CERC - Canada Research Chair in Remote Sensing of Canada’s New Arctic Frontier


Marcel Babin

Chairholder CERC in Remote Sensing of Canada's New Arctic Frontier

Contact information:
Université Laval,
Takuvik Joint Laboratory,
Pavillon Alexandre-Vachon
1045, avenue de la Médecine, local 2064,
Quebec city, (Quebec) G1V 0A6 Canada

Phone : 418-656-2205
Fax : 418-656-2339
Email :

Postdoctoral training marine optics & remote sensing (1992-1996)

Ph.D. Biology (1988-1991)
Université Laval, Canada

M.Sc. Environment Sciences (1986-1987)
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Canada

B.Sc. Biology (1983-1986)
Université du Québec à Rimouski, Canada

Research Experience :
Directeur de Recherche at, and Director (2011 – present)
Unité Mixte Internationale Takuvik (UMI 3376), Université Laval, Québec, Canada

Directeur de Recherche at, and Director (2011 – present)
Unité Mixte Internationale Takuvik (UMI 3376), Université Laval, Québec, Canada

Chairholder (2010 – present)
Canada Excellence Research Chair on "Remote Sensing of Canada's Arctic"
Université Laval, Québec, Canada

Visiting Professor (2009 – 2010)
Biology Dept., Université Laval, Canada

Visiting Professor (2008 – 2009)

Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences Dept., McGill University, Canada

Directeur de Recherche, senior scientist (2005 – 2010)
Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche, CNRS & Univ. Pierre et Marie Curie, France

Scientific Expert (2002 – present)
ACRI-ST, Engineering company

Visiting Scientist (2000 – 2001)
Marine Physical Laboratory, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, CA, USA

Chargé de Recherche de 1ère classe, junior scientist (1998 – 2005)
Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche, CNRS & Univ. Pierre et Marie Curie, France

Research Scientist (1996 – 1997) ACRI-ST, Engineering company

Research Interests :
I am an oceanographer with a strong expertise on light propagation and light-matter interactions in the ocean. My research activities cover the study of fundamental lightdriven processes in the ocean (e.g. photosynthesis, photo-oxidation), the optical characterization of various substances found in seawater, the description and understanding of the variations in ocean biomass production, the monitoring of light driven carbon fluxes and biomass production from space using ocean colour remote sensing, the development of the related remote sensing algorithms, and the modelling of light-driven processes in the ocean and ecosystem interactions. My research is achieved in the laboratory, in the field and using remote sensing technologies. Part of it is also based on theoretical calculations and modelling. While remote sensing and the related technical developments are central in my research program, my scientific objectives are motivated by fundamental questions on the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems.

Refereed Publications:

Fichot, C.G., K. Kaiser, S.B. Hooker, R.M.W. Amon, M. Babin, S. Bélanger, S.A. Walker, R. Benner 2012. Pan-Arctic distributions of continental runoff in the Arctic Ocean. Nature Scientific Reports (accepted 5 December 2012)

Forest A., M. Babin, S. Bélanger, L. Stemmann, M., Picheral, M. Sampei, L. Fortier, Y. Gratton, E. Devred, J. Sahlin, D. Doxaran, F. Joux, E. Ortega-Retuerta, W.H. Jeffrey, J. Martin, B. Gasser, J.C. Miquel, 2012. Ecosystem function and particle flux dynamics across the Mackenzie Shelf (Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean): an integrative analysis of spatial variability and biophysical forcings, Biogeosciences Discussion, doi:10.5194/bgd-9-10883-2012.

Ortega-Retuerta, E., W. H. Jeffrey, M. Babin, S. Bélanger, R. Benner, D. Marie, A. Matsuoka, P. Raimbault, and F. Joux. in press. Carbon fluxes in the Canadian Arctic: patterns and drivers of bacterial abundance, production and respiration on the Beaufort Sea margin. Biogeosciences Discuss. 9: 6015-6050.

Xie, H., S. Bélanger, G. Song, R. Benner, A. Taalba, M. Blais, J.-É. Tremblay, and M. Babin. 2012. Photoproduction of ammonium in the southeastern Beaufort Sea and its biogeochemical implications. Biogeosciences 9: 3047-3061.

Simis, S. G. H., Y. Huot, M. Babin, J. Seppälä, and L. Mersamaa. 2012. Optimization of variable fluorescence measurements of phytoplankton communities with cyanobacteria. Photosynthesis Research 112: 13-30.

Matsuoka, A., A. Bricaud, R. Benner, J. Para, R. Sempéré, L. Prieur, S. Bélanger, and M. Babin. 2012. Tracing the transport of colored dissolved organic matter in water masses of the Southern Beaufort Sea: relationship with hydrographic characteristics. Biogeosciences 9: 925-940.

