Erasmus + experience on Réunion island 2018

I landed on the island of La Reunion on July 27 after a long journey from the Azores Archipelago (Portugal) where I live and where I´m doing a Master in Management and Conservation of Nature while I work in the Azorean Biodiversity Group  in the arthropod laboratory. I came to the island thanks to the Erasmus + scholarship that allows mobility among students of the European Union. I chose this destination because I wanted to learn about the fauna and flora of the island. What better place than the laboratory UMR PVBMT at the University of La Réunion to learn about both in a positive environment.

During my stay I participated to two different projects. The one that has occupied me the most time has been the processing of the partially analyzed samples of arthropods obtained by Light Traps in ten plots of the island during the month of April 2018 by the team led by R. Kitching (Griffith University, Australia). First I created a database with the number of samples and their origin in order to be able to add the data of the occurrence of the different orders. Thanks to the equipment of the laboratory and the downloadable mobile app Leica Airlab I had a great time taking a lot of pictures of the different individuals that were appearing. These photos, apart from the artistic function, are a good tool for possible disclosures about the fauna found, as well as a fantastic educational resource when it comes to teaching differentiating between different groups, since it allows showing parts of the physiology of the organisms that are only observable through the microscope.

Some of the pictures taken during my work processing the samples (Photos Alejandra Ros 2018)

The other project in which I have participated has been a preliminary study of arthropods in the Protected Area of Les Makes, within the DIVINES project. In this area we have installed five interception traps called SLAM. For this purpose, five different altitudes have been selected and a trap has been placed every 400 m, with the highest one at 2350 m and the lowest at 750 m. The traps were left for 30 days taking much of the month of August and a few days of the month of September 2018, corresponding to the winter season in Réunion. After that month we collected the traps and analyzed the data separating and counting the individuals of each order, offering abundance data for each sample, for which I created another database with the data obtained and the characteristics of the plots. These samples will be identified at species level in the coming months in order to obtain wealth data and make comparisons, in the future, with the samples that will be obtained in summer when the traps are installed again.

Slam interception trap placed in Les Makes (August 2018) and container boat detail with the arthropods in the propyleneglycol. (Photos Alejandra Ros 2018)


This stay has offered me the possibility of knowing new habitats, directly through the field work, and indirectly through the samples of arthropods with which I have worked. But not everything has been work, in my free time I tried to visit the place to the maximum. The island is a privileged place for people who love the environment because it offers the possibility of entering into numerous types of ecosystems from humid forests full of tree ferns to volcanic plains where only some organisms are able to survive. To the striking fauna and flora I must add the wonderful coexistence between the different cultures existing on the island, where you can find a little bit of Africa, Asia and Europe in the same street, all this makes the meeting a unique place in the world.

Different ecosystems present on Reunion Island. (Photos Alejandra Ros 2018)

I greatly appreciate collaborating with Claudine Ah Peng, and the rest of the team, all the help they have given me both professionally and personally, turning this stay an unforgettable experience.

Alejandra Ros Prieto (University of Azores)



An international team of entomologists in La Réunion

A team of entomologists, Roger Kitching (Griffith University, Australia) and Beverley Kitching, Louise Ashton (University of Hong Kong), John Shillcok and Christophe Thébaud (University of Toulouse) spent a month in La Réunion to survey moths.

In the framework of the Divines Project (Feder) and a grant from National Geographic, this team surveyed moths in ten lowland rainforest sites on La Réunion (Island Biodiv plots) in collaboration with Dominique Strasberg. They will do it twice, once in April then in November 2018.

Collection of the moths by Louise Ashton and John Shillcok

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La Réunion, présentée à l'exposition "SPACED" - protected natural landscapes from above au Parlement européen

Se tient actuellement au parlement européen une exposition intitulée "SPACED - Protecting natural landscapes from above" dans laquelle un panneau est dédié à La Réunion. Alexandre WIEFELS, post-doc recruté via une mesure de financement FEDER Post-Doc/H2020, a réalisé ce panneau.


Panneau SPACED pour La Réunion (Wieffels, A. 2017)

Cette exposition sur le thème de la télédétection et des services écosystémiques est une production du projet H2020 Ecopotential ( www.ecopotential-project.eudont l'Université de La Réunion (UMR ESPACE-DEV, UMR PVBMT, UMR ENTROPIE) est partenaire, avec la collaboration du Parc National de La Réunion et de la Réserve Naturelle Marine de La Réunion.

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Bryophytes of Kenya's coastal forests - A guide to common species

Bryophytes of Kenya's coastal forests - A guide to common species
Authors : Wilding N., Hedderson T., Ah-Peng C & Malombe I.
Date: dec. 2016

Front page of the guideThis guide was produced in the framework of the Kenyan Coastal forest project funded by the Indian Ocean Commission (FED/20015/358-516-SVC-101). This field guide presents 20 species of bryophytes (12 mosses and 8 liverworts) commonly encountered in Kenya's coastal forest region. Each species is accompanied by high quality images and easy to understand descriptions. A glossary of terms is provided as well as further reading and references on African bryophytes. Lire la suite

Ecole thématique sur les invasions biologiques, 17-19/10/2016

Description synthétique de l'action

Organisateurs / cofinanceurs
: Université de La Réunion, Université de Stellenbosch CIB, Parc National de La Réunion, DEAL, CIRAD, UICN international.

Comité d'organisation : D. Strasberg, C. Julliot, C. Ah Peng, C. Cybèle, F. Chiroleu

Logistique: Audrey Valery, Even&Sciences

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Scientific visit from the University of Cape Town

pixDeux chercheurs de l'Université du Cap du département de Sciences biologiques sont actuellement en visite dans l'ile (19 au 30 juin 2016), Pr. Terry Hedderson (bryologue) et Dr. Adam West (écophysiologue) ains que deux étudiants de Honours (Laura Figenschou et Mark Fitzgibbon), ils mènent une étude sur l'écophysiologie des bryophytes de La Réunion.
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Concours C Génial - Sciences à l'école

La classe de 5ème 506 du collège Terrain Fayard a participé au concours C.génial avec son projet "Vegetal Foam Réunion", dont le résumé est ci-dessous, avec le soutien scientifique de C. Ah-Peng.

"La mousse est une plante de petite taille, qui se trouve dans toutes les régions du monde. C'est un végétal qui n'a pas de racines, ni de vaisseaux. On appelle cela une bryophyte. Nous allons, à travers notre projet «Vegetal Foam Réunion», montrer comment sensibiliser le public à l'utilisation de la mousse végétale dans la vie courante Lire la suite