A phD student from the Monaco Scientific Centre receives the Alain Vatrican award
Julien Debreuil, a phD student from the Monaco Scientific Centre, has just been awarded the Alain Vatrican Prize 2010 presented by the RAMOGE Agreement for the 21-26 year old category.
The study put forward by the winner is part of the thesis he is preparing at the CSM. It concerns red coral, an emblematic and endemic species of the Mediterranean Sea, which not only is of high value from a natural heritage point of view, as seen by the interest it raises among divers, but also of high economic value through its use in jewellery.
Unfortunately, over-fishing in areas that are easily accessible by tourists and mass mortality due to global changes in our environment have led to a decrease in the red coral population.
Red coral forms its magnificent skeleton using a bio-mineralisation process, about which, despite its importance for coral growth, little is still known. Like all biominerals, the skeleton is composed of a mineral fraction and an organic fraction responsible for its colour as well as the shape and properties of the skeleton.
Julien Debreuil will be presenting the characteristic features of this organic fraction in his study in order to deduce information regarding the biology of the red coral. The prize money amounting to 3,500 Euros will enable the winner to carry out sampling missions in the RAMOGE region in order to assess the impact of environmental conditions on various populations of red coral. This study falls within the scope of work conducted by the CSM’s physiology/biochemistry team.
The team, directed by Dr Sylvie Tambutté, studies the biomineralisation of red coral and more generally that of the various reef builder corals.
His Excellency Mr Patrick Van Klaveren, Chairman of the RAMOGE Commission, presenting the Alain Vatrican award to Julien Debreuil, a phD student at the Monaco Scientific Centre.
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