Scientific committee

Fabienne Gaillard

Ever since its creation on 14 November 2006, the OceanoScientific Programme established as a founding principle the commitment to scrupulously follow the recommendations of scientists, with particular regard to the choice of sensors to be used and the procedures for their implementation. When the OceanoScientific philanthropic association and registered charity was created on 7 January 2011 by Jean-François Leprince-Ringuet (President-founder), André Ladurelli (✞) and Rupert Schmid, that principle was adopted as an inalienable rule.


At the end of the 2016-2017 OceanoScientific Expedition - a successful first in oceanographic campaigns in the 40°/60° South corridor - the decision was taken to strengthen the governance of the association with an expanded Board of Trustees. Due to the nature of the scientific projects to be implemented in the coming years (2018-2021), the Board decided to endow the association with a committee of eminent scientists working on the various parameters for which the OceanoScientific Expeditions can collect quality data, samples and observations. 


The result is the constitution of the Fabienne Gaillard Scientific Committee

Fabienne Gaillard(✞) - Researcher - physicist

Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS - Ifremer)

"On Tuesday, 14 November 2006, the actual start date of the OceanoScientific Programme in Paris at the Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat : Expérimentations et Approches Numériques (LOCEAN) then headed by Laurence Eymard, Ifremer associate Fabienne Gaillard provided me with her support and usual enthusiasm and expertise. She was an efficient guide, so much so that I used to portray her as the "Mom of the OceanoScientific Programme", whose degree of commitment, generosity and goodwill towards the project was always sincere and wholehearted. For many years Fabienne headed the Laboratoire de Physique des Océans (LPO) for which she worked from the very beginning and "represented in the Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS) a personality of scientific rigor", as bore witness Antoine Dosdat, Director of Ifremer site in Plouzané (Brest) on 30 March 2017. Suffering from a serious orphan disease that inexorably took its toll, Fabienne fought for several years like a sailor in a storm. A hurricane even. But one that never ceased, and finally took her with it on Saturday, 25 March 2017, while I was sailing single-handed less than 24 hours from Cape Horn, effectively operating the OSC System that she had so much helped to design. It is therefore perfectly legitimate that the association's Scientific Committee should be named after Fabienne Gaillard and I shall continue to take her with me on the next OceanoScientific Expeditions..." Yvan Griboval, President of OceanoScientific.

Didier Zoccola - Director of the Fabienne Gaillard Scientific Committee

Molecular biologist studying the physiology of reef corals, Didier Zoccola Ph.D. is since 2000 senior scientist at the Centre Scientifique de Monaco (CSM) with a focus on biomineralization and symbiosis. For more than 15 years, he has combined molecular biology, biochemistry and immunochemistry to understand how corals build their skeletons, focusing on: (i) how ions are regulated during skeletogenesis, and (ii) the role of the organic matrix in biomineralization. Ocean acidification (OA) reduces rates at which reef corals calcify, and therefore, naturally, Didier Zoccola begun to carry out mechanistic studies regarding OA and biomineralization. Dr. Zoccola defended his Ph.D. in 1993 in Life Sciences (speciality immunology) from the University of Nice - Sophia Antipolis, and worked after that at the Nice Hospital. His passion for the sea and scuba diving led him naturally to marine biology and coral reef science. He took part in expeditions: Tara Ocean (2010), Tara Pacific (2017-2018). In the new expedition launch by the Principality of Monaco, “Monaco Explorations”, he was in charge of implementations of facilities on-board such as the different laboratories and instruments. Furthermore, he is the coordinator of the CSM scientific project for Monaco Explorations and he is also Tara Pacific coordinator (Symbiont and Host aspects).

Linn Sekunf - General Secretary of the Fabienne Gaillard Scientific Committee


Marine scientist, Linn Sekund, is specialized since 2015 in the study of coral reefs. After graduating with an international master in Conservation of Marine Biodiversity (University of the Algarve and University of Galway - EMBC) she explores the world to improve her knowledge about the rich and fascinating life on the reefs. During one year in the Maldives, as a marine biologist, Linn is alerted by the challenges the world’s ocean is facing, such as plastic pollution and coral bleaching. In 2017, she starts a job as marine data engineer at IFREMER in Brest for the Data Cluster ODATIS. An experience that allowed her to acquire a global vision about ocean observation data made in the ocean and at its interface. Linn has also been actively involved in the oceanographic campaign RREX 2017 in the North Atlantic. In 2019, she has the opportunity to connect with the University of Queensland, where major coral reef research is carried out. Today she joins the team of OceanoScientific as scientific coordinator. She will, among other things, ensure the relationship with partner scientists, the calibration of the sensors and the sampling on board OceanoScientific Expeditions.

