EcoFoG (Ecology of French Guiana Forests, https://www.ecofog.gf/) is a Joint Research Unit (AgroParisTech – Cirad – CNRS – INRA – Université des Antilles – Université de Guyane), mainly located in French Guiana (Agronomical campus in Kourou, Pasteur Institute and Université de Guyane in Cayenne) and in Guadeloupe (Université des Antilles, Pointre-à-Pitre).

At EcoFoG Lab scientists work within six research axes:

  • Community Patterns and Assembly
  • Ecosystem Services and Processes
  • Adaptation, Diversification, Speciation
  • Plant Development and Function
  • Chemical Diversity and Applications
  • Materials and Biodiversity Resources

The dynamism of the research at EcoFoG is driven by the interactions between 80 researchers (faculty, postdocs, students and technicians) working collaboratively within and across the research axes. EcoFoG’s scientific publications can be accessed at http://www.ecofog.gf/fr/publications/

EcoFoG is equipped with different platforms in (1) analytical chemistry (HPLC, RAMAN, NMR), (2) molecular biology (DNA/RNA extraction lab, sequencing), (3) wood science (equipment for measuring material properties), (4) microscopy (MEB, fluorescence microscopes), and (5) an experimental field station (Paracou Research Station encompasses 5,000 ha divided into several types of forest plots https://paracou.cirad.fr/).

EcoFoG is partner of the Laboratoire d’Excellence CEBA (Center for the study of Biodiversity in Amazonia) http://www.labex-ceba.fr/en/ funded by the Investissement d’Avenir grant of the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (CEBA: ANR-10-LABX-25-01).

Chemistry at EcoFoG

The Amazonian Natural Products Lab of EcoFoG is managed by Dr. Emeline Houël and Dr. Yannick Estevez. The chemistry lab has all the necessary equipment to study secondary metabolites isolated from Amazonian organisms. Methods used in the laboratory include extraction, purification, and structural determination of natural substances as well as organic synthetic compounds.

The laboratory is equipped with two HPLC systems: (1) Waters analytical system (light scattering detector and a diode array detector) and (2) semi-preparative Waters system (UV detector with dual wavelength). The Varian NMR 400 MHz spectrometer of the University of French Guiana is manage by the chemistry lab. The laboratory is equipped with: fume hoods, distillers, rotary evaporators, speedvac, freeze-dryer, ultrasonic bath, air-oven and precision scales. The laboratory has a biological safety cabinet level 2.

Location

French Guiana which is a state of France in South America. The territory, covered by 96% of Amazonian tropical forests (8 million hectares), is part of Europe.

Besides being a hotspot of terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity, French Guiana is also known for the space port of the European Space Agency with several rockets (Ariane, Vega and Soyouz) launched every month from Kourou. Follow Ariane launch on the French National Center for Space Studies website.