Tara Oceans / OCEANOMICS - State of the Art

The Tara Oceans (TO) project is approaching its 10th anniversary. Tara Oceans and OCEANOMICS consortia wrote a State of the Art which summarizes all samples, databases, results in basic and applied sciences, and the political and societal impacts of the program.

Tara Oceans was born in 2008 with an ambitious dream : to quantify and model the evolution and ecology of the largest complex ecosystem in the world: ocean plankton.


We are getting there, having already generated:

  • The largest collection of homogeneous samples and eco-morpho-genetic data from a single biome, which makes plankton today the best described planetary ecosystem in terms of organisms and genomes, viruses to animals;
  • The first referenced pan-ecosystem database established at the EBI for sustainable data sharing with the international community;
  • Pioneering technological and conceptual developments for planetary modeling based on the actual biological complexity of the ecosystem.


The consortium has already made major discoveries, resulting in 120 publications to date, including 9 in Nature and Science. Furthermore, several publications from the international community based on Tara Oceans data are emerging in high-level journals (including Science, Nature Microbiology, Current Biology etc.), and major projects (eg, Malaspina, PPas Abyss, Monaco Expeditions, GeoTraces, GOOS Global Ocean Observing System, ...) are keen to integrate our tools and concepts. There is an increasing awareness of the relevance of high-throughput biological data (omics and imaging) for the global modeling of the ocean and the Earth system.