French Oceanographic Fleet Scientific Council

Remit & Objectives

The Scientific Council (SC) of the French Oceanographic Fleet (FOF) assists the FOF Steering Committee (Comité Directeur de la FOF) and the FOF Management Division to ensure the FOF applies top international science standards and keeps up with oceanographic fleet trends in other countries.
The SC’s primary remit is to provide scientific oversight and foresight services for the FOF: based on scientific foresight activities conducted by national and global research communities, the SC will:

  • analyse whether the FOF scope is appropriately taking account of scientific national and global issues and provide recommendations for changes to the fleet based on a medium - and long- term plan,
  • provide recommendations on the FOF's international cooperation policy.

The SC has a complementary role to the scientific assesment committees CNFH and CNFC), which are more specifically in charge of the scientific assessments of scientific cruise proposals, implementation conditions of the cruises and the post-cruise scientific promotion. The SC aims at providing an external perspective based on international best practices and informs the FOF Steering Committee of the major issues it identifies in terms of oceanographic fleets.
On the basis of the scientific guidelines of French research bodies and the foresight operations that the FOF will have conducted, the SC may advise the FOF Management Division and the FOF Steering Committee to issue a cruise call for proposals in specific locations so as to optimise fleet planning.
The SC shall propose to the FOF Steering Committee, whenever necessary, to set up working groups on specific topics.

SC members

The SC must be able to take the best possible objective views on the fleet’s progress and prospects. Consequently, the SC shall consist of twelve qualified experts: 8 French scientists and 4 international scientists. SC members are appointed by the FOF Steering Committee for a 5-year term*.
* Research bodies and assessment committees (CNFH and CHFC) will be invited to recommend experts prior to review and decision by the FOF Steering Committee. 
The SC chair is appointed among the 4 international members by the FOF Steering Committee for a 5- year term.

Scientific directors (or equivalent) of the FOF Steering Committee members (CNRS, Ifremer, IRD, Réseau des universités Marines), as well as the President of the FOF Steering Committee (French Ministry of Research and Innovation), are permanently invited to attend SC annual meetings. If necessary, the SC can hold closed meetings. The Chair may also invite representatives of other bodies that also use FOF vessels (e.g. SHOM, French Navy, TAAF, etc.) to attend SC meetings.
The SC Chair may occasionally invite observers who can provide advice on a particular aspect of the fleet, regarding previously carried out or planned scientific issues (e.g. chairs of the CNFH and CNFC or principal investigators of cruises etc.) or regarding fleet implementation at sea (e.g. operational manager, FOF Management Division, fleet operator, or other fleet facilities).

Working Methods

An SC plenary meeting shall be arranged at least once a year preferably in the form of a 2-day meeting for in-depth debate. The annual meeting shall be planned in advance by the SC Chair together with the Fleet Management Division (the Deputy Scientific Director is the SC executive secretary). The FOF Steering Committee shall approve the agenda. If necessary, the SC can hold a second annual meeting at the request of the Fleet Management Division and/or the FOF Steering Committee.
Meetings are held exclusively in English to enable non-French speaking members to participate.

French oceanographic fleet Scientific Council Composition

International Members (4)

  1. Uwe Nixdorf (AWI Bremerhaven, Deputy Director, Germany) – Physics, polar zones
  2. Penny Holliday (NOC Southampton, UK) – Physical oceangraphy
  3. Joaquin Tintoré  (SOCIB Spain) – Coastal oceanography, time series
  4. David Lane (HWU Edinburgh) – Connected vehicles

National Members (8)

  1. Catherine Jeandel (CNRS, LEGOS Toulouse) – Biogeochemistry and marine chemistry
  2. Elsa Cortijo (CNRS, LSCE Gig Sur Yvette) - Paleo-oceanography
  3. Emmanuelle Ducassou (MC, EPOC, Bordeaux) - Geosciences
  4. Anik Brind'Amour (Ifremer, Nantes) - Fisheries
  5. Ingrid Obernosterer (CNRS, LOMIC, Banyuls), LEFE-CYBER Chair - Biogeochemistry and chemistry
  6. Ronan Fablet (Telecom Bretagne, Brest) - Data, recovery, analysis, treatment
  7. Georges Ceuleneer (CNRS, GET, Toulouse) - Geosciences
  8. Didier Gascuel (Agrocampus Ouest, Rennes)- Fisheries