INRAE’s Lifetime Achievement Award
INRAE’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Hervé Vaucheret, Director of the “Epigenetics and small RNA” team at the Jean-Pierre Bourgin Institute at INRAE’s Île-de-France – Versailles – Grignon centre. A pioneer in plant epigenetics, Hervé has received international recognition for his studies in plant immunity using the “transgene” model.
The Scientific Breakthrough Award goes to Laurent Philippot, Director of the joint research unit for Agroecology at INRAE Bourgogne – Franche-Comté. One of the most-cited microbiology researchers in the world, Laurent’s research aims to leverage microbial processes so that plants can take up as much nitrogen as possible to meet their nutritional needs. The challenge is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to nitrogen fertilisers in farming.
The Promising Researcher Award this year goes to Lucie Marandel, a research scientist in the Nutrition, Metabolism, Aquaculture (NuMeA) joint research unit at INRAE’s Nouvelle-Aquitaine Bordeaux centre. Her research aims at understanding how the diets of trout influence their metabolism; her promising basic research could lead to more sustainable diets for farmed fish.
Innovation for research
The Innovation Award goes to Jeanne-Marie Membré, a research engineer in INRAE’s Food Safety and Microbiology Joint Research Unit in Pays de la Loire. Jeanne-Marie has developed innovating methods and tools to evaluate and quantify the risks and benefits of food. In the service of food safety and consumer health, her work takes the form of software, models, methods or quantified results, which is as useful for scientists as it is for industry players and public decision-makers.
The Research Support Award is awarded to women and men who make a significant contribution to experimentation, training and transfer activities. This year, it goes to Esther Dzalé, the head of the digital technology for science team of the Directorate for Open Science (DipSO) at INRAE. After having supported the creation of ProdInra, the Institute’s open archive for all its scientific publications, Esther took the reins of an ambitious nation-wide project: developing a scientific data repository for higher education and French research, slated for launch in Spring 2022.
Science with an Impact
The InfoSols team, of the InfoSol service unit at the INRAE centre in Val de Loire, which brings together a team of 50 involved in 3 global working groups, 8 European projects and 15 ANR projects. This team runs long-term analyses of soil health. It delivered its first report on the status – chemical, biological, physical – of French soils in 2011; in 2020 it contributed to the Atlas of Soil Bacteria. Knowledge is collected thanks to the collaboration of multiple partners (chambers of agriculture, agricultural engineering schools, etc.). Soil is described by soil scientists, samples of soil are taken, and ecologists inventory insects and earthworms. Samples are then sent to the European conservatory for soil sampling (CEES) and put into collections. To date, more than 75,000 have already been inventoried, the equivalent of more than 90 tonnes of soil.
Science with an Impact
- The Animal Welfare team, which brings together researchers from INRAE centres in Clermont-Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bretagne-Normandie and Val de Loire. The team worked hard to establish a European benchmark which laid the foundations in 2010 for assessing the welfare of livestock animals, in terms of health and behaviour. Two collective scientific expert reports have shone a light on studies carried out at INRAE on pain, stress, emotions and the cognitive capacities of animals. Practically unique in Europe, this research provides valuable information for slaughterhouse staff to ensure the unconsciousness of animals at the moment they are stunned.