Noumea, New Caledonia
Noumea, New Caledonia

The University of New Caledonia UNC is a French university which is part of the Academy of New Caledonia located in Nouméa.The university goes back to 1987 when the Université Française du Pacifique was created, with two centres, one in French Polynesia and the other in New Caledonia. In 1997, the decision was made to split the two parts into separate universities and so in 1999 the Université de la Nouvelle Calédonie and the Université de la Polynésie Française were created.UNC hosts around 3,000 local and international students with a staff of about 100 professors and researchers and 100 administrative employees each year. The President of UNC is Gaël Lagadec, who succeeded Jean-Marc Boyer. Wikipedia.


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Graham N.A.J.,James Cook University | Chabanet P.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Evans R.D.,Department of Environment and Conservation Perth | Evans R.D.,University of Western Australia | And 8 more authors.
Ecology Letters | Year: 2011

With rapidly increasing rates of contemporary extinction, predicting extinction vulnerability and identifying how multiple stressors drive non-random species loss have become key challenges in ecology. These assessments are crucial for avoiding the loss of key functional groups that sustain ecosystem processes and services. We developed a novel predictive framework of species extinction vulnerability and applied it to coral reef fishes. Although relatively few coral reef fishes are at risk of global extinction from climate disturbances, a negative convex relationship between fish species locally vulnerable to climate change vs. fisheries exploitation indicates that the entire community is vulnerable on the many reefs where both stressors co-occur. Fishes involved in maintaining key ecosystem functions are more at risk from fishing than climate disturbances. This finding is encouraging as local and regional commitment to fisheries management action can maintain reef ecosystem functions pending progress towards the more complex global problem of stabilizing the climate. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.


Lansford J.E.,University of New Caledonia | Dodge K.A.,University of New Caledonia | Pettit G.S.,Auburn University | Bates J.E.,Indiana University Bloomington
Child Maltreatment | Year: 2010

Prospective longitudinal data from 585 families were used to examine parents' reports of child physical abuse in the first 5 years of life as a predictor of substance use at ages 12, 16, and 24. Path analyses revealed that physical abuse in the first 5 years of life predicted subsequent substance use for females but not males. We found a direct effect of early physical abuse on girls' substance use at age 12 and indirect effects on substance use at age 16 and age 24 through substance use at age 12. For boys, age 12 substance use predicted age 16 substance use, and age 16 substance use predicted age 24 substance use, but physical abuse in the first 5 years of life was unrelated to subsequent substance use. These findings suggest that for females, a mechanism of influence of early physical abuse on substance use into early adulthood appears to be through precocious initiation of substance use in early adolescence. © The Author(s) 2010.


Rodier M.,University of New Caledonia | Le Borgne R.,Center IRD
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2010

While Trichodesmium erythraeum is prevalent in the semi-closed SW lagoon of New Caledonia, T. thiebautii is dominant in the more open SE lagoon. This led to the comparison of the two species from the results of two high-frequency surveys focused on T. erythraeum (Rodier and Le Borgne, 2008) and T. thiebautii (the present paper). (1) Environmental conditions and triggers of the blooms are the same: calm weather and/or temperature >26°C, and temporary nutrient inputs are required for both; (2) growth rates under favorable conditions are similar (0.14-0.27d-1) but (3) T. thiebautii has lower net ascent rates along the water column during blooming events, due to distinct buoyancy capacities and the resulting vertical distributions; (4) carbon and dinitrogen fixation rates are not significantly different and contribution of Trichodesmium spp. represent less than 35% and 5% of the total phytoplankton carbon and nitrogen requirements, respectively. It is concluded the two species can be mixed in ecological studies, except for their vertical distributions during the bloom periods. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Andrefouet S.,Institute Of Recherche Pour Le Developpement | Wantiez L.,University of New Caledonia
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2010

