Pacific Coral Reef Institute

The 2019 IRCP Newsletter now available!

IRCP is celebrating its 10th anniversary of actions in support of coral reefs this year 2019! This newsletter #6 is an opportunity to review the actions carried out in 2018, the international year for coral reefs.

Clic on the image to download the newsletter

Grants for marine anthropology work in French Polynesia

Matthew Lauer, professor at San Diego State University (Department of Anthropology), currently has a 4-year grant from the NSF-Coupled Natural Human Systems (CNH) program to fund several MA students for marine anthropology work in French Polynesia. It’s an exciting interdisciplinary project involving Moorea Long Term Ecological Research scientists.

One part of the project is a citizen science initiative where fishers are tracking their fishing activities with GPS-enabled smart-phones. Another part of the project involves a joint marine scientist-fisher monitoring effort where they are collaboratively monitoring and co-generating knowledge about the lagoon to help inform marine management.

Call for high caliber undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing an MA in marine resource management, fisheries, human ecology, or science and technology topics.

Please send Matthew a CV at

There’s more information about his NSF project here: as well as information about the MA program at SDSU:


Status and Trends of Coral Reefs of the Pacific

Just Released! 
Status and Trends of Coral Reefs of the Pacific 
Edited by Charlotte Moritz, Jason Vii, Warren Lee Long, Jerker Tamelander, Aurélie Thomassin, Serge Planes


Click on the image to access the report

The Status and Trends of Coral Reefs of the Pacific, published in September 2018 is the first of its kind for the Pacific and is the third in a series of Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) reports dedicated to describing the status and trends of the world’s coral reefs. For the Pacific, nearly 20,000 surveys from 128 islands covering 19 countries or territories were compiled and analysed. What the analysis showed is that the coral reefs of the Pacific, like in other parts of the world, are changing. Dominant corals are no longer dominant and herbivorous fish are on the decline. But the change at the regional level is often not reflected in observations made at the local level, as is true for acute stress events such as coral bleaching episodes and Crown-of-Thorns outbreaks. This might be good news. Local, island-specific dynamics suggest that local-scale management actions can help to mitigate the inevitable effects of global change, at least in the near future. Coral reefs in the Pacific are dynamic and recovery is likely to occur rapidly. In a moment of doom and gloom for the coral reefs, this latest report demonstrates that Pacific reefs are the best coral reef systems in the world and provide lessons and ample reasons to maintain hope for the future of reefs globally.

IRCP Grants 2018: the results!

The fourth successful candidates of the IRCP grants 2018 are:

Firstname/Lastname Academic level University Research thematic
Alba Ardura Gutiérrez Postdoctoral researcher University of Oviedo (Espagne) Disturbing the Paradise: ports as entry gates in Pacific Islands (French Polynesia)
Alice Tagliati PhD Heriot‐Watt University, Edinburgh (UK) Investigating the impact of inorganic sunscreen on early‐life stages of Acropora spp. corals
Zara-Louise Cowan Postdoctoral Researcher University of Delaware (USA) Comparative biology and ecology of Pterois lionfishes in their native (Mo’orea) versus invaded (Western Atlantic) ranges
William E Feeney Postdoctoral Researcher Australian National University Species interactions in a changing world: Investigating the effects of climate change and coral bleaching on key ecological interactions on coral reefs


2018 Newsletter online!

The IRCP is pleased to present its 2018 newsletter!

  • Indo-Pacific Fish Conference feedback
  • IRCP grants, A long-term research opportunity!
  • Partnership and Workshops in 2017
  • Citizen Science «Un Oeil sur le Corail»
  • Status and Trend of Coral Reefs in the Pacific, a report on Coral reefs health

Click to access the PDF file

We wish you a good read!

Applications for IRCP-CRIOBE GRANTS 2018 now open !

The Institute for Pacific Coral Reefs (IRCP) and the CRIOBE (Centre for Island Research and Environmental Observatory) will offer four grants in 2018 to young scientists (PhDs and Post-doctorates, under 35 years old) for research projects focused on the coral reefs of French Polynesia. Grants will be available to both French nationals and foreigners. To support the advancement of science in the Pacific, one of the four award recipients will come from the South Pacific Islands. Each grant is valued at 4500 euros and will support travel expenses to and from French Polynesia, accommodation and research costs while at the CRIOBE research station.

Selected candidates will have 12 months from the time the award is granted, to complete their research projects. Within a month of completing fieldwork, the candidates will provide a preliminary report of their findings. The successful candidates will provide a final report, including at least one publication in a peer reviewed scientific journal of a high standard, in the following year. The grant should be mentioned in reports and publications under the name “IRCP – CRIOBE”.

To apply for the 2018 IRCP-CRIOBE grant, applicants must submit:

  • a CV (2 pages max),
  • a research project (5 pages max including references),
  • an abstract of research project (200-250 words)
  • a financial appendix (including estimated expenses – 1 page max).

Please send all application materials in one document pdf to:

All applications must be received before March 31, 2018.

Grant recipients will be announced April 30, 2018.


The Third International Year of the Reef

At the 31st General Meeting (November 2016 in Paris, France), the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) declared 2018 as the third International Year of the Reef and encourages to:

  • Strengthen awareness globally about the value of, and threats to, coral reefs and associated ecosystems;
  • Promote partnerships between governments, the private sector, academia and civil society on the management of coral reefs;
  • Identify and implement effective management strategies for conservation, increased resiliency and sustainable use of these ecosystems and promoting best practices; and
  • Share information on best practices in relation to sustainable coral reef management.

