CRIOBE Newsletter : January 2017 (en)

CRIOBE Newsletter (Français)

Message from the Director

Dear Friends of the CRIOBE,

For coral reefs around the globe, 2016 was a difficult year. The El Niño event led to one of the largest mass bleaching events ever recorded. While on the TARA PACIFIC – an ambitious large-scale scientific expedition that is exploring coral reefs and their capacity to adapt to climate change - I saw this first hand as I surveyed some of the most remote reefs in the Pacific. Fields of white, bleached corals – many of which were dead - for as far as the eye could see. The current state of the world’s coral reefs has made the work that we do at the CRIOBE all the more urgent and important.

Strong science that informs policy and management action is critical, if we are to ensure the persistence of coral reefs through time. And, to sustain this effort, we must ensure that our future scientists have the skills necessary to do this work. To address this issue, the CRIOBE in partnership with Paris Sciences and Letters University (PSL), continues to educate, to provide training and to develop new teaching technologies to deliver this important curriculum to the next generation of scientists and managers.

Looking ahead, 2017 is set to be a very productive year. The Tara Pacific expedition will travel as far north as Japan and will then sail to New Zealand, where it will quickly restock and continue its expedition northward, sampling from Australia to Taiwan. Along the way, the Tara will make a stop in Fiji in early June to participate in both the World’s Ocean Summit, which Fiji is hosting, as well as World Ocean’s Day. Tara Pacific will use these global events as a platform to bring attention to ocean issues, with a particular focus on raising support for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 which reads: to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Through the IRCP, we will host the 2017 Indo-Pacific Fish Conference in Tahiti, which will bring together hundreds of experts in coral reef fish science to share results and to advance progress on the science and management of fish in the Pacific.

The CRIOBE facilities in Moorea and Perpignan will both experience some significant changes in the coming year with the addition of important scientific equipment. Over the next twelve months, two new pieces of state-of-the-art equipment will be installed. One instrument will enable researchers to investigate how climate related stressors affect reef microcosms, and a new NMR (Nuclear magnetic resonance) Instrument will allow for the characterisation of smellscapes on reefs.

I want to thank you for your continued support and engagement in the work of the CRIOBE and I wish you a happy and healthy 2017.

Signature Planes
Serge Planes - Director - CRIOBE

Tara Pacific

ADVANCING CORAL REEF SCIENCE/ CRIOBE had a very productive 2016. Our scientists have contributed to the advancement of coral reef science, with nearly 100 publications, 20% in top journals. At the recent International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) in Hawaii CRIOBE played a significant role, where we led three scientific sessions and presented in nearly a dozen others.

Tara Pacific

TARA PACIFIC/ We set sail with the TARA PACIFIC , and from early July to the end of December we sailed from Panama to French Polynesia, finishing the year in Wallis and Futuna. In the first six months of the Pacific expedition 33 sites spanning 11 islands were surveyed, with nearly a thousand colonies photographed and sampled. With only a quarter of the expedition complete, we already have more than 7000 samples collected and they are now in the early stages of analysis at the nearly 20 laboratories that make up the TARA PACIFIC research consortium. In addition, with so many scientists hopping on and off the expedition, a great synergy of ideas has developed resulting in a number of side projects. These projects have already contributed to the collection of an unbelievable wealth of information pertaining to the health of coral reefs. For example, while in the Tuamotus, CRIOBE scientists used the TARA platform to run a series of transects which focused on coral bleaching and the prevalence of disease in corals and in coralline algae. In addition to some truly cutting edge science, this expedition is raising awareness of coral reefs and the threats they face at local and global levels. As a result of this effort, leaders are taking note and we hope, will begin to advocate for change.

Tara Pacific

EDUCATION/ In 2016, CRIOBE, in collaboration with the IRCP and ENSAD, now called MANEA, educated more than 56 students, from undergradutate level to Masters and PhD. Eight PhD students finished their dissertations, and 15 Masters students completed their degrees, 2 of whom are now enrolled in Doctoral programs. We awarded 13 EPHE Diplomas, and in total, delivered 58 courses.

CORPORATE PARTNERSHIPS SUPPORTING FUTURE SCIENTISTS/ In 2016, we launched important corporate partnerships with companies wanting to support future scientists and researchers in the field of coral reef science. For example, through a partnership with the CRIOBE, Europcar Polynesia recently awarded two of CRIOBE’s students for their work focused on the health of coral reefs in Polynesia. In another partnership, AirTahiti Nui and the InterContinental Resort of Tahiti are the official sponsors of this year’s Indo-Pacific Fish Conference and through this sponsorship, they will help to support the participation of several participants at the event.