Annie Mercier is a Professor at the Department of Ocean Sciences of Memorial University (Canada) where she pursues wide-ranging research interests around marine benthic communities and their response to exogenous factors and environmental stressors. She and her team study life-history strategies and species interactions at various scales in a broad variety of taxa (with a focus on echinoderms, molluscs, and cnidarians) from coastal, polar and deep-sea environments. Her areas of expertise also include the management and conservation of ecologically and commercially important marine species.
As of 2022, Annie Mercier had co-edited 4 academic books, and co-authored more than 200 scientific publications, including 12 refereed chapters, over 130 peer-reviewed articles and several technical reports. She also holds editorial positions inside two scientific journals and co-chairs the IUCN Species Survival Commission Specialist Group on Sea Cucumbers.
Prior to her faculty position at Memorial University, Annie Mercier conducted research in the Indo-Pacific islands together with her partner Jean-François Hamel. Their research on the fundamental biology and reproductive habits of key commercial sea cucumbers, in partnership with international organizations (FAO, IUCN, CITES) and foreign institutions, facilitated the development of numerous fisheries and aquaculture programs. The pair also published popular books and articles on wildlife, diving, and environmental issues, and assisted with the production of museum exhibitions and film documentaries. To this day, they continue to work, publish and deliver conferences on the ecology and management of marine resources in Canada and abroad.
Jean-François Hamel is a research scientist and co-founder of the Society for the Exploration and Valuing of the Environment, based in Canada. He conducts fundamental studies on the diversity of life-history strategies in boreal and tropical marine invertebrates world-wide, with a focus on echinoderms and cnidarians, and an interest in their management and conservation. He specializes in the interplay between environmental factors and the ecology of early life stages. As of 2022, he had co-edited 4 academic books, and co-authored 12 refereed book chapters, over 130 peer-reviewed articles and several technical reports, totalling more than 200 scientific publications.
As an echinoderm specialist with over 35 years of experience, Jean-François Hamel has worked around the world (e.g. Brazil, Belize, China, Ecuador, Indonesia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Panama, Solomon Islands), often with his partner Annie Mercier, in collaboration with international organizations (FAO, IUCN, CITES) and foreign institutions. He regularly travels as a scientific consultant to deliver presentations and help with the development of sea cucumber nurseries, grow-out facilities and sea ranching initiatives. He is also building partnerships with Northern communities of Canada around the sustainable exploitation of benthic resources.
Aside from being passionate scientists and fierce advocates of marine resources conservation, Jean-François Hamel and Annie Mercier have authored numerous popular articles on wildlife, diving, aquarium hobby, travel destinations and environmental issues in magazines around the world. They also write coffee table books and are periodically involved in the production of film documentaries