Switch Language

Faced with environmental, food and energy issues, profound paradigm shifts must be initiated by societies.

The vulnerability of systems and resources requires the implementation of management methods that guarantee their sustainability. UniLaSalle is committed, through the activities of its AGHYLE research unit, to participating in the understanding of the biological and physico-chemical phenomena that impact the critical zone sphere.

The ecosystems that make up this zone provide many services to society: food and non-food biomass production, nutrient cycling and availability, water protection and remediation, soil erosion control, climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, etc.

However, these ecosystems are subject to strong anthropogenic pressures that can affect their functioning and production.

Schéma de la zone critique (d’après Chorover et al., 2007)

* Schéma de la zone critique (d’après Chorover et al., 2007)

The scientific project

History of the unit

Created in 2016 following the Esitpa-LaSalle Beauvais merger and accredited by the HCERES in 2017, the AGHYLE inter-site unit (Agro-ecology, Hydrogeochemistry, Environments & Resources, UP 2018.C101 of the Ministry in charge of Agriculture) was built by capitalizing on its historical assets: its privileged links with, on the one hand, the National Network of the Chambers of Agriculture (APCA) and, on the other hand, the worldwide network of LaSallian universities.

This context has enabled the development of synergies between complementary skills and the capitalization of cutting-edge technological resources available to the teams, such as the Hydrogeology platform, which allows the study of the circulation of water flows and the transfer of pollutants in the soil, and the Normand Serre Experimental Station, which groups together laboratories and confined greenhouses for the study of the processes involved in plant nutrition and health.

The Unit, directed by Isabelle GATTIN and co-directed by Stéphane FIRMIN, now gathers about twenty permanent scientists and about fifteen PhD students around agro-ecology.



Schéma explicatif - unité AGHYLE


The Unit aims to contribute to the understanding of the interrelationships between management practices, soil condition and plant diversity and to identify the consequences of these interactions on the dynamics of elements and plant quality through 3 research axes

1 - mechanisms of soil/plant/land organisms interactions

2 - processes of element availability in the rock-water-soil-plant continuum

3 - quantification and modeling of transfers

The challenge of the research work is to optimize the management of agro & eco-systems for their sustainability.

The knowledge acquired within these axes and their synergies accompany and create innovation in the fields of plant production for integrated crop protection, preservation of soil and water resources, and thus promote agro-ecological practices and ecological engineering. The numerous aims concern the identification and evaluation of biocontrol and/or fertilizing solutions, the development of new methods/standards for the identification of indicators or the construction of decision support tools for the evaluation of innovative practices.

The team

AGHYLE Beauvais campus

  • ARMAND Romain: Associate professor, surface hydrology (mini CV)
  • AYERDI-GOTOR Alicia: Associate professor, ecophysiology (mini CV)
  • BONHOURE Jessica: Associate professor, geochemistry, mineral resources (mini CV)
  • BOULC'H Guénolé: Associate professor, plant breeding, Head of the Plant Breeding Chair (mini CV)
  • FAUCON Michel-Pierre: Associate Professor, Associate professor qualified to direct research, plant ecology and agro-ecology (mini CV)
  • FIRMIN Stéphane: Associate professor, toxicochemistry (mini CV)
  • HOUBEN David: Associate professor, soil sciences, biogeochemistry (mini CV)
  • LANGE Bastien: Associate professor, plant ecology, genetics (mini CV)
  • LUTZ Pascale: Associate professor, geophysics (mini CV)
  • DULAURENT Anne-Maïmiti: Associate professor, ecology-animal, agro-ecology (mini CV)
  • POURRET Olivier: Associate professor qualified to direct research, geochemistry (mini CV)
  • SELIM Sameh: Associate professor qualified to direct research, plant pathology and molecular biology (mini CV)
  • UGARTE Carolina: Associate professor, soil science (mini CV)
  • ZOURHI Lahcen: Associate professor qualified to direct research, hydrogeology (mini CV)

