Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia based in Thailand


Creation date: 2001
Dr. Claire Thi Liên Tran


179 Thanon Witthayu Lumphini, Pathum Wan – Bangkok 10330 Thailand

5 researchers, 12 affiliated researchers, 2 post-doc, 4 PhD students, 3 trainees per year.


Launch of the annual Irasec South East Asia Review Bilan, Enjeux et Perspective in Jakarta (March 2019) Credits: IRASEC

IRN SustainAsia panel organized by C. Cabasset at the IIAS/GIS Asie conference in Leiden (July 2019) Credits: IRASEC



Based in Bangkok, Irasec is a French leading research unit dedicated to the study of Contemporary Southeast Asia. Supported by the French Foreign Affairs, it belongs to the large networks of the 27 CNRS research institutes abroad. Engaging the Humanities and Social Sciences in an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective, it analyzes the major developments that affect individually and collectively the Southeast Asian countries (Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Timor Leste) and the Asean organization. Deeply anchored in the Thai academic landscape, the center is also developing partnerships all over the region.
A team of researchers seconded from France in the region, are completed by a network of associated researchers, Master trainers, PhD students and Post doc. Irasec researchers are organizing international events with local Universities in Southeast Asian countries, associating international confirmed researchers, young researchers and PhD students from Asia and Europe. Irasec also enhances public awareness of the region through debates. It copublishes books with international academic editors, mainly in French and in English, and provides free access to its online publications (Open Editions).
The IRL IRASEC is currently directed by Dr. CLaire Thi Liên Tran.  It is one of the 75 IRL developed by the CNRS with strategic partners across the world and one of the 6 IRL in Southeast Asia. It is the only IRL in Thailand.

Mission and research themes

Research projects on Contemporary Southeast Asia
Regional & international cooperation
Support to young scholars
Publications and Open Access plateform

Research Themes 
Political transitions and Religious Issues
Territorial and Urban Issues
Asean and regional integration
Social dynamics, Migrations and Gender Issues 
Society and Environment, Climate change

MAIN projects of research

  • SustainAsia (2019-2023)
  • Gemmes Vietnam (2019- 2023)
  • ANR Vinorosa (2020-2024)

Academic partners

EHESS : Centre Asie du Sud-Est, Paris (CASE, UMR 8170)
National School of Architecture ENSA Paris-Belleville, (IPRAUS-UMR 3329)
Institut de Recherches Asiatiques (IrAsia), Aix- Marseille University
Institut d’Asie Orientale, Lyon (IAO, UMR5062)
Bretagne Occidentale University : laboratoire Géoarchitecture (EA7462).
Paris 1 University : Equipe de Recherche Interdisciplinaire sur le Tourisme (EIREST, EA7337)
Nice Sophia Antipolis University
Paris University: Centre d’études en sciences sociales sur les mondes africains, américains et asiatiques (Cessma), Urmis (Unité de recherches Migrations et Société)
Rouen Normandie University : Centre de Recherche en Economie Appliquée à la Mondialisation (CREAM)

Southeast Asia

Thailand. In Bangkok: Chulalongkorn University: Center for Social Development Studies (CSDS),  Urban Design and Development Center (UddC),  Center for European Studies (CES) Thammassat University, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT, ). In Chiang Mai: IRD, Cirad, AFD, Chiang Mai University: Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD).

Cambodia. Royal university of Fine Art (Phnom Penh)

Singapore. National University of Singapore (NUS), Asian Research Institute (ARI)

Vietnam. In Hanoi: Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), Foreign Trade University (FTU). In Ho Chi Minh City: Southern institute of Social Sciences (SISS), Open University (OU), Van Lang University (Departement of Tourism).

Indonesia. Udayana University (Bali),

Timor-Leste. National University of Timor-Leste


China. Centre d’études français sur la Chine contemporaine (CEFC, Hong Kong)

Japan. CSEAS U Kyoto, l’Institut français de recherche sur le Japon à la Maison franco-japonaise (IFRJ-MFJ, Tokyo), International Christian University (Tokyo)

India. Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH, Delhi), Institut Français de Pondichéry (IFP)

South Korea. Seoul National University Asia Center (SNUAC)

Other. Canada. Mc Gill University, Montréal University (Montréal)

The Irasec team at the Alliance française (November 2018) Credits: IRASEC

Meeting with the Secretary of State for the Environment of Timor Leste, D. Amaral de Carvalho, following the conference on Coastal Zone Governance organized by C. Cabasset with the National U of Timor Leste (February 2019) Credits: IRASEC

FJ Ruggiu in Bangkok with the Irasec research team, CNRS representative in Singapore L. Le Calvez and Prof C Vaddhanaphuti, Chiang Mai U (March 2019) Credits: IRASEC

International Conference Rethinking Asian Capitalism, organized by TAD. Tran and C.Tran with the Southern Institute of Social Sciences and Open U in HCM City (November 2019) Credits: IRASEC




2019- 2023

Dr Julien CLAUDE

PalBioDiv ASE logo




The International Research Network Paleobiodiverity in South-east Asia is managed on the French side, by Dr. Valery ZEITOUN, CNRS research director at the Centre de Recherche en Paléontologie, Paris (UMR7207) with the administrative support of Angelina BASTOS. It has been launched in January 2015 and renewed in 2019.

