LIENSs is a join research unit under the CNRS and La Rochelle University authorities, which integrates expertises in many scientific fields within environmental sciences (biology, ecology, ecophysiology, ecotoxicology, earth sciences, geophysics), humanities and social sciences (geography and history), and Engineering Sciences (chemistry and biotechnology). It takes strength through a high interdisciplinarity to address issues on the sustainable development of its main research object : the littoral zone.
LIENSs was established in 2008 as part of a larger project aiming at developing at La Rochelle research and education on the Environment and Sustainable Development. This included the setting up of a Research Federation (FREDD), presently extended to the regional scale, that brings together 22 laboratories to sustain this thematics, and of a Doctoral School (Gay-Lussac Doctoral School) involving 3 Universities (La Rochelle, Poitiers, Limoges).
LIENSs is one of the 2 first units to be jointly supported by 3 CNRS Institutes (INEE, INSU, INSHS) as a recognition of its large interdisciplinarity, developed by 6 teams working on their core disciplinary thematics, but also on numerous common projects, some being set up as cross-axes.
LIENSs presently comprises 69 researchers/lecturer-researchers, 28 permanent engineers/technicians, 24 post-docs and invited researchers, 10 contracted technical staff and 32 PhD students.
LIENSs research activities largely benefit from local authorities fundings, through research programs at regional, national and European -levels and from specific European fundings (FEDER) within the CPER 2007-2013 (Contracted Projects State-Region).
The research unit LIENSs, established on January 1, 2008, was created by joining 4 laboratories concerned by various disciplinary fields : Humanities and Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Engineering Sciences, focusing mainly on one object under study : the littoral zone.
LIENSs presently includes 6 research teams :
Approach by Geography : Islands, Littoral areas and Environment (AGILE)
Physical Dynamics of the Littoral zone (DPL)
DYnamics of the Functioning of coastal Ecosystems under Anthropic pressure (DYFEA)
Marine animals responses to environmental variability (AMARE)
Molecular Approaches, Environmental health (AMES)
SpacEs, Societies, TerritoRies of Ancient and New shores (ESTRAN)
Four cross-axes (Coastline changes ; Status indices of littoral ecosystems ; Management and valuation of marine ressources ; Microbial biofilms) allow to develop integrated studies between teams and 2 methodological workgroups, Ecological tracers and GIS) enable lab staff to develop up-to-date methods in these fields.
Resarch activities are supported by 9 analytical facilities managed by teams and 6 common analytical or logistical platforms.