Since 1972, the UNESCO " World Heritage Convention" offers an international canvas for conservation and management that targets areas of high cultural and environmental significance. To support the designation of areas within the 36.000km2 of New Caledonia coral reefs and lagoons as a World Heritage Site, the natural value and diversity of the proposed zones needed to be demonstrated. To exhaustively identify each configuration of shallow habitats, high resolution remote sensing images were used to select the sampling sites. This optimal scheme resulted in the selection of nearly 1300 sampling sites, and was then simplified to render its application realistic. In the final sampling plan, only the most common or the most remarkable coral zones were selected. Following this selection, in situ habitat and fish surveys were conducted in 2006-2008 in five large areas spanning a 600km-long latitudinal gradient. Habitats were described using line-intercept transects in parallel with underwater visual census of indicator and commercial coral reef fish species. We report here on the results achieved in terms of: (i) the actual diversity of coral habitats captured by the remote sensing based sampling strategy, (ii) the different reef fish communities captured from the different sites, and (iii) how well they represent New Caledonia diversity. We discuss the possible generalization of this scheme to other sites, in the context of World Heritage Site selection and for other large-scale conservation planning activities. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Mallet D.,French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea | Mallet D.,University of New Caledonia | Pelletier D.,French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea
Fisheries Research | Year: 2014

Underwater video techniques are increasingly used in marine ecology studies. Technological progress regarding video cameras, sensors (such as sounders), battery life and information storage make these techniques now accessible to a majority of users. However, diver-based underwater visual censuses, and catch and effort data, remain the most commonly used for observing coastal biodiversity and species. In this paper, we review the underwater video techniques that have been developed since the 1950s to investigate and/or monitor coastal biodiversity. Techniques such as remote underwater video, whether baited or not, diver-operated video and towed video are described, along with corresponding applications in the field. We then analyse the complementary of techniques, first from studies comparing video techniques with other observation techniques, whether video-based or not, and second by documenting their respective cost efficiencies. These findings are discussed with respect to current challenges in monitoring and investigating coastal biodiversity. Video should be more often considered and used, either in addition to or as an alternative to diver-based, fishing and acoustic techniques, as it may be particularly suited for monitoring coastal biodiversity in a variety of areas and on larger scales than hitherto and within an ecosystem-based approach to management and conservation. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


For the past two centuries, scholars from many fields have attempted to prove that Pacific Islanders reached the American continent in pre-Columbian times. Guided by DNA analysis and radiocarbon dating on items like chicken bones and sweet potatoes, recent scholarship has brought to light strong evidence to support this argument. This article contributes to this long-standing debate, focusing on the Hawaiian Song of Kualii. The most compelling feature of this particular narrative is its reference to a pre-contact voyage towards a distant land called Kahiki, which is allegedly located on the American continent. This study revisits the document to determine the plausibility of such a destination and to ascertain the geographic area where the explorers may have landed. After reconstructing the star path followed by the Hawaiian explorers and analysing the descriptions of the unknown land’s environment, the article proves that Hawaiian explorers discovered a country vastly different from their tropical homeland. The cold climate, the unknown forest trees and the strange people inhabiting the land all appeared to them as if they belonged to another world. Comparing the key elements of the explorers’ sea route to the Eastern Pacific and prevailing winds in the Late Holocene, this study concludes that the coast of Southern California was their most plausible destination. © 2016 The White Horse Press.


Goiran C.,University of New Caledonia | Dubey S.,University of Lausanne | Shine R.,University of Sydney
Coral Reefs | Year: 2013