Missions and research themes

The IRN-PalBioDivASE aims to set-up a collaborative research network on paleobiodiversity in South-east Asia between seven CNRS French laboratories, accompanied by their supporting universities and Museum, and twenty European, American and Asian Institutes. The scientific topics of the network focus on the paleobiogeographical history of South-east Asia, the Asian Inter-basin correlations and the origin and recent dynamics of modern biodiversity in South-east Asia. It targets reinforcement of our knowledge on the evolution of biodiversity in South-east Asia at different scales.


    To reach these targets, the following activities are envisaged:

    • The organization of workshops, seminars and training schools within the network partners, but also open to additional regional collaborators.
    • To promote the exchange of permanent researchers and professors as well as master, doctoral and post-doctoral students. In particular, the training of students in the field and in collections will be pursued with the support from our different teams.
    • Co-participation to international congresses & conferences where the multidisciplinary expertise of the Network will be recognised and showcased.
    • To act as driver for attracting international attention to the erosion of Biodiversity.
    • To act for the enhancement and safeguard of the paleontological heritage.

    To draw-up joint publications and implementation of joint projects between French and Foreign partners within the IRN-PalBioDivASE research targets.

    institutions and laboratories involved

    • Centre de Recherche en Paléontologie, Paris (UMR7207).
    Dr Valéry ZEITOUN, Dr Ronan ALLAIN, Dr Marie-Béatrice FOREL, Prof. Nour-Eddine JALIL, Dr Michel LAURIN, Dr Grégoire METAIS, Dr Jean-Sébastien STEYER, Colas BOUILLET, Yohan DESPRES, Renaud VACANT 

    • Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution de Montpellier, Université de Montpellier (UMR5554).
      Dr Julien CLAUDE, Dr Serge MORAND, Dr Emmanuel PARADIS , Prof. Pierre-Olivier ANTOINE
    • Laboratoire d’Ecologie des Hydrosystèmes Naturels Anthropisés, Université Claude Bernard (UMR5023).
      Prof. Gilles CUNY, Dr Marc PHILIPPE
    • Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon : Terre, planète et environnement (UMR5276).
      Dr Jeremy MARTIN, Dr Romain AMIOT
    • Laboratoire de Géologie de l’Ecole Normal Supérieure (UMR8538).
      Dr Eric BUFFETAUT
    • Histoire Naturelle de l’Homme Préhistorique, Museum national d’Histoire naturelle (UMR7194).
      Dr Thomas INGICCO
    • Institut de Systématique, Biodiversité, Paris (UMR7205).
      Dr Romain GARROUSTE

    • Palaeontological and Education Centre, Mahasarakham University.
    Prof. Mongkol UDCHACHON (Director), Dr Pasakorn BUNCHALEE, Prof. Clive BURRETT, Prof. Varavudh SUTEETHORN, Dr Suravech SUTEETHORN, Dr Haiyan TONG, Dr Siria PONGSANGTHONG, Dr Bouziane KHALLOUFI

    • Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mahasarakham University.
      Dr Uthumporn DEESRI, Dr Komsorn LAUPRASERT
    • Northern Institut of Petrified Wood and Mineral Ressources, Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University.
      Dr Wilailuck NAKSRI
    • Department of Biology, Chulalongkorn University.
      Dr Noppadon KITANA, Dr Thongchai NGAMPRASERTWONG
    • Department of Biology, Burapha University, Chon Buri.
      Dr Chantima PIYAPONG
    • Sirindhorn Museum, Department of Mineral Resources
      Dr. Phornphen Chantasit, Tida LIARD
    • Department of Archaeology, Silpakorn University.
      Dr Prasit AUETRAKULVIT

    • Achaeological Studies Program, University of the Philippines.
    Dr Kathryn MANOLO, Dr Marian REYES, Dr Michael HERRERA


    • Department of Geology, University of Malaysia.
      Dr Masatoshi SONE


    • Department of Prehistory, Ministry of Culture and Heritage of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
      Dr Heng SOPHADY 

    • Natural History Museum of Guangxi Zhuang.
    Prof. Jinyou MO, Dr Duo XIONG, Dr Qiongyao FU


    • Savannakhet Dinosaur Museum.
      Dr Lattanabanlang CHUNLAMUNTRY
    • Department of Heritage, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Vientiane.
      Dr Thonglith LUANGKOTH


    • Geological Museum, Hanoi.
      Dr Quý TRƯƠNG QUAN
    • Department of Geology and Minerals of Vietnam (DGMV), Hanoi.
      Dr Luong THE VIET
    • Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Science, Vietnam National University, Hanoi.
      Dr Minh D. LE

    • Department of Geology and Paleontology, Genève Museum.
    Dr Lionel CAVIN


    • Cambridge Advanced Studies Program, University of Cambridge.
      Dr Simon SCHNEIDER

    • Museum of Paleontology, University of Tübingen.
    Prof. Madelaine BÖHME, Dr Uwe KIRSCHER, Dr Jérome PRIETO, Dr Davit VASYLIAN


    • Department of Paleobiology, Smithsonian Institution.
      Dr Antoine BERCOVICI



    French-Thai International Emerging Action in "Convergent evolution of deceptive pollination syndrome in Ceropegia and Aristolochia"


    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.