Denis Allemand - Biology marine

Scientific Director of the Scientific Center of Monaco (CSM) and Professor of University, Denis Allemand obtained his doctorate in 1986 at the University of Montpellier II (France) in Pharmacological sciences and Endocrinology. His main field of research concerns the physiology of marine organisms, mainly corals, and their use as model organisms to understand the major problems of biology (biomineralization, symbiosis, evolution...). He is also studying the effect of ocean acidification on marine organisms. He is co-author of about 150 scientific papers and numerous chapters of books and popular articles. He supervised twelve doctoral students. He is a member of various scientific councils (Prince Albert II Foundation, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Ifremer) and Board of Directors (Observatoire Océanologique de Villefranche-sur-Mer, INDEMER). He is a member of Academia Europaea. He is Knight of the Order of Saint Charles, Knight of the Order of Grimaldi, Knight of the French Order of Maritime Merit and Officer of Academic Palms.

Gaël Alory - Physicist oceanographe


Physicist at the Legos, Gaël Alory has spent the major part of his career abroad. Now based in Toulouse, Gaël is responsable for the observation of the sea and its seasonal scale. His skills in the Global Ocean observation are a real asset for OceanoScientific.

Pierre Blouch - Atmosphere

Retired from Météo-France, Pierre Blouch had been working as an engineer at the Centre of Marine Meteorology in Brest, for 35 years. Since the 1980s, his main activities consisted in the design, maintenance and operations of anchored and drifting weather buoys for research and operational meteorology purposes. In the frame of the Data Buoy Cooperation Panel of the WMO-IOC Joint Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM), he contributed to the enhancement of the acquisition of real-time data, their transmission over the WMO network, the control of their quality, and the delayed mode data processing. In 2003, he was given the responsibility for the operational service for surface marine observations of EUMETNET, the grouping of European meteorological services. On this occasion, his skills were extended to automatic shipborne weather stations and he has contributed significantly to the realization of a European station called EUCAWS. Early on, Pierre Blouch advised the OceanoScientific Programmein its choices for meteorological measurements as well as real-time data transmission ashore. Thanks to that, OceanoScientific data are pushed on the WMO network (GTS).

Denis Diverrès - Scientific Instrumentation - IRD


Graduate in chemistry and oceanography, Denis Diverrès is engineer at the French Institute for Research and Development (IRD). Recruited as a marine chemist in 1993 as part of the Etambot project (a component of the international WOCE project), his first job was to develop and improve the measurement of the carbonate system parameters: pH, pCO2, total CO2. Back in Brest - France in 1997, he integrates the Atlantic Ocean Observation Network, hosted by IRD, based on opportunity vessels and part of the international JCOMM. A few years later, the network becomes the National Service for SSS measurements. In addition to temperature and salinity data, the network also provides pCO2and O2data. Over the past 20 years, Denis deepened his knowledge in the field of scientific sensors installed on board various vessels such as container vessels, fishing vessels, research vessels or even military vessels. Sailing from the Equator to Antarctica during his numerous cruises, he crossed all the major oceans. Literally impregnated with sea water, he lives on the coast of the Iroise sea. However the world of big racing sailboats is still mysterious for him. The OceanoScientific Programme is therefore a new challenge and should help him fill this gap.

Laurence Eymard - Director of the Fabienne Gaillard Scientific Committee

As a researcher at the CNRS, Knight of the Legion of Honour, Laurence Eymard spent her career in the field of climate and ocean-atmosphere interactions until 2017. She supervised and participated in a dozen measurement campaigns at sea (1990 - 2000) and at the same time specialized in the spatial observation of the atmosphere and the ocean surface. She directed the Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat: Expérimentations et Approches Numériques (LOCEAN) from 2004 to 2011. As such, Laurence learnt about the OceanoScientific project on November 14, 2006. With colleagues at LOCEAN and several other laboratories, including Fabienne Gaillard (✞) of Ifremer, she supported and encouraged this innovative approach to offer ocean and climate research data collected at the Air-Sea interface. In recent years, the challenges of climate change and ecological transition have led Laurence to engage in projects involving scientists and citizens, within the framework of the Institut de la transition environnementale Sorbonne Université. In particular, she had led a participatory observatory project on the urban environment.

Didier Leandri - Undersea systems - University of Toulon SeaTech 

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Pr Leandri obtained Ph.D. degrees in mechanics in 1993 and Dr. Sc (HDR) “Undersea Robotics” from Institut National Polytechnique of Toulouse in 1999. During 1987-2000, he was head of research group in undersea vehicles and undersea robotics for French Navy at “Centre Technique des Systèmes Navals” (French MOD). Since 2000, he is full professor at engineer school “Institut Supérieur des Ingénieurs de Toulon et du Var” (University of Toulon). His main interest lies in the area of undersea robotics systems for water and sediments sampling and undersea mechatronics systems. He leads the studies and developments of many undersea systems 

