Alexandra Houssaye is a Palaeontologist at the National Museum of Natural HistoryShe is director of research at the CNRS, in the MECADEV laboratory (adaptive mechanisms and evolution) at the MNHN. A palaeontologist by training, she is a researcher in functional morphology and studies the adaptations of the skeleton during the evolutionary history of amniotes.

A bone specialist, she focuses on the biomechanical adaptations of external and internal bone structures. Her goal is to better understand the form/function link in present-day organisms in order to make inferences from fossil organisms and thus to better understand how the skeleton, and thus organisms, adapted to significant changes in biomechanical constraints during their evolution.

She is one of 46 researchers and teacher-researchers at the Centre de recherche en paléontologie in Paris. It is a laboratory entirely dedicated to palaeontology. It is under the triple supervision of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (MNHN), Sorbonne University and the CNRS (INEE). 

Alexandra Houssaye is the author of a thesis

  • Pachyostosis' in Late Cretaceous squamates: phylogenetic, morphofunctional and paleoecological implications 

He is currently leading 3 theses

  • Internal and external structure of limb bones in dinosaurs and their cousins in relation to posture 
  • Morphological and microanatomical adaptation of long bones to graviportality in Rhinocerotoidea
  • Towards extreme gigantism - Internal and external adaptations of long bones in sub-podomorphic dinosaurs

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Creator of biosourced 100% molecules of interest for the cosmetics and fine chemicals sectors

After 15 years of research in ecological chemistry within the ChimEco laboratory, Prof. Claude Grison joined forces with Technofounders to create BioInspir in 2020, with the aim of commercialising the production of biosourced and natural molecules for the cosmetics and fine chemicals sectors.

BioInspir selects certain plant species capable of biosorbing metals contained in natural or industrial effluents. The use of these plants makes it possible to create filters to capture the metals, and from these, to design ecocatalysts used for the soft synthesis of high added value products.

Today, the company has a library of molecules that evolves day by day. New molecules are developed every week, either on a contract basis for clients or on molecules with a high stake for numerous companies.

After securing nearly €1 million in funding in September 2020, BioInspir is developing its molecule library and preparing to scale up to kilo-lab size.

Press release:

BIOINSPIR accelerates its growth and secures nearly €1 million in financingMontpellier, 9 September 2020 - The result of 15 years of research by Claude Grison and the ChimEco laboratory, Bioinspir synthesises molecules for fine chemistry from its unique ecocatalysis platform. Only a few months after its creation, the deeptech start-up has secured nearly €1 million in funding to support its first commercial phase. In recent weeks, the start-up has completed a financing round with TechnoFounders Participations, was a winner of the i-Nov innovation competition and was awarded the French Tech Emergence grant. All announcements and information from the press release here

LES ECHOS / SEPT 2020 / Bioinspir invents a plant filter to clean up contaminated water

A spin-off from the ChimEco laboratory at the University of Montpellier, the start-up Bioinspir has developed a plant-based filter to capture metals in polluted water. Designed from invasive aquatic plants, it can then be reused for other applications. Discussions are underway with chemical companies. Suite.

Ecocatalysis, an ecological revolution and green economy ? Claude Grison | TEDxParisSalon
Claude Grison explains Bioinspir at the Biomim'expo digital week 2020



Paris Agricultural Expo

Urban agriculture is invading our cities, in various and sometimes surprising forms. The photographer Giovanni Del Brenna offers us here his travel diary, meeting the "Parisculteurs" of the capital, illustrating these new urban landscapes which are also human landscapes. The city is once again becoming a source of food, but also of social links, biodiversity, knowledge and reconnection.

