The UMR (unité mixte de recherche in French) “Ecological Anthropology and Ethnobiology” directed by Serge Bahuchet is a joint lab partnered with the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (MNHN) and the Université Paris 7.
Ecological anthropology is a field of research at the juncture between the study of natural systems (ecosystems) and the study of the human species and social systems. Thus, the study of interactions between human beings and natural environment is set according to two complementary themes :
- The influence of environment on humans at biological and social levels ; also known as Human ecology,
- The forms of knowledge and the ways of use of ecosystems by humans ; also known as ethnobiology.
The laboratory applies an interdisciplinary approach. Researchers in human sciences and life science work together in the following disciplines :
- Ethology, physiology, ecology, and human population genetics,
- Anthropology, ethnology, ethnobiology and cultural anthropology.
Actually, our researchers work in both rural and urban areas within resident or migrant population. Their fieldworks are mainly found in the following regions :
In Europe : France, Mediterranean area,
In central Asia : Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan,
In Africa : North Africa, Sahelian Africa, African rain forest,
In Middle-East : Egypt, Yemen, Qatar,
Madagascar, Mayotte, and Reunion,
In parallel to these studies on human population, some of our researches study the dietary behaviour of Primates, especially Lemurs and great apes. It is an approach that allows us to conduct our analysis toward a phylogenetic point of view.
A more theoretical work down the line will help synthesizing the information gathered by researchers working in different disciplines in order to ensure a better understanding of the interactions between human population and their environment