Coastal Environment Dynamics research unit

The Coastal Environment Dynamics (Dynamiques de l’environnement côtier — DYNECO) research unit contributes to the understanding of the natural processes and the direct or indirect human-induced (climate) disturbances involving coastal physics and ecosystems, strives to identify the determining factors behind the observed situations and develops tools and methods to assess and forecast the environmental status of the coastal environment.


DYNECO is made up of four research groups (Pelagic Ecology, Coastal Benthic Ecology, Hydro-sedimentary Dynamics, Phycotoxins). All the laboratories are based in Brest except the Phycotoxins Laboratory, which is located in Nantes.


DYNECO activities revolve around observing and modelling the dynamics coupled with the coastal environment. They focus on three research topics:

  • The study of the fluxes of matter in coastal ecosystems, including biological and biogeochemical fluxes (biogeochemical cycles, eutrophication, dystrophia, hypoxia, etc.);
  • The study of the structure and functioning of benthic and pelagic communities (spatio-temporal dynamics and habitat connectivity, structural and functional biodiversity);
  • Studies of the disturbance that certain specific species experience or cause and the populations of these species (phenology of harmful species, interactions between the ecosystem and exploited and/or invasive species, ecophysiology, variability and adaptations to environmental change, transfer of toxins and algal metabolites in ecosystems).

These activities also serve to carry out scientific assessments and specific impact studies, to coordinate and organise monitoring networks, and to provide information for the general public.

The common goal of these different topics is to improve understanding of the response of coastal ecosystems to natural and human-induced pressures to help public authorities manage and protect these ecosystems and their resources and to revise national and European regulations regarding environmental protection and public health.