delware environmental institute

Good rapport: UD marine scientists collaborate with colleagues in France

Good rapport: UD marine scientists collaborate with colleagues in France

When marine microbiologist David Kirchman met a French colleague who was on sabbatical at the University of Delaware, their conversations led to nearly a decade of collaborative research. Now the two are fostering similar partnerships among others through an ongoing exchange between their respective institutions. Ocean scientists from UD traveled to southern France last month to meet counterparts at Pierre and Marie Curie University’s Banyuls-Sur-Mer Oceanological Observatory, of which Kirchman’s collaborator, Philippe Lebaron, is the director.

The three-day meeting titled “Biodiversity and Functioning of Marine Ecosystems” was supported by a French Embassy Partner University Fund (PUF) award, which furthers research and graduate education partnerships between French and American universities. Seven faculty members and three graduate students from UD joined about 40 French scientists for a series of presentations. Topics of the talks ranged from deep-ocean microbes to marine sponges to satellite data about sea ice, exposing researchers to topics outside of theirs areas of expertise.