French-Vietnamese International Research Project Tropical Ecology Laboratory


Dr. Eric Guilbert

Dr. Nguyen Van Sinh


Larva of Pentatomids on their nesting place in the Cuc Phuong National Park. Credit: E. Guilbert

New 9-Hydroxy-5,6-epoxysterols from the Vietnamese Marine Sponge Ircinia echinata”. Credit : Thi Thanh Van Trinh et al.

Integrative taxonomy of the Rhinolophus macrotis complex (Chiroptera, Rhinolophidae) in Vietnam and nearby regions. Credits: Vuong Tan Tu and al.


The International Research Project France-Vietnam “Tropical Ecology Laboratory” (FV-TEL) is a network of International Laboratories recently set up on similar topics between the CNRS (Ecology and Environment Institute) and the National Museum of Natural History (MNHN) on the one hand, the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) and the Hanoi National University of Education (HNUE) on the other hand. It is managed by Eric Guilbert (MNHN) in France and Nguyen Van Sinh (IEBR) in Vietnam.


The IRP FV-TEL promotes:

  • training and improvement of human resources;
  • studies of terrestrial and marine organisms;
  • methodology of conservation and curation of collections;
  • sampling methods involving scuba-diving and tree climbing;
  • improving knowledge on Vietnam biodiversity.


The project is distributed in four work packages (WP) :

WP 1. Diversity in the Annamite Mountain range

The Annamitic Range is one of the most important regions of the Indo-Burma hot spot. The area hosts both tropical and typical Palearctic lineages, including many relictual taxa without relatives in the current regional fauna. We aim at understanding the historical causes of the establishment of this fauna focusing on two groups.

  1. Biodiversity and endemism of Orthopteroid insects of the Annamite range (Leaders: Tony Robillard, UMR7205 MNHN/CNRS/UPMC/EPHE, Hong Thai Pham, VNMN-VAST)
  2. Bird community diversity in the Annamite Range (Leaders: Jérôme Fuch, UMR 7205 MNHN/CNRS/UPMC/EPHE, Vuong Tan TU, Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Hanoi)

WP 2. Conservation and Management of Animal Diversity

Today, forest covers around 44% of the land area of Vietnam. However, primary forest has been highly reduced these last decade and it is now highly fragmented. How drivers affect biological networks? How to manage these drivers and their consequences on biodiversity? Knowledge on ecological processes will provide recommendations for a better conservation and management in two examples.

  1. Assessment and Conservation of Insect Biodiversity in Phia Oac Mountain, northern Vietnam (Leaders: Adeline Soulier, UMR 7179 MNHN/CNRS, Pham Hong Thai, Vietnam National Museum of Nature-VAST, Hanoi)
  2. Diversity and origin of the hypogean fauna of Northern Vietnam (Leaders: Arnaud Faille, UMR 7179 MNHN/CNRS – Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-UPF), Vuong Tan TU, Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Hanoi)

WP 3. Diversity and Conservation of Marine Ecosystems

Marine caves and lakes are peculiar habitats lacking light, having high salinity, poor water exchange which contrasts with surrounding areas. Mangrove is a peculiar ecosystem with specific conditions and biodiversity. This project is a chance to explore marine fields that have not been studied in Vietnam in the past, focusing on two projects.

  1. Chemical ecology in mangroves: implication of secondary metabolites in ecosystem functioning and valorization of new molecules of interest (Leaders: Anne Bousquet-Melou, IMBE; Mai Sy Tuan and Dao Van Tan, Hanoi National University of Education, HNUE).
  2. Vietnamese marine sponges as model of symbiosis at multiple partners (Leaders : Marie-Lise Bourguet-Kondracki, UMR 7245 CNRS/MNHN, Paris, Chau Van Minh and Pham Van Cuong, IMBC, VAST, Hanoï)

WP4. International Conference & Symposium

An important component of this FV-TEL is the communication of the results during international meeting aiming at drawing attention to the diversity of Vietnam.

Organization of Symposia on the diversity and ecology of South Est Asia (Cambodia, Lao, Vietnam. (Leaders: P.-M. Forget, UMR7179 MNHN-CNRS INEE, Nguyen Van Sinh,  IEBR-VAST)



  • CNRS UMR7205 (ISYEB)
  • CNRS UMR7263 (IMBE)
  • CNRS UMR 7245 (MCAM)


  • Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources (IEBR)
  • Institute of Tropical Biology (ITB)
  • Institute of Marine Biochemistry (IMBC)
  • Vietnam National Museum of Nature (VNMN)
  • Mangrove Ecosystem Research Centre (MERC)