Welcome to the OMTAB website!
Marine Optics, Remote sensing and Biogeochemical Applications

Current research activities

The OMTAB group’s research seeks to address the role of the ocean in global biogeochemical cycles, carbon cycle in particular, with marine optics as a primary observational tool.

Our activities cover three major topics that are closely interconnected and feed one another:

Radiative transfer, fundamental optics and algorithm developments with an aim of improving the biogeochemical interpretation of satellite and in situ optical measurements, both in the coastal and open-ocean environments

Merging of satellite and in-situ (shipborne, autonomous platforms) observations in order to develop a large-scale (global and regional) tridimensional view of key biogeochemical variables (phytoplankton biomass and composition, carbonate system, nutrients) and fluxes (carbon production and export)

Understanding of the mechanisms underpinning biogeochemical variability over a continuum of spatial (meso- to global) and temporal (diel cycle to pluriannual) scales, from the coastal domain to the open oceans.

Study regions & observation tools

The group’s research focuses on the global ocean as well as on specific regions, including (but not limited to) the Mediterranean Sea, the Southern Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, or the subtropical gyres. It relies on the use of several observational platforms that are complementary in terms of their spatial and temporal resolution and/or coverage :

Research vessels

Ocean color satellites

Instrumented fixed mooring

profiling floats

Bio-optical gliders


A little bit of history...

In the 1970s, André Morel and Louis Prieur started to conduct research in the field of optical oceanography in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France. Annick Bricaud started her research under André Morel’s supervision in 1976 and Bernard Gentili joined the two of them in 1987. This is how the “Radiation and Ocean” group was born and, with the addition of new members over the years, further grew and became the “OMTAB” group.