In terrestrial snakes, many cases of intraspecific shifts in dietary habits as a function of predator sex and body size are driven by gape limitation and hence are most common in species that feed on relatively large prey and exhibit a wide body-size range. Our data on sea snakes reveal an alternative mechanism for intraspecific niche partitioning, based on sex-specific seasonal anorexia induced by reproductive activities. Turtle-headed sea snakes (Emydocephalus annulatus) on coral reefs in the New Caledonian Lagoon feed entirely on the eggs of demersal-spawning fishes. DNA sequence data (cytochrome b gene) on eggs that we palpated from stomachs of 37 snakes showed that despite this ontogenetic stage specialization, the prey comes from a taxonomically diverse array of species including damselfish (41 % of samples, at least 5 species), blennies (41 %, 4 species) and gobies (19 %, 5 species). The composition of snake diets shifted seasonally (with damselfish dominating in winter but not summer), presumably reflecting seasonality of fish reproduction. That seasonal shift affects male and female snakes differently, because reproduction is incompatible with foraging. Adult female sea snakes ceased feeding when they became heavily distended with developing embryos in late summer, and males ceased feeding while they were mate searching in winter. The sex divergence in foraging habits may be amplified by sexual size dimorphism; females grow larger than males, and larger snakes (of both sexes) feed more on damselfish (which often lay their eggs in exposed sites) than on blennies and gobies (whose eggs are hidden within narrow crevices). Specific features of reproductive biology of coral reef fish (seasonality and nest type) have generated intraspecific niche partitioning in these sea snakes, by mechanisms different from those that apply to terrestrial snakes. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Murakami H.,Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency | Dupouy C.,University of New Caledonia
Applied Optics | Year: 2013

Retrievals of inherent optical properties (IOPs) and chlorophyll-a concentration (Chla) were investigated for AVNIR-2 images with 30 m spatial resolution and four bands in the southwest tropical lagoon of New Caledonia. We corrected the atmospheric and sea-surface reflectance iteratively through the retrieval of IOPs. After an additional correction of seafloor reflectance, the estimated IOPs and Chla agreed well with the in situ measurements even in the lagoon areas. This study provides a method to allow a local optimal estimation of IOPs and Chla with a high-resolution sensor by preparing the candidate spectra for the target areas. © 2013 Optical Society of America.


Baumann F.,University of New Caledonia | Maurizot P.,Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières | Mangeas M.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Ambrosi J.-P.,Aix - Marseille University | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2011

Background: High incidences of malignant mesothelioma (MM) have been observed in New Caledonia. Previous work has shown an association between MM and soil containing serpentinite. Objectives: We studied the spatial and temporal variation of MM and its association with environmental factors. Methods: We investigated the 109 MM cases recorded in the Cancer Registry of New Caledonia between 1984 and 2008 and performed spatial, temporal, and space-time cluster analyses. We conducted an ecological analysis involving 100 tribes over a large area including those with the highest incidence rates. Associations with environmental factors were assessed using logistic and Poisson regression analyses. Results: The highest incidence was observed in the Houaïlou area with a world age-standardized rate of 128.7 per 100,000 person-years [95% confidence interval (CI), 70.41-137.84]. A significant spatial cluster grouped 18 tribes (31 observed cases vs. 8 expected cases; p = 0.001), but no significant temporal clusters were identified. The ecological analyses identified serpentinite on roads as the greatest environmental risk factor (odds ratio = 495.0; 95% CI, 46.2-4679.7; multivariate incidence rate ratio = 13.0; 95% CI, 10.2-16.6). The risk increased with serpentinite surface, proximity to serpentinite quarries and distance to the peridotite massif. The association with serpentines was stronger than with amphiboles. Living on a slope and close to dense vegetation appeared protective. The use of whitewash, previously suggested to be a risk factor, was not associated with MM incidence. Conclusions: Presence of serpentinite on roads is a major environmental risk factor for mesothelioma in New Caledonia.


Czerwinski W.,University of Warsaw | Martens W.,University of Bayreuth | Parys P.,University of Warsaw | Przybylko M.,University of New Caledonia
Proceedings of the ACM SIGACT-SIGMOD-SIGART Symposium on Principles of Database Systems | Year: 2015

Tree pattern queries are being investigated in database theory for more than a decade. They are a fundamental and exible query mechanism and have been considered in the context of querying tree structured as well as graph structured data. We revisit their containment, validity, and satis fiability problem, both with and without schema information. We present a comprehensive overview of what is known about the complexity of containment and develop new techniques which allow us to obtain tractability- and hardness results for cases that have been open since the early work on tree pattern containment. For the tree pattern queries we consider in this paper, it is known that the containment problem does not depend on whether patterns are evaluated on trees or on graphs. This means that our results also shed new light on tree pattern queries on graphs. © 2015 ACM.

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