AGHYLE Rouen campus

  • BERNARD Pierre-Yves: Associate professor, agronomy, cropping systems (mini CV)
  • BRESSAN Mélanie: Research coordinator, molecular biology, plant pathology (mini CV)
  • BRUYANT Marie-Pierre: Associate professor, plant sciences (mini CV)
  • CASTEL Lisa: Study engineer, molecular biology, biochemistry
  • DUBOIS Caroline: Study engineer, analytical chemistry, biochemistry
  • GATTIN Isabelle: Associate professor qualified to direct research, agro-ecology, microbial ecology, biogeochimical cycles (miniCV)
  • GAUTHIER Adrien: Associate professor, phytopathology, plant sciences (mini CV)
  • LAVAL Karine: UniLaSalle Research Director, qualified to direct research, microbiology, soil sciences
  • LAURENT Nadia: Associate professor, soil, biogeochimical cycles, organic matter
  • LEGRAS Marc: Associate professor, soil sciences, agro-ecology, biogeochemistry (mini CV)
  • LEPLET Maëva: Laboratory technician, cell biology, molecular biology
  • RIAH-ANGLET Wassila: Research coordinator, microbial soil ecology, biochemistry, microbiology
  • THIOYE Babacar: Associate professor, microbiology specialized in mycorrhizae and agronomy (mini CV)
  • VELOSO GOMES Murilo: Associate professor, international agronomy, soil sciences (mini CV)
  • CHAMOT Christophe: Project manager (Rouen campus) (Mini CV)
  • HANOT-CAUCHOIS Anne: LabTechnician, biochemistry
  • NOBILE Cécile: Research coordinator
  • AMY Charlotte - Rouen campus "Optimization of soil Phosphorus availability through bioinputs (biofertilizer): impacts on the Efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer use and yield in colzA" OPERA project
  • CAMIADE Mathilde - Rouen campus "Sanitary and ecological impacts of the adaptation of enteric pathogenic bacteria to plants" LIPS project - PhD defended on July 9, 2019
  • FORSTER Matthieu - Beauvais campus "Roots traits effect on soil traffic-induced shear in agroecosystems"
  • HAMMAMI Salma - Beauvais campus "Morpho-hydrological risk assessment and impact on development: Greater Tunis."
  • HONVAULT Nicolas - Beauvais campus "Effect of the functional diversity of the intermediate crops on the availability of phosphorus in soils."
  • KANTE Mohamed - Rouen campus "Impact of C and N rhizodeposition by seed and forage Fabaceae on edaphic microbial communities and on soil carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics" RHIZOcomm project
  • KERVROEDAN Léa - Beauvais campus "Effects of plant traits and funcional diversity on runoff and sediment retention. Application for soil erosion control in temperate agricultural watersheds" Thesis defended December 17, 2018
  • KHEMIRI Rana - Beauvais campus "Geological and hydrogeological study of the region of Kébilili Gabès (South Tunisia)
  • LUSLEY Pauline - Rouen campus "Characterization of direct ou indirect mechanisms of resistance to pea root rot induced by Aphanomyces euteiches. Influence of varietal choices and beneficial microorganisms in the rhizosphere." LIPS project
  • PLANCHON Aline - Rouen campus "Ecoproduction and valorization of flax: ecoproduction against Fusarium oxysporum and impact on the properties of agromaterials" LIPS project - PhD defended on December 18, 2018
  • REZGUI Cyrine - Rouen campus "Nitrogen dynamics from winter pea corps in rotation." VIVEPOIS project
  • SAMAIN Erika - Beauvais campus "Study of PGPR/soft wheat genotype interactions in the fight against septoria." - PhD defended on June 18, 2019
  • THIANGOU Dodo - Beauvais campus "Hydrogeological understanding of chalk."
  • SOUISSI Dhekra - Beauvais campus "Mapping potential recharge in arid zones."
  • VELASCO SANCHEZ Angel - Campus de Rouen « Impact of reflow fertilizers on soil microbial communities diversity and functions »

Research projects

Soy Made in Normandy / 2020-2023


To eventually develop the organic soybean sector in Normandy via innovative technical itineraries built on agroecological practices (guaranteed GMO-free production, low input approach, and low carbon footprint), creating value throughout the chain (farmers, collectors, manufacturers, consumers).

Partners :

UMR INRA-UNICAEN 950 EVA; EA 4358 Glycomev University of Rouen; Terres Inovia; la CRAN; Agrial; Coop de Creully and Agrauxine.

