Labex CEBA – Center for the study of biodiversity in Amazonia

In French Guiana, the Laboratoire of excellence CEBA (Center for the study of biodiversity in Amazonia) seeks to understand why so many organisms are present in tropical ecosystems. The LabEx brings together a network of internationally-recognized French research teams, contributes to university education, and encourages scientific collaboration with South American countries.

Amazonia is a huge territory that has not finished revealing all its mysteries. Our science is varied: health, coastline, fauna, flora and human sciences. In all, more than 150 researchers from 13 different laboratories spread across French Guana, the french Antilles and France are working within the CEBA, looking towards the Amazon.

Governance

CEBA is a thematic network of research teams. The operational management of the CEBA is ensured by an executive director, located in French Guiana, a scientific director assists the executive director in scientific strategy, and a director of the education in charge of projects related to education.

> A direction committee coordinates research actions.
> A scientific board provides scientific expertise to the Management Committee.
> Finally, an international scientific board provides scientific expertise and an international perspective on the projects developed at CEBA.

Science

Tropical forest ecosystems are being converted at a rapid pace for agriculture or urban development, and it is of fundamental importance to understand how this biodiversity contributes to maintaining ecosystem services, how it may provide resources for human welfare, and whether these environmental changes may critically alter this biodiversity.

French Guiana, an overseas Region of France, is an ideal natural laboratory for tropical biodiversity, gathering an unparalleled scientific expertise in the fields of biodiversity research, tropical medicine, tropical forestry, and evolutionary ecology. The combination of scientific excellence with its long-term capacity, CEBA is in a unique position to promote innovative research in the field of biodiversity in Guyana and to act in synergy between academics and stakeholders.

Education & training

The CEBA conducts a collaborative effort to foster education and training programs in French Guiana, within the Université de Guyane. It offers the opportunity to network several Masters programs in the fields of evolutionary ecology, tropical forest ecology and plant biodiversity.

CEBA opens annual calls for doctoral research grants.
CEBA offers post-doctoral positions for research associates supervised by CEBA members as part of the core research activities.
CEBA funds and organises thematic schools on important aspects of biodiversity in French Guiana.

As part of these actions, the physical presence of the students or research associates in French Guiana is strongly encouraged.

Beyond

CEBA aims at coordinating and facilitating scientific research on biodiversity in French Guiana and, beyond that, in Amazonia. However, biodiversity is also important for many actors or stakeholders in the territory of French Guiana, and it is also of interest and concern to citizens. Through an active communication strategy CEBA seeks to convey the results of academic research beyond a small group of specialists.

Local collectivities (Region, Departement, municipalities) and State services are crucial actors in the management of biodiversity. Their primary goal is to ensure welfare, health, and sustainable development while pondering the constraints of the environment. CEBA helps them by providing a knowledge base in the area of environment and biodiversity, in particular in the scope of the access to benefit sharing issues.

National or regional institutes in charge of environmental management or conservation are often close collaborators with the partners of CEBA. They share a concern for the sustainable management of natural resources, and work with CEBA to increase the quality of diagnostics and conservation planning.

Non governemental organizations are actively engaged in the long-term monitoring of animal populations, in dissemination activities, and in conservation. CEBA collaborates with them in developing educational supports, in facilitating data analyses, and in sharing cutting-edge information through workshops or training activities.

Public health issues are directly faced by physicians and medecins at the Cayenne General Hospital, and also by the center for clinical investigation and clinical epidemiology for the Antilles and French Guiana (CIC-EC). They are also often detected by health centers in French Guiana’s interior (Centres de Santé) which represent advanced posts in medicine. CEBA offers a unique opportunity to assemble a more solid body  of knowledge about emerging and well-known diseases alike, for the benefit of the medical staffs.