Alix Varenne
Marine Ecology, Coastal restauration
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My phD thesis is on the Study of the functional diversity of artificial nurseries in port areas and their trophic connectivity with adjacent ecosystems. This phD thesis is carried out under the CIFRE system with the collaboration between Ecocean society and the ECOSEAS laboratory of the Côte d'Azur University.

I am particularly interested in the management and preservation of marine ecosystems in the context of natural and anthropogenic pressures with a view to conservation. I had the opportunity to study several aspects of marine conservation and restauration throught my previous experiences. During my academics studies in France and in Australia I had the opportunity to study the functioning of Mediterranean benthic and pelagic ecosystems, both on site (data acquisition at sea (dredging, CTD probe, etc.), scientific dives: quadrats and transects, exchanges with tourism and fishing professionals) and in the laboratory (GIS, identification of species and characterization of habitats, trophic ecology, stable isotopes, taxonomy and data analysis: ANOVA, MDS, time series, etc. ).





Functional diversity of artificial nurseries in port areas and their trophic connectivity with adjacent ecosystems

Coastal grey artificial structures can greatly modify communities and ecosystem functioning, often decreasing biodiversity and enhancing biological invasions. The artificialisation of these habitats does not allow real measures of restoration. However, it is possible to ameliorate biodiversity and functioning and reconcile these systems with nature. The private company Ecocean ( has designed artificial nurseries called Biohut in order to facilitate the recruitment of fishes in ports.

The aim of this thesis is to improve the understanding of trophic relationships within these nurseries and with the surroundings and make hypotheses about the role of Biohut in influencing trophic connectivity of these areas. We will use bulk stable isotopes (SI) in order to establish trophic connections and define the trophic role of these Biohut. We will also sample for species and functional diversity in order to improve knowledge about the role of Biohut in imporving port reconciliation.

This PhD thesis is funded by the ANRT (association national recherche technologie) with the CIFRE program.