment interface. The project pursues the following strategies:

  • development of innovative research to optimize co-benefits in terms of biodiversity and health;
  • development of pilot participatory socio-eco-epidemiological surveys, capitalizing on the experience of past and current projects (infectious diseases associated with wildlife and domestic animals, infectious and parasitic diseases associated with water or food, vector-borne diseases, antimicrobial resistance);
  • development of new tools for screening and surveillance systems, involving participatory participation (community science and local experts);
  • development of new tools to better anticipate and prevent emerging health threats in Thailand and more generally in Southeast Asia;
  • development of research on traditional veterinary knowledge contributing to innovative animal medicine in compliance with the Nagoya Protocol;
  • development of the implementation of the One Health approach by participating in the elaboration of a common framework for the prevention of health risks at the interfaces between humans, domestic animals and wildlife.

The “Innovative Animal Health” project brings together French experts from CNRS, CIRAD and IRD.

    2. CNRS MITI “One URban Health (OUR-HEALTH)” : 2024 – 2026

    PI: Eric Denis.

    Co-PIs: Olivier Telle, Serge Morand.

    The MITI OURHealth project (Study on urbanization and the emergence of animal-borne pathogens in the “invisible” health spaces of Indian and Thai cities) aims to examine the link between urbanization and the emergence of animal-borne pathogens in urban areas that are often neglected by public policies, but which present risk factors for the spread of these pathogens.

    More specifically, this project has two main objectives:

    • Identifying the spaces and processes linked to subaltern urbanization, i.e. the rapid transformation of initially rural territories outside the jurisdiction of urban authorities, but which bring together all the risk factors favouring the spread of pathogens.
    • To analyze the links between epidemic management at national, regional and municipal levels, in order to study biases in the surveillance, prevention and treatment of cases.

    3. ASAMCO (PREZODE – PREACTS – AFD) Thailand and Laos : 2024 – 2028

    PIs: Serge Morand (CNRS for IRD) and Soawapak Hinjoy (Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand).

    Partners: DDC MoPH Thailand, Dpt of Communicable Disease Control Ministry of Health Laos, Centre Infectiologie Mérieux Laos, AVSF, WCS, WWF.

    The main objective of this project is to develop innovative approaches to prevent/mitigate the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases at the socio-ecosystemic level and at wildlife interfaces. The project will explore the local context of zoonotic disease prevention in relation to land use change (including reforestation), climate change and wildlife conservation and use (including human-wildlife conflicts). This objective will have an impact on strengthening the involvement of the environmental sector and disciplines in the implementation of the One Health approach.

    In order to achieve the project’s objectives, several activities will be carried out:

    • Identification of wildlife interfaces and analysis of gaps in zoonotic disease risk prevention (wildlife value chain, land use change, domestic animal management, reforestation, ecological corridors, economic corridors, urbanization, etc.).
    • Mapping of relevant past and current projects.
    • Identification of gaps in policy and legislation concerning wildlife and zoonotic disease risks.
    • Development of a theory of change (ToC) to prevent/mitigate zoonotic risks at ecosystem level: targets, pathways, indicators and impacts.
    •  Implementing innovative actions to prevent, mitigate and monitor zoonotic diseases at local sites (local communities and administrations).

    4. PEPR PREZODE Gouvernance : 2024 – 2028

    PIs: Benjamin Roche (IRD), Thomas Balenghien (Cirad), Christine Citti (Inrae)

    Partners: CNRS, Pasteur Network, CEA, Institut Pasteur, INSERM, ANSES, MNHN, CNES, universities network.

    PEPR Prezode plans to hold three regional workshops in key regions to be determined by the international steering committee (e.g., Latin America, Southern Africa, Southeast Asia). Hosted by CNRS, IRD, MNHN and the Conference of University Presidents, these meetings will enable experts to share their research, ideas and experiences, thus fostering a collaborative, multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral approach to preventing health and environmental risks. These workshops will be designed to feed national and regional policies for the prevention of emergencies in a One Health approach, through the scientific evidence of the research results obtained by PEPR Prezode. A particular emphasis will be placed on involving regional and national One Health networks, international organizations (including the One Health Quadripartite), international programs and civil society organizations. These workshops will form part of the new “French Global Health Strategy” (2023-2027), which makes explicit reference to One Health and the Prezode initiative, to which all French research operators involved in One Health have actively contributed. These workshops will integrate field approaches and involve local/regional players (around 50 people in total).

