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Laboratoire d'Ecogéochimie des Environnements Benthiques
UMR 8222

Audrey M. Pruski


My expertise goes from marine biology to sediment biogeochemistry including ecogenotoxicology.

My academic background and my scientific interests led me to study organism-environment interactions in benthic ecosystems by combining the experimental approach and the use of biomarkers. Biochemical markers are molecules initially present in living organisms. Their synthesis is sufficiently specific of a group of organisms or a metabolic pathways, so that their occurrence may be used as a indication of a biochemical pathway, the exposure of stress, the incorporation of a trophic resource, or the origins of organic matter (OM) in the sediments etc…. …

I use fatty acids and amino acids to investigate the reactivity of terrestrial OM in marine environments under the influence of major rivers (prodeltas, submarine canyons). Furthermore, I study energetic and trophic transfers in benthic organisms (corals, deep-sea fauna) using fatty acid biomarkers in combination with stable isotopes.

In addition, I have taken a particular interest in the research of new markers (Pruski et al. 2000) and in method optimization and validation, which is essential when using tools that have not been developed for marine invertebrates (Pruski & Dixon, 2003 ; 2007 ; 2009 ; Nahon et al. 2008).

I am actually involved in the research program CONGOLOBE (2012-2016) where I develop research at the frontier between organic geochemistry and ecology in the Congo deep-sea fan (Stetten et al. 2015) with a focus on the chemosynthetic fauna. I am also invested in the study of trophic ecology of cold water corals (AO CARESE SU 2015, Foundation of scientific cooperation ROVALTAIN program PLAISCOOL 2016-2018). In particular, I study the feeding strategies of the corals using fatty acid biomarkers and the energetic status using lipid classes. This work combines field survey and laboratory experiments.

I am teaching marine biology, benthic ecology, marine sediment geochemistry, and land-ocean transfers at University Paris 6 (France). I am also involved in the  International Master of Science "Marine Biodiversity and conservation" EMBC+.

I coordinate the EU course “Ecology and functioning of coastal ecosystems” UE 5UM12 FLUMECO.

Contact Informations

Phone : +33 (0)4 68 88 73 79
Mail(s) : audrey.pruski@obs-banyuls.fr

Function and attachment

Professor assistant at University Paris 6 (France)



1999-2002: Southampton Oceanographic Centre (SOC), Molecular genetics Team (Dr David Dixon).

2003- ...: University Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris 6), Banyuls Oceanographic Observatory, Benthic Ecogeochemistry Laboratory.


