Université de Bordeaux
LabEx COTECluster of Excellence
Cluster of excellence

Pierre Labadie, CNRS research fellow in the UMR EPOC, LabEx COTE scientific manager

Crédit : LabEx COTE

Pierre Labadie is a chemist. He studies POPs (persistent organic pollutants) and synthetic molecules introduced by humans of which the ecodynamics are not fully understood [1]. "These organic compounds are very persistent and can even be found in the Arctic although there are no contaminating sources there.  The local and regional processes we study help better understand their global dynamic".

Pierre Labadie developed his taste for environmental chemistry while he was at engineering school (CPE Lyon). "The peculiarity of this school is that you can take a gap year between year 4 and 5. So I decided to take a break from industrial chemistry and do a few academic internships in oceanography labs in Wales and New Zealand". He then did a Research Post Graduate Diploma in Sciences and analysis strategy at the University of Claude Bernard Lyon 1 while he was finishing his final year at engineering school. After an internship at CEMAGREF [2], he went on to do a thesis on steroid hormones in aquatic environments at the LPTC [3] in 2001.  After a post-doctoral position at the University of Sussex, he was recruited as research fellow at the Paris CNRS in 2007 and then began working in EPOC in late 2010 where he continued his work at the interface between environmental chemistry and ecotoxicology.

Pierre enjoys working on interface and cross-disciplinary subjects. He sees LabEx COTE as a sort of incubator to accelerate this type of project. "This year we launched our first project with IRSTEA's EPBX team to combine our expertise in environmental chemistry and ecology. The goal would be to eventually model the trophic transfer of halogenated contaminants of emerging concern (used for many years but only considered as contaminants for less than ten years) in the Gironde estuary. The context of COTE seems to favour deepening collaboration in the near future and including other LabEx teams where possible.

LabEx also facilitates interaction with social sciences. "For example, I can imagine collaboration around the ban on fishing and consumption of certain fish, eels, and twaite shad related to the recent contamination by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).  However, he believes that one of the essential steps that need to be taken before this type of project can be implemented is to get to know each other. "I am a member of LabEx's scientific management group and one of our short-term tasks is to get COTE partners to get to know each other better and the seminars organised in November are for this purpose. We want to know who does what through presentations and discussions but also during more informal moments that favour exchanges. It's not always enough to have a table and a name to find out what other people do and what we could do together. Physical meetings help develop collaboration!"

[1] Future of a molecule in the environment.

[2] Now IRSTEA (National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture

[3] Laboratory of Physico- and Toxico-Chemistry of the Environment is currently a member of the UMR EPOC (CNRS – University of Bordeaux 1)

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