IRP AntarctPlantAdapt

IRP AntarctPlantAdapt

French-New Zealand International Research Project on Environment

IRP AntarctPlantAdapt
Dr. Françoise Hennion

Prof. Peter J. Lockhart

Prof Peter J. Lockhart institutional page

IRP AntarctPlantAdapt


The IRP AntarctPlantAdapt (International Research Project Adaptation of Antarctic Plants to Climate Change), managed by Dr. Françoise Hennion (CNRS, UMR ECOBIO, CNRS-Université de Rennes 1) in collaboration with Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University (Prof. Peter Lockhart), Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Otago (Prof. David Bryant) and UMR ESE (CNRS, AgroParis Tech, Université Paris Saclay), will be effective 2018-2021.

Missions and research themes

Ecosystems under cold climates and with few species are among the most vulnerable to rapid climate change. It is crucial that we improve our understanding of the ability of species to meet short-term and to adapt to long-term changes. This understanding is necessary for the implementation of conservation measures not only for species in these systems but well beyond, for plant species in many other affected environments. The sub-Antarctic islands and the alpine regions of New Zealand correspond to ideal terrain for analysis. Their floras are related and their evolution anchors in the long biogeographical history relating to Antarctic influence in the southern hemisphere. In this program, we will seek to evaluate the potential of contemporary species to adapt to current and future climate change by examining current variability and diversity but also deciphering their origins and evolutionary history. The interdisciplinary approach combines cutting-edge analyses using phylogeny, new methods of calculation, transcriptomics, metabolomics, cytogenetics, and analysis of trait variation across abiotic and biotic gradients thanks to four complementary laboratories.


AntarctPlantAdapt studies the capacity of plant species to respond to environmental change in the short term and to adapt to global warming in the long term. The study deals in particular with the modalities developed by plants to adapt to a changing environment. Field studies are performed in Kerguelen Islands, Terres Australes et Antarctiques françaises, under IPEV programme no. 1116 (PlantEvol). We measure and sample plants and environments across a range of sites and conditions on the island, which provides insights into the species variation capacity. Hypotheses are then deduced that we test by performing experiments both in situ in common gardens and under controlled conditions in phytotrons. In the laboratory, we analyse variation in metabolites and in gene expression across the same environmental gradients. Our project will help in evaluating the full potential of comparative transcriptomics (comparative gene expression studies) as a discovery tool in adaptation studies of natural populations. We expect that our approach, combining variations, will deliver findings in biological features that are key in plant adaptation.

institutions and laboratories involved


  • Françoise HENNION (UMR ECOBIO, CNRS-Université de Rennes 1), PI;
  • UMR ESE (CNRS, AgroParis Tech, Université Paris Saclay)


  • Peter J. LOCKHART (IFS, Massey University), co-PI;
  • Prof. David BRYANT (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Otago)


Short read Illumina unigene libraries have recently been constructed for Ranunculus moseleyi and close phylogenetic relatives in the New Zealand mountains by Peter Lockhart and colleagues. These libraries provide a resource for investigating cryptic physiologies and also provide molecular markers potentially important in adaptive diversification.

Long read PacBio and short read Illumina sequencing have also been recently completed for a study investigating the plastic gene expression in the Lyallia kerguelensis transcriptome sampled across environmental gradients in the Kerguelen islands (IPEV 1116 PlantEvol programme). The availability of short and long reads will be used to build hybrid long and short read unigene libraries and test the sufficiency of short reads for unigene library construction.

New paper by Lorène Marchand, Françoise Hennion and colleagues indicates that endemic plant Lyallia kerguelensis from Iles Kerguelen presents adaptive morphological variation but it may not be sufficient to cope with the driest environments under climate change. (Polar Biology)

IPEV PlantEvol@Françoise Lamy

IPEV PlantEvol@Françoise Hennion

Ranunculus crithmifolius at Mt Hutt, South Island, New Zealand (Peter Lockhart)

IPEV PlantEvol@Françoise Hennion

Ranunculus sp. endemic from Iles Kerguelen. IPEV PlantEvol@Françoise Hennion

Ranunculus insignis subsp. lobulatus, Lake Tennyson, South Island, New Zealand (Peter Lockhart)



French-Australian International Emerging Action on Environment

2018 – 2020

Dr Renard Emmanuelle

Dr Bernie Degnan

IEA (PICS) STraS logo



Lectin labelling of the pinacocytes of Oscarella lobularis (E. Renard)


The International Emerging Action project « Staining and Tracking Sponge Cells to describe morphogenetic processes » (STraS) managed by Dr E. Renard, launched a collaboration between 3 French teams and one Australian team, in order to study and compare the cell biology of 3 sponge species with different features.

