The first focus of my work is to better observe and understand how the oceans work through the animals that live in them. To do this, I equip seals in polar environments (hooded seals in the Arctic, elephant seals in the Southern Ocean) with a set of beacons specially designed and developed for this purpose. These species were chosen in particular for their remarkable diving capacity (up to 2000 m depth).
We equip these animals, which thus become bio-samplers of physical (temperature, salinity, light), biogeochemical (oxygen, phytoplankton concentrations) and biological (bioluminescence, active echo sounding…) parameters, which also allows us to study their behaviour at sea. Their contribution to the observation of polar oceans is unparalleled. For example, elephant seals provide 99% of the temperature and salinity profiles associated with the Antarctic ice pack.
All these data are freely distributed to the scientific community via the MEOP portal. The ultimate goal of this research programme is to better understand how the polar oceans are changing in response to global warming and what the consequences of these changes are on the fishing performance and demographics of these predators.