Dr Xavier Pochon
Trained as a marine phylogeneticist, my Ph.D. thesis investigated co-evolutionary traits and ecological adaptation of a group of large tropical foraminifera (soritids) and their symbiotic dinoflagellates (zooxanthellae; genus Symbiodinium). Over the last 15 years, I took part in various research projects in the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific regions, looking at the diversity and ecological adaptation of host communities (foraminifera and corals) from shallow to mesophotic reef environments. My postdoctoral research at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology included the design of novel genetic markers and tools able to specifically detect free-living Symbiodinium from environmental DNA (eDNA).
Capitalising on this previous experience, my current research at the Cawthron Institute (Nelson, New Zealand) focuses on developing multi-species detection tools using high-throughput eDNA sequencing to identify the taxa present in various marine ecosystems.
Research | Current
My research at the Cawthron Institute is highly applied to marine industries and focuses on the developement of metabarcoding tools for bio-monitoring diversity changes around operation sites (e.g., aquaculture farms, deep-sea mining, and biosecurity in NZ marinas and ports). I particularly enjoy interacting with regulators and industry partners to find better ways of protecting our marine environment.
At the University of Auckland, I combine 'real-world' and 'blue-sky' research applications. The 'blue-sky' projects are varied and include; i) metabarcoding Symbiodinium dinoflagellates in tropical forams, corals and giant clams, ii) characterizing the functional role of microbiomes in aquaculture settings (e.g. oysters, salmon), iii) conducting phylogenetic analyses on tropical and temperate cyanobacteria, and iv) unvealing the diversity and dynamics of open-ocean plankton communities.
Postgraduate research opportunities
- Developing multi-trophic metabarcoding tools for environmental monitoring of marine industries
- Investigating the functional underpinnings of symbiotic dinoflagellate communities in tropical soritid foraminifera, corals and giant clams
- Unravelling the eDNA secrets of 10% (380) of NZ lakes (www.lakes380.com)
- Exploring the diversity and dynamics of open-ocean plankton communities in the South-West Pacific (www.planktonplanet.org)
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Guibert, I., Bourdreux, F., Bonnard, I., Pochon, X., Dubousquet, V., Raharivelomanana, P., ... Lecellier, G. (2020). Dimethylsulfoniopropionate concentration in coral reef invertebrates varies according to species assemblages. Scientific reports, 10 (1)10.1038/s41598-020-66290-5
- Borja, A., Andersen, J. H., Arvanitidis, C. D., Basset, A., Buhl-Mortensen, L., Carvalho, S., ... Grenz, C. (2020). Past and Future Grand Challenges in Marine Ecosystem Ecology. Frontiers in Marine Science, 7.10.3389/fmars.2020.00362
- Pearman, J. K., Biessy, L., Thomson-Laing, G., Waters, S., Vandergoes, M. J., Howarth, J. D., ... Wood, S. A. (2020). Local factors drive bacterial and microeukaryotic community composition in lake surface sediment collected across an altitudinal gradient. FEMS microbiology ecology, 96 (6).10.1093/femsec/fiaa070
- Guibert, I., Lecellier, G., Torda, G., Pochon, X., & Berteaux-Lecellier, V. (2020). Metabarcoding reveals distinct microbiotypes in the giant clam Tridacna maxima. Microbiome, 8 (1)10.1186/s40168-020-00835-8
- Wood, S. A., Biessy, L., Latchford, J. L., Zaiko, A., von Ammon, U., Audrezet, F., ... Pochon, X. (2020). Release and degradation of environmental DNA and RNA in a marine system. The Science of the total environment, 70410.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135314
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Anastasija Zaiko
- Lena Schallenberg, Wood, S. A., Pochon, X., & Pearman, J. K. (2020). What Can DNA in the Environment Tell Us About an Ecosystem?. Frontiers for Young Minds, 7, 150-150. 10.3389/frym.2019.00150
- Hédouin L, Rouzé H, Berthe, C., Perez-Rosales, G., Martinez, E., Chancerelle, Y., ... Pochon, X. (2020). Contrasting patterns of mortality in Polynesian coral reefs following the third global coral bleaching event in 2016. Coral Reefs10.1007/s00338-020-01914-w
- Keeley, N., Valdemarsen, T., Strohmeier, T., Pochon, X., Dahlgren, T., & Bannister, R. (2020). Mixed-habitat assimilation of organic waste in coastal environments - It's all about synergy!. The Science of the total environment, 69910.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134281
Phone +64 3 548 2319 ext 285
Primary office location
LEIGH MARINE RESEARCH LABORATORY - Bldg 604
Level G, Room G01
160 GOAT ISLAND RD