    Project ASAMCO HealthDEEP CNRS

    5. FEF-R MAE “Training community volunteers to implement the One Health approach in the Mekong Basin”: 2024-2024

    Co-PIs: Juliette Perrot (French Embassy in Thailand), Serge Morand


    The signing institutions of the IRL HealthDEEP are CNRS and two thai universities: Mahidol University and Kasetsart University.

    The IRL is currently directed by Dr Serge Morand (Director of Research at CNRS). It is one of the 75 IRL developed by the CNRS with strategic partners across the world and the second IRL in Thailand.

      Below, some pictures from the signing ceremony of the IRL in the French Embassy in Bangkok, July 2023.



      Sociality and reproduction : genetic and social transmission of social networks in crested macaques




      Julie DUBOSCQ – French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)

      Dyah PERWITASARI-FARAJALLAH – Biosystematics and Animal Ecology Unit, Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) University, Bogor, Indonesia


      The objective of the project is to study the links between sociality and reproduction in crested macaques, a highly social primate species.

      Despite its cost in terms of competition for resources and transmission of parasites/pathogens, sociality (social interactions and relationships between individuals) is beneficial to individuals. In both human and animal societies, individuals who have strong, balanced or enduring social relationships are generally healthier, live longer or have more children. These special social relationships are formed especially between individuals who are related or have similar characteristics in age or social status. However, cultivating a broad social network, not just with relatives, is also beneficial.
      These variations in sociality are related to variations in reproductive success at the individual level, but reproductive success is also transmitted socially: individuals with high social status produce more offspring that have a fitness advantage. The role of individuals in their social network (hierarchical rank, social status) is transgenerational and heritable, but also strongly dependent on social support from peers. There are thus 2 non-independent components – genetic and social – in primate social networks. In species with heightened sociality, such as humans or crested macaques, where kinship is not the only factor structuring social relationships, these 2 components are highly intertwined. Distinguishing between them requires long-term, high-resolution data.
      We study monkeys in the wild, we must establish kinship genetically (no pedigree) and observe the behavior of monkeys on site. The data are therefore characterized by a low resolution. Analytical protocols exist, or have been under development by our teams for several years, to overcome this, e.g., fecal DNA capture-enrichment and whole genome sequencing, or Bayesian dynamic analysis of social networks.

      Proposed actions:
      Action 1: establish genetic relatedness from whole genome sequencing (WGS).
      Action 2 : study the relationship between sociality and reproduction
      Action 3: maintain and strengthen collaboration


      Academic partners


      UMR7206 Eco-anthropologie (CNRS / MNHN)


      Biosystematics and Animal Ecology Unit, Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) University, Bogor, Indonesia


      Institute of Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Leipzig, Leipzig

      German Primate Centre, Göttingen

      Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig




      French-Thai International Research Project on "Ecology and evolution of specialized pollination by flies"


      Dr. Rumsaïs Blatrix

      Dr. Aroonrat (Meekijjaroenroj) Kidyoo

      IEA FoolFly

      Flower of Ceropegia tenuicaulis in Pha Taem National Park, Thailand, with the main pollinator, a fly of the family Milichiidae, ready to enter the pitcher-shaped corolla. The scent emitted by the flower deceives the fly by mimicking a food source. Photo credit: R. Blatrix.


      This International Research Project SPECIFLY aims to contribute to the understanding of angiosperm evolution by studying the proximal and ultimate factors of pollination specialization by flies. The originality of the project lies in its approach, which is based on a comparative framework offering both morphological and phylogenetic contrasts, and in the biological models chosen, which are plant-pollinator systems that have been relatively understudied but whose particular characteristics make them well-suited to meet the main objective.

      Missions and research themes

      As study models, the team will use fly-pollinated species in two phylogenetically distant families, Apocynaceae (subfamily Asclepiadoideae) and Aristolochiaceae. In the latter family, they will focus on the genus Aristolochia, characterized by trap flowers. Several species of Aristolochia are present in France and other species are present in Thailand. In the family Asclepiadoideae, they will study Ceropegia (in Thailand), which has trap flowers; Brachystelma (in Thailand), a sister genus to Ceropegia but with open flowers; the distant relative Vincetoxicum (represented in both France and Thailand, but by different species), with open flowers; and Heterostemma ficoides (in Thailand), which has a flower resembling a fig (a convergence in the physical filtering of pollinators). Unlike the Aristolochiaceae, all species of Asclepiadoideae have pollen clustered in pollinia.

