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Why are you so interested in biology ?

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Why are you so interested in biology ?.

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Presentation Transcript
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I did not know I would be interested in biology following my baccalauréat, but I had the chance to be a veterinary assistant during my summer vacations and to experience fieldwork very early during my university years. In my second year, a PhD student asked me to help him capturing deers over the week-end. This was a revelation! I discovered that I enjoyed working close to wildlife or visiting remote places… I never stopped enjoying it since then…

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Places where I worked

Places where my collaborators worked

I have been to a few places, my longest stay being 16 months in the remote island of Crozet, south of La Réunion. Then, I visited the Antarctic continent and the French base of Dumont d’Urville, followed by two expeditions to South Africa, and since 2001 I also spend a month every year in Australia.

Biologist is definitely a good job for those who likes travelling around.

Places I visited

Brisbane (Au)

Australian sea-lion

Lambert’s Bay (SA)

Cape gannets

Perth (Au)

Little penguins

Awashima (J)

Streaked shearwaters

Lyon (F)

Fallow Deers

Crozet (F)

King penguins

Dumont d’Urville (F)

Adélie penguins

Kerguelen (F)

Sub-Antarctic cormorants

Disko (GL)

Great cormorants

Bass Rock (UK)

Northern gannets

Luderiz (Na)

Cape gannets

Tromelin (F)

Red-Footed boobies

Syowa (J)

Adélie penguins

Melbourne (Au)

Little penguins

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How many kinds of animals

have you ever seen or studied ?

Crested terns

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Adélie penguin

Gentoo penguin

Cape penguin

Streaked

Shearwater

Southern Elephant seal

Countless… I honestly cannot say how many species of animals I have seen during the course of my field trips. But at least I\'ve been working on 7 species of penguins, 5 species of gannets and boobies, 2 species of grebes, crested terns, fur seals, wild boars, fallow deers, moutain voles, wild cats, and so on...

Southern Giant Petrel

Macaroni

penguin

Sooty albatross

Fallow deer

Sub-Antarctic fur seal

Koala

Magellanic penguin

King penguin

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Polar work always involves a mixture of high-technicity and adventure. Polar boats are equipped with cutting edge laboratories and we\'re given the best clothes to operate in freezing conditions…

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But we’re not always living on the edge. There are, occasionally, some relaxing moments… and unusual situations.

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When I\'m in a penguin field I mainly study the activity of the birds when they are at sea. Questions such as:

  • What they do after leaving the colony?
  • Where do they feed?
  • How many fish or shrimps they capture?
  • How efficient swimmers and divers are they?
  • The idea is to link their performances to the conditions encountered at sea and look how these change when the environment is modified.
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I follow the activity at sea of birds by attaching miniature data-recording devices on them, an approach known as BIO-LOGGING, which I promoted by organizing the 1st symposium on the subject in 2003.

I follow the activity at sea of birds by attaching miniature data-recording devices on them, an approach known as BIO-LOGGING, which I promoted by organizing the 1st symposium on the subject in 2003.

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The project on which I was recruited at the CNRS consists in investigating what determines the quality of an individual. Why some birds can reproduce successfully during years of poor resources availability and some can’t. To investigate this I will track year-round the at-sea and on-land activities of penguins using automatic monitoring systems.

The project on which I was recruited at the CNRS consists in investigating what determines the quality of an individual. Why some birds can reproduce successfully during years of poor resources availability and some can’t. To investigate this I will track year-round the at-sea and on-land activities of penguins using automatic monitoring systems.

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One of the main project I’d like to develop now is the creation of a unit of bio-logging at the CNRS (production and promotion of data-recording devices). This unit will serve to address conservation-oriented questions in Europe, and elsewhere.

This program has links with the International Polar Year project I’m running (www.amppop.org) and the Penguiness Book (http://polaris.nipr.ac.jp/~penguin/penguiness/), to which the students from Lycée Paul Moreau participated.

Thank you.

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Photos by Yan Ropert-Coudert, Akiko Kato, David Ainley, David Beaune, Yannick Clerquin, Grégoire Kuntz, Nikolaï Liebsch

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