UniLaSalle contacts: Isabelle GATTIN

Bacteria, Exudates And Rhizodeposits/ 2019-2022


Multi-disciplinary study of rhizodeposits of 5 plants including 3 field crops, to contribute to the development of agroecology techniques.


University Rouen Normandie: GlycoMev, LMSM, COBRA UMR 6014, ¨PRIMACEN platform; University Caen Normandie: EVA UMR 950, CMAbio platform, ICORE SF 4206.

Contacts UniLaSalle : Mélanie BRESSAN

Use of Silicon and Rare Earths to better trace and understand the bioavailability of Phosphorus in agricultural soils / 2020-2021


Limit the use of Phosphorus in agricultural applications by optimizing their bioavailability to plants.


University of Liege

Contacts UniLaSalle : Olivier POURRET

Plant Proteins / 2020-2022


Evaluate and spatialize the potential of a diversity of crops that are absent or poorly established in the region and whose productions have a higher protein content than currently grown plants.


University of Rouen GlycoMev EA 4358; CERFRANCE Normandie Maine, NATUP

UniLaSalle contacts: Wassila RIAH-ANGLET

For more information on the project


Phosphorus REcovery for FertiLisers enOm dairy processing Waste - 2018/2021.


The objective of this project is to test new treatment processes for organic waste from dairy companies (thermal treatments, use of microbial suspension, ...) and to evaluate the consequences of these treatments on the biochemical composition of this organic waste.

Partners :

Academics: University of Wageningen (Netherlands), University of Gallway (Ireland), University of Swansea (Wales), University of Venice, University of Gent

Socio-economic: Biomass Heating Solutions Ltd, Agricultural Catchments Programme, Aurivo Dairy Ingredients, Lakeland Dairies

UniLaSalle contacts: Isabelle GATTIN and Marie SAUVADET

Optimization of the biotization of horticultural substrates: alternative for the fight against telluric pathogens.


This project aims at validating and promoting the use of biotization products for the plant protection against telluric diseases in a horticultural context.  More specifically, the aim is to identify growing conditions that are favourable both  for the growth of model plants and for the colonization of substrates by the microorganisms that make up the biocontrol products; and then to evaluate the potential for disease protection under the optimal growing and biotizing conditions identified.


ASTREDHOR Seine-Manche, ASTREDHOR SO GIEFP, firms producing bio-control solutions.

UniLaSalle contact: Mélanie BRESSAN

Root Plant Technologies / 2020-2023


To technologically strengthen the Normand Serre platform, with the ambition of acquiring innovative technologies to optimize observations and measurements on several scales and resolutions in the soil - plant - microorganisms interface.

Partners :

University of Rouen GlycoMev EA 4358

Contact UniLaSalle: Isabelle GATTIN

Improvement of the quantitative management of groundwater through the PILotage of the water table

Objective: To study how to manage groundwater resources in a sustainable way.

Partners: UTC ; SMOA (Syndicat Mixte Oise Aronde).

Contact : Romain ARMAND

Agronomic characterization of new seed legumes for production diversification

Objective: to identify seed legumes, currently not cultivated in France-Belgium, likely to adapt to our pedoclimate by satisfying both farmers in terms of volume produced and the general public by diversifying the source of vegetable proteins, while meeting current environmental standards.

Partners: University of Gembloux.

Contact: Alicia AYERDI-GOTOR


Ecotoxicity of Bisphenol A to growth, P nutrition and root traits in a variety of wheat - 2018/2019


To study the effect of Bisphenol A on the functional traits involved in growth and phosphate nutrition in wheat.



UniLaSalle contact : Stéphane FIRMIN


LAND Management, Assessment, Research Knowledge base 2015/2019.


This research project aims in particular to set up a toolbox for soil management on a European scale, by interacting indicators on five major types of soil functions: agronomic potential; water purification and regulation; carbon sequestration and regulation; biodiversity/habitat and nutrient cycling.


17 European countries + China and Brazil, i.e. 22 research structures.

UniLaSalle contact: Isabelle GATTIN


Primary contamination of salads by pathogenic microorganisms: critical points and levers - 2016/2019.


the aim of this program is to improve the sanitary quality of salads intended for the first and fourth range. It aims to identify the origins and vectors of the primary contamination of aslads by pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria, viruses and parasites) in order to offer producers a harmonized guide to good farming practices to improve the sanitary quality of products before delivery.