  • Stetten, E., Baudin, F., Reyss, J.-L.,Martinez, P., Charlier, K., Schnyder, J., rabouille, C., Dennielou, B., Coston-Guarini, J., Pruski, A. 2015. Organic matter characterization and distribution in seidments of the terminal lobes of teh Congo deep-sea fan: Evidence for the direct influence of the Congo River, Marine Geology 369:182-195.
  • Kalenitchenko, D., Fagervold, S. K., Pruski, A. M., Vétion, G., Yücel, M., LeBris, N., Galand, P. E. 2015. Temporal ans spatial constraints on community assembly during microbial colonization of wood in seawater, ISME Journal 9(12): 2657-2670.
  • Pruski, A. M., Buscail, R., Bourgeois, S., Vétion, G., Coston-Guarini, J., Rabouille, C. 2015. Biogeochemistry of fatty acids in a river-dominated Mediterranean ecosystem (Rhône River prodelta, Gulf of Lions, France): Origins and diagenesis. Organic Geochemistry 83-84, 227-240.
  • Fagervold, S. K.,Bourgeois, S., Pruski, A. M., Charles, F., Kerhervé, P., Vétion, G., Galand, P. E. 2014. River organic matter shapes microbial communities in the sediment of the Rhône prodelta, ISME Journal 8(11): 2327-2338.
  • Charles, F., Nozais, C., Pruski, A. M., Bourgeois, S., Méjanelle, L. , Vétion, G., Rivière, B., Coston-Guarini, J. 2012. Ecodynamics of PAHs at a peri-urban site of the French Mediterranean Sea, Environmental Pollution, 171: 256-264.
  • Nahon, S., Nozais, C., Delamare-Deboutteville, J., Escoubeyrou, K., Desmalades, M., Pruski, A. M., Karsten, U., Charles, F. 2012. Trophic relationships and UV-absorbing compounds in a Mediterranean medio-littoral rocky shore community., J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 424: 59-65.
  • Goineau, A., Fontanier, C., Jorissen, F., Buscail, R., Kerhervé, P., Cathalot, C., Pruski, A. M., Lantoine, F., Bourgeois, S., Metzger, E., Legrand, E., and Rabouille, C., 2012. Temporal variability of live (stained) benthic foraminiferal faunas in a river-dominated shelf – Faunal response to rapid changes of the river influence (Rhône prodelta, NW Mediterranean). Biogeosciences 9, 1367-1388.
  • Bourgeois, S., Pruski, A. M., Sun, M.-Y., Buscail, R., Lantoine, P. Kerhervé, Vétion, G., Rivière, B., and Charles, F. 2011. Distribution and lability of land-derived organic matter in the surface sediments of the Rhône prodelta and the adjacent shelf (Mediterranean sea, France): a multi proxy study, Biogeosciences, 8, 3107–3125. doi:10.5194/bg-8-3107-2011.
  • Sañé, E., Isla, E., Pruski, A.M., Bárcena, M.A., Vétion, G. Diatom valve distribution and sedimentary fatty acid composition in the Larsen A and B bays, Eastern Antarctica Peninsula. 2011. Continental Shelf Research 31(11): 1161-1168.
  • Bourgeois, S., Pruski, A. M., Sun, M.-Y., Buscail, R., Lantoine, F., Vétion, G., Rivière, B., and Charles, F. 2011. Distribution and lability of land-derived organic matter in the surface sediments of the Rhône prodelta and the adjacent shelf (Mediterranean sea, France): a multi proxy study, Biogeosciences Discuss., 8, 3353-3402, doi:10.5194/bgd-8-3353-2011.
  • Nahon, S., Pruski, A. M., Duchêne, J.-C., Méjanelle, L., Vétion, G., Desmalades, M., Charles, F., Can UV radiation affect benthic deposit-feeders through biochemical alteration of food ressources? An experimental study with juveniles of teh benthic polychaete Eupolymnia nebulosa. 2011, Marine Environmental research 383: 164-170.
  • Pastor, L.C., Deflandre, B., Viollier, E., Cathalot, C., Metzger, E., Rabouille, C., Escoubeyrou, K., Lloret, E., Pruski, A., Vétion, G., Desmalades, M., Buscail, R., Grémare, A., 2011. Influence of the organic matter composition on benthic oxygen demand in the Rhône River prodelta (NW Mediterranean Sea), 31: 1008-1019. Doi:10.1016/j.csr.2011.03.007.
  • Nahon, S., Charles, F., Lantoine, L., Vétion, G., Escoubeyrou, K., Desmalades, M., Pruski, A.M. 2010. Ultraviolet radiation negatively affects growth and food quality of the pelagic diatom Skeletonema costatum. Journal of Marine Biology and Ecology 383: 164–170.
  • Cathalot, C., Rabouille, C., Pastor L., Deflandre, B., Viollier, E., Buscail, R., Grémare, A., Treignier, C., Pruski, A. 2010. Temporal variability of carbon recycling in coastal sediments influenced by rivers: assessing the impact of flood inputs in the Rhône River prodelta. Biogeosciences, 7, 1187-1205.
  • Nahon, S., Castro Porras, V.A., Pruski, A. M., Charles, F. Sensitivity of gametes and embryos to UV radiation from the Mediterranean sea urchin Sphaerechinus granularis (Lamarck). Sci Total Environ. 407. 1892-1900. 2009.
  • Pruski, A. M., Nahon, S., Escande, M.L., Charles F. Ultraviolet radiation induces structural and chromatin damage in Mediterranean sea urchin spermatozoa. Mut.Res. 673 : 67-73. 2009.
  • Nahon, S., Charles F., Pruski, A. M. Improved Comet assay for the assessment of UV genotoxicity in Mediterranean sea urchin eggs. Environ. Mol. Mutagenesis. 49: 351-359. 2008.
  • Pruski, A.M., Dixon, D. R. 2007.Heat shock protein expression pattern (HSP70) in the hydrothermal vent mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus. Mar. Env. Res. 64 : 209-224.
  • Dixon, D.R., Pruski, A.M., Dixon, L.R.J. 2004. The effects of hydrostatic pressure change on DNA integrity in the hydrothermal-vent mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus: implications for future deep-sea mutagenicity studies. Mutat. Res. 552(1-2): 235-246.
  • Pruski, A.M., Dixon, D.R. 2003. Toxic vents and DNA damage: first evidence from a naturally contaminated deep-sea environment. Aquat.Toxicol. 64(1) : 1-13. Pruski, A.M., Fiala-Médioni, A. 2003. Stimulatory effect of sulfide on thiotaurine synthesis in 3 hydrothermal-vent species from the East Pacific Rise. J. Exp. Biol. 206(17) : 2923-2930.
  • Pruski, A.M., Dixon, D.R. 2002. Effects of cadmium on nuclear integrity and DNA repair efficiency in the gill cells of Mytilus edulis L. Aquat. Toxicol. 56(5) : 127-137.
  • Pruski, A.M., Rousse, N., Fiala-Médioni, A., Boulègue, J. 2002. Sulphur signature in the hydrothermal-vent mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K. 82: 463-468.
  • Dixon, D.R., Pruski, A.M., Dixon, L.R.J., Jha, A.N. 2002. Marine invertebrate eco-genotoxicology: a methodological overview. Mutagenesis 17(6) : 495-507.
  • Pruski, A.M., De Wit, R., Fiala-Médioni, A. 2001. Carrier of reduced sulfur is a possible role for thiotaurine in symbiotic species from hydrothermal vents with thiotrophic symbionts. Hydrobiologia 4 (1/3) : 15-23.
  • Pruski, A.M., Fiala-Médioni, A., Prodon, R., Colomines, J.-C. 2000. Thiotaurine is a biomarker of sulfide based symbiosis in deep sea bivalves. Limnol. Oceanogr. 45(8) : 1860-1867.
  • Pruski, A.M., Fiala-Médioni, A., Fisher, C.R., Colomines, J.-C. 2000. Composition of free amino acids and related compounds in invertebrates with symbiotic bacteria at hydrocarbon seeps in the Gulf of Mexico. Mar. Biol. 136 : 411-420.
  • Pruski, A.M., Fiala-Médioni, A., Boulègue, J., Colomines, J.-C. 1998. Sulphur-amino acids in symbiotic species from hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Cah. Biol. Mar. 39 : 321-324.
  • Pruski, A.M., Fiala-Médioni, A., Colomines, J.-C. 1997. High amounts of sulphur-amino acids in three symbiotic mytilid bivalves from deep benthic communities. C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris. 320 : 791-796.

Frequented establishments

University of Sciences and technologies (Lille 1), Lille, France

University Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris 6), Paris, France

French and foreign diplomas

PhD in Biological Oceanography, University Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris 6)

Audrey Pruski (audrey.pruski @ obs-banyuls.fr) - 18/06/16

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