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Research Institution

IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement / the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development) is an internationally recognised multidisciplinary organisation, working mainly in partnership with countries in the Mediterranean and intertropical zone. IRD takes an original approach to research, expertise, training and knowledge-sharing for the benefit of countries and regions, making science and innovation key drivers in their development. IRD supports an original model of equitable scientific partnership and sustainability science committed to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Who We Are

The DIADE Research Unit (DIversity - Adaptation - plant DEvelopment) aims to understand the diversification of tropical plants, one of the main original reservoirs of biodiversity, and for which conservation, management and exploitation are an important issue for Sustainable Development. We investigate the nature and role of structural and functional changes in the genome, diversity and populations structure, particularly during speciation processes, and adaptation to natural environmental variations or human-induced changes. The research belongs to the field of functional and evolutionary biology. It relies on population genetics, epi-genetics, developmental biology, physiology, systematics, and evolution. It also integrates other approaches, such as modeling, remote sensing, ecology, anthropology and geography etc., when required by collaborative projects. The systems under study make it possible to compare model plants (rice, Arabidopsis) and species of agronomic or ecological interest (coffee trees, filaos, yams, maize, palm trees, mils, fonio). The nine teams forming the Unit belong to IRD, University of Montpellier, CIRAD, and CNRS.

Our Own Experience

Our research group focuses on plant biodiversity and adaptation with the objective to understand how biodiversity of tropical plants is shaped through evolutionary forces resulting from human and environmental impacts. Our activity is essentially based on population genetics but also integrates a multidisciplinary approach including ecology, botany, molecular phylogenetics and anthropology. It is structured around three axes: (i) Evolutionary history and domestication; (ii) Diversity & conservation; (iii) Global changes, diversity & adaptation.

Adeline Barnaud

I am a senior researcher at the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development. I am engaged in interdisciplinary research on the biological and social facets of biodiversity in agricultural systems using populations genetics, ethnoecology and agronomy. Over the last decade, I have been conducting research programs in West Africa on a diversity of african cereal (fonio, pearl millet, sorghum). I also have a strong interest in transdisciplinary approach to develop a sustainable agriculture relevant to both famers and decision-makers. Co-leader of the WP2, I will be mainly involved on the rediscovery and enhancement of traditional crops.


Maïa Lejbowicz


I am a research contract officer, member of the Joint Research Unit DIADE, and expert in contract and material transfer legal issues. I will gives assistance for contractual and legal issues, with a particular attention to the handling and exchanges of biological resources among partners through the establishment of a portfolio of Material Transfer Agreements and compliance with international protocols and European regulations.

Yves Vigouroux

I am a Director of Research at the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development. As a population geneticist, I .lead research on crop diversity and adaptation. Crop diversity was shaped from the early steps of their domestication, but also by the diffusion of agriculture and migration of human populations. Understanding this diversity is an important asset for future agriculture. I will be involved in the WP2 on the rediscovery and enhancement of traditional crops. international protocols.

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