Normandy Regional Chamber of Agriculture, Departmental Chambers of Agriculture (14, 50, 76), ACTALIA (Agro-Industrial Technical Institute), SILEBAN (Regional Vegetable Experiment Station), Unit LMSM-EA 4312 - University of Rouen.

UniLaSalle contacts: Wassila RIAH-ANGLET and Karine LAVAL



The project aims to obtain a better knowledge of 1) the direct and indirect mechanisms involved in plant nutrition (C, N, P), 2) the mechanisms involved in root defense and 3) the role of the microorganisms for the plant health and nutrition.


LMSM Unit EA 4312 University of Rouen; GlycoMev Unit EA 3458 University of Rouen; UMR EVA INRA 950 University of Caen.

UniLaSalle contacts: Isabelle GATTIN and Adrien BLUM


Interests of mycorrhization in agricultural and agroforestry practices- 2016/2020).


The ambition of the project is to contribute to the competitiveness of crop systems that are favorable to soil life, carbon storage, preservation of water resources and reduction in the use of chemical inputs by acting for the consideration of endomycorrhizal symbioses in agricultural practices.

Partners :

Dordogne Chamber of Agriculture; Corrèze Chamber of Agriculture; INRA Dijon UMR 1347; Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle; Association Française d'Agroforesterie; CTIFL; Station de la noix de Creysse; EPLEFPA du Périgord; EPLEFPA de Brive Voutezac; EPL de l'Eure LEGTA de Chambray; A2C Farming Communication Agriculture de Conservation

UniLaSalle contacts: Marc LEGRAS and Babacar THIOYE

To reference soil microbiology indicators and integrate them into routine soil analysis, to improve the management of organic restitutions in field crop and mixed farming systems - 2017/2020.


The Microbioterre project aims to integrate microbiological analyses into soil analyses performed by laboratories. The aim is ultimately to broaden the diagnosis and advice for the management of cultivation practices that restore carbon to the soil.

Partners :

ARVALIS,Terres Inovia, ITAB, INRA UMR ECOSYS and FARE, AUREA-AGROSCIENCES, Chambers of Agriculture of Brittany, CELESTA-LAB, SEMSE, RITTMO, Chamber of Agriculture of the Alsace region (CARA), ARAA, Chamber of Agriculture of Saône-et-Loire, Regional Chamber of Agriculture of Alsace-Champagne-Ardennes-Lorraine (CRA-ACAL)

UniLaSalle contacts: Wassila RIAH-ANGLET and Nadia LAURENT

Optimization of the biotization of horticultural substrates: Alternative for the control of telluric pathogens


This project aims to validate and promote the use of biotization products for the protection of plants against telluric diseases in a horticultural context. More specifically, the aim is to identify the culture conditions that are favourable to both the growth of the model plants and the colonization of the substrates by the microorganisms that make up the bio-control products; then to evaluate the potential for protection against diseases for the optimal culture and biotization conditions identified.

Partners :

ASTREDHOR Seine-Manche, ASTREDHOR SO GIEFP, firms producing bio-control solutions

UniLaSalle contact: Mélanie Bressan

Agroecology of intermediate crops, effect of functional diversity on phosphorus availability)-2017/2020) VIVESCIA and ANRT


The project aims to examine within intermediate crops, the effect of functional diversity of traits involved in the acquisition and availability of phosphorus in order to sustainably manage crop fertilization.


VIVESCIA, University of Western Australia and ETH Zurich.

Contact UniLaSalle: Michel-Pierre Faucon


Soil fertility management by sequestering stable carbon from thermochemical conversion of residual biomass from the compost industry -2017/2020.


The project aims to validate a new economic model for the production of organic amendments and crop supports with high agronomic value integrating biochars in composts that have been poorly valorized so far.


ETIA, INRA, ACF (Loire Compost, Agricompost10, Agriopale)

UniLaSalle contact: David HOUBEN


Research networks

The Condorcet federative research structure (SFR) was created through a synergy between researchers from the laboratories of the Universities of Reims Champagne-Ardenne and Amiens Picardie Jules Verne. It is based on the strong desire of researchers from both regions to pool their skills and expertise in the field of agri-resource development, the environment and sustainable development.