      MAIN projects of research

      Objective 1: How is specialization in these plant-dipteran interactions achieved? A combination of behavioral and mechanical filters likely drive specialization in these systems. The team will characterize the filtering mechanisms of pollinators and interpret their evolution in a phylogenetic framework within each genus.

      Objective 2: How does floral morphology affect the evolution of specialization? Trap flowers have morphological features that facilitate pollinator screening. Are trap flowers more specialized than open flowers? The team will compare pollinator assemblages between the two sister genera, Ceropegia (trap flowers) and Brachystelma (open flowers), and with the less related genus Vincetoxicum (open flowers). They postulate that the level of specificity in synchronopatric species sharing the same pollination strategy should be higher when pollen is grouped in pollinia than when it is produced as individual grains, because there are fewer opportunities to transfer pollen in the former case. To test this hypothesis they will measure the overlap in pollinator assemblages between Ceropegia species and between Aristolochia species.

      Objective 3: How do pollen limitation and reproductive interference influence the evolution of specialization? Specialization can increase pollen limitation, but pollen limitation can be mitigated by autonomous autogamy or by a moderate level of specialization. To test the hypothesis of a trade-off between level of specialization and autonomous autogamy, the team will compare reproductive biology and pollen limitation among Aristolochia species that vary in autogamy and specialization. To test the existence of a relationship between floral specialization and reproductive interference, they will compare specialization among synchronopatric species (Aristolochia in France) and among sympatric but asynchronous species (Aristolochia in Thailand).

      The main activities will be the identification of floral VOCs and pollinator assemblages, molecular phylogeny, characterization of plant reproductive strategy, measurement of plant reproductive success.


      institutions and laboratories involved

      • Dr. Rumsaïs Blatrix (Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, CNRS – Université de Montpellier – University Paul Valéry Montpellier 3 – EPHE – IRD).


      • Dr. Aroonrat Kidyoo (Department of Botany, Chulalongkorn University).


      Ceropegia species in Thailand, like this one in Sai Thong National Park, show a very high level of endemism. Thus, they are of particular interest for conservation issues. Photo credit: R. Blatrix.

      Floral scents are extracted in the field using an apparatus specially designed for the purpose. Photo credit: R. Blatrix.

      Aristolochia pistolochia, in France. Ceropegia and Aristolochia belong to distinct plant families, but deceptive pollination using small flies has converged in several species. Photo credit: R. Blatrix.



      Creating & Mapping the Heritages of the Ordinary City




      Prof. Adèle Esposito Andujar – French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)


      The international research network CREMA (Documenting & Mapping the Heritages of the Ordinary City) examines, in a comparative perspective on the scale of South-East Asia, the processes by which associative and professional actors, in synergy with communities of inhabitants, attribute heritage values to the places of everyday life (residential and commercial districts) that make up the “ordinary city”.


      Academic partners

      Centre de recherche en sciences sociales et humaines sur l’Asie du Sud-Est (IRASEC – UAR 3142)

      Architecture Urbanisme Société : Savoirs Enseignement Recherche (UMR AUSser 3329)

      Pôle de Recherche pour l’Organisation et la Diffusion de l’Information Géographique (PRODIG – UMR 8586)


      Indonesian Heritage Trust & Université Trisakti


      Badan Warisan Malaysia (The Heritage of Malaysia Trust)

      Penang Heritage Trust


      Chiang Mai University

      Chulalongkorn University


      IEA Metal carbonyl complexes as a theranostic

      IEA Metal carbonyl complexes as a theranostic





      Prof. Hélène BertrandDépartement de Chimie, Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS)

      Dr. LEONG Weng Kee – Schoof of physical and Mathematical Sciences, Division of Chemistry and Biological Chemistry (NTU)


      Carbon monoxide is an important cell signaling molecule with many potential therapeutic applications. A main difficulty with realizing this in a clinical setting, however, lies in its controlled release; CO-releasing molecules (CORMs) represent a promising way towards achieving this. Current investigations into CORMS are hampered by important unanswered questions such as the rate of uptake and CO release, and the fate of the products in vivo. Herein, we propose the design of Organometallic–Nanoparticle constructs as a new class of theranostic nanomaterials that will combine specific delivery, tunable CO-release and stabilized products, together with trackability through surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopic (SERS), photoacoustic (PA) or fluorescence imaging. The work will be carried out by a French-Singaporean consortium of complementary expertise.

      MAIN projects of research

      • CO-releasing molecules (CORMs)

      Academic partners

      Laboratoire des BioMolécules (LBM – UMR 7203)


      Schoof of physical and Mathematical Sciences, Division of Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, Nanyang Technological University (NTU)