Aquaculture and fish diversity

The research of the DIVA team (Ichtyological DIVersity and Aquaculture) is at the crossroad of major preoccupations in the fields of fundamental and applied biology, including the biological diversity of freshwater fishes, their evolution and adaptation to environmental changes, their domestication and conservation, and their wise usage in aquaculture.

DIVA comprises 11 researchers, engineers and technical staff members, and 3 PhD students working in Montpellier and in South East Asia, particularly in Indonesia [partnership with AMAFRAD (Agency for Marine and Fisheries Research and Development), DGA (General Direction for Aquaculture), LIPI (Research Center for Biology) and IPB (Bogor Agricultural University)]. Collaborations in the fields of aquaculture and fish pathology are developed at the regional level with other research institutions, particularly in Vietnam and Laos.

The studies focus on a number of fish species presenting a patrimonial or aquaculture interest. In the field of knowledge and conservation of ichtyodiversity, faunal inventories are made in previously unexplored areas (Indonesian Papua, in particular) and the team is involved in an initiative of "barcoding" of Indonesian fish. In aquaculture, the focus is set on species of confirmed or potential interest for human consumption (mainly Pangasiidae, tilapia, giant gourami) or ornamental purposes (clown loach, Chromobotia macracanthus; rainbowfishes, Melanotaenia spp.).

Research activities are organised along four complementary axes: 1) Taxonomy and phylogeny (ichthyodiversity and rhythms of evolutionary diversification), 2) Spatial and temporal organisation of populations (population structure, gene flows, genetic variability of captive stocks), 3) Life histories and adaptive capacities of fishes (reproductive strategies, ontogenetic variations, thermal biology, genomics), and 4) Diversification and optimisation of rearing practices (control of biological cycle, fish pathology and health management, ecological intensification and integrated multitrophic aquaculture).