French-Australian-Chinese-British-Japanese International Research Network on Ecosystem Health and Environmental Disease Ecology

2013 – 2020
French Director:
Patrick Giraudoux

Chinese Director:



The IRN EHEDEEcosystem Health and Environmental Disease Ecology”, funded by the CNRS, aims to promote exchanges and improve the readability of research conducted in Eurasia linking ecosystems health (the long-term sustainability of ecological processes and the integrity of ecosystem services) and the ecology of diseases (the processes by which diseases can be maintained or controlled in an ecosystem).

EHEDE is a unique configuration in the world, bringing together the best specialists in the field addressed by the cestodosis model, from 21 laboratories in 8 countries. It includes ecologists, parasitologists, doctors, geographers and modelers whose skills and complementarities have been proven for nearly twenty years.

Missions and research themes

Ecology (of populations, communities, landscape), conservation biology, ecosystem health, spatial and temporal modelling, hazards and risks. The IRN activity is based on an international research network bringing together specialists in the interface between ecology and human and animal health, implementing the concepts of one health and ecohealth, linked to conservation biology and ecosystem health. It also mobilizes actors from agriculture, conservation and public health to address topics concerning multi-scale disturbances of regional ecosystems (effects of land use change due to agricultural expansion, deforestation, reforestation, etc.).

Three sets are identified, which are likely to evolve as results are obtained:
– ecology and emergence of transmission of cestodoses (echinococcosis, etc.) in Eurasia
– ecosystem health and wildlife management
– permanent workshop on adaptive ecosystem monitoring and data management

MAIN projects of research

The “Chrono-environment” laboratory, UMR6249 of the CNRS and the Université de Bourgogne France-Comté, has been at the heart of the network since its creation and is a unique field of research. From the outset, it has been the initiator and coordinator of research related to the ecology of the transmission of pathogens, and also offers its expertise in the field of eco-epidemiology, data and (geo) statistics analysis. The LADYSS and Chrono-environment laboratories, which have been collaborating for a long time, also provide added value in the field of spatial modelling. The role of Chrono-environnement is decisive in the configuration and orientation of the ecological research of the whole network. It is also developing national and international expertise in the field of parasitology and clinical research, with the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Jean-Minjoz, Besançon, as the French national reference centre for echinococcosis, and a WHO collaborating centre for the prevention and treatment of human echinococcosis. It therefore benefits from the opening up of all study areas in Asia (China, Kyrgyzstan, etc.), and from the support of foreign laboratories in the fields of enzyme immunology, molecular genetics, conservation biology, parasitology and human and animal health.

Most foreign laboratories are specialized in the field of parasitology or clinical research. Parasitology laboratories master the techniques of parasite identification, strain typing, have a significant self-financing capacity and, consequently, a significant field projection capacity. The clinical departments allow the implementation of screening in humans and animals and access to hospital registers. The Asian laboratories also provide essential human and logistical assistance in accessing study sites.

The Wildlife management and ecosystem health department of the Yunnan University of Finance and Economics, China, was created in 2012. Its research objectives are directly derived from the ideas that prevailed in the creation of IRN EHEDE, with a particular focus on conservation biology. The coordinator is the French director and this position helps to determine its scientific policy, in agreement with the Chinese managers of the laboratory. This department offers easy access to the Yunnan study areas and to emerging research and development issues in this global biodiversity hotspot. The British and Australian laboratories also have a significant capacity to mobilize international funds (foundations, etc.).

institutions and laboratories involved

• CNRS UMR 6249-Chrono-Environnement, Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté
•Other labs: CNRS UMR7533 LADYSS, Université Paris-Diderot, Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle

AustraIRPn National University, Canberra

• Yunnan University of Finance and Economics, Department of Wildlife Management and Ecosystem Health, Kunming
• Sichuan Center for Disease Control, Institute of Parasitic Diseases
•  Xinjiang Medical University, Urumqi
• Associated partners: Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, Ningxia Medical University and East China Normal University, Shanghai

Other countries
• Great Britain: University of Salford, School of Environment and Life Sciences, Manchester
•  Associated partners: Hohenheim University (Germany) Asahikawa Medical University (Japan)

Elephants in a coffee plantation, JiangSheng, Yunnan (© EHEDE)