Centre for the synthesis
and analysis of biodiversity

A centre created and developed by the FRB


November 2018

Alison Specht, Director

Baptiste Laporte, Chargé de mission Développement du système d'information du CESAB

Magali Grana, Chargée de gestion administrative et d'aide au pilotage


Thankyou to Eric Garnier, the inaugural director of CESAB between 2010-2015, Claire Salomon the associate director between 2010-2017, and Bruno Fady a CESAB visiting researcher between 2012 and 2013.


Alison Specht (BScHons, PhD UQ) is an environmental scientist with broad expertise in research, teaching, and community engagement. After some years as a tutor and research officer at the University of Queensland, she was a research and teaching academic at Southern Cross University in northern New South Wales for more than twenty years. She has published many reports, scientific papers and book chapters on the biodiversity, function and monitoring of ecosystems, particularly groundwater-dependent, rainforest and coastal communities. She is the co-author of two books on Australian vegetation. Her major interests are the links between site quality, productivity and biodiversity, and enhancing engagement between science, policy and management to improve environmental outcomes. 

From 2009 to 2014 she was the director of the Australian Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (www.aceas.org.au), a facility of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (www.tern.org.au), based at the University of Queensland. She has been a member of the DataONE (www.dataone.org) Usability and Assessment Working Group since its inception in 2010, and has interests and expertise in data management and the preservation of archival data. She initiated the formation of the International Synthesis Consortium (www.synthesis-consortium.org), whose mission is to increase the effectiveness and recognition of the value of synthesis centres. On 1 September 2015 she took up the position of Director of the CEntre for the Synthesis and Analysis of Biodiversity (CESAB) of the FRB.


Informatics Manager


Baptiste Laporte is in charge of the development of information systems at CESAB. Situated at the Centre in Aix-en-Provence, he works in collaboration with the working groups funded under CESAB calls for projects. His areas of expertise cover the fields of statistics and computing, including relational databases and websites. It is based on an applied training in computer science and statistics (professional master in Mathematics and Computer Science of New Technologies). On the occasion of his first experience as a bioinformatics engineering engineer at the CNRS, he contributed to the establishment of a database on the development program of chordate organisms involving important aspects. proteomics. A second professional experience in the industrial world as a computer engineer in charge of the development of databases and sites and web interfaces for a national company has allowed him to acquire strict methods of applying his knowledge, that he puts into practice in his functions at CESAB.


magaliAdministrative officer

Magali Grana studied at the Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme (MMSH) in Aix-en-Provence and received a Master's degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology as well as a Master's in Sciences and Technics of the Mediterranean cultural heritage. She started her carreer as a cultural mediator at the Museum of African, Oceanian, and American Indian Museum in Marseille, and at the Old Marseille Museum. For about six years she has acquired administrative experience as an administrative and logistic assistant in a non-profit organisation for social actions in Marseille. She joined CESAB's team in October 2011. Her main tasks here are to: 1) welcome the researchers during their work sessions at CESAB and coordinate the logistics associated with their visits, 2) perform the follow-up of CESAB's call for research proposals, and 3) manage the daily operation of the centre. 


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