Doxaran, D., J. Ehn, S. Bélanger, S. Hooker, and M. Babin. 2012. Optical characterisation of suspended particles in the Mackenzie River plume (Canadian Arctic Ocean) and implications for ocean colour remote sensing. Biogeosciences 9: 3213-3229.

Babin, M., D. Stramski, R.A. Reynolds, V.M. Wright, E. Leymarie. 2012. Determination of the volume scattering function of natural water samples.  Appl Optics 51(17), 3853-3873.

Forest A., L. Stemmann, M. Picheral, L. Burdorf, D. Robert, L. Fortier, M. Babin, 2012. Size distribution of particles and zooplankton across the shelf-basin system in southeast Beaufort Sea: combined results from an Underwater Vision Profiler and vertical net tows, Biogeosciences. 9: 1301-1320.

Matsuoka, A., V. Hill, Y. Huot, M. Babin, and A. Bricaud. 2011. Seasonal variability in the light absorption coefficient of phytoplankton, non-algal particles, and colored dissolved organic matter in western Arctic waters: parameterization of the individual components of absorption for ocean color applications. Journal of Geophysical Research 8, 11003–11040.

Lefouest, V., C. Postlethwaite, M. A. Morales Maqueda, S. Bélanger, and M. Babin. 2011. On the role of tides and strong wind events in promoting summer primary production in the Barents Sea. Continental Shelf Research 31: 1869-1879.

Durrieu de Madron, X., C. Guieu, R. Sempéré, P. Conan, D. Cossa, F. D’Ortenzio, C. Estournel, F. Gazeau, C. Rabouille, L. Stemmann, S. Bonnet, F. Diaz, P. Koubbi, O. Radakovitch, M. Babin, and others. 2011. Marine ecosystems’ responses to climatic and anthropogenic forcings in the Mediterranean. Progress in Oceanography 91: 97-166.

Doron, M., S. Bélanger, D. Doxaran, and M. Babin. 2011. Spectral variations in the near-infrared ocean reflectance. Remote Sensing of Environment 115: 1617-1631.

Doron, M., M. Babin, O. Hembise, A. Mangin, and P. Garnesson. 2011. Ocean transparency from space: validation of algorithms estimating Secchi depth using MERIS, MODIS and SeaWiFS data. Remote Sensing of Environment 115: 2986-3001.

Leymarie, E., D. Doxaran, and M. Babin. 2010. Uncertainties associated to measurements of inherent optical properties in natural waters. Applied Optics 49: 5415-5436.

Huot, Y., and M. Babin. 2010. Overview of fluorescence protocols: Theory, basic concepts, and practice. Developments inAplied Phycology 4.

Bricaud, A., M. Babin, H. Claustre, J. Ras, and F. Tièche. 2010. Light absorption properties and absorption budget of Southeast Pacific waters. Journal of Geophysical Research 115, C08009, doi:10.1029/2009JC005517.

Doxaran, D., K. Ruddick, D. Mckee, B. Gentili, D. Taillez, M. Chami, and M. Babin. 2009. Spectral variations of light scattering by marine particles in coastal waters, from visible to near infrared. Limnology and Oceanography 54: 1257–1271.

Doxaran, D., J.-M. Froidefond, P. Castaing, and M. Babin. 2009. Dynamics of the turbidity maximum zone in a macrotidal estuary (the Gironde, France): Observations from field and MODIS satellite data. Esturaine, Coastal and Shelf Science 81: 321-332.

Uitz, J., Y. Huot, F. Bruyant, M. Babin, and H. Claustre. 2008. Relating phytoplankton photophysiological properties to community structure on large scale. Limnology and Oceanography 53: 614-630.

Stramski, D., R. A. Reynolds, M. Babin, S. Kaczmarek, M. R. Lewis, R. Röttgers, A. Sciandra, M. S. Twardowski, and H. Claustre. 2008. Stramski, D., Reynolds, R. A., Babin, M., Kaczmarek, S., Lewis, M. R., Röttgers, R., Sciandra, A., Stramska, M., Twardowski, M.S. and H. Claustre (2007). Relationships between the surface concentration of particulate organic carbon and optical properties in the eastern South Pacific and eastern Atlantic Oceans. Biogeosciences Discussions, 4, 3453-3530. Biogeosciences 5: 171-201.

Bélanger, S., M. Babin, and P. Larouche. 2008. An empirical ocean color algorithm for estimating the contribution of Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter to total light absorption in optically complex waters. Journal of Geophysical Research 113: C04027.

