top of page


‘Mercury in Arctic Marine Biota: Sources, Levels and Impacts’

PI: J. Fort - Littoral, Environnement et Sociétés (LIENSs, La Rochelle)



MAMBA was a research project funded by the French National Agency for Research (ANR Tremplin ERC) from 2017 to 2018.


This project aimed to initiate the large scale study of mercury in Arctic seabirds and marine ecosystems.


‘Sea-ice shrinking and increasing human activities in the Arctic: what risks for the avian biodiversity’

PI: J. Fort - Littoral, Environnement et Sociétés (LIENSs, La Rochelle)



ARCTOX was a research program funded by the European Commission (Marie Curie Career Integration Grant) from 2014 to 2017.


ARCTOX overall objective was to study contaminant levels in Arctic marine food webs, and the impacts of these contaminants on the seabird community. Indeed, climate change is leading to a rapid change in the Arctic cryosphere, bound to profoundly affect the functioning of Arctic marine ecosystems. Among other threats, such modifications might lead, through the expansion of human industries or the release of pollutants trapped in ice since decades to the ocean, to an increase of pollutant levels in Arctic ecosystems. These pollutants have extremely toxic effects on organisms and could therefore have important impacts on the biodiversity, food-webs structure and ecosystems functioning. More specifically, ARCTOX is focused on Mercury (Hg) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), two of the most toxic pollutants which recently raised major environmental concerns. 

To this end, ARCTOX is based on four main research axes:


1. Define long-term temporal and seasonal variations of the contamination of Arctic marine food webs by using the seabird community as bio-indicator. 


2. Study impacts of pollutants on the behaviour, ecophysiology, reproductive success and survival of Arctic seabirds from differently exposed regions, as well as on their energetic niche and distribution. To this end, ARCTOX is focused on two little auk populations from East Greenland and Spitsbergen and combines field, experimental and modelling approaches.


3. Set-up an international, pan-Arctic, sampling network based on existing field campaigns that will allow to monitor exposure of the seabird community to pollutants (Hg and PAH) at large spatial scale. This network will therefore help defining sensitive areas for the avian community and the marine biodiversity in the Arctic that might require a particular attention and protection in terms of pollution.


‘Pollution of Arctic Systems’

PI: K. Law (LATMOS, Paris)



PARCS is an inter-disciplinary project involving experts from 19 French labs and several international institutes to provide a comprehensive understanding about the sources and fate of Arctic pollution and its impacts on climate, ecosystems and human society. More specifically, it aims to promote interactions between different disciplines working on air pollution (e.g. aerosols, ozone), climate (aerosol-cloud interactions), toxic contaminants such as mercury and persistent organic pollutants, impacts on ecosystems (contaminants in seabirds, pollutant cycling in marine/snow environments), and societal impacts and risks (air pollution).


To this end, PARCS addresses 4 major research objectives :


1. Improve the characterization of local pollutant emissions relative to long-range pollution transport from mid-latitude sources, through a combination of new measurements, community based risk assessments and pollution monitoring.


2. Better understand interactions between natural cycles and anthropogenic pollution, including pollutant wet/dry deposition, quantification of natural sources (relative to anthropogenic sources), pollutant recycling at the snow/ice-atmosphere interface, and quantification of riverine mercury fluxes.


3. Examine impacts of pollutants on marine biogeochemistry, nutrients and oceanic emissions, as well as improve the assessment of marine mercury cycling and contaminant impacts on Arctic fauna (seabirds).


4. improve the understanding of aerosol-cloud interactions and direct/indirect effects on climate.





bottom of page