Tara PACIFIC Coordinator (NUI Galway/Metabolome)
Dr Olivier THOMAS is currently professor in marine biodiscovery at the National University of Ireland, Galway, in Ireland. After being recruited as lecturer in 2004 and promoted professor in 2012 at the University Nice Sophia Antipolis where he is still associated researcher he has been recently recruited as established professor in marine biodiscovery at NUI Galway (http://www.nuigalway.ie/our-research/people/chemistry/olivierthomas/). His main research interests focus on the low molecular weight metabolites produced by most marine organisms. During the long evolutionary history marine invertebrates like sponges or corals have indeed developed an alternative metabolism to the primary one also called specialized metabolism. Such metabolites usually possess an ecological role like the defence which is still poorly understood in the marine environment. Recent advances in analytical chemistry and metabolomics allow a global vision of the chemical diversity or the metabolome contained in each living organism. These tools therefore provide a quick assessment of the chemical phenotype of the organism. During the last 10 years he has been the co-author of around 100 research articles and reviews in natural product chemistry but also on the applications of environmental metabolomics analyses to the marine field. In Tara expedition he will be associated to Dr. Bernard Banaigs INSERM researcher at the Criobe to apply the metabolomics analyses to the different species of interests.