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New Species in the Old World: Meet the Scientists
Meet scientists Benoît Fontaine and Marie-France Leccia who were featured in our New Species in the Old World podcast:
Where do you work?
Benoît: Conservation biology department (UMR 7204) of the National Museum of Natural History, Paris (France).
Marie-France: I work for the Mercantour National Park (France), in the scientific team, as an ecologist.
What do you study?
Benoît: I work on the conservation biology of neglected species, i.e. invertebrates: common butterflies in France, and poorly known snails of tropical islands.
Marie-France: I manage the Mercantour/Alpi Marittime ATBI (for All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory) : this large-scale project aims to obtain an inventory as exhaustive as possible of the species living in the alpine trans boundary territory covered by the Mercantour National and the Alpi Maritime Natural Park. I am also the referent person for the entomology and the non-vascular flora, and work on the acquisition of knowledge for the less known species, the less studied habitats and the areas for which we could give some recommendations about their management.
What are three titles you would give yourself?
Benoît: Naturalist, Birdwatcher, Reader.
Marie-France: Ecologist, Traveler, Curious about everything.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
Benoît: I like being in the field and enjoying nature with my kids.
Marie-France: I share my free time between inventorying dragonflies, preparing my next trip, reading books and enjoying being with people I love.
What do you like most about science?
Benoît: I like the thrill of discovering species new to science, and being an explorer of biodiversity. And I enjoy providing my grain of sand to the understanding of conservation biology.
Marie-France: I enjoy participating to a better knowledge of our environment: How does this ecosystem work? Why does this species live here and not there?