Pacific Coral Reef Institute

Workshop in Fiji Islands: they talk about it!


An online article has been published by the USP, about the workshop helded in Suva (Fiji Islands) in September 2014.

To read the article, clic here.

Marquesas Islands monitoring for the network of Polynesia Mana

The traditionnal survey of Polynesia Mana network has been done on Nuku Hiva (Marquesas Islands) in September 2014 by Gilles Siu and Vetea Liao, engineers at the CRIOBE station. Ichtyologic and coral monitoring and photographics were on the agenda. General statement in Marquesas Islands: low coral diversity but a significant fish density.

On compte!

Gilles counting fishes in the transect


Quadrat on the subtrat to mesure the coral statement

The two engineers also set up a probe to measure the heights of the swell and record the temperatures.

plongeur + sonde

Criobe engineer setting up the probe

graphe Nuku Hiva

Nuku Hiva temperature curve during few months in 2009/2010 (ranging between 27,4°C et 29,5°C)

Please find the article in La Dépêche here. Next monitoring in Marquesas Island in 2016.

Sponge-Microbe Symbioses in French Polynesia (Christopher Freeman (Florida/USA) – bourse IRCP-SNH-SPDD 2014)

Thanks to an IPCR-SNH-SPDD grand 2014, Dr. Freeman came two weeks at the CRIOBE to sample sponges for his project titled “Sponge-Microbe symbioses in French Polynesia”. With Dr. Cole Easson, they collected replicate individuals of 10-12 sponge species from 12 sites on the Northern coast of Moorea (see map below).

Sites d'échantillonnages sur l'île de Moorea

Sample sites at Moorea Island

Chris Freeman (à gauche) et son collègue Cole Easson entre les Motus de Moorea pendant un échantillonnage d'éponges

Chris Freeman (on left) and colleague Cole Easson at the Motu collecting sponges

The goal was to survey diverse sponge-microbe symbioses throughout Moorea by carrying out the following objectives:

Objective 1: What is the current status of sponge-microbe symbioses throughout this area and how are these symbioses impacted by anthropogenic stressors?

Objective 2: What is the interconnectivity between anthropogenic stressors and holobiont productivity and the efficiency of symbiont nutrient assimilation and nutrient transfer to host sponges?

During their study, Drs. Freeman and Easson compared symbiont populations within sponges from different sites (specifically bay versus lagoon and reef slope) to observe how microbial community composition changes across sites in Moorea. First results showed that some sponges from Moorea host symbionts were capable of photosynthesis.  To read the preliminary report, click here.

Eponge Dysidea sp.

Dysidea sp. sponge

Eponge dans la baie d'Opunohu

Sponge from Opunohu bay

Tahiti Perles – IPCR grants 2013 final reports

In 2013, 3 researchers came at the Criobe thanks to Tahiti Perles – IPCR grants. Overview of the results obtained during their stay in French Polynesia.

The bacteria organize themselves to coexist / Verena WITT (Bacterial diversity and metabolism in tropical coral reef biofilms and sponges)

Bacteria are known to adapt themselves to their environment, for example, to be resistant to treatment by antibiotics. Verena Witt re-examines this adaptation capacity through a study of bacteria in Moorea’s lagoon. Came one month thanks to a Tahiti Perles – IRCP grant in 2013, Verena presents her first results about bacteria community witch organize themselves when they are transplanted from a pristine site to a impacted site, in order to better resist. Some of them disappear, the others bacteria form a persistent core and specialize themselves to coexist. Here is the final report.


Shared Operational Taxonomic Units (OTU) between inshore, offshore and tranplanted biofilm communitites. The Venn diagramm displays the number of OTUs unique to or shared between four major sample groupings. Inshore refers to impacted sites, offshore to control sites. Inshore TR means grown at control site and transplanted to impacted and offshore TR vice versa.

Acropora stays at home and symbionts deal with it/ Sarah Davies (Investigating Host-Symbiont Genetic Structure in Moorean Corals)

Sarah Davies worked on coral host Acropora hyacinthus to learn more about its dispersion capacity in ocean and its relationship with its symbiotic algae.

Her aims were to determine the connectivity patterns and distribution of genetic diversity in Acropora hyacinthus and in its symbionts across two different habitats on French Polynesian reefs. This study has demonstrated that the coral hosts between Moorea, Tetiaroa, and Tahiti are highly connected. However some divergence exists, suggesting that these corals do not disperse the great distances that their con-specifics do elsewhere in the world, such as the Great Barrier Reef (van Oppen et al. 2011). For symbionts, the study showed that all of the corals genotyped maintain symbiosis with the Clade C Symbiodinium. However, within Clade C they found significant differences between islands and between reef types (inner and outer reefs), perhaps suggesting the potential for local adaptation of the symbiont to its environment. To read the full report click here.


