Clémence Mahana iti  GATTIDr.Sc.

Research Associate - Laboratory of Marine Biotoxins



After obtaining a PhD in pathophysiology dedicated to neurological damages due to marine biotoxins poisonings, and training in epidemiology in Quebec (Canada), Dr. Gatti joined the Laboratory of Marine Biotoxins led by Dr. Mireille Chinain, located within the Louis Malardé Institute, based in Papeete (Tahiti), in order to develop biomedical research and epidemiological surveillance of ciguatera. In 2014, she compleated a University Diploma in Methods in Clinical Research (University of Bordeaux II). To date, Dr Gatti intervene as an expert for the IOC-UNESCO, the IAEA, the FAO and the WHO; and provides support to countries wishing to establish a ciguatera surveillance. She is at the origin of the conception of this website.


Mireille CHINAIN Dr.Sc.HDR

Head of Unit- Laboratory of Marine Biotoxins



Mireille Chinain (Dr. Sc., HDR) pursued her studies with a focus in biology at the University of Bordeaux I, and at the University of Montpellier II, where she earned a doctorate in biological sciences from the University of Science and Technology of Languedoc. Back in French Polynesia, she joined, in 1990, ILM’s Unit of Medical Oceanography, which was already specialized in the field of ciguatera for twenty years. She is now working on the development of in vitro cultures of the causative agent of ciguatera, Gambierdiscus dinoflagellate. She is behind the establishment of a unique micro-algae bank rich of several highly toxic strains, which are currently used for mass production of ciguatoxin (CTXS). Thanks to the efforts made in the last decades, her laboratory has now a unique bank of purified CTXS.

In 2000, Mireille was appointed Head of the unit, which was renamed the Laboratory of Marine Biotoxins (LBM), there she manages all research programs related to ciguatera. Research conducted at LBM are focused on the eco-toxicology and taxonomy of Gambierdiscus, and on the development of different methods of toxins detection. Mireille is also managing the field monitoring and lagoons risk management programs of French Polynesia and the Pacific Region

Her work has been repeatedly acknowledged and rewarded by national and international awards including the Prix Trégouboff Award 2005 in Marine Biology (Academy of Sciences of Paris, France), the Albert Sézary Award 2006 (National Academy of Medicine, Paris, France), and the Tyge Christensen Award 2010 (International Phycological Society).






Over 50 years of Integrated Ciguatera Research




Learn more about the activities of the Laboratory of Marine Biotoxins.





Dr. Erwan Oehler

Ciguatera Medical Consultant

Hospital Center of French Polynesia


Born in Brittany in 1977, Erwan undertook several medecine internships at the Hospital Center of French Polynesia in 2005, where he discovered ciguatera poisoning, hardly known in France. Particularly interested by this affection, he dedicated his  thesis of General Medecine and  Master in Tropical Medicine to this subject. Since 2010, he works in the internal and general medecine unit of the Hospital Center of French Polynesia, where he manages ciguatera-affected patients. Dr Oehler is the medical consultant of

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