Jade Vacquié-Garcia

Cold water diving

I study the impact of environmental change on the diving and foraging behaviour of top predators in changing polar environments. I am particularly interested in the use of biolocation and how data analysis can improve the understanding of ecological processes in marine science.

As part of the Chair of Excellence, I am working on the “Lively-Hoods” project in close collaboration with Tiphaine Jeanniard du Dot, Jérôme Spitz and Baptiste Picard.

Post-doctoral position ECOMM
University of La Rochelle



The atmosphere and oceans are warming globally, but surface temperatures in the Arctic are warming 3 times faster than the global average, accompanied by a decline in sea ice and a deepening of the thermocline. These rapid changes are impacting the horizontal and vertical distribution of organisms, which is likely to affect the structure of Arctic food webs and overall ecosystem dynamics and/or functioning. However, our current ability to predict the impacts of climate change on marine species and ecosystems is limited because time series of sufficient length to assess these changes are often missing.

The Lively-Hoods project proposes to study the effect of these changes on the Arctic ecosystem by combining all available data sets from the past 30 years on a top marine predator species, the hooded seal. This marine mammal is an Arctic pagophilic species that is highly dependent on sea ice for its life cycle, which as top predators is an ecological indicator of the Arctic ecosystem. Furthermore, the two recognised stocks of hooded seals show contrasting population trajectories across their respective geographic ranges, providing an additional opportunity to better understand how rapid changes in their environments affect marine species.

In this context, the objectives of the project are (i) to study the impact of environmental changes on the spatial strategies and diets of the two hooded seal stocks over the last 30 years, (ii) to compare the responses of the two stocks and link these changes to differences in their population trajectories, and (iii) to predict their evolution in the future given the continuum of expected environmental changes.