Lead partner (P1): IRD Nouméa, COREUS “Biocomplexity of the coral reef ecosystem”
COREUS2 is a multidisciplinary team, with strong competences in ecology of coral reef ecosystems with long expertise on taxonomy, genetics and ecology of macroalgae, corals and fish as well as spatial analyses based on remote sensing.More recently, the team extended it expertise to pharmacochemistry and natural products from macroalgae.
The team has a relevant activity related to the comprehension of processes, such as community structure and composition assemblages in relation to habitat characteristics, connectivity between habitats, both at local or regional scale, species distribution and phylogeography. The team is also involved in the Tara Oceans scientific expedition focussing on the study of coral reef biodiversity and ecology in previously unexplored and remote localities in the Indo-Pacific which further increase its geographic range of expertise.The researchers involved have extensive field work competences with benefit of significant facilities and human resources for underwater works provided by the Institute itself.
Technical platforms offer large analytic equipment for chemistry, molecular biology including PCR, rt-PCR, q-PCR and sequencing, and aquarium experiment facilities.Human resources which will contribute to the project include permanent staff, one PhD and masters based in New Caledonia, La Reunion, and Guadeloupe. The PhD thesis dedicated to Asparagopsis project is based in Noumea and supported by a New Caledonia grant for a 3 years period (2011-2014).
The permanent scientists in the two others OCTs represent local contact points which are essential to facilitate dialogue with partners and key stakeholders concerned by the project in those sites.This point is essential for the networking. The 21 permanent staff working for many years in the Pacific basin, the Indian Ocean, and the Caribbean area have acquired an international recognition with more than 80 papers (IF > 1.5) published in international journals in the last two years. They have been leading or participating in several national (including ANR, FRB calls) and international projects (CRISP). The lead partner is well established in New Caledonia and has strong and long cooperation with local marine biodiversity managers and policy makers.
The project leader (CP) is the Director of the team, with a strong experience in marine biology and especially in macroalgae associated to coral reefs. She assumed the leadership of numerous campaigns and expeditions for studies of benthic macrofauna and flora in the Pacific region. She is in charge of the coordination of several research national and international programmes including the European INCONET project, PACENET.
Partner (P2): ARVAM Agence pour la Recherche et la VAlorisation Marines
The ARVAM is an executive agency, which aims to provide a connection between scientific research and representatives of the Environment and Development in the Indian Ocean region, especially in La Reunion.With its partners, the agency has participated since 1991 to develop harmonious relations between the marine and coastal ecosystems, economy, and health and contributes to the implementation of the concept of Integrated Management and Sustainable Coastal Development.
ARVAM team consists of 8 persons: one manager (Jean Pascal QUOD), two project managers (Jean TURQUET & Mayalen ZUBIA), one environmental engineer (Harold CAMBERT), a technician (Fabien TONA), a PhD student (Mathieu SERE), one financial and administrative manager and a secretary.The research activities are conducted by the scientific team in 4 interactive departments: Biodiversity and Tropical environment monitoring especially (i) water quality under the EU water framework, (ii) coral reefs (Reef Check, GCRMN). In this department, various research programmes are in progress: EUTROLAG (impact of eutrophisation on benthic community - cnidarians, algae, invertebrates- with a special focus on algae blooms); BIOLAVE (lava flow biodiversity in the South of La Réunion); Ecotoxicology of marine biotoxins both on environmental approaches and laboratory studies (isolation of microalgae, culture and extracts production, bioassays). In the field of marine ecotoxicology, the agency has different projects as part of plans for prevention of health hazards inherent in fishery products, particularly in terms of food poisoning caused by seafood (ARISTOCYA, ICAM-RUN), and in evaluating the risk of chemical contaminants to the reef environment (MODIOLE, PEPS, ERICOR); Biotechnology & Industrial uses. The ARVAM agency has developed since 1990 an original microalgae culture collection from tropical south-western Indian Ocean (PHYTOBANK), which represents a unique tool for the valorisation of these microorganisms in different application areas such as health, pharmacology or biofuel (BIOPAINTROP on biocides from tropical microalgae). Communication, Knowledge transfer to end-users and managers and Education.
Since January 2008, the ARVAM agency has integrated the GIP CYROI, a technological platform that gives access to very powerful analytical tools (molecular biology, chemistry).The ARVAM agency has been certified CRT (Centre de Ressources Technologiques) for the next three year (2011-2014) to supply a technological support for companies. With its partners, the ARVAM appears in 20 publications and several papers in national and international conferences. In the framework of this project, the ARVAM agency will get involved in the WP2 (sampling and monitoring) and will lead the WP5 (Exploitation & Knowledge transfer to endusers and managers).
