Learning more about biodiversity to help better protect it


An ecosystem in danger

The constant rise in greenhouse gas emissions is causing an increase in global temperatures including the Ocean. This is leading to a domino effect of other damage such as a loss of oxygen or acidification in certain areas. These changes have huge impacts on nearly all marine life forms and on the benefical effects they have each day on the well-being of our societies.

Beyond the problems of submersion affecting populations and infrastructures, the real climate emergency is the risk of losing biodiversity, which only effective sustainable development can enable us to deal with.
  • 80 % of marine life is made up of microorganisms
  • 50 % of organisms collected by Tara are still unknown
  • 30 % of the CO2 emitted each day is captured by the ocean and its biodiversity
  • 50 % of the oxygen produced each day is provided by marine microorganisms
© Jonathan Lancelot

Our expeditions

Mission Microbiomes

Current expedition

Better understanding the invisible life of the ocean

Having identified and shared a large number of species of plankton, their genes and their forms with the international scientific community since 2009, this new expedition decided to take an overall approach and treat the oceanic ecosystem as a whole.

To do that, we need to go back to basics, to the first link in this ecosystem: the microbiome.

Tara Pacific

Analyses in progress

Coral reefs stand the test of global warming

The biggest expedition ever carried on coral reefs, the schooner and the teams crossed the Pacific Ocean from East to West to explore thirty reefs from 2016 to 2018. The aim of this mission was to explore the capacities of resistance, adaptation and resilience of coral ecosystems, to discover new life forms as yet hidden and to apply the results for the medical research of the future.

See the expedition
  • 100 000 kmcovered since leaving Lorient

  • 35 000samples collected in 2 years

Champ de recherche

Romain Troublé, managing director of Fondation Tara Océan:

The initial observations show that the future of coral reefs and the resources they provide to populations will depend firstly on respect for the Paris Agreement, but also in the shorter term on the ability of areas to limit pollution and local stresses.

Only 5% of marine biodiversity is known about, it is crucial to analyse and understand undersea life, the key to life on earth.

Prélèvement échantillon en mer par Tara avec le filet manta

Mais encore …


Tara Arctic

A high-risk 18-month expedition drifting with the sea ice on the edge of the North Pole to see the effects of climate change.

Tara Arctic

2006 – 2008

Analysis in progress

Microbiomes Mission

Unravel the mysteries of the first actor present in all facets of ocean biodiversity, its fundamental basis: the microbiome.

Microbiomes Mission

2020 – 2022


Tara Oceans

An expedition to the heart of the biodiversity of the planktonic world, with the Ocean under the microscope.

Tara Oceans

2009 – 2013

Our scientific publications


A holistic approach to marine eco-systems biology

Karsenti E, Acinas SG, Bork P, Bowler C, et al.

Tara Oceans


Structure and function of the global ocean microbiome

Sunagawa, S., L. P. Coelho, S. Chaffron, J. R. et al.

Tara Oceans


Plankton networks driving carbon export in the oligotrophic ocean

Guidi, L., S. Chaffron, L. Bittner, D. et al.

Tara Oceans
Culture Ocean

Immerse yourself in our expeditions

All our media

Fighting to protect marine biodiversity from pollution

How can we reduce pollution in the ocean?

Identifying changes to assess their impact for the future

Discover our commitments and research for the Arctic

Our partners

Major partner