Our Research Unit

The Environmental Chemistry and Life Interactions Unit (UCEIV) is a multidisciplinary unit that develops fundamental and applied research in the fields of the environment, sustainable development and energy. Its research themes concern the detection and characterisation of air and soil contaminants, the evaluation of their effects on the environment and living organisms, the proposal of remediation methods and the valorisation of bio-resources. These contributions are part of the three research themes of the UCEIV:

  • Effects of pollutants on living organisms
  • Biological and chemical Remediation
  • Valorisation of biomass

UCEIV gathers researchers from several scientific disciplines: Chemistry, Toxicology, Biochemistry and Plant Biology. The Unit is organized into four main research teams.

UCEIV is located on two of the four sites of the ULCO :

  • Buildings MREI1, MREI2 and IRENE on Dunkerque
  • Building F on Calais

UCEIV is organized into four teams :

The originality of UCEIV comes from the fact that it is one of the rare French laboratories possessing these complementary disciplinary skills, enabling it to reach environmental problems in a transversal way. This characteristic is a strength and added value for UCEIV. In particular, it has acquired recognition in the following areas:

  • Characterization of particulate air pollutants and assessment of their toxicity.
  • Complexing and detection of organic and inorganic compounds by cage molecules.
  • Degradation of organic pollutants in aqueous media by Fenton reaction.
  • Biodegradation of organic pollutants (POPs, PAHs) in soils in the presence of fungi.
  • Biological activity of plant defense stimulators.
  • Treatment (disposal, recovery) of gaseous compounds at source by catalytic processes.

Laboratory Identity

Name:  Unit of Environmental Chemistry and Interactions with Living Organisms, UCEIV,
Research Unit, UR 4492

Adress :

Dunkerque site
145-189A, Avenue Maurice Schumann
59140 Dunkerque

Calais site
50, Rue Ferdinand Buisson
62228 Calais

Authorities : Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale
French Ministry of Higher Education and Research

Scientific Pole : Technological and Environmental Change (MTE)

Creation date : 01/01/2010

Head : Stéphane SIFFERT
Tel :
E-mail : stephane.siffert@univ-littoral.fr

Staff (December 2023) : 68 members, among them 29 teacher-researchers (12 PR, 17 MCF, 15 HDR), 9 engineers, technical and administrative staff, 7 post-doctoral researchers, 23 PhD students.

Doctoral School affiliation: Science Technology Health (EDSTS – ED 585)

UCEIV is involved in the following Higher Education training :

  • « Expertise et Traitement en Environnement » Master, ULCO
  • « Analyse Chimique, Contrôle Industriel, Environnement » Master, ULCO
  • Ecole d’Ingénieurs du Littoral Côte d’Opale, EILCO

Historical background : UCEIV was created through the merger of three laboratories:

  • Catalysis and Environment Laboratory, LCE (Head: A. Aboukaïs)
  • Organic Synthesis and Environment Laboratory, LSOE (Head : G. Surpateanu, then S. Fourmentin)
  • Mycology, Phytopathology, Environment Laboratory : LMPE (Directeur : R. Durand, then Ph. Reignault)

UCEIV has been headed by Pirouz Shirali between 2010 and 2013, then by Dominique Courcot from 2013 to 2019, and finally by Stéphane Siffert since January 2020.

Indicators 2018-2023 :

  • 316 A-rank publications (ACL), of which 35% in national collaboration and 57% in international collaboration
  • No. of ACL/ETPT rech/year: 4.59
  • 9 books, 29 book chapters, 14 journals
  • 214 national and international oral communications, including invitations
  • 36 doctoral theses defended and 1 Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches (HDR)
  • 2 patent applications filed, 1 patent granted
  • 2 CIFRE+ 4 theses co-financed by industry
  • 6 Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects

Indicators 2013-2018 :

  • 183 publications of rank A, including 61% in national collaboration and 60% in international collaboration
  • No. of ACL/ETPT rech/year: 3.45
  • 19 book chapters, 9 journals, 9 technical articles
  • 195 national and international oral communications, including invitations
  • 33 doctoral theses defended and 4 Habilitations à Diriger les Recherches (HDR)
  • 3 patent applications.
  • 5 Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects, including 1 FUI project.

Scientific cooperation with  25 French laboratories and 30 laboratories established in North America, Africa, Asia and Europe.