Loriane Mendez - Seabirds

Fascinated by the marine world since childhood, Loriane Mendez is specialized in the study of top predators. In the current context of global change, her motivations aim to better understand the causes and consequences of environmental fluctuations on seabirds and marine mammals populations. After a first degree in Biology of Organisms (Nice, France) and a Master's degree in Oceanography - Marine Biology and Ecology (Marseille, France), she did her doctoral thesis on the impact of environmental conditions on the distribution and the foraging behaviour of seabirds in tropical pelagic ecosystems (CEBC-CNRS, France). Her scientific background provided her a wide range of skills and experiences (spatial analysis, population genetics) applied to different study models (dolphins, whales, penguins and tropical seabirds). She is currently working for The Mediterranean Science Commission (CIESM) to develop a Seabird Taskforce at the Mediterranean basin scale. During the first Oceanoscientific Expedition Loriane helped to identify the seabirds observed.

Nicolas Metzl - pCO2 - CNRS

Since 30 years, Nicolas Metzl is Research Scientist at CNRS. His career has been devoted to research on marine carbon cycle, including air-sea CO2 fluxes, anthropogenic carbon, and recently ocean acidification. He started as a modeller in an observational team (PhD conducted at UPMC/Paris and UNH/USA) and investigated the variability of the air-sea CO2 fluxes based on both in-situ observations and biogeochemical models and then explored the penetration of anthropogenic CO2 in the ocean (WOCE/JGOFS era in the 90s). In 1998, he started a long-term observational project OISO (cruises conducted on-board R/V Marion-Dufresne in the Indian and Southern Oceans) still operating and complementary to the international network. As a Chair of the SOLAS/IMBER Carbon group, he initiated in 2007 the international data-base SOCAT (Surface Ocean Carbon Atlas, now regularly used each year to evaluate the global carbon budget (Global Carbon Project). Since the first meeting with Yvan in 2006, Nicolas follows the OceanoScientific Programme, helps for proposals and participates in the data quality-control.

Gilles Reverdin - All parameters

Oceanographer affiliated to CNRS since 1981, Gilles Reverdin is adjunct-scientist at LDEO, Institute of Columbia University (New York) since 1995. After a French University thesis on air-sea exchanges in the Indian Ocean and the summer Indian monsoon, he has worked largely on observing the ocean in order to understand its physical and geochemical dynamics, and ascertain the role it plays in the climate system. For that, he has been particularly keen to study the surface ocean, its currents, its geochemistry, the air-sea exchanges, and to maintain observing systems for long durations in order to serve as a reference for the future generations.  During the last fifteen years, Gilles has been involved in building up Coriolis, a French inter-agency project with a European flavor, dedicated in organizing and coordinating the observation of the oceans in France and at the European level, both for finalized "operational" activities and for research purposes. Gilles is also interested in new technological developments and to the transfer of some of these observing activities to the citizens. He follows and advises the OceanoScientific Programmesince the beginning in 2006.

Thierry Reynaud - Temperature / Salinity

After a Ph.D in Montréal Canada devoted to the study of the water masses and currents in the Labrador Sea, Thierry Reynaud, French-Canadian, landed at Brest for a first postdoctoral position in the Laboratoire de Physique des Océans (LPO - Ifremer). The first part of his career was devoted to the compilation of temperature and salinity measurements in the Atlantic and the realization of climatologies used by the modelling community. Since 1998, he is working at Ifremer as an engineer in the LPO that recently become LOPS. First recruited to work on direct measurements of deep currents in the Atlantic, he is currently involved on projects of atmospheric modeling with an interest for the air - sea interface. At the request of Fabienne Gaillard (✞). Thierry devotes since 2014 a part of its activity to the measurements of surface salinity and temperature from opportunity ships that are ecologically less intrusive. A technical role in the installation of sensors, processing data and dissemination of results, role that proved to be a nice way to link work and an not moderate passion for sailing. During the first OceanoScientific Expedition, Thierry has been a permanent shore-link for the day-to-day control of the oceanographic data. 

Julia Uitz - Plankton

A research scientist at CNRS, Julia Uitz received a PhD in biogeochemical oceanography in 2006. After 5 years at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (USA) as a postdoctoral fellow, she joined the Laboratoire d’Oceanography de Villefranche (France) in 2012. Her research focuses on phytoplankton communities and their influence on the carbon biological pump in the global ocean and in specific oceanic regions, the Austral Ocean in particular. For this purpose, she explores new approaches that combine optical and biogeochemical observations acquired from traditional sampling onboard research vessels and collected by in situ (BGC-Argo profiling floats) and satellites (ocean color) autonomous platforms. Julia participated in several large field expeditions, among which KEOPS (2005) and SOCLIM (2016) in the Kerguelen region, Southern Ocean. In 2017, she has joined the international SCOR working group “P-OBS” that aims to stimulate the integration of systems for observing plankton into large ongoing ocean sampling programs. Julia is also involved in the outreach projects “mon ocean & moi” and “adopt a float” whose objective is to share oceanographic researches with schoolchildren.