The SFR Condorcet, recognized by the CNRS since January 1, 2012, currently brings together 24 public and private research structures. More than 600 research professionals work in this federation. It includes other regional institutions such as UniLaSalle, ESCOM, UTC, Agro Paris Tech, CentraleSupélec, as well as non-academic partners such as ARD (Agro-Industrie Recherches et Développements, in Pomacle) and Extractis (former Centre de Valorisation des Glucides, in Dury). It also extends to the Hauts-de-France region through the "Charles Viollette" regional research institute in agri-food and biotechnology and the Environmental Chemistry and Life Interactions Unit of the Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale.

The objective of the SFR Condorcet is to federate the research activities of the laboratories, whether this research is public or private. To do so, the SFR Condorcet has set as its main objective to help laboratories to develop new collaborative projects.

AGHYLE is part of the actions of the Axis 1 of the SFR CONDORCET: "Sustainable production of plant biomass and environmental insertions".

This Federative Structure labeled in 2017 by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research co-founded and co-directed by UniLaSalle (Karine LAVAL) aims to federate the disciplines in plant sciences and agronomy in Normandy to generate new collaborations based on unique and complementary skills, strengthen the national and international legibility of the constituent units and increase the attractiveness of the Normandy territory.

The skills of SFR NORWAY's researchers cover disciplinary fields ranging from plant biology to agronomy, including microbiology, biochemistry, physico-chemistry, ecology and economics. The SFR promotes multidisciplinary research in the field of agro-ecology, nutrition and plant health, focusing its activities on plant-soil-microorganism relationships and relies on the technology of the Station Expérimentale Normand Serre for the realization of its research programs.
5 research units on the Norman territory, including the AGHYLE unit on the Rouen campus, that is to say about a hundred researchers, PhD students and post-docs are thus federated with the following objectives:

  1. the development of innovative agronomic solutions that promote the economy of inputs and the use of biocontrol products and methods for integrated crop protection (MAA's Ecophyto Et Produire autrement plans)   
  2. development of agronomic resources

While promoting scientific collaborations with academic and socio-economic partners.

Each year, SFR communicates on the programs supported within its teams through a dedicated Scientific Day: The SFR Normandie Végétale Day organized in turn by the University of Rouen, the University of Caen and UniLaSalle.  

Visit the website

More about SFR Day

This RMT will take over from the Fertilization and Environment RMT. Plant nutrition and crop production are at the heart of the issue of sustainable agricultural production: establishing strategies that allow the plant to use the nutrients available in the agrosystem, complemented with the right dose of inputs, minimizing their use and impact on the environment.

Nevertheless, these issues are being profoundly revisited in the light of changes in practices and cropping systems. These changes are induced by (i) the shift of agro-ecology to respond to the challenges of climate change, biodiversity conservation, and environmental and food quality, opening a growing place for organic agriculture, conservation agriculture, agroforestry, (ii) the voluntary transition to the circular economy to adapt to the scarcity of resources, leading to a wider mobilization of quality fertilizing materials from renewable resources, better use of nutrients from waste of increasingly varied origins and (iii) diversification of the methods of production and recovery of organic residues (various composts, methanization digestates) or minerals ("waste-sourced" derivatives): struvite, biochar, etc.) under the best agronomic, health and environmental conditions.

The RMT BOUCLAGE will conduct interdisciplinary work (notably in the fields of agronomy, agro-ecology and economics) aimed at 1) understanding the determinants of the practices, alone and in combination, mobilized for the management of biogeochemical cycles and crop fertilization and in a systemic and anticipatory approach, and 2) controlling their environmental and health impacts.

Visit the website


The RMT PHYTOSTIM took over from the RMT ELICITRA in 2020. This RMT is interested in phytostimulation in general, and will lead at the same time, scientific advances, methodological progress and integration of solutions in cropping systems. AGHYLE Rouen is a partner of this network.

The AGHYLE team aims to share with the RMT research work in the field of plant protection in a context of agro-ecological transition through the stimulation of the plant immune system and development, which is one of the research axes of the Unit.

Director of the AGHYLE unit
Stéphane FIRMIN
Associate professor, Toxicochemistry - Assistant Director of the AGHYLE unit