Merou scandola tete Giulia Prato has recently defended her PhD "Field monitoring and trophic modelling as management tools to assess ecosystem functioning and the status of high trophic level predators in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas" in front of an international jury composed of Dr Marta Coll (reviewer), Pr. José Garcia-Charton (reviewer), Dr Giuseppe Di Carlo, Pr Paolo Guidetti (President), Pr Didier Gascuel (co-supervisor) and Pr Patrice Francour (supervisor).

This thesis has been granted by the MMMPA program, supported by the EU. This is the first thesis defended among all the MMMPA's students.

You can download this PhD thesis here.


Read more: Giulia Prato's PhD: 2016 01 29

Nodavirus infections are currently spreading among the Mediterranean grouper populations.

Emarginatus s

For several years, the GEM (Groupe d’Étude du Mérou / Grouper Study Group), with the suport of ECOMERS and other academic institutions, has been studying the patterns of change in the grouper populations in the Mediterranean, and through its national and international network of scientists, it disposes of numerous studies and observations of these fishes.

With regard to the virus by which they are currently affected, in particular, the GEM wishes to share with the public the latest information known to date.

You can download here a factsheet on Nodavirus infections in English, French or Italian.

Read more: Nodavirus infections in the grouper

SPICE (Stress of Pisces as Indicator for the Control of watEr quality)

This new project is funded by the Foundation UNICE which aim is to develop research programs in link with private sector. The main objective of SPICE is to evaluate, routinely, easily, and at low coast, the seawater quality using some fish anatomical characteristics as bioindicator.

The basic idea of the SPICE project is that a vertebrate has normally a development plan with a right-left symmetry (never perfect, for example we are right or left handed more often), and that generally more disturbance (stress) is important during the development of the animal, more asymmetry between left and right side morphology increases. The impact of seawater pollution on the development of larvae or juvenile fish is analysed by comparing asymmetry of their otoliths (structures similar to small "stones" in the head, located in the right and left inner ear).

Otoliths 1 Otoliths 2


 This new tool will allow to provide a low-cost way to assess the potential stress due to a pollution. It is designed to help managers to carry out a regular monitoring and control of sea water quality.

Read more: The SPICE Project is funded by the UNICE Foundation

The ECOMERS lab is involved since the spring 2015 in a new and challenging scientific project, the printing of artificial reefs. Boaskalis, an international company specialized in maritime engineering, launched a project of 3D printing to build artificial reefs. In association with the Foundation Albert 2 and the AMPN (Association Monégasque pour la Protection de la Nature), they plan to print the reefs in Italy under the control of Enrico Dini, and to immerse them in the Larvotto marine protected areas. Patrice Francour, as AR expert, has been contacted by the AMPN to join the team to design these new artificial reefs.

3D AR immersion

The 3D printing allow to create new artificial reefs, more complex than the traditional concrete ARs. The printed reefs are build in dolomite sand, a totally natural product. Six reefs will be printed and immersed in the Larvotto MPA during the spring 2016. An experiment is currently carried out to compare fouling on dolomite and concrete plates.

The first printed unit has been officially presented to the Prince Albert during a ceremony hosted in the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.

Read more: The 3D printed artificial reefs: a new and innovative way to restore habitats?