Global analyses (since 2015): I collaborate with the Sea Around Us project and we use their worldwide databases to take a global look at historical trends in seabird-fishery competition.
See our recent paper in Current Biology on this topic:
Grémillet, D., Ponchon, A., Paleczny, M., Palomares, M-L D., Karpouzi, V., Pauly, D. (2018) Persisting worldwide seabird-fishery competition despite seabird community decline
- Polar research (since 1998): The Arctic is warming at least twice as fast as other regions of the planet. It is essential, and urgent, to better understand the consequences of such rapid climate change on arctic ecosystems. Together with Jérôme Fort (LIENSs-CNRS), I am the co-PI of the ADACLIM research program, which aims at understanding the responses of arctic marine birds to the impact of global changes. This work is based on long-term seabird monitoring in East Greenland, which is funded by the French Polar Institute Paul-Emile Victor, and labelled as key monitoring site by the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Plan. We have additional support from ANR, for panarctic analyses on how to better involve people of the Arctic in seabird research (TAMANI), as well as to study the impact of pollutants on the arctic seabird community (ILETOP), and to take an interdisciplinary look at a thousand years of interactions between seabirds, climate and people in the Arctic (INTERARCTIC, led by Emilie Gauthier at Chrono-Environnement).
See our recent 13min documentary film on this topic: Little auks through the ages
(Launched in Sept 2018, nominated at six international film festivals)
- Temperate research (since 2005): The English Channel is one of the most anthropized marine regions of the planet, and is also home for a vulnerable seabird community. Together with the managers of the Réserve Naturelle Nationale des Sept-Iles (Brittany), I co-constructed a long-term study which uses the Northern gannet, a charismatic European seabird, as indicator of environmental change and conservation ambassador. Using bird-borne cameras and collaborating with fishermen, my Post Doc Amélie Lescroël developed the novel conservation approach “Seeing the oceans through the eyes of seabirds” (funded by the Fondation de France). With support from the LABEX CEMEB, we currently investigate the impacts of the current EU discard reform on seabird-fishery interactions.
- Mediterranean research (since 2011): There is considerable debate about the efficiency of marine protected areas for the conservation of marine biodiversity, notably of highly mobile megafauna. In collaboration with managers of the Parc National des Calanques and the Agence Française pour la Biodiversité, I co-constructed a long-term program aiming at testing the efficiency of coastal marine protected areas for the conservation of pelagic Mediterranean seabirds. This ended up becoming the largest seabird tracking study ever performed in the Mediterranean, which we are also using to test the potential impact of forthcoming offshore windfarms on vulnerable seabirds.
- Upwelling research (since 2002): The Benguela off Southern Africa is one of the most productive marine regions of the planet. Yet endemic seabird species such as the iconic Africa penguin, which used to thrive by the million, may become extinct in my lifetime. In order to test global change impacts on Benguela seabirds, I collaborate with Lorien Pichegru (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) and am a research associate at the Excellence Center, University of Cape Town. In partnership with South African National Parks, we perform long-term monitoring of a Cape gannet population, which is competing with fisheries targeting sardines. Using a blend of biotelemetry and energetics studies performed over multiple years, we’ve notably demonstrated that regional fisheries are capable of starving seabirds, and that endemic seabirds fall victim to an ecological trap in the Benguela upwelling.
History of sciences:
I am interested in why, and how people become researchers, and have written two stories related to the advent of biotelemetry in wildlife research: