Our alumni: the life after MARRES

The life of the MARRES alumni


Employability after MARRES

Study 1 year after graduation, on classes of 2020 and 2021.



Coming from the USA and valedictorian of the class of 2020, Megan Clampitt is currently pursuing her Ph.D. with Université Côte d’Azur where she investigates the use of automated tools for monitoring coral health. Previously, working on the Tara Pacific Expedition photo dataset during her master’s degree, Megan played a major role in generating the manual annotations for the Tara Consortium.

This project is led by the Institute of Research on Cancer and Aging in Nice (IRCAN, Pasteur medical campus), based on original data from the Tara-Pacific expedition and in collaboration with the MSI, the CRIOBE, and the Misool Foundation.

An AI-based approach will be developed and trained to automatically recognize the relevant patterns of coral health and fragility from this initial set of annotated photos. Doing so, a V0 model will be built from the 11,000+ annotated coral photos of the Tara-Pacific coral samples. This V0 model will then be optimized and improved by a combination of field investigations for longitudinal studies in different types of coral reefs (new photos and biological data) and AI work for a more effective, informative and robust training scheme.

This study will increase our knowledge both on coral ecophysiology and how to rapidly and cost effectively monitor the health of coral reefs for a better decisional process to manage and protect these ecosystems that are essential not only for ocean biodiversity but also for human health.

Coming from Switzerland, and valedictorian of the class of 2022, Kilian Burgi is pursuing his thesis at Université Côte d'Azur (ECOSEAS laboratory and INRIA) on the detection and monitoring of marine biodiversity by artificial intelligence. 

The objective of the PhD is to develop statistical learning methods adapted to the detection and census of marine biodiversity from video data, possibly enriched with spatio-temporal covariates. Existing learning models that would allow the detection and monitoring of biodiversity are not usable in the current state because of the wide variety of species, the conditions of shooting (changing conditions depending on the state of the environment), the rarity of some species and the difficulty for experts to label learning data sets. They propose to design data analysis models by statistical learning, adapted to these constrained contexts, while guaranteeing the explicability of decisions in order to allow an easier appropriation by ecologists and professional experts (managers of Marine Protected Areas, fisheries managers).

His doctoral project combines fundamental research (statistical learning) and applied research (biodiversity monitoring) and is part of a major territorial project involving local authorities (development of an MPA on the territory of the Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolis) and sustainable fishing professionals.


Coming from Colombia and valedictorian of the class of 2021, Florina joined the NGO Coral Guardian as field and science project manager following her master thesis where she analyzed the scientific and socio-economic data collected by the association for years.

She is now working between France, Indonesia (original location of the NGO) and Spain and is actively involved in the protection and restoration of coral reefs, but also in the sustainable development of local communities.

Originally from St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Falco Martin (class of 2021) is now a program officer with the conservation NGO Flora & Fauna International. He works from Cambridge (England) on the issue of plastic pollution at sea.



Fréderic & Lionel
Coming from France and Switzerland, Frédéric Favre and Lionel Pourchier (class of 2020) launched the start-up Blue Leaf conservation after their graduation. Frédéric had developed the feasibility study during his master thesis at MARRES.

BlueLeaf Conservation aims to fight global warming and biodiversity loss by protecting and restoring coastal ecosystems. They develop conservation projects aimed at avoiding CO2 emissions due to the destruction of marine and coastal ecosystems or by restoring the natural capacities of ecosystems.

Their financing model is based on the generation of carbon credits through blue carbon: the accounting of avoided or captured CO2 emissions. They want to enable private and public actors to implement positive changes in response to climate and carbon challenges.

Marie Camille
Coming from France, Marie-Camille (class of 2020) decided to join the private sector of the food industry. She is an auditor in quality and food safety engineering where she developed a specialization in the value chain of the sea: fishermen, fishmongers and restaurants.