Partner (P3): DYNECAR University of Antilles Guyane
The research unit DYNECAR (EA 926), hosted at the University of Antilles Guyane, was created in 1992.The team includes teaching researchers, specialized in the ecology of terrestrial and marine ecosystems of the Caribbean region: terrestrial forest systems, freshwater systems, wetland coastal systems, lagoon and reef systems.
The research of the team focuses on the strategies developed by organisms (populations and functional groups) of tropical insular environments in response to global climate change and (or) disturbances of anthropogenic origin.Following fundamental research, the team proposes the setting up of tools for diagnoses and restoration of insular tropical ecosystems that could then be used in data base necessary to socio-professionals related to environment problems, as well as administrations in charge of management and protection of natural spaces.
Since the setting up of LMD system in the University Antilles-Guyane (September 2006), the research team DYNECAR constitutes the main research unit for the Master of Ecology ECOTROP, specialty «Natural and exploited tropical ecosystems».The DYNECAR team has developed close collaborations with the main research organisms in the French West Indies and French Guyana, through its training research programmes as well as through its research activities.Cooperative links have been also established with several countries of the region (Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Honduras).
Partner (P4): Centre of Marine Sciences CCMAR
The Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR) is a non-profit organization located on the Gambelas campus of the University of Algarve and dedicated to R&D in the Marine Sciences.On the basis of international evaluation and excellence ranking it was awarded the status of Associate Laboratory together with CIIMAR (Interdisciplinary Centre for Marine and Environmental Research).It has 200 people on its staff, 83 and 114 of which hold a PhD and college degree, respectively.
The molecular biology, genetics, endocrinology, biophysics, organic chemistry and ecology of marine organisms, populations and ecosystems have been the focus of CCMAR scientists in the last five years.These R&D and training activities have been applied to the development of aquaculture, biotechnology and environmental technologies for the study and management of marine resources and ecosystems.In this 5-year period, the main funding sources have been the Foundation for Science and Technology, the European Commission, FEDER, the Innovation Agency, S.A. and the US National Science Foundation, generating 480 peer-reviewed papers in SCI-indexed journals.
CCMAR has played an active role in the dissemination of marine sciences and best practices in schools as well as fish- and shellfish-dependent local communities with more than 200 seminars, workshops, meetings and courses as well as participation in science and R&D fairs.
Partner (P5): DIVCO (CNRS Roscoff)
The Station Biologique de Roscoff (SBR; 1872) is a joint marine research institutions operated by Univ. Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC), the CNRS and INSU.
It is a state-of-the-art research and training center in marine biology, oceanography and marine ecosystems studies and maintains an extensive array of complementary genomic and oceanographic instrumentation. See http://www.sb-roscoff.fr/ for details about research and teaching activities at SBR and http://www3.sb-roscoff.fr/en/divco.html for details about research of the Div&Co team.
Div&Co (5 permanent researchers) focuses its research on the study of the human impacts on coastal marine species.Using native or invasive species it investigates the interplay between diversity and dispersal and their effects on the functioning and evolution of marine populations and species of coastal areas.Members of this research team are experts in evolutionary biology, modelling, community ecology and surveys over long-term series.
Frédérique Viard, the team leader, has a strong expertise in the study of invasive coastal marine species and one among the first researchers to apply population genetics tools to trace back the history of introduction of such marine species.The team has also developed universal markers for phylogeny and phylogeography of algae and has on-going projects about barcoding issues.They have been leading or participating in several EU and national projects (e.g. French National Research Agency (ANR), two European Network of Excellence -NoE MGE, MARBEF) and are involved in different training programs of the UPMC (e.g. International Master Program Erasmus Mundus, International PhD Program (MARES), organizer of European Summer Course etc.).
Research facilities in the Station Biologique of Roscoff include all the equipments needed to carry out the project proposed in particular extensive genotyping/bioinformatics and computing facilities for complex data analyses and modelling.
Partner (P6): Institut de Chimie de Nice UMR7272 CNRS-Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, Equipe Processus Chimiques et Radiochimiques dans l'Environnement -ICN-UNS
The "Institut de Chimie de Nice UMR7272 CNRS-Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, Equipe Processus Chimiques et Radiochimiques dans l'Environnement" ICN-UNS is part of the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, a multidisciplinary university located on the French Riviera.
