Environmental biogeochemistry | INSTITUT DE PHYSIQUE DU GLOBE DE PARIS


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Research Departments

Environmental biogeochemistry


The Environmental BioGeochemistry team is devoted to studies of multiscale processes in natural and anthropogenic environments.

Most but not all of the research work done here concerns trace elements including metals and metalloids.

BGE research topics

BGE team has a worldwide footprint for laboratory and field researches

Working Places


The team is constituted with fifteen people with a permanent position: one senior researcher, three professors, six assistant professors, three technical assistants and engineers, one administrative staff and one retired professor. Between four and ten temporary contracts, mainly PhD thesis students, complete the team. Quite all the permanent researchers have teaching and teaching organization duties which cut half of the time devoted to research. About ten undergraduate and master internships are hosted in our laboratory each year. Larger scientific dissemination is achieved through student coaching, applied science consulting, interaction with private companies by the way of research contracts and a large implication in a professional bachelor in analytical chemistry where students are apprentices, and finally public interventions, e.g. in the "Science Days" at the institute or documentary films for national television broadcast. The analytical expertise of the team for environmental research and to solve issues due to complex and difficult matrices is frequently requested. The technical staff support all the missions of the team and beyond, through their tasks to provide various chemical analyses in the framework of the PARI facility.


During the past contract, our activities are organized around three main themes:
• The first one concerns nutrient dynamics (C, N, S, P, Si, I, Mn, Fe, Mo) related to the biological productivity in the water column and the aquatic sediments. A particular attention is paid: (i) to early diagenesis, I.e. physico-chemical and biological transformations of organic and mineral constituents in sediments with depth, (ii) carbon evolution in fresh water, (iii) atmospheric input of nutrients to surface sea water, including iron.
• The second one is the study of the transfer of matter in the soil solution continuum, river and wetland and the fate of micropollutants such as potentially toxic metals ions (Ni, Cd, Pb, Zn, and Cr), radio-nuclides analogues (Eu) and manufactured nanoparticles . For these two first themes, the roles and functions of organic matter, mineral surfaces and microorganisms populations present in these systems are particularly investigated because they significantly control the environmental fate of these elements, as well as their transfer to the biosphere.
• Our third research topic is devoted to the development of nanoparticle an trace metal analytical methods, and also to sensors to acquire in situ water physicochemical data (e.g. Alkalinity) at high spatial or temporal resolution in water, soil and sediments.


Members of the teams have positions in scientific committees of national agencies (such as ANSES, Yann Sivry) or national facilities (SOLEIL and ESRF synchrotrons, Alexandre Gelabert), take part of the research management at University Paris-Diderot (Marc Benedetti, Deputy Director for Sciences Affairs,2009 to 2014, président CS UFR de Chimie, 2014) or IPGP (Marc Benedetti, Deputy Director of IPGP), or are active part of international projects (Future Earth, SCOR, SOLAS, Rémi Losno).