Environmental Microbiology

Team leader : Christophe Merlin

The MIC team (Environmental Microbiology) developed a wide range of expertises in environmental microbiology that enable developing integrated approaches to understand the survival, behavior and influence of microorganisms in complex environments. The team’s activities are organized along two complementary research axes:

The main objectives are to understand (i) the dissemination pathway taken by biological entities of sanitary interest (viruses, bacteria, antibiotic resistance genes, mobile genetic elements) to diffuse in the environment, (ii) to identify physical and biological reservoirs, and finally (iii) to understand the relationship between the abundance of certain variants/genotypes, their state (infectivity, physiology, surface properties, …) and their ecological niches.

This axis is oriented towards the understanding of the mechanisms involved in the survival, propagation, persistence and resilience of the studied biological entities under environmental constraints. Here, we deepen our collective understanding of relationships existing between a given stress (e.g. treatment process, practices) and the functioning or inactivation of the studied biological entities (e.g. inactivation, propagated form, metabolic activity), whether they are in planktonic form or aggregated in interaction with a surface (biofilm).


The research activities of the team fall within important societal issues such as the environmental dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes, survival and propagation of viruses in the environment, or microbiological clogging in industrial devices. The effects of anthropic pressures and practices remain in the center of our interests, which also leads us to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment systems or to consider the use or reuse of water resources contaminated by biological entities according to their physiological state. In addition, the MIC team is invested in the two LCPME transversal activities “dynamics at biointerfaces” and “functional materials”.

Team members

Permanent members

Non permanent members