A few plates from this collection:

The Urban Shepherds grazing in the Lumière des 4000 residence with the ewes of the Clinamen association for the social landlord Plaine Commune Habitat. La Courneuve. November 2018

Installation of planting boxes to test technosols (soils constructed from green waste from the city). AgroParisTech roof, Paris Ve. May 2017

Harvesting pastries on the roof of the Opéra Bastille. 1000 square meters of vegetable garden designed and operated by Topager. Paris XIIe. September 2018

Houdan's chickens at RATP headquarters are fed with leftovers from the canteen. Paris XII. June 2017

Les Houblonnières, a project designed and built by Topager and Mattia Paco Rizzi on a Keys Properties roof in Levallois. July 2017

Cultivation of organic chicory by the urban micro-farm La Caverne in the disused Raymond Queneau car park. Paris XVIIIth. November 2018

Production of organic oyster mushrooms in the urban farm La Caverne in the disused Raymond Queneau car park. Paris XVIIIe. November 2018

Vertical vegetable garden installed by METRO France and INFARM in the METRO warehouse in Nanterre, in hydroponics. April 2019

The RECYCLERY, located in a former railway station on the "petite ceinture" in Paris. Collaborative work and rehabilitation. April 2017.

Biodiversiterre 2017. A plant installation on 10,000 m2 Avenue Foch in Paris. Designed by the artist Gad Weil. Public awareness operation organised by the Mairie de Paris. June 2017

All the photos can be found on the photographer's website.

For more information on urban agriculture:

All the information on the specialised website :

Les Parisculteurs, official website

HORIZONS / JANUARY 2020 / Urban agriculture

CERDD / MAY 2019 / Characteristics of urban agriculture (forms & services)

FUTURA SCIENCES / MARCH 2019 / What is urban agriculture?

REPORTERRE / APRIL 2018 / Urban agriculture could feed 10 % of city populations

AGROPARISTECH / JANUARY 2017 / Urban agriculture


The National Centre for Scientific Research is one of the most renowned public research institutions in the world. For more than 80 years, it has met the requirement of excellence in its recruitment and has developed multi and interdisciplinary research throughout the country, in Europe and internationally. Oriented towards the common good, it contributes to France's scientific, economic, social and cultural progress. The CNRS is above all 32,000 men and women and 200 professions. Its 1,000 laboratories, most of which are shared with universities, schools and other research organisations, employ more than 120,000 people; they advance knowledge by exploring life, matter, the universe and the functioning of human societies. The close link between its research activities and their transfer to society makes it a key player in innovation today. The partnership with companies is the basis of its development policy. This is achieved through more than 150 joint structures with industrial players and the creation of around one hundred start-ups each year, demonstrating the economic potential of its research work. CNRS makes research work and data accessible; this knowledge sharing targets different audiences: scientific communities, media, decision-makers, economic players and the general public.

The CNRS is multidisciplinary and covers all scientific fields: human and social sciences, biology, nuclear and particle physics, information sciences, engineering and systems sciences, physics, mathematics, chemistry, earth and universe sciences, ecology and the environment.

Imitation of structures, properties, processes and interactions developed by biological entities, achievements inspired by nature are increasingly widespread in many fields of research and innovation. The CNRS Institute of Engineering and Systems Sciences has thus chosen Nature-inspired Engineering as its priority scientific theme for 2020. Researchers from its laboratories will show at Biomimexpo how models in nature can be a factor of inspiration for finding engineering solutions to an identified and formalised scientific and/or technological problem.

For more information: and



Nature inspired display material

Have you ever wished your mobile phone display was unbreakable? Researchers from ETH Zurich imitate materials from nature to create transparent materials with high fracture resistance.

Here is a short video :


Mr Tommaso Magrini

Student / Doctorate Programme at D-MATL


ETH Zürich

Tommaso Magrini

Complex Materials

HCI G 530

Vladimir-Prelog-Weg 1-5/10

8093 Zürich


  • +41 44 633 66 94
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Biomimicry: an innovative approach for resilient territories

For several years, drawing on its experience with pioneering local authorities, Cerema has been helping to develop and evolve, in partnership, methods to assist in the emergence and design of projects. In 2019, with the help of the Dreal Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes innovation laboratory, it has formalised a "Different projects" approach, which proposes 5 principles to mobilise the resources of collective intelligence and resilience for the benefit of the project.
In this spirit, it has initiated and is engaged in collaborative research-action dedicated to territorial biomimicry. The ambition is to make this trend, which is inspired by life, a new art of designing projects for resilient territories.
This action research is part of a historical moment when the issues related to climate change and the collapse of biodiversity are making us aware that we are reaching our physical, natural and biological limits, with the irreversible degradation of resources.


  • David Nicogossian