My internship takes place at the laboratory of functional ecology and environment EcoLab (Toulouse, France). The laboratory is at intersection of research on life, humanities, space and the society with a mind of sustainable development. The main studies of the lab are to investigate how organisms/communities/ecosystems, and their interactions, respond to different stresses. The best scientists are doing their job for developing research that is concluded to meet social expectations, particularly in terms of assessing and diagnosis the environmental state, defining new standards of ecosystem health, managing biodiversity and more generally, improving ecological engineering. Research activity of the lab is based on networks of academic and industrial collaborations at both regional and international scale.
Ecolab consists of 5 research teams:
BIOGEOCHIM (Biogeochemistry of Critic Zones)
BIOREF (Biodiversity, trophic networks and fluxes in aquatic ecosystems)
CIRCE (Ecology of communities: interactions, interfaces and constraints)
DYNABIO (Past and present dynamics of Earth biodiversity)
ECI (Integrative ecotoxicology)
I am working on joint project of CIRCE and ECI teams on investigating the environmental impacts affecting our planet related to recent major human-induced changes, impacts on biodiversity and the ecosystem functioning. The aim of my master project is to elucidate the impact of multiple stresses such as drought events and changes in biodiversity composition combined with pollution in CuO nanoparticles on wet meadow multi-functionality (combination on the several key ecosystem functions). I am using numerous techniques for evaluating the response of ecosystem functions: CO2 fluxes, litter decomposition, soil enzyme activity, phytotoxicity biomarkers and elemental concentration in plants by ICP-AES. A complex 90 microcosms set-up gathering three levels of drought treatment, two biodiversity conditions and three different types of contamination has led me to develop skills in biostatistics.