Climb aboard the schooner Tara and discover the secret world of coccolithophores What are coccolithophores? What do they look like? Why are they so important for us?
Understanding the invisible life of the ocean to protect our future
We held our course
How does climate change disrupt ocean currents and the distribution of the marine microbiome?
What impact does pollution and particularly microplastics have on the marine microbiome?
How does the land fertilise the ocean?
Four key stages: CHILE – AMAZON – ANTARCTICA – AFRICA
For nearly two years the laboratory-ship Tara will travel 70,000 kilometres in the South Atlantic, along the coasts of South America, as far as Antarctica. Devised by Fondation Tara Océan as part of the European AtlantECO programme and with scientific partners including the CNRS, CEA and EMBL, this mission involves 42 research structures across the world in studying the benefits of the ocean microbiome and its interactions with the climate and pollution.
This invisible life
will no longer hold any secrets
very litre of sea water contains between 10 and 100 billion microorganisms.
Their size ranges from 0.01 micrometres to 1 cm. That’s the same difference in scale as between an ant and a brontosaurus.
2 yearsof expedition
70 000 kmFrom the South Atlantic as far as the Antarctic
42Research structures involved
Colomban de Vargas, researcher CNRS/Sorbonne:
Unlike previous Tara missions that carried out uniform sampling wherever the ship went, to reveal “What’s there?”, here, we are going to adapt the protocols during the mission to find out “How does it work?”. »
What is the microbiome?
New challenges to be taken up
Understanding more deeply the great mechanisms linking microbiomes and climate.
Inviting the public and school classes on board to increase understanding of the ocean and the challenges of protecting it. 23 stopovers are planned where scientific teams will train local researchers on the know-how and techniques of ocean studies.
Two educational operations will be offered to schools. In Tara’s wake, so that students can interact live by video conference with members of the crew and Echos d’Escale, to approach the challenges of sustainable development across the world.
All aboard the schooner
Mission Microbiomes is part of the European AtlantECO project, financed by the European Commission, that brings together 36 scientific institutions in Europe, Brazil and South Africa and involves 15 scientists on the ship itself. This international scientific collaboration is intended to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges linked to the Atlantic Ocean. AtlantECO will roam the Atlantic Ocean with six main expeditions, two of which will study the coasts of Brazil.
Labs & partners
Co-director of Mission Microbiomes. Scientific director of the Tara Océan consortium and the foundation’s scientific committee. Research director at the CNRS.
Co-director of Mission Microbiomes. Researcher at the Anton Dohrn Zoological Station (Naples, Italy).
Labs & partners
Microbiome Mission endorsed by the United Nations
Along with 86 other projects across the globe, Tara’s Microbiome Mission has been endorsed by the UNESCO Oceanographic Commission for contributing to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Tara’s mission is recognized for supporting research, diffusing knowledge, and building networks between scientists, policymakers and civil society to find solutions to the immense challenges facing the Ocean.
Behind the scenes of Mission Microbiomes
Echos d’escale: Virtual expeditions
Aimed at children from 8 to 11 years of age, to secondary school students and from every discipline, we offer you the chance to put together your own virtual expedition course by choosing any the stopover places in the world visited by Tara since 2010.