Sophie H

France | March 2016

This experience with helped me to better understand the reality of the threat to marine life, and as a consequence to a global ecosystem, which is only a sample of the complexity of this issue.
This experience allowed me at the same time to go back to the basics, get more colours in my palette, reconnect with Nature… and to look further than I ever looked.

Some people say that scientists are boring, whatever their specialty, and especially in biology. They are supposed to behave as autistic people, living in their own world that nobody can penetrate. As a scientist in clinical research, and also as a marine and nature lover, I decided to experience working with those people and share their daily life in Mozambique. This region is home to some of Africa’s largest marine megafauna populations (especially whale sharks and manta rays).

So the aim of my 'study' was to extract the pith of those researchers living in a a remote place who study marine megafauna, and compare it to personal data of clinical research back home!

Research in marine conservation in Mozambique
Comparison with clinical research in Paris...


This observational study was performed between the 7th of February to the 19th of February 2016 in a single center: Praia de Tofo, Moçambique.

Inclusion. All the researchers present during this period were analysed. 
Most data were collected using a “camouflage method” which consists of analysing the subjects who are not aware of being observed. The following items were recorded: demography characteristics, behaviour, research methods, research materials, environment (habitat), diet, ultimate objectives.



Research in Mozambique

Clinical Research in Paris

Age (average)

23 years

40 years

Sex ratio (m:f)






Working day starts

7.15 am

8.00 am

Research vector

Research office

Research campus

Research area

Research subject

After work


Taking a break

Time spent outside



Time spent on data collection




       Singlet, beer, barefoot

                Suit, high heels


          Beautiful, amazing,                                 endangered, 
         exciting, sustainable

            Horrible, dramatic,                                  exhausting,
                 hurry, exciting

Impact of the research

             LONG TERM +++

             SHORT TERM ...

Beyond the understanding of the lives of the biggest fish of the ocean; beyond the analysis of the species in the estuary system, these researchers are more connected to LIFE than a human clinical researcher. They interact everyday with the nature, smell, feel, marvel, and experience this ever present gift to humans. Our oceans, and our earth are being mistreated by the humans, and such awareness is urgent for most of the scientist, above all in human science. What is the point to develop clinical research if we are cutting off the branch we are sitting on?

Thank you guys and respect!

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