Paul-Emile Contarini


Laboratory for Research in Complex Systems


Université des Antilles (Biological Engineering)

What's your background?

I arrived in the West Indies at the age of 6 and spent 2 years in South Africa during my life where I was able to perfect my English. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree  and then went on to do a University Diploma of Technology in Biological Engineering. After obtaining this diploma I worked for almost 3 years and then I resumed my studies in Guadeloupe at the Fouillole campus in biology ecology and evolution. I am in the last year of my Master's degree in tropical marine ecology option.

What's your role at LRC?

I am currently an intern on a study project to characterize a giant bacterium of the genus Thiovolum. The goal is to extract the genome of the latter as well as to characterize the cytoplasmic content of these bacteria and to propose a model of intracellular organization in prokaryotes with gigantism.

What trend, breakthrough or discovery are you most excited about?

I have a lot of expectations about the results of my internship. Knowing that bacterial models responded to their energy deficit, which prevented them from growing, in my head is a bit like the missing link in the transition from the prokaryote to the eukaryote!

Research Interests

Despite an obvious biological success, complex life, represented by the eukaryotic cell, has evolved only once in four billion years. What underlies the origin of biological complexity and why bacterial and archaeal cells remain essentially small and simple? are among the most important, yet unanswered, questions in biology. We are interested in studying uncultured microbes with expeptional features such as extreme cell size and polyploidy. These bacterial outliers, far from the classic bacterial model systems, may hold answers to the the question of the origin of biological complexity.

  1. Contarini P-E, Dromard CR. 2021. Biosorption capacity of genus Dictyota facing organochlorine pesticide pollutions in coastal areas of the Lesser Antilles. Aquatic Botany, 169, art. no. 103346.