Lichens and Joël Boustie

Lichens and chemistry, a symbiosis between lichenologists and chemists
J. Boustie portrait in "Le Monde des Sciences" highlighting this natural ressource renewal
by Marina Julienne • Printed version on 08 January 2020
Lichens and Joël Boustie

Joël Boustie, rare explorer of the lichen world

Convinced that this treasure of biodiversity contains molecules of major interest, this chemist has revived research on this subject rarely explored in France, focusing attention on the work of naturalists.

Joel Boustie is one of those researchers who, in a few minutes, drag you out of the world and out of time. Why is this phytochemist passionate about lichens ? "Perhaps because they are exactly the opposite of our society, he explains. They grow extremely slowly, some microns per year, and live in symbiosis: a lichen is an algae, or a cyanobacteria, associated with a fungus, the first feeding the second through photosynthesis, and the fungus protecting algae from solar radiation and drying out. In this very subtle and complex organization, cooperation is vital. " .....

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