Institut de Recherche pour le Développement

Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) is the pre-eminent French research organization dedicated to development. Founded in 1944, attached to the Ministries of Research and of Foreign Affairs, it is a not-for-profit government-funded public organization whose general missions are to conduct research and provide training and consultancy with a view to promote the economic, social and cultural development in the Southern countries. The aim of IRD is to respond to the major development challenges regarding the societies and human health, earth, environment and living resources.

IRD is operating with academic partners in France, French overseas territories, in 35 countries in Africa, Asia, Indian Ocean, Latin America and the Pacific area. Through its network in the tropics, IRD researches are conducted in collaboration with Southern partner institutions. The dissemination of scientific and technical information contributes to the capacity building approach developed by IRD. The ESPACE-DEV Unit (Space for Development) is involved in creating spatial knowledge for environment observatories in the context of the sustainable development in the South Countries.

The Espace-DEV research centers are located at the House of Remote Sensing in Montpellier (France), at the Antilles-Guyane University and at the Reunion Island University. ESPACE-DEV is structured around three axes of research, i) Spatial Observation of the Environment, ii) Integrated approach of environment and society and iii) Knowledge and information systems. Some relevant projects are:

  • GEONetCab (GEO Network for Capacity Building)
  • SEAS-Gabon (Surveillance de l・Environnement Assistée par Satellite) : Feasability study for the implementation of a satellite images ground receiving station (patnership with AFD, Gabon, INPE)
  • AMESD (African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development): Main partner of the project funded by European Development Fund.
  • OSS (Sahara Sahel Observatory): Main partner of the project which aims to establish long term monitoring network with continuously collection of ecological data, to better understand mechanisms leading to desertification through a research platform.
  • SEASNET: Leader of a network of satellite reception stations in Guyana, Reunion Island, New Caledonia, Canaries, Senegal.
  • AMMA (African Monsoon Multi-disciplinary Analysis): Main partner of the EU-DG Research project which aims at better understanding the West African Monsoon and improvement of knowledge and data implementation and dissemination for West African countries.

Staff involved


Dr Laurent DURIEUX coordinator of the SEAS program (Monitoring of the Environment Assisted by Satellite) in Brazil and organizes the scientific cooperation with the SPOT direct receiving antenna in Cayenne (French Guiana). PhD is specialised in remote sensing and GIS to study the impact of the deforestation on the convective clouds. His research interest focus on monitoring tropical land surface processes using data from Earth Observing satellites. He is Vice-President of the French Representation of the SELPER (South-American Association of Remote Sensing). Main Role: Coordination of WP5. Responsible of Task 5.1. Development of remote sensing solutions (Task 5.2), in field campaign for the Brazilian test site in WP4 and user requirement completion (WP2).

Damien Arvor

Dr Damien Arvor is geographer, specialist in remote sensing for the tropical regions. Main Role: Development of semantic nets (WP5, Task 5.2), in field campaign for the Brazilian test site in WP4, user requirement completion (WP2) and application of EODHaM to Brazil test site (WP7).

Frederic HUYNH

Frederic HUYNH: Director of the ESPACE Research and Services Unit. Senior expert in earth observation, environmental decision support, management of environmental projects in tropical region using remote sensing. Coordinator of several national, European and international projects. Main Role: Coordination of IRD in WP1.

Nadine Dessay

Dr. Nadine Dessay is a geographer. Her researches are particularly focused on remote sensing data use for social and socio-environmental application (deforestation, health). Main Role: Development of remote sensing solutions for Brazilian test sites (WP7).

Anne Elisabeth Laques

Dr. Anne Elisabeth Laques is a geographer collaborating with ESPACE Unit. She is lecturer at ・Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse ». Using remote sensing, she is working on biodiversity indicators and landscape dynamic at local scale in order to inform public policy. Main Role: habitat and landscape analysis (WP6) and biodiversity indicators (WP2).

Maud Loireau

Dr Maud Loireau is an agro-socio-economist and geographer within the ・ESPACE・ Unit of IRD, involved in research on nature/society modelling, in particular in Africa. She is responsible to the conception, development and implementation of the Local Information Environmental System (SIEL) according its evolutions in its new applications. Main Role: landscape modelling (WP6) and biodiversity indicators (WP2)..

Emmanuel Roux

Dr Emmanuel Roux received the Ph.-D. degree in industrial and human automation and computer science from the University of Valenciennes (France). He is currently Researcher at the French Institute for Development (IRD), ESPACE Unit, Cayenne, French Guiana. Main Role: Image analysis and mathematical modelling (WP 5 & 6).

Constance Boutrolle

Constance Boutrolle is assistant of UMR Espace-Dev director. Main Role: WP1

Frédérique Seyler

Dr Frédérique Seyler is expert in soil science, hydrology from space, remote sensing and spatial analysis. She is the leader of the Spatial Observation of the Environment team and is an expert of the Amazon wetlands. Main Role: Development of remote sensing solutions (WP5), remote sensing analysis for Brazilian test sites (WP7, Task 7.3)..

Mireille Fargette

Dr Mireille Fargette is biologist, expert of tropical biodiversity.

Danielle Mitja

Danielle Mitja is biologist, expert of tropical biodiversity and more particularly of the biology and ecology of palm trees in the Amazon. Main Role: Biodiversity monitoring for Brazilian test sites (WP6 & 7).

Erwann Lagabrielle

Dr Erwann Lagabrielle is geographer, specialist in conservation planning. Main Role: Integration of remote sensing information into biodiversity indicators and habitat modelling (WP2 & 6).