The main activities of the team PCRE encompass environmental chemistry and chemical ecology in the marine environment.The secondary metabolites produced by marine organisms especially invertebrates are the center of interest of the "environmental marine metabolomics" theme.In collaboration with marine biologists we have developed metabolomic tools aimed to respond to marine ecological questions including chemotaxonomy.ICN has extensive experience in the collection of marine invertebrates off the French coasts but also in the isolation and structure elucidation of bioactive secondary metabolites.
Olivier Thomas, the scientific responsible of ICN in this project, has co-coordinated the ECIMAR project (in collaboration with partner 7) and is strongly involved in the CNRS research cluster BioChiMar.
Participant in WP3 and WP4 :(i) Identification and characterization of bioactive secondary metabolites in crude extracts of Asparagopsis and cnidarians ; (ii) Apply metabolomic studies to assess the variability in the production of bioactive compounds ; (iii)Assess the putative ecological role of these substances in the natural environment.
Partner (P7) IMBE-CNRS - Mediterranean Institute of Marine Ecology (IMBE) - Marseille FRANCE
The partner7-IMBE is member of The French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), a public basic-research organization that defines its mission as producing knowledge and making it available to society.IMBE (“Institut Méditerranéen d’Ecologie marine et continentale”) is a new Institute of Ecology, which was created in january 2012 .
The general objective of IMBE is to promote the study of the mechanisms which create and maintain biological diversity in the marine realm and of those which explain its erosion, this on various scales of time and space and thus by tackling the questions at various levels of biological integration, from gene to the ecosystem and the landscape.Its ambition is to develop the interactions between ecologists and molecular geneticists, phylogeographers, biologists and chemists to determine which biotic and abiotic factors interact and are responsible for the observed 'patterns' of diversity and their changes.The issues of IMBE are thus in the large fields of the international ecological research, dynamics of biological diversity, biological invasions and climatic changes and sustainable development and correspond to the priorities put up by CNRS. Thierry Pérez, the team leader, is presently coordinating the ECIMAR project (in collaboration with partner 6) funded by the ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche) which is dedicated to marine chemical ecology (www.ecimar.org).
This programme contributed to improve the knowledge of Mediterranean biodiversity through its chemical component.Within this project, the partner 7 particularly contributed to develop metabolomic approaches and proved their usefulness to distinguish among individual signals for some applications in systematics or in benthic ecology. Finally, Thierry Pérez is also leading the research cluster for the study of Marine Biodiversity and Chemodiversity (GDR CNRS BioChiMar), and among this cluster, he is particularly in charge of the theme “Ecosystems and Biodiversity”.
Partner (P8) : IMAR-DOP - Centre of IMAR of the University of the Azores (IMAR-DOP/UAz) - AZORES
The Department of Oceanography and Fisheries, of the University of the Azores (DOP, UAzores) has been involved over recent years in numerous national and international projects (including EU founded) and has a wealth of experience in marine ecology, trophodynamics, ecological interactions and genetics.
The institute, which has reached a place of scientific excellence and became one of the leading worldwide teams in terms of seamount and hydrothermal vent studies, is considered by the EU as one of the nine ‘main pillars of European oceanographic excellence (http://ec.europa.eu/research/research/eu/sea/ article_mer42_en.html).
This research unit supports about 50 research fellows including postdoctoral researchers, PhD and MSc students and visiting international scientists. Laboratory facilities includes: equipment for DNA and RNA extraction and PCR amplification, ultra flow freezer -80°C, centri fuge with refrigeration, thermocycler -PCR; transilluminator table, digital photographic system for DNA/RNA gels, magnetic stirrer plates, precision water bath, vortex, nanodrop, microcentrifuge, autoclave, laminar flux chamber, flake ice marker, hybridization oven, DGGE apparatus, real time PCR machine, fluorescence microscope and image analysis system, digital stereoscope and binocular microscopes.
The DOP/UAzores has at its service several rib boats and two vessels: the 25.5 m long R/V ARQUIP…LAGO, mainly equipped for offshore oceanography research and the 10 m long R/V ¡GUAS VIVAS, mainly equipped for coastal work. The institute has a fully equipped dive operation centre, as well as other field equipment (e.g. underwater light and temperature sensors, underwater video cameras and drop cameras), crucial for underwater fieldwork. In addition, the institute has installed new technological capabilities such as the new CoralLab (dedicated to the husbandry and experimentation on cold-water corals), which are leading to a breakthrough in advanced areas of research.