Mireille Chinain (SPC)

Portrait of the Tahitian scientist who discovered what causes Ciguatera

French Polynesian scientist Mireille Chinain has been spearheading regional research efforts on Ciguatera poisoning, the foodborne disease related to the consumption of subtropical and tropical marine finfish which have accumulated naturally occurring toxins through their diet. Ciguatera poses not only a public health problem but has also a significant impact on the economies of affected countries, especially in Pacific Island Countries and Territories, where populations … Continue reading Portrait of the Tahitian scientist who discovered what causes Ciguatera

This geneticist collected 1,500 different taro crops from across the Pacific

Samoan Valerie Saena Tuia is a leading expert on plant genetic resources who has made significant contributions to advancing food security in the Pacific Islands region. She was the Curator and then Genetic Resources Coordinator of the Pacific Community’s Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT) in Fiji for over 15 years until early 2017. Ms Tuia has carried out pioneering scientific research, established the … Continue reading This geneticist collected 1,500 different taro crops from across the Pacific

How do we fight epidemics across the Pacific Ocean?

Pacific islands are suffering from regular epidemics of Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya. In a decade-long dance around our Ocean, these viruses continually migrate to countries where the population has lost its immunity… But it doesn’t mean there is nothing to be done. Since the arrival of the Zika Virus, probably imported from African soccer players during the Beach Soccer World Cup of 2013 in Tahiti, … Continue reading How do we fight epidemics across the Pacific Ocean?

From high school teacher to political activist to sustainable development

Suliana Siwatibau, 77, has made immense contributions to the Pacific region over many decades, working across multiple fields including science, environment, leadership and activism for peace, democracy and human rights. A botanist by training, Mrs Siwatibau started out teaching science at secondary school level in Fiji, then later biology at the University of the South Pacific before switching to agricultural research. She was also a … Continue reading From high school teacher to political activist to sustainable development

NZ scientists discover a new sunfish species weighting more than a ton

Most estimates say that we still have between 4 and 9 million living species to discover on Earth. Many are very small, but huge species are still identified regularly. For example this sunfish species (in picture above) that was just officially discovered by a team of scientists in New Zealand last week. It was named Mola tecta, the hoodwinker sunfish. The NZ newspaper Sunday Morning interviewed the … Continue reading NZ scientists discover a new sunfish species weighting more than a ton