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Last update: May 2021

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Main approaches

TULIP results from a dynamic initiated in 2007 in order to increase scientific excellence and attractiveness of the Research Federative structure called "IFR40 / FR3450". TULIP resolutely adopts a multidisciplinary approach from genes to ecosystems, coherent model organisms (i. e. for which the phenotypic, ecologic, genetic, genomic, molecular and biochemical approaches are possible), reinforces excellence thanks to complementary strategies (from concepts to mechanisms and vice versa, or from mechanisms to dynamics back and forth).

Studying interactions between organisms


Living organisms face all kinds of biotic and abiotic stress. To understand and predict individual, species or community adaptive responses to changing environments, three components of knowledge must be gathered:
- Understanding genotype flexibility in reaction to environmental changes and the range of constraints that determine these responses,
- Take into consideration that individuals or species are not only facing an abiotic habitat but also inter and intra specific interactions,
- Interactions among organisms (of the same species or not) are also influenced by environment which increases the complexity of causalities, which propels the study up to ecological systems.

Studying biological systems

Oiseau caché dans la végétation

Because existing biodiversity, both among and within species, results from a series of subtle interactions at different levels of complexity, we must couple several approaches (mechanistic, ecological, evolutionary and holistic) to clarify the nonlinearities produced by such a complex interaction network. Understanding how such systems respond and evolve in space and time to biotic and abiotic stress is definitely the best approach to develop integrative biology.
For this goal, species of agronomic and ecological interest, as well as model organisms, are studied to decipher the fundamental mechanisms by which living organisms adapt, to environmental challenges. The study of how environmental changes impact "eco" and "agro" systems remains an open scientific challenge.

Cross-fertilizing approaches

Paysage à l'interface terre / mer

Innovative projects are selected by the TULIP International Scientific Council through an annual call. “Innovative projects”, also called in 2014 "New frontiers projects", refer to projects that are beyond the usual boundaries of our current research bringing new theoretical and conceptual approaches or developing new methodological approaches. The innovative nature of these projects involves in particular the notion of risk-taking. The first selection round, ended in March 2012, has led to the qualification of five projects for a 2 year period which began on June 1st 2012. Because of the duration of these projects, the second round of calls for  projects,  was set for 2014. Three projects were selected, described here >>>

These three approaches cover the five Major Themes of Research (MTRs) of TULIP: