Study on the impact of pesticides on biodiversity

Scientific works of Jean-Marc Bonmatin are at the interface of chemistry, biology and toxicology. His works mainly focus on 1) measurements of exposures to xenobiotic molecules (especially pesticides acting on the central nervous system), and 2) mechanisms of action of neuro-toxicants, and their effects on living systems. Combination of these two approaches by using a new validated model of eco-toxicological risks, then allows him providing a fine risk assessment, this for both non-target invertebrates, and vertebrates.

Two main classes of insecticides have been extensively studied in the frame of European community research programs: neonicotinoids and phenylpyrazoles. By developing new analytical methods which are the most sensitive so far (LC/GC-MS-MS), JM Bonmatin and co-workers have demonstrated the contamination of pollen and nectar by these insecticides. They also shown that chronic exposure at very low doses induces a significant lethality and a set of sublethal effects, including effects on reproduction.

For a better understanding of these issues at the global level, JM Bonmatin has co-created an international expert group of independent researchers (22 countries): The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides (TFSP). The TFSP has published the first meta-analysis on this subject in 2015, with an update in 2017. The comprehensive meta-analysis revealed that systemic insecticides: a) contaminate significantly all compartments of the environment (soil, water, plants and air), and b) that these insecticides severely impact biodiversity (pollinators, terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, and insectivorous vertebrates species).

In this context, Jean-Marc Bonmatin is involved in risk assessment of emerging issues, as a member of national expert committees (follow the links: Ministry of agriculture, Institute of bees and pollination, Agency of food safety and environment), as well as for international bodies (follow the links: IUCN, IPBES, OECD, and vice-Chair of the TFSP).

A few more at Washington Post, Cpac Canada, Euractiv,The Guardian, European Commission