Dr Raphaël MANLAY

Dr Raphaël MANLAY

Senior lecturer
Coordinator of the European Master Sutrofor
Phone: +33 467 047 126
Email: raphael.manlay (at)


Work experience
Fields of interest
Fieldwork sites


  • PhD (Environmental Sciences, Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Paris, France) 2000
  • MSc (Ecology, University of Aix-Marseille, Marseille, France) 1994
  • MSc (Agronomics, National Institute of Agronomics of Paris-Grignon, Paris, France) 1994


  • Senior lecturer in AgroParisTech's team "Environmental management" (teaching tropical forestry and tropical ecological engineering in MSc, MEng and postgraduate courses in ) in Montpellier.
  • Associate scientist in the Joint Research Unit “Functional Ecology and Biogeochemistry of Soils and Agrosystems” (Eco&Sols).
  • French coordinator of the European Erasmus+ MSc program “Sustainable tropical forestry” (Sutrofor).
  • Consultant for designated operational entities in the field of the validation and verification of climate mitigation forestry projects (Clean/Sustainable Development Mechanism, voluntary standards).

Work experience

  • 2003- : lecturer at the Paris Institute of Technology for Life, Food and Environmental Sciences (AgroParisTech)
  • 2002-2003: scientist at the Institute of Research for Development (IRD), unit «Carbon sequestration and biofunctioning of soils»
  • 2001-2002: scientist at the Centre of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering Research (CEMAGREF), unit « Mediterranean Agriculture and Forest »
  • 1996-2001: scientist at
    • IRD, program "Reduction of the Fallow Length, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development in Central and West Africa" (Dakar, Senegal) and
    • Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (ENGREF) (Montpellier, France)


Fields of interest

  • Tropical agroecology and forestry
  • Sustainability of farming systems and climate change issues in the tropics
  • Ecosystem to landscape carbon budget assessment and modelling
  • Assessment of carbon sequestration projects in forestry and agriculture

Fieldwork sites

Senegal and Burkina-Faso


My research focuses on the functioning of tropical agroecosystems, that I treat as hybrid objects produced by human-nature interactions and that I thus approach in an interdisciplinary manner with a primacy of functional ecology. These objects have original characteristics:

  • from a biogeochemical point of view, their carbon cycle, for example, is characterized by the highest flow:stock ratios of agroecosystems, linked to biological exuberance and the extent of "abrasion" of the environment (water, wind, fire)
  • from a social point of view, these agroecosystems are the foundation of a family agriculture that is still highly autarkic, as it depends on, but is also familiar with, endogenous biogeochemical processes.

Carbon is a resource, both a component of goods and a means of production. Carbon plays a multitude of static and dynamic roles depending on the possible combinations between functional states (stock vs. flow) and chemical forms it can take. Its status (stock and flow) can be an indicator of the viability of the ecosystem, farm or territory. A first societal demand, of an agro-ecological nature and local emanation, is the identification of management strategies to combat the scarcity of this resource and to increase local supply (agro-sylvo-pastoral production) and support services (conservation of nutrients and biodiversity, mitigation of the effects of climate variability). Another societal demand, of an environmental and global nature, is the assessment of the greenhouse gas balance of these agro-ecosystems to assess their contribution to changing atmospheric chemical composition and global warming.
My research aims to evaluate agro-ecological practices (especially existing ones) in order to meet these two types of demands. It includes:

  • producing models for predicting carbon storage in soil and plants according to the environmental and human characteristics of ecosystems, based on measurements in stations and in farming environments
  • analysing mechanisms for carbon allocation/dissipation in certain compartments (soil, roots) or between farms
  • building tools for evaluating certain terms of the carbon cycle at the individual (allometric models), territorial (individual-centric and spatialized simulator) or country (multi-criteria and spatialized evaluation) level
  • proposing a renewed approach to the contribution of family farming to climate change mitigation.


  • Recent (for download links please go to full list):
    • Manlay R. J., Freschet G., Abbadie L., Barbier B., Chotte J.-L., Feller C., Leroy M. & Serpantié G., 2020. Séquestration du carbone et usage durable des savanes ouest-africaines : synergie ou antagonisme ? In: T. Chevallier, T. Razafimbelo-Andriamifidy, L. Chapuis Lardy & M. Brossard (Eds.), Carbone des sols en Afrique. Impacts des usages des sols et des pratiques agricoles. FAO/IRD, Marseille and Rome, France and Italy, pp. 241-254.
    • Manlay R. J., Barthès B. G., Cabral A.-S., Deleporte P., Hien E., Kabré G. & Penche A., 2020. Restauration agroécologique des sols de savanes d’Afrique de l’Ouest avec des rameaux d’arbres. In: T. Chevallier, T. Razafimbelo-Andriamifidy, L. Chapuis Lardy & M. Brossard (Eds.), Carbone des sols en Afrique. Impacts des usages des sols et des pratiques agricoles. IRD Éditions/FAO, Marseille and Rome, France and Italy, pp. 175-191.
    • Chevallier T., Loireau M., Courault R., Chapuis-Lardy L., Desjardins T., Gomez C., Grondin A., Guérin F., Orange D., Pélissier R., Serpantié G., Durand M.-H., Derioz P., Laruelle G. G., Schwoob M.-H., Viovy N., Barrière O., Blanchart E., Blanfort V., Brossard M., Demenois J., Fargette M., Heulin T., Mahe G., Manlay R. J., Podwojewski P., Rumpel C., Sultan B. & Chotte J.-L., 2020. Paris Climate Agreement: Promoting Interdisciplinary Science and Stakeholders’ Approaches for Multi-Scale Implementation of Continental Carbon Sequestration. Sustainability, 12(17): 6715.
    • Bisson A., Boudsocq S., Casenave C., Barot S., Manlay R. J., Vayssières J., Masse D. & Daufresne T., 2019. West African mixed farming systems as meta-ecosystems: A source-sink modelling approach. Ecological Modelling, 412, 108803.
    • Félix G. F., Clermont-Dauphin C., Hien E., Groot J. C. J., Penche A., Barthès B. G., Manlay R. J., Tittonell P. & Cournac L., 2018. Ramial wood amendments (Piliostigma reticulatum) mitigate degradation of tropical soils but do not replenish nutrient exports. Land Degradation & Development, 29(8): 2694-2706.
  • Full list
  • Reviewer for the journals Agricultural Systems, Agroforestry Systems, Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, Journal of Arid Environments, Canadian Journal of Soil Science, Ecological Modelling and Geoderma.


Phone: +00 33 467 047 126

E-mail: raphael.manlay (at)


UFR G-ENV — AgroParisTech

Montpellier campus
648 rue Jean-François Breton
BP 44494
34093 Montpellier Cedex 5