Pacific Coral Reef Institute

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!

IPFC Tahiti: Registration Open!

The registration for IPFC Tahiti is at present open!

The call for abstract is open until July 22nd, 2017. Only the participants, who submit an abstract and register before July 22nd, could present their research (oral presentation, poster or flash talk) at the IPFC. Participants who register after July 22nd could only attend the conference, but will not be given the opportunity to present their research.

The scientific committee of IPFC and the leaders of IPFC sessions will select the participants that will do an oral presentation OR a poster/flash talk between 23th July and 12th August 2017. The chairman will announce the results to each participant by email on 13th August, 2017. If a participant did not receive an email from the chairman on 14th August 2017, he has to send an email to the Chairman (

Until the 20 August 2017, the participant could cancel his registration and his abstract (for cancellation policy –

Workshop Tara PACIFIC in Okinawa – Japan 2017

Tara PACIFIC in Okinawa 2017
A workshop for biodiversity and coral reef conservation
April 17, 2017

50’th Anniversary Memorial Hall, University of the Ryukyus

Aim of the workshop

Okinawa, coral rich region in Japan, is the final port of call for the Tara Pacific Japan leg in 2017. In closing of the Japan leg in 2017, the workshop is planned as a scientific discussion meeting with researchers in Okinawa, where coral science is much active. We hope that this workshop gives a nice opportunity for cultivating mutual friendships among researchers from Tara expeditions, Univ. of Ryukyus and other institutes in Okinawa.

Researchers in Okinawa, including Faculties, postdocs and graduate students of University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) and others.

Among others, David Lecchini, associated director of the IRCP and Maggy Nugges, researcher at the CRIOBE.

More information about the program HERE.

IPFC Tahiti : Call for Abstracts!

The call for abstracts for the Indo-Pacific Fish Conference at Tahiti is at present open:

The Call for Abstracts is open from March 1 to July 22, 2017

Registration is open from April 1 to September 15, 2017

A total of 42 sessions have been accepted for IPFC10. These sessions are divided into 9 research themes:

  1. Origin, Evolution, Taxonomy and Bio/Phylogeography of Indo-Pacific Fishes
  2. Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Indo-Pacific
  3. Recent advances in the Study of Coral Reef Fishes
  4. Biology, Ecology, Ethology and Conservation of Sharks, Rays and Top-predators
  5. Freshwater, Diadromous, Cryptobenthic, Mesophotic and Deep-Sea Fishes: Essential Knowledge Required to Better Manage the Global Biodiversity in the Indo-Pacific
  6. Local and Global Threats to Indo-Pacific Fish and the Potential Solutions
  7. Long Term Monitoring of Indo-Pacific Fishes
  8. The Future of Fish and Human Interactions
  9. Other topics (e.g. Women in Marine Sciences; General session)

Call for Abstracts: Oral Presentation, Poster or Flash Talk – One submission per participant. IPFC participants will have one of the three following options for the presentation of their research:

  1. an oral presentation (approximately 12-15 minutes, depending on the number of speakers),
  2. a poster (85 cm wide and 180 cm high), or
  3. a poster AND a flash talk. The poster and the flash talk will be on the same research thematic (i.e., only one abstract submitted). Poster dimensions: 85 cm wide and 180 cm high. Flash talks will take place at the end of each session. Each speaker will have a maximum of 4 slides and exactly 3 minutes to present their research.

Please note: the participant who present in “The Women in Marine Sciences” session (Session I) may give two presentations: one oral presentation in the “women” session and one oral presentation or one poster/flash talk in another session

The Call for Abstracts is open from March 1 to July 22, 2017

Registration is open from April 1 to September 15, 2017

Proposal format is as follows: Registration and abstract submissions are managed through the conference website at: Once logged in, you can submit an abstract and register for the IPFC10.

Please note: Only those participants who submit an abstract and register before July 22nd will be allowed to present their research (oral presentation, poster or flash talk) at the IPFC. Participants who register after July 22nd will be allowed to attend the conference, but will not be given the opportunity to present their research.

Contact : David Lecchini, Chairman of the 10th IPFC

French Polynesia Fish Barcoding Database

The French Polynesia Fish Barcoding Database contains all the captured specimens during several field trips organised by CRIOBE or participated since 2006 in Archipelagoes of French Polynesia. The database is online and accessible to all following this link :

Eight albums are available:

  • Gambiers 2010
  • Fish Larvae Moorea BioCode (2008 à 2010)
  • Moorea 2006
  • Moorea Deep-Sea Fishes 2008
  • Mohotani 2009
  • Marquesas 2011
  • Australs 2013
  • Scilly 2015

For each classified specimen, following information can be available: scientific name, picture, date, GPS point, depth and method of capture, size, and Cytochrome Oxidase c Subunit 1 (CO1) DNA sequence. The database can be searched using name (genus or species) or using a part of the CO1 DNA sequence.

Click to enlarge

Criobe Team hope this database will be a useful tool for your research projects. Contact:

IRCP Grants 2017: the successful candidates!

Among the 30 submitted applications, here are the fourth successful candidates of the IRCP grants 2017:

First name/Last name Academic level University Research thematic
Eseta Drova Master Univ South Pacific (Fiji) Traditional Ecological Knowledge: A tool to better understand freshwater eels
Jack O’Connors Post-doc University of Melbourne (Australia) A Hard Day’s Night: How artificial light at night is changing the structure and function of coastal marine ecosystems
Krista Verlis Phd Macquarie University (Australia) Are coral reefs around French Polynesia at risk from marine debris pollution?
Clint Oakley Post-doc Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) The proteome and molecular functions of the coral surface mucus layer and its role in coral ecology


May in Moorea ! IRCP announces new course on coral reefs. Who’s Interested?

With financial support from Paris Sciences and Lettres (PSL) and and from French Pacific Funds, the IRCP is offering a summer course on coral reefs from 2 – 11 May 2017, in Moorea, French Polynesia.

The course will address the following topics:

  • Biology, Ecology & Conservation of Fish, Coral and Algae
  • Coral Reef Biodiversity Facing Global Changes
  • Long-term Monitoring in the South Pacific Coral Reefs
  • The Future of Coral Reefs and Human interactions
  • Linking governance & Socio-ecological Resilience of Coral Reefs in the Changing World

The course will be held at the CRIOBE, (Centre de Recherches Insulaires et OBservatoire de l’Environnement), a French research station located on the island of Moorea, French Polynesia since 1971. The course will be taught by instructors from a diverse range of backgrounds and who come from several PSL institutions: EPHE, CNRS, EHESS, ENS, Mines Paris Tech, ESPCI Paris.

Registration for the course is free, and several grants are available for PSL and USP students (Master or PhD levels) to support travel (Paris to Moorea or South Pacific Islands to Moorea) and accommodation.

If you are interested, please contact Prof. David Lecchini before the 10th April 2017 (

South Pacific 4 online!

Click to download (PDF file, low resolution)

South Pacific, the fourth issue of the IRCP’s newsletter, is now available for downloading.

In this issue:

  • Associations of Moorea and Tahiti trained to coral restoration
  • Overwiew of the IRCP Grant Recipients – 2016
  • The 2016 El Niño and its impact on the coral reefs of French Polynesia