Section: Overall Objectives


In complex processes of material and energy transformations on Earth, the microbial compartment is an essential link for major biochemical cycles that sustain life on Earth and regulate the climate. There are presently growing social demands for preservation of water quality, regeneration or soil fertility or development of new ecosystem services for the environment, for which the role of micro-organisms is fundamental. Micro-organisms are also responsible of fermentation processes that can be found specifically in food production. Knowledge, control and management of microbial ecosystems appear then to be essential to satisfy the expectations of our society. Aside observations and experiments, modeling and computer simulations have to play an important role in the fields of microbiology and microbial ecology.

In this context, MODEMIC aims at cross-fertilizing Inra and Inria researchers' competences for developing, analyzing and simulating new models of microbial ecosystems as efficient tools to understand, explore, pilot and manage natural or industrial bio-processes. Being a joint team with the MIA (Applied Mathematics and Informatics) Department of Inra, an important issue for the team is to develop relevant and useful techniques for scientists and engineers in biology, micro-biology, microbial ecology and agronomy.

For this purpose, we study mathematical and/or computer models of the dynamics of populations of micro-organisms. These models can be complex or reduced ones. We carry simulations and possibly mathematical analyses. We put an emphasis on the understanding of the dynamical behaviors out of equilibrium, because most of real processes represented by these models are either not stationary, or one needs to drive them out of an equilibrium.

For concrete applications in laboratory and/or within industrial perspectives, we also study control strategies and identification techniques of these models, based on tools from Automatic Control.

Our objective is twofold: on the one hand to build, simulate and analyze models of microbial ecosystems; on the other hand to develop methods for the identification, the control and the optimization of microbial ecosystems.