ICRI encourages its members to support and participate in planning for IYOR 2018, and to facilitate the development of national level IYOR activities. For more information, contact the ICRI Secretariat.

Extracted from the IYOR website

Post-doc position at the CRIOBE available

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Metabarcoding, Trophic ecology

Duration: 24 Months
The post-doctoral Position will be based at the CRIOBE in the core laboratory on the University of Perpignan Campus (France). Some field trips are planned in French Polynesia. The post-doc will work mainly with Valeriano Parravicini (EPHE-CRIOBE), Serge Planes (CNRS-CRIOBE).

The ideal candidate should demonstrate a background in the employment of metabarcoding from next generation sequencing and experience in the analysis of complex ecological networks. The candidate will be in charge of developing analysis of the trophic niche of reef fish species employing a mixed approach based primarily on DNA metabarcoding of gut and intestinal contents, but also on stable isotopes analysis. The overall goal is to reconstruct the trophic interactions among species based on the identification of exact food consumption. Metabarcoding will mix plants (algae) and animals survey to evaluate the complexity of the diets and introduce the level of admixture on the species diets. The successful candidate will work within the frame of two larger and already funded projects in collaboration with several other international leaders in coral reef ecology.

Trophic interactions among species provide the basis of ecological and evolutionary dynamics as all species have to acquire the resources necessary to survive and reproduce. These constraints tend to organize biodiversity into complex food-webs where species interact directly, via the classic resource-consumer interaction, or indirectly via multiple resource-consumer interactions linked to one another. Therefore, the topology of food-webs determines synergies, competition and antagonism among species, mediates the effects of external disturbances and is a key property of ecosystems. However, the empirical characterization of trophic networks is generally limited to simplified architectures (e.g. bi-trophic predator-prey relationships, plant-pollinator and host-parasite interactions). Detailed information on food-web architecture for coral reefs relies mainly on data from the Caribbean, Cuba and simplified Pacific food-webs. These architectures are based mainly on gut content analysis, literature or expert opinion and their level of detail is limited to broad trophic guilds (e.g. herbivores, detritivores, invertebrate feeders). This raw resolution impairs our ability to understand the complexity of coral reefs and to evaluate the disturbance potential to propagate through the interaction network. The main goal of this project is to combine metabarcoding analysis based on the existing global DNA-barcode library (cf. BIOCODE project) and stable isotopes analysis to assess reef fishes dietary preferences in the Insular Pacific.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter, a statement of research goals and a CV to Applicants will receive an e-mail confirming their application has been received.

All applications should be submitted by 30 September 2017. However, until the position is filled, we will continue to accept application materials. The position aims to start early 2018 at the latest.

Consistency in the supply of larval fishes among coral reefs in French Polynesia – PlosONE publication

Besson M, Gache C, Brooker RM, Moussa RM, Waqalevu VP, LeRohellec M, et al. (2017) Consistency in the supply of larval fishes among coral reefs in French Polynesia. PLoS ONE 12(6): e0178795

For marine fishes with a bipartite life cycle, pelagic larval dispersal can shape the distribution, connectivity, composition and resilience of adult populations. Numerous studies of larval dispersal, and associated settlement and recruitment processes, have examined the relationship between population connectivity and oceanographic features. However, relatively little is known about spatial and temporal variation in the abundance of larvae settling among different reefs and the extent to which the species assemblage of larvae settling at one location is reflective of the assemblage in neighbouring areas. Here, using crest nets, which provide a non-selective measure of the total abundance and assemblage of larvae settling to a reef (i.e. larval supply), we collected larval coral reef fishes at five locations surrounding two spatially disparate French Polynesian islands: Moorea and Nengo-Nengo. Overall, larval settlement patterns were correlated with the lunar cycle, with larval abundance peaking during the new moon. Although there were some spatial differences in larval supply among the five monitored sites, settlement patterns were largely consistent, even at the species level, irrespective of factors such as coastline orientation or distance between sites. This study provides further insights into the mechanisms driving patterns of dispersal and settlement of larval fishes over large spatial scales.

Study sites and crest net locations. (A) Location of French Polynesia within the Pacific Ocean. (B)
Location of Moorea Island and Nengo-Nengo Atoll within French Polynesia. (C) Location of crest net sites.
Grey triangles indicate crest net locations (M_W1 and M_W2 along the west coast of Moorea, NN_N on the
north coast of Nengo-Nengo, and NN_SE1 and NN_SE2 along the south-east coast of Nengo-Nengo), as well
as respective inflow orientations.

Pacific Voices for a Global Ocean Challenge

The Oceanographic schooner ‘’TARA’’ will berth in Suva as part of its two-year environmental survey across the Pacific Ocean. The French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and the Embassy of France along with the Government of Fiji and the University of the South Pacific are organizing a SDG-14 conference in order to elaborate the regional Pacific message and raise awareness on the alarming state of our ocean.

During the first session, stakeholders will interact with the public to discuss sustainable policies and their implementation. In the second session, the conference will present successful examples of sustainable marine resources management projects within the Pacific Region. The last session will bring the scientists to present their latest results and try to understand how climate change may change the Pacific Way of Life forever.

The conference is supported by the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and organized by the Embassy of France in Fiji in partnership with the University of the South Pacific (USP) and with the support of the Government of Fiji.

The conference is hosted by USP at the ICT Auditorium (Japanese ICT Centre).

The “Pacific Voices for a Global Ocean Challenge” Conference aims to invite all regional organisations and partners to contribute and make suggestions for a greater change. The Conference is an external side event to the UN Ocean Conference in New York.

Don’t miss the side events!