LIENSs  Laboratory


The quality of aquatic and marine waters is an issue of interest at the national level and at European level, as evidenced by the REACH regulations, DCE revised form. Today, men have realized that to ensure their well-being, the maintenance of ecosystem services, including watershed systems is essential. Moreover, the economy of many areas is affected by the high mortality of bivalves. Methods of biological analysis to assess the health of aquatic organisms are essential, to provide tools for monitoring improvement of environmental quality. Thus, it is necessary to develop new knowledge, tools and regulations to identify the causes of the disturbances in order to propose actions to restore and effectively manage resources. 

In this context, the research studies at laboratory LIENSs in field of the environmental impact consist in an innovative and interdisciplinary research approach, to assess the chemical contamination of coastal areas and its effects on marine ecosystems of the Atlantic coast of France, at different temporal and spatial scales. Research at laboratory LIENSs will aim to assess the impact of chemical contaminants in specific species of different costal zones designed to (a) provide an early warning tool on ecosystem degradation, (b) characterize the specific responses of marine organisms, (c) establish links between what is observable on the macroscopic level and the underlying mechanisms by integrating science (geophysics, chemistry, biology, ecology), legal and societal. The objectives are to participate in the definition and evaluation of environmental quality standards in the marine environment, know the risks and propose scenarios to improve prevention and protection against risks to sensitize managers.


Effects of environmental and anthropological changes on biological and physiological functions of marine organisms.

Development of multi-scale approach (molecular/cellular/individual/population-based scales) for a better understanding of the consequences of chronic chemical pollution on marine species.

Innovative and interdisciplinary studies (in ecophysiology, environmental genomics, chemistry, ecotoxicology) to afford diagnostic tools enabling biomonitoring of health status of marine organisms.

In situ assessment of the quality of coastal environments, by characterizing the physiological and behavioral responses of marine animal submitted to the variations of environmental factors. Study of the adaptative potential of these animals.


  • Scientific appraoches : In vivo and in vitro experiments, natural populations, evolutionary approach, difference in genetic expression, homeostasis of chemical contaminants, spatial ecotoxicology, lipid metabolism, energetic metabolism, oxidative stress, immunity, cardiac physiology, pollution biomarkers, metabolomics, proteomics, transcriptomics.
  • Technical skills : ICP-MS element analysis, total mercury and organic mercury determination by atomic absorption, high-resolution liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry, sequencing technology, barcoding, qPCR, radio-ecophysiology, cellular imaging, respirometry, escape responses, effort tests, enzymology, cell culture.

Work in progress - Objectives

  • Analytical developments for the assessment of chronic pollution: a major concern for the watch of the coasts.
  • Effects of oily waster in presence or not of dispersants on marine organisms (fishes, molluscs).
  • Effects of trace elements on marine bivalve molluscs of coastal areas.
  • Monitoring of the improvement of environmental quality in port areas: validation of a new water purification device by adsorption on careening areas.
  • Understanding the behavior and fate of chemical biocides man-made contaminants and studying their ecotoxocity.

Industrial applications

Research and developments of toxicological and ecotoxicological tests.

Development of tools and methods for characterizing:

  • Risks and sources of pollution for prevention measures
  • Impacts of pollution on natural environments.

Monitoring of contaminants in water, sediment and biota, in particular through the use of biomarkers.

Prediction of potential environmental impacts of contaminants.

Bibliography 2014-2015

Breitwieser M, Viricel A, Graber M, Murillo L, Becquet V, Churlaud C, Fruitier-Arnaudin I, Huet V, Lacroix C, Pante E, Le Floch S, Thomas-Guyon H  Short-term and long-term biological effects of chronic chemical contamination on natural populations of a marine bivalve. PLoS ONE accepted

Breitwieser M., Murillo L., Churlaud C., Huet V., Le Floch S., Graber M., Thomas H. (2015) Les risques d’une contamination chronique sur le littoral charentais : compréhension des conséquences chez Mimachlamys varia. 45ème congrès du Groupe Français des Pesticides, 25-27 mai 2015, Versailles. 

Luna-Acosta A, Budzinski H, Le Menach K, Thomas-Guyon H, Bustamante P (2015) Persistent Organic Pollutants in a marine bivalve on the Marennes Oleron Bay and the Gironde Estuary (French Atlantic coast) - Part 1 : Bioaccumulation. Science of the Total Environment 514C : 500-510

Luna-Acosta A, Bustamante P, Budzinski H, Huet V, Thomas-Guyon H (2015) Persistent Organic Pollutants in a marine bivalve on the Marennes-Oleron Bay and the Gironde Estuary (French Atlantic coast) - Part 2 : Potential biological effects. Science of the Total Environment 514C : 511-522

Milinkovitch T, Bustamante P, Huet V, Reigner A, Churlaud C, Thomas-Guyon H (2015) In situ evaluation of oxidative stress and immunological parameters as ecotoxicological biomarkers in a novel sentinel species (Mimachlamys varia). Aquatic Toxicology 161C : 170-175.

Milinkovitch T, Geraudie P, Camus L, Huet V, Thomas-Guyon H (2015) Biomarker modulation associated with marine diesel contamination in the Iceland scallop (Chlamys islandica) Environ Sci Pollut Res
22 (23), pp. 19292-19296.

Elarbaoui S, Richard M, Boufahja F, Mahmoudi E, Thomas-Guyon H (2015) Effect of crude oil exposure and dispersant application on meiofauna : An intertidal mesocosm experiment. Environmental Sciences : Processes and Impacts 17 : 997-1004.

Buffet PE, Zalouk-Vergnoux A, Châtel A, Berthet B, Métais I, Perrein-Ettajani H, Poirier L, Luna-Acosta A, Thomas-Guyon H, Risso-de Faverney C, Guibbolini M, Gilliland D, Valsami-Jones E, Mouneyrac C (2014) A marine mesocosm study on the environmental fate of silver nanoparticles and toxicity effects on two endobenthic species : The ragworm Hediste diversicolor and the bivalve mollusc Scrobicularia plana. Science of the Total Environment 470-471 : 1151-1159.