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Campus Forêt-Bois de Cestas-Pierroton. © INRA, Alain Girard - Inra

Our research units

Behavioural Ecology and Biology of Fish Populations (ECOBIOP)

The Behavioural Ecology and Biology of Fish Populations Joint Research Unit (ECOBIOP) produces both fundamental and applied knowledge to foster sustainable management of wild fish populations.

Salmon reprodcution and evolution of catches of adult salmons in the Nivelle river (UMR ECOBIOP). © INRA, ECOBIOP/Inra
Updated on 11/06/2017
Published on 10/26/2017

Missions and objectives

The research focuses on diadromous fishes (salmon, trout, eel, shad, etc.). These highly migratory species live alternately in freshwater and at sea and are remarkable biodiversity components. They have long been exploited by human communities and providing ecosystem services. Due to their special ecological features, they are highly sensitive to anthropogenic activities. ECOBIOP research is particularly interested in the effects of climate change, fishing, stocking, damming and water contamination. By developping new knowledge and methods to tackle these issues, ECOBIOP aims at improving fish population management practices and at reconciling biodiversity conservation with human activities.

Scientific areas

The research undertaken by ECOBIOP covers behavioural and evolutionary ecology, combining disciplines as diverse as molecular biology, genetics, physiology, ethology, demography, and modelling. Integration across organization levels, ranging from the molecular (DNA) and cellular scales (metabolites) to population and metapopulation, is at the heart of ECOBIOP work. The individual level (behaviour, traits) is central and analysed considering both functional constraints (molecular determinism, energy budget) and social and evolutionary drivers. ECOBIOP combines experimental approaches (in controlled and semi-natural environments), long-term surveys in natural conditions, as well as virtual approaches through in silico simulations.

Study on the trout reproduction in INRA Aquapole in Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle (France). © INRA, ECOBIOP/Inra
Study on the trout reproduction in INRA Aquapole in Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle (France) © INRA, ECOBIOP/Inra

Scientific collaborations and partnerships

  • On the Basque Coast site through the "Aquatic Environments and Resources" Research Federation (MIRA): interdisciplinary collaboration with UPPA (LMAP, LIUPPA, IPREM), Ifremer (LRHA), CNRS (UMR IPREM).
  • Within Inra: Research Units working on fish (UMR ESE, UE U3E and UR LPGP in Rennes, UMR CARRTEL in Thonon les Bains, UMR NUMEA part of the Aquapôle in Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle).
  • Nationally (excluding Inra and Basque Coast): IRSTEA (UR EABX in Bordeaux), CNRS (UMR CEFE in Montpellier), University of Bourgogne.
  • Internationally: Universidad del Pais Vasco (Bilbao, Spain), Unversidad de Oviedo (Spain), University McGill (Montreal, Canada), University of California (Berkeley, USA), Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Moncton, Canada).
  • At the interface between Science and Population Management: French Agency for Biodiversity (AFB, contribution to the Transfer Centre Gest'Aqua), Association for Migratory Fish of the Adour Basin (MIGRADOUR), Association for Migratory Fish of the Loire Basin (LOGRAMI), Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks (Québec, Canada), SCIMABIO Interface (innovative start-up, France-Switzerland).
  • Contribution to national research infrastructures:
    • Environmental research observatory "Diadromous fish in coastal rivers" (ORE DiaPFC), which contributes to the Observation Data Centre for Research on Biodiversity "Ecoscope" (supported by FRB and ALLENVI)
    • Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Workshop Zone (supported by the CNRS)

Experimental river (Lapitxuri - INRA Aquapole Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle). © INRA, GLISE Stéphane
Experimental river (Lapitxuri - INRA Aquapole Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle) © INRA, GLISE Stéphane
"Olha" Migratory control station on the Nivelle river (INRA Aquapole Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle). © INRA, GLISE Stéphane
"Olha" Migratory control station on the Nivelle river (INRA Aquapole Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle) © INRA, GLISE Stéphane

Outstanding projects

  • Member of I-SITE Energy & Environment Solutions (E2S, 2017-2020) led by the UPPA-INRA-INRIA consortium
  • Inra-French Agency for Biodiversity (AFB) framework agreement: various projects covering topics from sexual differentiation in eels to the management of salmon populations and genetics of migratory salmonid populations.
  • SALMOCLIM (Inra ACCAF metaprogramme): effects and adaptation of wild salmon to climate change.
  • FAUNA (Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region) and SHAD’EAU (Adour - Garonne Water Agency): ecology and conservation of shad populations.
  • MICROPOLIT (Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region): effects of micro-pollutants on the South Aquitaine coastal environment.
  • SALMEVOL (Paul-Emile Victor Institute): monitoring and analysis of the colonisation and evolution of trout in the Kerguelen Island.

The ECOBOP Unit gathers 22 permanent staff (17 from Inra and 5 from University of Pau), 5 PhD students and 2 post-doctorants.

Trout catch in Kerguelen islands.. © INRA, ECOBIOP/Inra
Trout catch in Kerguelen islands. © INRA, ECOBIOP/Inra

Contact(s)
Director:
Etienne Prevost (05 59 51 59 83)

Find out more