ECIMAR: « Marine and Chemical ecology: Chemical diversity indicators and valorization"


The ECIMAR network is mainly supported by the French National Research Agency (ANR) on Biodiversity and the Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles (ICSN ). ECIMAR is approved by the “pole-mer PACA ”.

The main objectives of the ECIMAR program are to contribute to knowledge of Mediterranean biodiversity through its chemical component and to highlight the chemodiversity of secondary metabolites in the biomedical and environmental fields. The results will contribute to a better comprehension of the chemical diversity of marine invertebrates, secondary metabolites expression and variability. This will lead to the use of chemical diversity as a biodiversity or environmental indicator. The research program will also help discover new secondary metabolites with potentially interesting structural and/or pharmacological properties.


ECIMAR federates systemacists, biologists and chemists in order to set up an excellence network on the study of marine chemodiversity, and will mainly focus on Mediterranean hard substrate benthic communities. These communities, as the coral reefs, shelter an important specific richness threatened by human activities and global change.

The expected results are:

  • a biodiversity and chemodiversity inventory of the Mediterranean model community, that will constitute a baseline for the communities undergoing various environmental pressures.
  • The identification and characterization of original chemical structures amongst the bioactive metabolites studied; the identification of new biosynthetic precursors or intermediates
  • The determination of the factors controlling the expression of secondary metabolites and those at the origin of spatial and temporal fluctuations of this expression.
  • The development of a collaborative data base accessible on the web.