Stramski, D., M. Babin, and S. B. Wozniak. 2007. Variations in the optical properties of terrigenous mineral-rich particulate matter suspended in seawater. Limnology and Oceanography 52: 2418-2433.

Prasil, O., D. J. Suggett, J. J. Cullen, M. Babin, and Govindjee. 2007. Aquafluo 2007: chlorophyll fluorescence in aquatic sciences, an international conference held in Nove´ Hrady. Photosynthesis Research 95: 111-115.

Oubelkheir, K., H. Claustre, A. Bricaud, and M. Babin. 2007. Partitioning total spectral absorption in phytoplankton and colored detrital material contributions. Limnology and Oceanography Methods 5: 384-395.

Morel, A., B. Gentili, H. Claustre, M. Babin, A. Bricaud, J. Ras, and F. Tièche. 2007. Optical properties of the "clearest" natural waters". Limnology and Oceanography 52: 217-229.

Matsuoka, A., Y. Huot, K. Shimada, S. I. Saitoh, and M. Babin. 2007. Bio-optical characteristics of the western Arctic Ocean: implications for ocean color algorithms. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing 33: 503-518.

Huot, Y., M. Babin, F. Bruyant, C. Grob, M. S. Twardowski, and H. Claustre. 2007. Does chlorophyll a provide the best index of phytoplankton biomass for primary productivity studies? Biogeosciences 4: 853-868.

Doxaran, D., E. Leymarie, and M. Babin. 2007. Near-infrared light scattering by particles in coastal waters. Optics Express 15: 12834-12849.

Doron, M., M. Babin, A. Mangin, and O. Fanton D'andon. 2007. Estimation of light penetration, and horizontal and vertical visibility in oceanic and coastal waters from surface reflectance. Journal of Geophysical Research 112: C06003, doi: 06010.01029/02006JC004007.

Bélanger, S., J. Ehn, and M. Babin. 2007. Impact of sea ice on the retrieval of water-leaving reflectance, chlorophyll a concentration and inherent optical properties from satellite Ocean Color data. Remote Sensing of Environment 111: 51-68.

Bélanger, S., H. Xie, N. Krotkov, P. Larouche, W. F. Vincent, and M. Babin. 2006. Enhancement of photomineralization of terrigenous dissolved organic matter in arctic coastal waters from 1979 to 2003: Implications of climate change. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 20: GB4005, doi:4010.1029/2006GB002708.

Oubelkheir, K., H. Claustre, M. Babin, and A. Sciandra. 2005. The comparative bio-optical and biogeochemical properties of contrasted trophic regimes. Limnology and Oceanography 50: 1795-1809.

Claustre, H., M. Babin, D. Merien, J. Ras, L. Prieur, S. Dallot, O. Prasil, H. Dousova, and T. Moutin. 2005. Towards a taxon-specific parameterization of bio-optical models of primary production a case study in the North Atlantic. Journal of Geophysical Research 110.

Bruyant, F., M. Babin, B. Genty, O. Prasil, M. J. Behrenfeld, H. Claustre, A. Bricaud, J. Holtzendorff, M. Koblizek, L. Garczarek, and F. Partensky. 2005. Diel variations in the photosynthetic parameters of Prochlorococcus strain PCC 9511: combined effects of light and cell cycle. Limnology and Oceanography 50: 850-863.

Behrenfeld, M. J., O. Prasil, M. Babin, and F. Bruyant. 2004. In search of a physiological basis for covariations in light-limited and light-saturated photosynthesis. Journal of Phycology 40: 4-25.

Babin, M., and D. Stramski. 2004. Variations in the mass-specific absoprtion coefficient of mineral particles suspended in water. Limnology and Oceanography 49: 756-767.

Ferrari, G. M., G. Bo, and M. Babin. 2003. Geo-chemical and optical characterization of suspended matter in European coastal waters. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 57: 17-24.

Babin, M., D. Stramski, G. M. Ferrari, H. Claustre, A. Bricaud, G. Obolensky, and N. Hoepffner. 2003. Variations in the light absorption coefficients of phytoplankton, non-algal particles, and dissolved organic matter in coastal waters around Europe. Journal of Geophysical Research 108: 3211 3210.1029/2001JC000882.

Babin, M., A. Morel, V. Fournier-Sicre, F. Fell, and D. Stramski. 2003. Light scattering properties of marine particles in coastal and oceanic waters as related to the particle mass concentration. Limnology and Oceanography 48: 843-859.