    The IEA FOOLFLY (International Emerging Action “Convergent evolution of deceptive pollination syndrome in Ceropegia and Aristolochia“), managed by Dr. Rumsaïs Blatrix (Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, CNRS – Université de Montpellier – University Paul Valéry Montpellier 3 – EPHE – IRD) in collaboration with Chulalongkorn University (Dr. Aroonrat Kidyoo), Bangkok, Thailand, will be effective in 2020 and 2021.

    Missions and research themes

    Ceropegia and Aristolochia are two plant genera that are phylogenetically distant but seem to share the same deceptive pollination syndrome: recent results show that flowers mimic the scent of crushed insects in order to attract flies that feed on exudates of insects attacked by predators (kleptomyiophily). These two genera differ by the organisation of the pollen: free and abundant in Aristolochia and clumped in a reduced number of pollinia in Ceropegia. In this project we propose a comparative analysis of the pollination biology of Ceropegia in Thailand and Aristolochia in France to describe evolutionary convergence of a highly specialized pollination syndrome and address the consequences of contrasting selective pressures on pollen transfer.

    MAIN projects of research

    This project has two goals: 1. estimate to what extent Ceropegia and Aristolochia rely on kleptomyiophily as a pollination strategy; 2. test the hypothesis that sympatric Ceropegia species have distinct sets of pollinators because of a particularly high value of each pollen load, which is not necessarily the case for sympatric Aristolochia. To estimate the extent of kleptomyiophily in Aristolochia and Ceropegia, we will apply a four-step approach to various species in both genera. The first step consists in determining the diversity of pollinators (flies, mostly in the families Chloropidae, Milichiidae and Ceratopogonidae). The second step consists in identifying the chemical composition of floral volatiles using dynamic headspace technique and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The third step is to infer, from the nature of the volatile organic compounds emitted, the type of resource the flowers mimic (i.e. the “model”). The fourth step consists in testing the efficiency of the putative model in attracting pollinators of the focal plant species by comparing flies attracted to the real model, to the synthetic scent of the model and to the synthetic blend of floral scent. To test the hypothesis that pollination is more specific in sympatric Ceropegia species than sympatric Aristolochia species, we will identify pollinators in sympatric populations of various species in each genus.

    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.

    IEA CosmoGravity

    IEA CosmoGravity

    French-Thai International Emerging Action in New challenges for cosmology and gravitation

    IEA (PICS 07964) CosmoGravity


    Prof. Ignatios Antoniadis

    Prof. Auttakit Chatrabhuti

    IEA CosmoGravity

    IEA CosmoGravity


    The PICS  CosmoGravity (New challenges for cosmology and gravitation), managed by Prof. Ignatios Antoniadis (CNRS, Laboratoire de Physique Theorique et Haute Energies, Sorbonne Universite, Faculte des Sciences, Campus Jussieu) in collaboration with Physics Department of Chulalongkorn University (Prof. Auttakit Chatrabhuti), Bangkok, is effective in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

    Missions and research themes

    The project is devoted to study  present challenges in gravity and cosmology, with emphasis a new approach to mass scale hierarchies, in view of the experimental and theoretical state-of-the art. We have recently entered an unprecedented era, with the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) searching for new particles and interactions at energies ten times Present and forthcoming particle physics and cosmological data have a real chance of pointing to a deeper and more refined microscopic high-energy theory. We plan to develop and combine ideas and techniques from supersymmetry, string theory, extra dimensions and holography to make progress in this direction. Central questions are: (i) the origin of the different scales associated with a theory describing cosmology, gravitation and particle physics; (ii) the role of supersymmetry at a fundamental level and its possible non-linear realisation at low energies. 

    MAIN projects of research

    The main research objectives are: (1) Particle physics and cosmology of (approximate) de Sitter vacua in supergravity, towards the description of both inflation and present dark energy. (2) Non-linear supersymmetry and cosmology. (3) The Universe through gravitational waves. 

    Our methodology relies heavily on effective field theory, symmetries and supergravity techniques. The results should be relevant to the ongoing and future observational programs in cosmology and gravitation, as well as to particle physics experiments searching for new physics beyond the Standard Model. In particular, we aim to identify interesting connections between cosmological observations, primordial gravitational waves and LHC results.

    institutions and laboratories involved

    • Ignatios Antoniadis (LPTHE – CNRS – Sorbonne Universite, Faculte des Sciences, Campus Jussieu, Pari


    • Auttakit Chatrabhuti (Physics Department, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok)


    Ignatios Antoniadis (front row, center)  and Auttakit Chatrabhuti (front row, on the left) at a conference (Unveiling the fundamental laws of Nature), along with students. 

    Ignatios Antoniadis and Auttakit Chatrabhuti (front row) at the Bangkok school on high-energy physics.