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Knowledge base
of the Mascarene’s corals

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IREMIA lab - University of La Réunion

LIS lab - UPMC Paris

CBETM lab - EPHE - University of Perpignan

BtBs lab - University of Milano

ECOMAR lab - University of La Réunion

SHOALS - Rodrigues island

Albion Fisheries Research Center - Mauritius island

The Team

Published the 30 November 2009, updated the 19 December 2009

All the versions of this article:

Here is the list of the persons having contributed to our project.

- The experts
- Members of the stage III
- Members of the stage II
- Members of the stage I

The experts :

Gérard FAURE

Professeur honoraire à la retraite, il crée et dirige le Laboratoire de Biologie Marine de l’Université de La Réunion de 1967 à 1990 puis est nommé à l’Université de Montpellier II jusqu’à sa retraite, en 2001. Durant son séjour à La Réunion (il a soutenu une thèse de Doctorat d’Etat sur "Les formations récifales des Mascareignes" en 1982), il s’est plus spécialement intéressé à la biodiversité et à la biogéographie des Scléractiniaires de l’archipel et aux problèmes de dégradations, puis de l’ensemble Indopacifique, où il a effectué une cinquantaine de missions. Durant cette période, il a pu récolter et identifier 5000 à 6000 spécimens (dont la moitié pour les Mascareignes), spécimens déposés au Muséum (MNHN) de Paris, pour la plus grande part, et également au Muséum de St Denis et à l’Université de La Réunion ainsi qu’à l’antenne de l’Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE) de Moorea (Polynésie Française). Depuis 1996, il est impliqué comme expert taxonomiste dans le programme : "Base de connaissances des Coraux des Mascareignes".


Michel PICHON, Biological Oceanographer, University Professor, is an expert on coral reefs, which he has studied for more than 48 years. He was research leader of several coral reefs research teams, operating in most major reef areas in the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean (Mascarenes, Comoros, Madagascar (Thesis), Maldives and the seas around Arabia), and in the Pacific Ocean.
He has been based for more than 22 years in Australia, first at James Cook University, Townsville, then as Deputy Director, Australian Institute of Marine Science. He then did work principally on the Great Barrier Reef, with his students and Australian colleagues, but also elsewhere in the Pacific in cooperation with American and Japanese teams. He has published more than one hundred scientific papers in international scientific journals, mostly on coral reefs, and four books on the reef corals of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. He is a board member of the International Society for Reef Studies.
He now lives in Australia, where he is a Tropical Marine Consultant and Honorary Research Associate at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, in Townsville.

Francesca BENZONI

Docteur de l’Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE), Post-Doc at the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy, Francesca Benzoni is a marine biologist specialised in the integrated systematics of reef-dwelling scleractinian corals. Since her masters in the Gulf of Aden, Yemen, 10 years ago she has been diving and studying corals throughout the Indo-Pacific and has become increasingly interested in the problem of boundaries between species of reef corals. Through the programme "Base de connaissances des Coraux des Mascareignes" she has had the chance to challenge and widen her knowledge of scleractinian taxonomy looking at traditional problems from a different angle which led her to new approaches for the delineation of species boundaries. Francesca is currently involved in different projects addressing the study of the biodiversity and biogeography of scleractinian corals through a multidisciplinary approach including traditional and innovative tools.

Stage III (2004-2008)

Experts of scleractinian corals : Gérard Faure, Michel Pichon, Francesca Benzoni

Computer scientists : Guillaume Dubus, David Grosser, Yannick Geynet (coordination)

Design and illustrations : David Caron

Flash Animations : Bruno Toujas jusqu’à mi 2006

Project administrative management : Pierre Gigord, Yannick Geynet

Support : Nicole Gravier-Bonnet, Florence Trentin, Gwenaëlle Pennober, et à partir de 2007, Vianney Denis, Aurélie Thomassin, Dorothée Taddei, Perrine Mangion, Lionel Bigot, Sonia Ribes

Training : Eric Grimaud


Photographer and Graphic Designer for over 15 years in communications agencies and in a design studio, David is now a freelance graphics designer.
He realizes visual identity research, graphic tables, communication documents using diverse material supports, and other publications. He has developed skills in macro photography, both in terrestrial and marine environments.
Since 1998, David collaborates on the Corals of the Mascarenes Knowledge Base Project as a photographer/illustrator.

Yannick GEYNET

Fascinated by biology but IT engineer, Yannick Geynet has decide to ally both and thus works on the project "Knowledge base on corals from the Mascarene archipelago" from 1997. Afterward, other projects connecting biology and computing appeared. In 2002, he decides to resume studies with a DEA Human-machine Communication and Educational Engineering of the LIUM (Laboratory of Computing of the University of Maine, in France)). On returning to Reunion, he will be in charge of a study which will drive to the creation of the e-learning unit of the University of Reunion.
From 2004 till 2008, he coordinates the stage III of the project on corals.
Yannick Geynet is promoted PAST (teaching part-time partner) to the university of Reunion from September, 2007 and, since February, 2008, he is the Information System Manager of the National park of Reunion.

Stage II (1998-2001)

Experts of scleractinian corals : Gérard Faure, Michel Pichon, Mireille Guillaume

Computer scientists : Noël Conruyt (coordination), David Grosser, Yannick Geynet

Design and illustrations : David Caron, Teddy Lun-Kwok-Sui

Support : Pierre Gigord, Nicole Gravier-Bonnet

Training : Gaëlle Bailly, Valérie Goulan, Annick Cros


David Grosser owns a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of La Réunion (2001). He is the designer of IKBS (Iterative Knowledge based System), used for the Knowledge base on corals from the Mascarene archipelago’s project.
Afer one year for a post-Doc in DIRO (Département d’Informatique et de Recherche Opérationnelle) from the University of Montréal in software Design, He is an Assistant Professor at the LIM/IREMIA Mathematics and Computer Science laboratory, Sciences and Technologies Faculty of Reunion University since 2003.

Stage I (1996-1997)

Experts of scleractinian corals : Gérard Faure, Michel Pichon

Computer scientists : Noël Conruyt (coordination), David Grosser

Support : Nicole Gravier-Bonnet

Training : Philippe Vincent


Doctor in Oceanography, Marine Biologist, Specialist of Hydroids (Hydrozoologist), Nicole "Nicky" Gravier-Bonnet is working on hydroids (polyps and medusae) of La Réunion Island and the southwestern Indian Ocean. She is a fan of biodiversity and she is doing an inventory and studying reproduction and ecological and geographical distribution of the species, among other topics (associations, diets...).


Noël Conruyt is an Assistant Professor at the LIM/IREMIA Mathematics and Computer Science laboratory, Sciences and Technologies Faculty of Reunion University, Saint-Denis of La Réunion.
"Before joining Reunion University in 1996, I was a Ph.D. student at INRIA of Rocquencourt and University of Paris IX Dauphine, from where I also got my Ph.D. in Computer Science (Machine Learning and Symbolic-Numeric Data Analysis applied to the Knowledge Management of specialists in Biology) in 1994. My research interests lie in Knowledge Engineering and Human Computer Interaction with an emphasis on co-design and social aspects of computing.
I am especially interested in user-centered approaches related to environmental management for sustainable development, for example ICT for insular tropical environment enhancement, and applied to artistic music education, as for guitar instrumental e-learning."

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