France: GEIST - Research Group on Water, Soil and the Environment (GRESE)
The Research Group on Water, Soil and the Environment federates 25 permanent researchers and 20 PhD students in the field of Environmental Sciences, including analytical chemistry, engineering sciences, physical-chemistry, chemistry of solids, pedology, hydrogeology, biology and botany. Research is done in two complementary fields :
- chemical speciation and transfer of pollutions, more particularly for metallic elements to the surface of the Earth,
- the development of technological answers with the development of new processes for the treatment or the management of water and polluted soils.
These topics are approached from the fundamental point of view by the study of the mechanisms of genesis, chemical speciation, phase interactions and degradation of pollutants. Different mediums are studied including soils, sediments and solid waste, water, plant species or biomass in wastewater plant.
The GRESE proposes actions in risk assessment in relation to the diffusion of metallic pollution (contaminated soils, former mining or smelting activities) or specific liquid wastes (hospital or municipal effluents). Moreover, GRESE develops processes for the treatment of water or solid wastes or for the rehabilitation and evaluation of polluted sites and soils.
The GRESE is a member of national and European networks and develops many partnerships with different countries of Africa and with several Eastern European countries where there are major environmental problems.
Finally, the GRESE has collaborated for many years with companies, publicly-owned establishments and institutions in the field of water and solid waste.