Agroecology and Environment research unit (AGE)

Higher Education Institution Agroecology and Environment research unit (AGE)


A scientific policy focusing on agroecology and sustainable food systems.


Christophe David Vice-Dean





Multi-scales diversity in agroecosystems to improve pest control and system resilience

Diversification in agroecosystems could significantly improve their productivity as well as their resistance to bioagressors (pests, diseases and weeds). This thesis project investigates the impact of the diversity increase within agroecosystems at three scales, i.e. intraspecific (mix of varieties), interspecific (intercropping) and landscape (semi-natural elements) on agronomic performances, and on the natural regulations of bioagressors. The study focus on winter wheat cultivated in monoculture or intercropped with clover in organic or low-level input farming systems.

Annabelle RICHARD  



Conception of agro-ecological cropping systems combinations, explored explicitly at farm scale and for the protection of groundwater quality

Since 2006 law on water and aquatic ecosystems, protecting drinkable water policy has been enhanced. This policy establish the main components and the different steps for protecting drinkable water and ask for defining and implementing an action plan adapted to each catchment. Despite ambitious objectives of the “Grenelle de l’environnement”, the measures written in the action plan are not adapted to the farming system constraints. This project aims to study if taking into account the global farming system can foster its transition to cropping systems combinations which protects groundwater quality. These cropping systems combinations will be designed by a participatory approach with farmers, which have essential roles, and will be adapted to farming constraints.

Olivier DUCHENE  



Kernza meeting day 1-6

Grow perennial crops for grain and forage production while providing ecosystems services

Part of our Perennial Grains research project, this PhD thesis aims at evaluating perennial grains interest in terms of productivity and ecological services supply. On-farm trials and experimental stations are used to test the perennial intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium) with or without legume intercrop in various growing conditions (field trials have been implemented in North, Central and South-East part of France, and in Belgium).
Results are expected about grains/forage production balance, soil biology, nitrogen dynamic,  weed control, and field management influence (intercropping, clipping, fertilization).