Chantal Conand, who obtained her Msc at Marseilles in 1964 and PhD at Brest in 1988, first started to be involved with research of the WIO region when she joined the laboratory of Ecology and Marine Research (ECOMAR) of the University of La Reunion in January 1993. During her tenure as Director of ECOMAR, Prof. Conand encouraged collaborative research between France and many research laboratories in the WIO Island states notably Comoros and Madagascar.
Her literary work includes 10 books or book chapters and over 100 peer-reviewed articles and reports. Her recent contribution in the WIO regional research is in sea cucumber fisheries especially its taxonomy, distribution and conservation in Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar. In the course of her work, she has trained many scientists and improved research capacity in various countries of the region.
Her involvement with WIOMSA started after she attended the First WIOMSA Scientific Symposium held in Mombasa, Kenya in May 1997. From 1998 to 2001, she was elected WIOMSA Country Coordinator for La Reunion and from 2001 to 2004, she was member of the WIOMSA Board of Trustees. During her time as Country Coordinator and Board member, she was single-handedly responsible for significant increase of WIOMSA members from Reunion and their involvement in the Association activities as well as in other regional programmes. She has also been in the Editorial Board of WIO Journal of Marine Science since its establishment.