Labs: Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement – CRCA – SETE – IRIT – LAAS – GEODE

Companies: BeeGuard, Select Design, Adict Solutions


Environmental monitoring, connected sentinels, bio-indicators, bees, birds, aquatic eco-markers, IoT. 

The use of bio-indicators makes it possible to characterize, in an integrative and quantitative manner, natural or anthropogenic changes in the environment. However, monitoring the response of bio-indicator organisms is often a difficult and time-consuming task, particularly in the field. Hence the interest in developing automated approaches, taking advantage of technological developments in terms of environmental sensors, remote transmission and processing of data. 


Scientific goal

The ECONECT project began in early 2020, with the objective to develop a communication infrastructure allowing the remote monitoring of autonomous, connected and versatile systems to measure the responses of bio-indicator organisms to chemical contamination, habitat degradation and global warming.

Three sentinel systems are considered: (1) the connected hive, allowing to monitor the dynamics of bee colonies (colony mass, temperature and location of the bee cluster, foraging traffic, etc.) and the cognitive capacities of bees; (2) the connected bird-feeder to submit individually monitored tits to behavioral tests to assess their cognitive abilities; (3) the aquacosm, a floating enclosure allowing the measurement of eco-markers in an aquatic environment (growth dynamics of phototrophic biofilms, relative importance of autotrophic and heterotrophic processes within the ecosystem ...).

The network infrastructure, based on LoRa and GSM communication protocols, will allow the remote configuration of measurement devices and the data transmission in the Cloud for consultation from a web browser and automated processing, in quasi real time, using a modular approach based on Python scripts. The storage on a server of all the data collected will allow an integrated analysis of these and the generation of alerts in case of hardware malfunctions or measures reflecting an abnormal situation within the ecosystem studied.

Prototypes of the different sentinel systems and the network are being tested and will lead to the installation of two pilot stations in 2021, notably one on the Paul Sabatier campus. In 2022, a network of 12 sentinel stations will be deployed in the Zone Atelier Pyrénées-Garonne (PYGAR). Each station will be characterized by a spatial analysis of land use and the quality of habitats and by the measurement of concentrations of chemical contaminants (trace metal elements, PAHs, pesticides) in different compartments of the environment. Participatory science protocols will be used to supplement the available data set and to assist in the interpretation of observed trends, while providing environmental education opportunities for the general public.


Elger, A., Cauchoix, M., Lihoreau, M., Chaine, A., Kacimi, R., Raimbault, V., Riboul, D., Julien, M.P., Lubat, C., Guiraud, V. & Depasse, J.