Xavier leads the Molecular Surveillance team at the Cawthron Institute and is Associate Professor at University of Auckland. Of Swiss origin, it is against all odds that he became a marine biologist with an academic background in coral reefs symbioses, diversity, ecology and evolution. His passion for the Ocean and contagious enthusiasm for marine discoveries have naturally led Xavier to conduct more than 20 years of exciting research throughout the Indo-Pacific region, including research expeditions to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (on-board NOAA Ship Hi’ialakai) and the Tuamotu Islands (on-board Tara).
Established in New Zealand since 2012, Xavier’s current research involves the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) tools to monitor biodiversity shifts from freshwater to marine coastal and pelagic ecosystems. Xavier is very passionate about public outreach and education. He is involved in Citizen Science initiatives and collaborates with NZ colleges integrating field-deployable eDNA tools into the curriculum to promote ocean literacy and innovative technologies within the central idea of Kaitiakitanga (guardianship of ocean).