Eric grew up in Munich (GER), where he taught himself photography in his teenage years and spent every occasion in the water be it in pools or lakes close to the city. After college, he moved to the southern part of France, Nice, to live close to the saltwater – living on a beach – and study marine biology, biochemistry and molecular biology. His close relationship to the water as a semi-professional swimmer (AS Monaco), freediver and diver, his passion for the ocean and the amazing diversity therein, inspired him to bring his photo gear below the water surface and image the rarely perceived beauty and untamable potential of the oceans.
After his PhD (Université de Nice), Eric moved to Hawai’I (USA) to work at the Pacific Biomedical Research Center in the Kewalo Marine Laboratory. There, on the island of Oahu, he not only pursued his scientific career, but also continued his passion for watersports (freediving, surfing) and photography taking advantage of this amazing environment. This was also the period during which, together with his wife and colleagues, he founded the French-hawaiian non-profit organization Kahi Kai (“unique ocean” in Hawaiian). Kahi Kai combines photography , science and hands-on workshops to communicate marine science and raise awareness about the importance of the oceans for our health and its fragilized state.
After six years in Hawai’i, Eric moved back to Nice, got recruited by the CNRS and started his research team at the Institute for Research on Cancer and Aging in Nice (IRCAN) that is part of the Université Côte d’Azur. Although more biomedically focused than during his earlier career, his research remains inspired by the sea. In fact, Eric and his team are studying the molecular mechanisms responsible for fascinating biological features of sea anemones, such as their regenerative capacity or longevity. Since 2020, Eric is the director or the Federative Research Institute on Marine Resources from the Université Côte d’Azur and is also involved in training the next generation of marine scientists via the MSc MARRES program.
Throughout his career, the concept of marine (bio-)inspiration and its interest for studying, preserving and valorizing marine resources was one of the major driving forces. Eric was part of various scientific expeditions (ex. TARA Oceans, TARA Pacific, Va’a Motu) and his ocean-related photography has been exhibited in various places around the world and have illustrated journal covers, books, articles, websites and blogs.
Live on earth originated from the liquid environment and our future depends on it for so many reasons.