Centre Européen
de Recherche et d'Enseignement
des Géosciences de l'Environnement

Labex OT-MED

LABEX OT-MED CEREGE, holder of the Labex OT-Med 2012.

The objective of OT-Med (Objectif Terre : Bassin Méditerranéen), a 2012 laboratory of excellence, is to create an interdisciplinary Earth Institute of high international standard focusing on the environment in the Mediterranean basin and the semi-arid regions of the South (in reference to the Earth Institute of Columbia University). OT-Med aims to link the physical-biological sciences on natural hazards, in particular related to climate change, with Society and the social sciences. The Mediterranean basin has a rich history that bears the foundations for such studies. OT-Med is also a significant contribution to the MISTRALS programme launched by the CNRS and other French research organisations (http://www.mistrals-home.org/ ). OT-Med includes nine research units affiliated to the University of Aix-Marseille, CNRS, IRD, INRA, IRSTEA and the Universities of Avignon and Toulon. For more details, see http://www.eccorev.fr/spip.php?arti... The scientific project is divided into three main research areas and two cross-disciplinary fields. The originality of our approach is that of taking into account both the long and short terms: history is often a key to understanding the present and predicting the future.

Area 1 is dedicated to the study of climate change and natural hazards.

Area 2 is concerned with understanding the impact of climate and anthropogenic changes on ecosystems and the services they provide, in particular biodiversity, soils, agriculture, forestry, biogeochemistry and marine food webs.

Area 3 is concerned with human-climate interactions, hazard perception and the functioning of international bodies for climate and biodiversity. The first cross-disciplinary field is devoted to observation systems and the second to the development of models (from climate to society via the ecosystem) and their integration.

The knowledge gathered in the projects related to these areas will be applied to achieve better management of ecosystems, their conservation and their ability to deliver services. The means to carry out this research are based on the provision of grants for PhD theses and post-docs, and funding of small interdisciplinary projects (based on internal calls for proposals), visits of our researchers and students to foreign laboratories, invitations of researchers from the South and elsewhere for short stays in our laboratories, the organisation of summer schools and conferences of high international level. Training will play an important role through the organisation of summer schools and funding of students, particularly from the South, in the framework of our Masters and Doctorate schools.

A final objective of OT-Med is knowledge and data transfer to socio-economic partners through the construction of an expertise portal, databases open to the public, and conferences and meetings for potential users of our research, in relation with the PACA Region's competitiveness clusters (http://www.pole-risques.com/, http://www.pole-eau.com/, https://www.polemermediterranee.com), the Blue Plan (http://www.planbleu.org/) and associations bringing together professionals working on environmental issues (http://www.ea-ecoentreprises.com/). OT-Med is one of the nine Labex of the University of Aix-Marseille's Initiative of Excellence (AM*IDEX) and has been identified as one of the important projects of its priority theme "Environment, planets and the universe". It is supported by the Earth Institute of Columbia University (http://www.earth.columbia.edu), the Grantham Institute for Climate Change of Imperial College, London (http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/climatechange ), and the London School of Economics (http://www2.lse.ac.uk/home.aspx ).

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