Accueil RechercheResearch Centre

Research Centre

Situated between Marseille and Toulon, the Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute’s Research centre occupies a 2000 m² site on the island of Les Embiez. Occupying a key position in a dynamic network dedicated to research in marine biology and ecology, the Institute is a member of the regional Competitiveness Cluster ‘The Sea’ (Pôle de Compétivité Mer PACA)

A PERMANENT TEAM
A dozen researchers, research engineers and technicians carry out research in marine biology : from microbiology to the management of natural areas.

Professor NARDO VICENTE, Ph.D. 
Scientific Counsellor, General Delegate.
Ph.D. Sciences, Emeritus Professor of Biology, Aix-Marseille University,
Member of the Marseille Academy of Science, Literature and Art (Académie des Sciences, Lettres et Arts de Marseille).

Dr. JEAN-LUC BONNEFONT, Ph.D.
Director of Research. Ph.D. Cellular Biology

Dr. PATRICK LELONG, Ph.D.
Curator of the Aquarium. Ph.D. Ocean Sciences

THOMAS MIARD 
Research Engineer

SYLVAIN COUVRAY
Ph.D. Life Sciences

ROBERT BUNET
Ph.D. Molecular Biology

DAMIEN KIRCHHOFER
Assistant Engineer

PHILIPPE AUBLANC
Experimental Hatchery Manager

DANIEL REBILLARD
Diving Safety and Support

A UNIQUE SITE - PURPOSE-DESIGNED FACILITIES.
Situated close to the shore, the facilities of the Research Centre are used for various kinds of experimentation in a well-preserved natural environment.
The scientists dispose of microbiology and chemistry laboratories, and test facilities : outdoor seawater tanks and a one hectare enclosed sea area. There are facilities for diving and sample collection in the sea.

AN EXPERIMENTAL HATCHERY
The Research Centre disposes of a multipurpose hatchery constructed at the experimental site with the support of the bank Caisse d’Épargne Côte d’Azur.

The researchers carry out studies on the reproduction and rearing of various Mediterranean species : sea urchin, seahorse, Mediterranean ribbed limpet, fan mussel, etc. They carry out experimental releases into the natural environment of sea urchin juveniles in order to monitor the effectiveness and ecological impact of these experiments with regard to the local genetic diversity and the ecological equilibrium of the biocenoses concerned.

Very promising trials have been carried out on the rearing of the edible sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus and the seahorses Hippocampus hippocampus and Hippocampus guttulatus.

The hatchery is divided into several units : rearing, production of prey, cultivation of algae and housing for breeders. The remainder of the facilities are devoted to large-scale rearing and the ongrowing of fry.