Context and objectives

Gene content of sponges was characterized by transcriptomic or genomic approaches. Surprisingly, despite their simplicity sponges contain most of the developmental gene families present in bilaterians. The next step to be reached is now to understand how similar genetic toolboxes can result in widely dissimilar bodyplan organization, dynamics and life histories. To answer this question, three main axes of research have to be undertaken : 1) sequencing more whole genomes ; 2) conducting much more gene expression studies (available data remain sparse) ; 3) developing reproducible knock down protocols ; 4) reinterpreting sponge cell structure and mechanisms with nowadays tools.
The 4 partners are interested and involved in these four aspects, but the present project focuses on point 4. The present knowledge of sponge cell biology mainly relies on classical (static) observations, which fail to provide a dynamical description of cellular behaviors and mechanisms, essential to decipher morphogenetic processes.
Much remains to be tested in terms of cell specific staining and tracking to understand which key cellular processes are involved in sponge morphogenesis and to evaluate the so-called “lability” of sponge cells.


We propose to join our efforts and skills to make substantial advances in these techniques to evaluate the implications of three primordial cellular mechanisms : cell death, cell proliferation/differentiation and mesenchymal-epithelial/epithelial-mesenchymal transitions (MET/EMT). We will perform these comparisons in 3 species with different features : 1 filtering Demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica, 1 carnivorous sponge (devoid of aquiferous system) Lycopodina hypogea, 1 Homoscleromorph sponge Oscarella lobularis.

We aim at :
Aim 1 : Evaluating the relative stemness of sponge cell types
Aim 2 : Evaluating the relative involvement of EMT/MET during regeneration
Aim 3 : Evaluating the involvement of apoptotic events during regeneration

institutions and laboratories involved



EDU staining of choanocyte nuclei of Oscarella lobularis (E.




French-Thai-Burmese International Research Network on Culture and Environment

2015- 2022
Dr. Jacques Ivanoff

Moken Alive Museum




The International Scientific Network (IRN) Tanaosri is a multi-disciplinary research project focusing on the Moken, a population of sea-nomads scattered along the western coast of Southern Myanmar and Thailand. The IRN Tanaosri sets-up a collaborative research between French, Thai and Burmese institutions that has been ongoing since 2015. The project is managed by Dr. Jacques Ivanoff, CNRS researcher at the Eco-anthropology and ethnobiology laboratory (UMR 7206 CNRS-MNHN).

Tanaosri is the research network project leading to a FSPI project in Myanmar MOKEN (2019-2020) which aim at building a Museum in the islands of the Myeik archipelago (Maxime Boutry, Jean Chicoteau, Fabienne Galangau, Jacques Ivanoff).

The Moken, hunter-gatherers with a strong ideology (non-violence, non-accumulation, strong resilience in the face of the blows of history), are the extreme point of migration of millions of Austronesians who left Taiwan about 3500 years ago. They are the repository of oral history, construction techniques, but also survival strategies and techniques for the rational exploitation of the natural resources of the western Austronesians, whose nomadic cultural background has left its mark on them. They are also the recipients of all the forgotten history of the region which they can tell to the interested populations. They can become the matrix for writing the forgotten annals of history, because history is constantly present in their myths and tales, and also in their way of doing things. Finally, the Moken constitute a link and a “cultural order” contrasting with the seemingly chaotic exploitation of the Myeik Archipelago (Myanmar).

In order to save the cultures, memory and resources of this archipelago of 800 islands coveted by many, the Myanmar government has decided to promote Moken’s place in the Myeik Archipelago’s development, and asked us to “give back to the Moken” what was theirs.

