Strategic orientations

Cemeb aims to address the environmental challenges faced by biodiversity on a research-intensive basis at the
best international level, and to create a highly visible entry in biodiversity issues at world scale.
Cemeb was created to address the environmental challenges faced by biodiversity through the reinforcement of core biodiversity sciences (e.g., ecology, evolution). Its scientific project revolves around three main lines:

  • Understanding the origin, dynamics and functioning of biodiversity, from genes to ecosystems, over various spatial and temporal scales, with a focus on adaptation and diversification and on relationships between biodiversity levels;
  • Predicting the biological impacts of global change and assessing ecosystem dynamics and functioning in order to produce reliable and robust scenarios (towards a predictive ecology);
  • Proposing solutions to societal problems, especially with regard to the consequences of global change on ecological services, by transferring results from research, i.e contributing to conservation biology sensu lato.

These main lines are developed and organized in much more precise topics, questions, or scientific fields in Cemeb
activities in research, training and transfer / outreach (see Table PR1).
The general idea of Cemeb project is to favor excellence and the emergence of new science fronts, the development of new technologies and tools, to strengthen international collaborations, to foster links and collaborations between research and the non-academic world (stakeholders and citizens) to speed up the transfer of research results, and to the train students, research staff and biodiversity managers of tomorrow.

This is based on:

  • A broad perspective (‘integrative ecology’) calling for input from other research fields such as the social or digital sciences in an interdisciplinary approach. This means that the activities of human societies are formally taken into account;
  • Studying all forms of living beings in various types of ecosystems, from highly anthropized to pristine (if any), and from tropical to boreal, with a special focus on the Tropics and in the Mediterranean areas as highly threatened biodiversity hotspots;
  • Developing research programs combining theoretical approaches, observations (including long-term ones in structured observatories) and experimental work. All these approaches are increasingly based on high-throughput and high-tech methods and fast-evolving data management calling for high-level technical competence, technological watch, and collaborative perspective.


In practice, these lines are developed through working tools and activities in research, transfer and training. Interdisciplinary topics are tackled both internally (Cemeb hosts scientists from different disciplines) and externally, especially with other Labex in Montpellier and the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (human and social sciences topics). ‘International’ is a key word in all activities, with an emphasis on human mobility.
A main objective is also to structure the Montpellier community in biodiversity and to enhance links both among Cemeb
research units and with other academic partners in an interdisciplinary perspective. Overall, the idea is to create a single, highly visible entry for all partners with regard to biodiversity issues, and to become a top player at world scale and the main European entry for Southern countries.

Examples of Cemeb scientific topics and questions adressed



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