French American Climate Talks on Ocean - Coral Reefs, Ocean Biodiversity and Climate Change

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- When: Friday, July 1, 2016, 11:00 am to 12:45 pm
- Where: Miami Dade College, room 6100 (building 6) (485 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132)
- Registration (free)

After the success of COP21 and the signature of an international climate agreement last April in New York, it is essential to continue raising public awareness about the Ocean’s key role in the global climate system. FACT-O is the extension of the FACTS conferences launched in 2014 in the context of COP21, and is a joint initiative of the Ocean & Climate Platform and the Embassy of France in the United States.

FACT-O is a public conference series planned to take place in several cities in the United States involving renowned scientists, civil society representatives, NGOs, political figures, journalists and entrepreneurs.

The first FACT-O conference will be held in Miami during Tara expeditions’ stopover in the United States. The Tara scientific team and researchers from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and Florida International University will participate in a discussion on how climate change impacts coral reefs and ocean biodiversity.

FACTO-Miami: How Climate Change Impacts Coral Reefs and Ocean Biodiversity


Welcoming remarks by Philippe Létrilliart, Consul General of France in Miami

Round table discussion on coral reefs, ocean biodiversity and climate change moderated by André Abreu, Head for Environment & Climate Policy at Tara Expeditions Foundation

-  Romain Troublé, Executive Director of Tara Expeditions Foundation
-  Dr. Andrew C. Baker, Associate Professor, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Department of Marine Biology and Ecology
-  Dr. Michael Heithaus, Dean, College of Arts, Sciences & Education, Florida International University
-  Dr. Jeremy Kiszka, Marine Science Program, Florida International University
-  Richard Snow, President and CEO of the International SeaKeepers Society
-  Dr. Françoise Gaill, Scientific Committee Coordinator of the Ocean & Climate Platform

More about Tara and its new expedition

Tara Expeditions is a French non-profit organization active since 2003 in favor of the environment initiated by agnes b and Etienne Bourgois. A legendary boat built for extreme conditions, Tara is the platform for high-level scientific research missions. Tara has traveled 300,000 kilometers across all the world’s oceans and 10 expeditions were accomplished to study and understand the impacts of climate change and the ecological crisis on the ocean, with concrete results.
A new campaign, Tara Pacific, that associates coral biologists, chemists, oceanographers and plankton specialists will investigate the behavior of coral reefs confronting climate change over a wide geographical area that has not yet been studied. From June 2016 to September 2018, approximately 40,000 samples will be collected and will ultimately provide new information on the unknown role of certain biochemical parameters. During the 2-year expedition, Tara will make 70 stopovers to raise awareness concerning the richness and fragility of reefs.
More information here


Philippe Létrilliart assumed office of Consul General of France in Miami on September 3, 2013. He was previously Head of the Department in charge of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2010-2013). With multiple assignments in Latin America, he began his professional stay abroad as a “coopérant” in Guatemala (1989-1990), before joining the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He subsequently held the position of First Secretary at the Embassy of France in Havana (1996-2000). Recently, he served as the First Counselor at the Embassy of France in La Paz (2006-2010).

Romain Troublé is the Managing Director of the Tara Expeditions Foundation in charge of coordinating their expeditions since 2004. With degrees in both biotechnology and business management, Romain is equally known for his sailing skills and participation in the America’s Cup in 2000 and 2003. From 2003 to 2006, he worked for Cerpolex together with Bernard Buigues, specializing in polar logistics in the Arctic, Antarctic and in Siberia. They were involved in the organization of sporting, tourist and scientific expeditions, but also in the discovery of frozen mammoths.

Andrew C. Baker is a marine biologist who works on biology, ecology and conservation of coral reefs, with a focus on the impacts of climate change on these ecosystems. His research focuses on how corals’ ability to host different types of algal symbionts helps them adapt to environmental variability. His lab has been assessing how important and widespread this ability is, and how it affects the response of corals to climate change.

Mike Heithaus is an expert on predator-prey interactions and the ecological importance of sharks and other large marine species like dolphins, sharks, rays, whales, alligators and sea turtles. He has published more than 110 scientific papers and co-edited three books on sharks. He worked with National Geographic’s Remote Imaging Department conducting studies using “Crittercam” while hosting a television series featuring travels around the world to deploy more than 100 devices on marine animals.

Jeremy Kiszka researches the ecology and behavior of large marine vertebrates, including marine mammals, sea turtles and elasmobranchs. He is particularly interested in the ecological roles and importance of large vertebrates in marine ecosystems, and how changes in their abundance and behavior (including disturbances) may affect the structure and function of ecosystems. In the past, Dr. Kiszka has initiated research projects that investigated shark ecology and behavior in various locations around the world, including the western Indian Ocean, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. He also investigates the direct effects of human activities on large marine vertebrates, particularly in East African small-scale fisheries. Dr. Kiszka has published more than 50 scientific papers and book chapters.

Richard Snow is the President & CEO of the International SeaKeepers Society. Before joining SeaKeepers in 2012, Richard spent twenty-two years as a multi-unit Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Franchisee with stores from Delaware to Georgia. The International SeaKeepers Society acts as a global catalyst working with governments, scientists, industry, and other marine organizations to promote understanding and to support sensible, achievable marine protection and restoration initiatives. SeaKeepers’ mission is to encourage yachts as a platform to enable scientific research and discovery. He looks forward to direct contact with you to see if there are opportunities to make the International SeaKeepers Society’s mission a reality.

Françoise Gaill is currently the Scientific Committee Coordinator of the Ocean & Climate Platform and Scientific Advisor for the Ecology and Environment Institute (INEE) of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). F. Gaill has been involved in the field of marine biology, with a specific interest in the thermal adaptation of deep-sea animals. She is the author of more than 170 scientific publications. She was in charge of foreign affairs at CNRS’ life sciences department and also served for several years as Director of the CNRS Institute of Ecology and Environment.

André Abreu is Head for Environment & Climate Policy at Tara Expeditions Foundation. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, André studied Philosophy and Social Communication, with a specialization in International Relations and Economic Development at the Sorbonne, Paris. He has more than 10 years of experience working with international cooperation in the domain of environmental issues. In 2003, he joined the France Libertés Foundation in Paris, where he worked for six years, two of which in the position of Development Director with participations in the UN Human Rights Council. In 2009 he joined the Tara Expeditions team, taking in charge the international policy & coordination