It is a question of understanding the nomadic model that has been able to protect itself from the tsunami, from slavery and other blows of history while preserving the environment and even re-anthropicizing it. However the situation today with the opening of the country to fisheries, pearl culture, and tourism has transformed the society. It is thus time to valorize and preserve this heritage with the Moken and the Burmese so that the Moken can keep their culture, that the Burmese continue to enjoy it and that foreigners discover it.

Missions and research themes

The IRN Tanaosri is at the crossroads between fundamental and applied research, so its missions cover the following fields:

  • Cartography of the Moken Social Space (CartES), mobility and resources: the CartES, by bringing together the representation of the territory, mobility and the oral corpus (myths, epics, songs, poems) of the Moken society makes it possible to identify anteriorities, social spaces that have disappeared, spaces that are changing and intermediate social spaces that are being created, and the coordinates that link the resources to the Moken society.
  • Museology: the interest that museology researchers have found in this field for new exploratory work in science museology (museum experimentation and heritage study) will enable us to propose and carry out a “sustainable” museum project that respects the values of the Moken. We have carried out the inventory of the collection and set-up the Moken Alive Museum which will also offer all the data from the CarteES. To continue the collaborative process with the Moken and ensure their understanding of the museum system, we will carry out a restitution study of the objects and a prefiguration exhibition. This study should enable them to understand the stakes of museum representation and will also provide us with a real laboratory for museum analysis on the reception of anthropocene museums. This research theme is also backed by a fund for Innovative Projects from the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.
  • Transcending borders: the question of borders is at the centre of research on the Moken and the populations (fishermen, tourists) with whom they interact. On the one hand, because the Moken are spread over a territory stretching from southern Thailand to southern Burma, and on the other hand, because as nomads, mobility is for them at the centre of identity issues. This research theme focuces on defining the Moken’s endogenous vision of “frontiers”. To do so, we rely on temporality and the way it permeates the myths, allowing the Moken to perpetually adapt to the blows of history. Does the frontier forge Moken identity in the same way that slavery and irrigated rice cultivation conditioned their differentiation from coastal populations? This exercise will enable us to approach the anthropology of borders from a new perspective that takes into account the endogenous vision of populations that are “naturally” cross-border.
  • Ethnogenetic: this research theme studies the genetic variation and diversity of the Moken people of Myanmar and contextualize it within the region of Southeast Asia, with particular reference to the speakers of the Austronesian family of languages.


    To reach the objectives of the IRN-Tanaosri, the following activities are envisaged:

          • The organisation of workshops and seminars within the network partners and open to external collaborators.
          • Co-participation to international congresses & conferences where the multidisciplinary expertise of the Network will be recognised and showcased.
          • Joint publications and implementation of joint projects between French, Thai and Burmese partners within the IRN-Tanaosri research themes.

    Participative research with the Moken and programation of the Moken Alive Museum

    institutions and laboratories involved


    • UMR 7206 : Eco-anthropology and Ethnobiology, Dept Hommes, natures et sociétés, MNHN-CNRS
    • UMR PALOC, MNHN-IRD, 57 rue Cuvier – 75005 Paris
    • UMR 201 Development and Societies (DEVSOC), IRD-Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne


    • Chulalongkorn University Social Research Institute (CUSRI), Royal University of Chulalongkorn, Bangkok
    • Institute of Asian Studies (IAS), Royal University of Chulalongkorn, Bangkok


      • Department of Marine Science, University of Mawlamyine

      The Ibling shaman (Island of Nyawy, Mergui archipelago) and the spirit posts (Credits: Moken Alive Museum)

      Nyawy village (Credits: Moken Alive Museum)

      Moken child, Niawy village (Credits: Moken Alive Museum)



      French-Australian-Fijian International Emerging Action on Environment

      Dr. Rita Soussignan

      Pr. Nunn Patrick


      Map of Brittany (credits: H. Duval)

      Map of Fiji islands (credits: P. Nunn)

      Kadavu Island: view of a bay near Nabukelevu-i-ra village (credits: L. Lancini)

      Ono Island (credits: L. Lancini)

      The hillfort of Tacilevu  in Vanua Levu Island (credits: P. Nunn, 2019)


      The IEA ECHAPH (International Emerging Action on Environmental Changes and Heritage in Atlantic and Pacific Hillforts), managed by Dr. Rita Soussignan (CNRS UMR 6566 CReAAH, Le Mans University) in collaboration with Pr. Nunn Patrick (University of the Sunshine Coast, School of Social Science) has started in 2020 and will run until the end of 2021.

