LabexMER "A changing ocean" is a cluster of Excellence ("Labex") funded by the French "Investment for the future" program, supported by French Ministry of Research and Education.

It combines the best research teams and laboratories in the field of marine sciences in Western France to tackle fundamental issues related to understanding of ocean functioning in the context of climate change, and will be funded on a 10 years period.

The cluster federates about 700 researchers from 11 research units of Western French universities and institutions:

  • Université de Bretagne occidentale (UBO), Université de Bretagne-Sud (UBS) and Université de Nantes,
  • Ifremer, CNRS and IRD,
  • Ecole centrale Nantes.
and is coordinated by the European Institute of Marine Studies (IUEM, Brest, France).

LabexMER aims to increase knowledge and promote technological innovation and training in priority fields that require a cross-thematic approach.

Scientific questions of LabexMER are divided into 3 research themes, addressing the ocean, at different scales:

  • the global ocean : role of small scales in energy transfer in the ocean ; influence of the quality of organic matter and food web complexity in carbon transfer.
  • the deep ocean : geobiological interactions in extreme environments ; matter transfers from continents to the depths of the ocean.
  • the coastal ocean : interactions between nature and societies’ dynamics to produce reliable scenarios ; evolution of marine biodiversity to put forward prediction, conservation and restoration tools for coastal areas ; fluid-structure interaction in the coastal environment.
The 10 years strategy is focused on international attractivity:

  • Innovative and cross-thematic research axes.
  • International fellowships programs: international chairs of excellence and postdoctoral awards.
  • Support for research at sea: funding of projects providing a strong added value to sea cruises.
  • Education and training program to support international mobility of students and researchers as well as the organization of summer schools, workshops and courses.