French Polynesia island locations where A. hyacinthus were sampled in August 2013. A. Overall map of collections in French Polynesia. B. Inset of Moorea collection sites. C. Inset of Tahiti collection sites. and D. Inset of Tetiaroa collection sites. All collection sites are marked with a yellow pin.

Viruses as reef regulator / Jerome Payet (Ecology and diversity of viruses in the Moorea coral reefs)

Jerome Payet’ study is the first to report the abundance, distribution and ecological impact of viruses in the coral reef waters of Moorea Island. The data of this study revealed distinct short-term spatiotemporal changes in viral abundance and activity and demonstrated that these changes were linked to microbial host abundances and environmental variables. This work demonstrates thus the highly dynamic distribution of viruses and their critical roles in controlling microbial mortality and nutrient cycling in coral reef water ecosystems. Click here to read the publication.


Spatial distribution of heterotrophic bacteria along four regional transects (east, west, south, and north) surrounding Moorea. (A – D)

Workshop in the Fiji Islands (September 2014)

Workshop on “Taxonomy, Biology and Ecology of Coral, and Reef Monitoring” Seminars & Field training program (9th to 12th September 2014)

The University of the South Pacific at Fiji (USP), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in New Caledonia (SPC) and the French Institute for Pacific Coral Reefs at Moorea, French Polynesia (CRIOBE – IPCR) have joined in a partnership to develop and offer the « Taxonomy, Biology and Ecology of Coral, and Reef Monitoring« workshop. The workshop was funded by the French Embassy (Fond Pacifique) and the SPC. A total of 55 persons followed this workshop organized on the USP campus at Fiji from 9th to 12th September 2014. There were two key objectives to the workshop:

1/ to increase capacity at the level of USP, government and NGO staff already involved in coral taxonomy and coral reef monitoring (39 persons involved in this workshop)

2/ to allow USP students to learn the different techniques of coral reef monitoring (16 students involved in this workshop); particularly with regards to recent knowledge on coral taxonomy and recent surveying techniques and data analysis tools.

Overall, since 5 years now, those workshops have brought together representatives of more than 10 countries of the Pacific (Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon, Cook, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, New-Caledonia, but also Australia, Hawaii  or New-Zealand), allowed participants to exchange expeirence and expertise and brought Franch skills to light in the Pacific.

There was an article released in the news :  La Dépêche. Clic on the links to download the reports in English and in French.

3rd graders from le Collège d’Afareaitu visit the CRIOBE

Classe de 4ème du Collège d'Afareaitu

3rd graders (4ème U) from le Collège d’Afareaitu visited the CIROBE and learned more about coral reefs of Moorea throug a presentation by Lauric THIAULT, manipulations of damsel fish by Laura GAJZIK and an ongoing experiment on paraha peur (Platax orbicularis) by Pierre SASAL.

Training course for High School Teachers on coral reef Biodiversity

High School Teachers training 2014

18 High School Teachers came three days at the CRIOBE station in order to know the last research conducted by the IRCP/CRIOBE scientists on coral reef biodiversity.
Read more…

The President of EPHE on an official visit to CRIOBE

The President of EPHE visit - 2014

The President of EPHE visit – 2014

The President of EPHE, Hubert Bost, came to visit the CRIOBE research station and to meet the staff of CRIOBE and IRCP.

The President of EPHE visit – 2014

Mr Bost, president of the EPHE and Mr. Lorente, president of the University of Perpigan, visiting laboratories of the CRIOBE

Mr Bost, president of the EPHE and Mr. Lorente, president of the University of Perpigan, visiting laboratories of the CRIOBE

Mr Bost observing a coral larvae with a microscope

Mr Bost observing a coral larvae with a microscope

The training course available for the Master students in 2014/2015 are now online

Promotion 2013

Master 2 EPHE planning cours 2014 2015

Stages EGB 2014 Criobe (Bambridge)

Stages EGB 2014 Criobe (Hedouin)

Stages EGB 2014 Criobe (Lecchini 1)

Stages EGB 2014 Criobe (Lecchini 2)

Stages EGB 2014 Criobe (Lecchini 3)

Stages EGB 2014 Criobe (Lecchini 4)

Stages EGB 2014 Criobe (Planes)

Stages EGB 2014 Dinard (Etienne 1)

Stages EGB 2014 Dinard (Etienne 2)

Stages EGB 2014 Criobe (François Féral et Tamatoa Bambridge)

Rynae Greta Lanyon, a Master student at the South Pacific University and having got an IRCP grant, published her second article on the visual abilities of coral reef fish larvae

Biologies - Académie des sciences

Lecchini D., Peyrusse K., Lanyon R.G., Lecellier G., 2014.
Importance of visual cues of conspecifics and predators during the habitat
selection of coral reef fish larvae. Comptes rendus Biologies, vol. 337 :
Read more…