Ecology and conservation of marine birds and mammals
A Chair of Excellence in Marine Science

A Chair of Excellence for Marine Ecology

This initiative of the New Aquitaine Region aims to federate all the people based in the region who study marine birds and mammals around the world and who constitute a unique research cluster in Europe.
The members of this community share a passion for the ecology of marine megafauna and a concern for the functioning of marine socio-ecosystems. They work on both fundamental and applied aspects of these topics, with the desire to make strong contributions to society and nature conservation.

The CNRS and La Rochelle University manage three research units (CEBC, LIENS and PELAGIS), among which 37 permanent staff members and more than 50 students, post-docs and collaborators, carry out research on the ecology and conservation of marine birds and mammals. This environment constitutes the first research center on this theme on a worldwide scale.


The CEBC is a research centre in Ecology (UMR 7372, CNRS – University of La Rochelle) is a research station in Ecology. Its main activity is the study of the effects of global changes on marine ecosystems, using birds and mammals as sentinels.


The LIENSs laboratory is a joint interdisciplinary research unit (UMRi 7266, CNRS – La Rochelle University). Its research focuses particularly on the functioning of the coastal system, its evolution in a context of global change and increasing urbanisation of the coasts, its use and sustainable exploitation.


The Pelagis Observatory is a joint service unit (UMS 3462, CNRS – University of La Rochelle) in charge of monitoring the state of marine bird and mammal populations through campaigns at sea on board boats or planes. It also coordinates the National Stranding Network.


The ECOMM Chair of Excellence is awarded for the period 2020-2024 to David Grémillet, with the support of Charles-André Bost. Their role will be to foster a collaborative research environment within ECOMM, focused on the ecology and conservation of marine birds and mammals. The goal of ECOMM is to explore the oceans to understand the impact of global change on marine birds and mammals. This new knowledge will contribute significantly to the conservation of these iconic and threatened species and the ecosystems on which they depend.

The main research areas

The ECOMM pole of excellence, under the direction of the chair of excellence, will pursue four main research axes through the work of four Post Docs and an engineer position. These four axes will have in common a sustained use of bio-logging techniques.

Movement ecology

Population status

Impact of the pollutants

From research to conservation

Bio-logging: a transversal tool


A stepping stone for young researchers

ECOMM has recruited three post-doctoral fellows, each of whom will work in one of the four research areas of the ECOMM Chair for two years. Two other positions will be open in the autumn of 2021. These recruitments are open to the international community and target young talents who will co-construct their research projects with the members of the centre of excellence. The aim is to enable them to apply for permanent positions in research and higher education at a later date, and to join one of ECOMM’s laboratories.

Alice Carravieri

Postdoctoral researcher

Jade Vacquié Garcia

Postdoctoral researcher

Pauline Goulet

Bio-logging Engineer

Partner of LUDI



Launching of the Chair

A regional chair of excellence for the ecology and conservation of marine birds and mammals in the news of the University of La Rochelle Lire l’article

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ECOMM International Steering Committee

The research activities within ECOMM will be designed with the input of an international committee of experts in animal ecology, marine science and forest biology. This committee will also be responsible for evaluating the performance of ECOMM at regular intervals throughout the duration of the Chair of Excellence (2020-2024). The committee members are (in alphabetical order): Sasha Hooker (Marine Mammal Research Unit – University of St Andrews, Scotland); Peter Madsen (University of Aarhus, Denmark); Emily Shepard (University of Swansea, Wales); Martin Wikelski (Max Plank Institute for Animal Behaviour, Germany).