We are now at the heart of a digital revolution, with access to ever-increasing computing and communication resources as well as new technologies. This opened the door to the development of previously unthinkable digital methods. This revolution must serves issues affecting the environment and agronomy: in particular feeding the world's population while preserving the environment.

MISTEA develops original methods of Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics applied to Environment and Agronomy. We are a joint research unit with more than 40 people from  INRAE center in Montpellier and the Agro Institute (SupAgro Montpellier). We are also affiliated with I-SITE MUSE within the MIPS cluster. The unit is structured in 3 axes:

We work on methods to provide a better understanding and decision support on issues relating to agriculture and the management and protection of natural resources. To contribute to these challenges, such as adaptation to climate change for agro-environmental systems, we work in close collaboration with researchers from other disciplines. Agriculture and the environment have the specificity of producing large-scale and heterogeneous data (different spatial / temporal / organizational scales, interaction, going from field to table, etc.). This complexity requires mobilizing and developing very specific mathematical and computer tools.


In the age of digital agriculture, we need automated processing of the large amounts of data that are collected. The objective is, for example, to characterize the behavior of plants in various environments or even the aromatic profiles of wines in order to eventually build adaptation strategies. To do this, we implement knowledge models, called ontologies, which allow us to combine, integrate and link data from different sources.

In an open science approach, we are developing the OpenSilex software to build information systems that implement the FAIR data principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable).

Our research in statistics is applied to various fields. In agroecology, for example, we built a statistical partitioning of a dataset to create typologies of cultivated biodiversity, in order to characterize the management of seeds. To guarantee the well-being and good health of animals, we are also developing probabilistic models to detect abrupt changes in the behavior of animals (cows, chickens, sheep).

Finally, work in dynamic systems also contributes to the objectives of preservation and management of natural resources (water, soil, forest). For example, lake ecosystem models are being studied to simulate the population dynamics of micro-algae in lakes, the challenge ultimately being to control proliferation episodes. As another example, we define strategies for adaptive management (control) of water pollution control treatments, to guarantee sufficient water quality for reuse in agriculture and also to limit the use of fertilizers.

MISTEA is attached to the I2S doctoral school of the University of Montpellier, and we regularly have co-supervised doctoral students at the GAIA doctoral school.

MISTEA is also (with LEPSE) co-sponsor of CATI Codex.

See also

MISTEA offices are located on the SupAgro Montpellier / INRAE campus in building 21.

Unit directory card.

Modification date: 30 October 2023 | Publication date: 20 January 2021 | By: webmistea