Maritorena, S., C. Payri, M. Babin, H. Claustre, L. Bonnafous, and A. Morel. 2002. Photoacclimation in Pocillopora verrucosa zooxanthellae: comparison with a pelagic algal community. Oceanologica Acta 25: 125-134.

Claustre, H., A. Morel, S. B. Hooker, M. Babin, D. Antoine, K. Oubelkheir, A. Bricaud, K. Leblanc, B. Quéguiner, and S. Maritorena. 2002. Is desert dust making oligotrophic waters greener? Geophysical Research Letters 29: 10.1029/2001GL014056.

Claustre, H., A. Bricaud, M. Babin, F. Bruyant, L. Guillou, F. Le Gall, and F. Partensky. 2002. Diel variations in Prochlorococcus optical properties. Limnology and Oceanography 47.

Babin, M., and D. Stramski. 2002. Light absorption by aquatic particles in the near-infrared spectral region. Limnology and Oceanography 47: 911-915.

Loisel, H., D. Stramski, B. G. Mitchell, F. Fell, V. Fournier-Sicre, B. Lemasle, and M. Babin. 2001. Comparison of the ocean inherent optical properties obtained from measurements and inverse modeling. Applied Optics 36: 769-777.

Garczarek, L., F. Partensky, H. Irlbacher, J. Holtzendorff, M. Babin, I. Mary, J.-C. Thomas, and W. R. Hess. 2001. Differential expression of antenna and core genes in Prochlorococcus PCC 9511 (Oxyphotobacteria) grown under a modulated light-dark cycle. Environmental Microbiology 3: 168-175.

Bruyant, F., M. Babin, A. Sciandra, D. Marie, B. Genty, H. Claustre, J. Blanchot, A. Bricaud, R. Rippka, F. Boulben, F. Louis, and F. Partensky. 2001. An axenic cyclostat of Prochlorococcus PCC 9511 with a simulator of natural light regimes. Journal of Aplied Phycology 13.

Tassan, S., G. M. Ferrari, A. Bricaud, and M. Babin. 2000. Variability of the amplification factor of light absorption by filter-retained aquatic particles in the coastal environment. Journal of Plankton Research 22: 659-668.

Sciandra, A., L. Lazzara, H. Claustre, and M. Babin. 2000. Responses of the growth rate, pigment composition and optical properties of Cryptomonas sp. to light and nitrogen stresses. Marine Ecology Progress Series 201: 107-120.

Claustre, H., F. Fell, K. Oubelkheir, L. Prieur, A. Sciandra, B. Gentili, and M. Babin. 2000. Continuous monitoring of surface optical properties across a geostrophic front: biogeochemical inferences. Limnology and Oceanography 45: 309-321.

Claustre, H., A. Morel, M. Babin, C. Caillau, D. Marie, J.-C. Marty, and D. Vaulot. 1999. Variability in particle attenuation and stimulated fluorescence in the tropical and equatorial Pacific : scales, patterns and some biogeochemical implications. Journal of Geophysical Research 104: 3401-3422.

Bricaud, A., A. Morel, M. Babin, K. Allali, and H. Claustre. 1998. Variations of light absorption by suspended particles with chlorophyll a concentration in oceanic 'case 1) waters: Analysis and implications for bio-optical models. Journal of Geophysical Research 103: 31033-31044.

Behrenfeld, M. J., O. Prasil, Z. Kolber, M. Babin, and P. G. Falkowski. 1998. Changes in electron turnover rates protect photosynthesis from photoinhibition. Photosynthesis Research 58: 259-268.

Nieke, B., R. Reuter, R. Heuermann, H. Wang, M. Babin, and J.-C. Therriault. 1997. Ight absorption and fluorescence properties of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM), in the St. Lawrence Estuary (Case 2 Waters). Continental Shelf Research 17.

Morel, A., D. Antoine, M. Babin, and Y. Dandonneau. 1996. Measured and modeled primary production in the Northeast Atlantic (EUMELI JGOFS program): The impact of natural variations in photosynthetic parameters on model predictive skill. Deep-Sea Research Part I 43: 1273-1304.

Babin, M., A. Morel, and B. Gentili. 1996. Consequences of natural variations in the optical characteristics of phytoplankton and the quantum yield of chlorophyll a fluorescence. International Journal of Remote Sensing 17: 2417-2448.

Babin, M., A. Morel, H. Claustre, A. Bricaud, Z. Kolber, and P. G. Falkowski. 1996. Nitrogen- and irradiance-dependent variations of the maximum quantum yield of carbon fixation in eutrophic, mesotrophic and oligotrophic marine systems. Deep-Sea Research Part I 43: 1241-1272.

