GEOLAB – Physical and environmental geography laboratory


Key figures (30/06/2017)

Professors & researchers:11
Doctoral Students: 10
Engineers, technicians, administrative staff: 2
Accreditated to direct research (HDR) : 5

23 people present

Scientific Publication (2012-2016)

Peer reviewed journal: 195
: 8
Book chapters
: 23
Conference presentations
: 250
Thesis defended
: 15
Others: 250


Current project


The Geolab research team is a two-sites Joint Research Unit (UMR) linking the universities of Clermont-Ferrand and Limoges with the CNRS and the INRAP (French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research). It comprises geographers, economists and archaeologists who study interactions between societies and the environment. The environment is approached in two complementary ways:

  • through the study of ecosystem management (resources, services provided to societies, risks, etc.)
  • as if it was a social and political production, indispensable for societal and territorial reconstructions at a time when sustainable development is the watchword.

Research is organized around three thematic teams :

  • Current geoenvironmental dynamics: this team is involved in two areas : — Geomorphological dynamics related to matter processes and transfer — The role of living organisms in geomorphological dynamics
  • Paleoenvironment and Geoarchaeology: This team focuses on how societies in the past managed environmental resources, in particular, through agroforestry systems, territorial practices and landscape dynamics in medium-height mountain areas
  • Environmental capital: this team’s research is based on three areas: — Social construction of environment ; Natural amenitie, protected areas, migration ans inequality

Research Themes : Present Environments ; Paleoenvironment and Geoarchaeology ; Society ; Environmental Capital ; Nature

Keywords Sustainable Development ; Environmental Capital ; Environment ; Bio-hydro-Geomorphology ; Nature ; Geoarchaeology ; Landscape ; Water Territories ; Mobility ; Social inequality

Equipment / Technical resources

Motor-driven core drill ; Trimble GPS ; Nikon episcopic microscopy (SMZ800 binocular, microscope,AZ100 macroscope) and Leica diascopic microscopy) ; Laser scanner (high-resolution topography) ; Weather station ; Geographical Information Systems (Map Info., ArcGIS, ER mapper) ; Database Management ; System (Access, Oracle, Filemaker) ; Remote sensing (Win ANS, ER mapper) ; Statistical processing (XLStat, Statistica, Grapher) ; 3D processing and reproduction (various 3D tools, Surfer, VSN)

Scientific valorization


National University Partnerships : Universities : Bordeaux 3, Grenoble, Lyon 2, Paris 1 and Paris 10, Poitiers, Rennes, Toulouse, ULCO, Pau, Angers, Clermont-Ferrand, Saint Etienne

International University Partnerships : Portugal : Universities of Lisbon and Minho; Canada : Universities of Laval and Montréal ; USA : Millbury College, Pointpark University ; Sweden: University of Stockholm ; United Kingdom: Universities of Leicester and Loughborough ; Australia : University