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, EA 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

Creation date : 01/01/2010

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

Staff (June 2018) : 65 members, among them 26 teacher-researchers (9 PR, 17 MCF, 15 HDR), 9 engineers, technical and administrative staff, 6 post-doctoral researchers, 24 PhD students.

Doctoral School affiliation: Sciences of Matter, Radiation and Environment, SMRE ED 104

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 2013-2018 :

  • 183 publications of rank A, including 112 in national collaboration and 110 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
  • More than 5700 quotations from our work
  • 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.
  • Research programs :
    • Haut-de-france Region
    • National agencies and organizations (ADEME, ANSES, INSERM, ANR)
    • European projects (INTERREG V)
    • International cooperation programmes (CHP, CAPES Cofecub, bilateral projects)
    • CPER: Alibiotech, Climibio and IRENE Platform

Indicators 2008-2013 :

  • 177 scientific publications, 99 of them as part of international cooperation and 72 of them as part of national cooperation
  • Publications/researcher/year: 2,81
  • 10 book chapters
  • 120 oral communications (national et international), 54 of them as invited speaker
  • More than 4000 citations of our research publications
  • 32 PhD and 5 Habilitations to Supervise Research (HDR)
  • 5 projects with industrial partners
  • Research Programs :
    • Nord-Pas-de-Calais Region (4)
    • National Agencies and Organisms (AFSSET, INCa, ADEME, INSERM, FSOV) (7)
    • European Projects ( PCRD 7, INTERREG IV) (3)
    • International cooperation projects (PHC, MAE) (3)

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