top of page

Research Institution

IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement / the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development) is an internationally recognized multidisciplinary organization, working mainly in partnership with countries in the Mediterranean and intertropical zones. 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 important issues for Sustainable Development. We investigate the nature and role of structural and functional changes in the genome, diversity, and population 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, epigenetics, developmental biology, physiology, systematics, and evolution. It also integrates other approaches, such as modeling, remote sensing, ecology, anthropology 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, files, yams, maize, palm trees, mils, and fonio). The nine teams forming the Unit belong to IRD, the University of Montpellier, CIRAD, and CNRS.

Our Own Experience

Our research group focuses on plant biodiversity and adaptation to understand how the 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 population genetics, ethnoecology, and agronomy. Over the last decade, I have been conducting research programs in West Africa on a diversity of African cereals (fonio, pearl millet, sorghum). I also have a strong interest in a transdisciplinary approach to developing sustainable agriculture relevant to both farmers and decision-makers. Co-leader of the WP2, I will be mainly involved in the rediscovery and enhancement of traditional crops.


Maïa Lejbowicz


I am a research contract officer, a member of the Joint Research Unit DIADE, and an expert in contract and material transfer legal issues. I will assist with contractual and legal issues, with 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.

bottom of page