      Missions and research themes

      The project aims to carry out a multi-disciplinary study of the “prehistoric” (i.e. prior to European colonization) hillforts of the Fiji Islands. The study will take into account the interaction between socio-economic factors and changing climatic and environmental conditions. It takes advantage of the respective competencies of two research teams: the French team of CReAAH-UMR 6566, which is specialized in archeological studies of the northwest coast of France and its paleo-environments; and the Australian team from the University of the Sunshine Coast (under the supervision of Prof. P. Nunn), specialized in the study of paleo-environments of the Pacific, in collaboration with the Fiji Museum, which is responsible for the study and conservation of the archeological heritage of Fiji.

      In fact, former settlements, now abandoned, are found in inland upland locations on many larger islands in the tropical Pacific, including Fiji: it has been suggested that the shift in settlement pattern must have to do ultimately with changing water levels. In Viti Levu Island, the chronology and functions of these hillforts were investigated through mapping, excavation, and collection of oral traditions by the Australian-Fijian team. With the contribution of the French team, the project aims to collect new data from Vanua Levu (Macuata) and Kadavu Islands. During the first year, the teams will undertake the study and interpretation of all the aerial photographs, as well as LiDAR remote sensing coverage; the collection of oral traditions is also planned. The second year will include the field survey at selected sites, for sampling of potsherds and (edible) shellfish remains, supplemented by mapping and excavation.

      The project also includes an ethnographic and participatory approach vis-à-vis the Fijian populations: collecting ancient stories from local communities which recall times when they moved in the past, can help to enhance climate/sea level-change adaptation and disaster risk management.


      1. The project aims to carry out a comparative, multi-disciplinary study of hillforts of the French Atlantic Coast (Brittany) at the end of the Iron Age and of prehistoric hillforts of Fiji. The comparison of the models should allow to:

      • establish a common archaeological typology by comparing the nature of the sites, in terms of extension, location, presence or not of a permanent habitat.
      • examine the issue of the life span and abandonment phases of sites.
      • appreciate the role of elites in a context of conflict, also taking into account, respectively, the ancient written tradition and the Fijian oral tradition.
      • to understand the respective roles of anthropogenic and environmental factors in the establishment and during the life of the sites. Particular attention will be paid to the study of marine and coastal resources.

      2. The acquisition of new data in Fiji through non-intrusive methods will contribute to the establishment of an exhaustive catalogue of fortified sites on little or unexplored islands, by also taking into account the oral tradition of local populations in the development of a model functional interpretative.

      institutions and laboratories involved


      • Prof. Rita Compatangelo-Soussignan, CNRS UMR 6566 CReAAH, Le Mans University
      • Daire Marie-Yvane, Directrice de recherche, CNRS UMR 6566 CReAAH, CNRS, University Rennes 1
      • Dupont Catherine, Chargée de Recherche, CNRS UMR 6566 CReAAH, CNRS, University Rennes 1
      • Duval Hervé, PhD Student, CNRS UMR 6566 CReAAH, University Rennes 1
      • Lancini Loredana, PhD Student, CNRS UMR 6566 CReAAH, Le Mans University (under the joint supervision of R. Compatangelo-Soussignan & P. Nunn)


      • Pr. Nunn Patrick, University of the Sunshine Coast, School of Social Science
      • Kumar Roselyn, Research Assistant, University of the Sunshine Coast, School of Social Science
      • Medina Hidalgo Daniela, PhD Student, University of the Sunshine Coast, School of Social Science
      • Nakoro Elia, Head of Archaeology, Fiji Museum
      • Nanuku Meli, Anthropologist, Fiji Museum

      Kadavu Island: view of Nabukelevu Volcano from the northeast, its top hidden in cloud (Wikimedia Commons).

      Bua hillforts poster (English)

      IRP FV-TEL

      IRP FV-TEL

      French-Vietnamese International Research Project Tropical Ecology Laboratory

      IRP FV-TEL

      Dr. Eric Guilbert

      Dr. Nguyen Van Sinh

      IRP FV-TEL

      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 UMR7179 (MECADEV)
      • 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)