Bricaud, A., M. Babin, A. Morel, and H. Claustre. 1995. Variability in the chlorophyllspecific absorption coefficients of natural phytoplankton: Analysis and parameterization. Journal of Geophysical Research 100: 13321-13332.

Babin, M., J.-C. Therriault, L. Legendre, B. Nieke, R. Reuter, and A. Condal. 1995. Relationship between the maximum quantum yield of carbon fixation and the minimum quantum yield of chlorophyll a in vivo fluorescence in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Limnology and Oceanography 40: 956-968.

Allali, K., A. Bricaud, M. Babin, A. Morel, and P. Chang. 1995. A new method for measuring spectral absorption coefficients of marine particles. Limnology and Oceanography 40: 1526-1532.

Babin, M., A. Morel, and R. Gagnon. 1994. An incubator designed for extensive and sensitive measurements of phytoplankton photosynthetic parameters. Limnology and Oceanography 39: 694-702.

Babin, M., J.-C. Therriault, L. Legendre, and A. Condal. 1993. Variations in the specific absorption coefficient for natural phytoplankton assemblages: Impact on estimates of primary production. Limnology and Oceanography 38: 154-177.

Babin, M., J.-C. Therriault, and L. Legendre. 1991. Potential utilization of temperature in estimating primary production from remote sensing data in coastal and estuarine waters. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 33: 559-579.

Books (edited):

Babin, M., C. S. Roesler, and J. J. Cullen [eds.]. 2008. Real-time coastal observing systems for marine ecosystem dynamics and harmful algal blooms, 22 chapters, 807 p., Unesco Publishing.

Book Chapters :

Babin, M. 2008. Phytoplankton fluorescence : theory, current literature and in situ measurement, In M. Babin, C.S. Roesler and J.J. Cullen [eds.], Real-time coastal observing systems for marine ecosystem dynamics and harmful algal blooms, p. 237-280, Unesco Publishing.

Proceedings :

Frouin, R. J., M. Babin, and S. Sathyendranath [eds.]. 2005. Remote sensing of the coastal oceanic environment. Proceedings of the International Society for Optical Engineering, vol. 5885, 272 p.

Doron, M., M. Babin, A. Mangin, and O. Fanton D'andon. 2005. Retrieval of the penetration of light and horizontal visibility in coastal waters from ocean remote sensing data, p. 58850B. In R. J. Frouin, M. Babin and S. Sathyendranath [eds.], Remote sensing of the coastal oceanic environment. Proceedings of Spie, vol. 5885, 272 p.

Bélanger, S., J. Ehn, and M. Babin. 2005. Impact of sea ice on ocean color remote sensing, p. 588509. In R. J. Frouin, M. Babin and S. Sathyendranath [eds.], Remote sensing of the coastal oceanic environment. Proceedings of SPIE, vol. 5885, 272 p.

Other Publications :

Lee, Z., R. Arnone, M. Babin, et al. 2006. Remote sensing of inherent optical properties: Fundamentals, tests of algorithms and applications, Lee, Z.-P. (ed.), Reports of the International Ocean-Colour Coordinating Group, No. 5, IOCCG, Dartmouth, Canada.

Malone, T., A. Knap, M. Babin, et al. 2005. An implementation strategy for the coastal module of the global ocean observing system, 141 p. GOOS Report No. 148. Unesco.

Babin, M., J. J. Cullen, C. S. Roesler, P. L. Donaghay, G. J. Doucette, M. Kahru, M. R. Lewis, C. A. Scholin, M. E. Sieracki, and H. M. Sosik. 2005. New Approaches and Technologies for Observing Harmful Algal Blooms. Oceanography 18: 210-227.

Gentien, P., G. Picher, A. Cembella, P. Glibert, M. Babin, and E. Al. 2003. Global Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms - Implementation Plan, 74 p. GEOHAB Report No. 2. SCOR & IOC (Unesco).

Laws, E. A., E. Sakshaug, M. Babin, Y. Dandonneau, P. G. Falkowski, R. Geider, L. Legendre, M. Morel, M. Sondergaard, M. Takahashi, and P. L. B. Williams. 2002. Photosynthesis and primary productivity in marine ecosystems: Practical aspects and application of techniques, p. 93. JGOFS Report No. 36.

Sathyendranath, S., R. Arnone, M. Babin, et al. 2000. Remote sensing of ocean colour in coastal, and other optically-complex waters, Sathyendranath, S. (ed.), Reports of the International Ocean-Colour Coordinating Group, No. 3, IOCCG, Dartmouth, Canada.

Babin, M. et al. 2000. Coastal surveillance through observation of ocean colour, p. 233. Final Report, European Commission Contract ENV-4-CT96-0310).