dessin de bateau à voile traditionnelde stephanie ledoux dans les iles de la sonde en indonesie
Logo Fondation Iris


Remise de la Bourse IRIS / Société des explorateurs Français.

Bourse Iris/Sef
Bourse Iris/Sef

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Hommage à Jean-Marie Hullot
Hommage à Jean-Marie Hullot

Hommage à Jean-Marie Hullot par Françoise Brenckmann

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Remise du prix Iris/Sef
Remise du prix Iris/Sef

Remise du prix à Régis Belleville - Kalahari, les pistes inexplorées Par Françoise Brenckmann

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Bourse Iris/Sef
Bourse Iris/Sef

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Curiosité scientifique, soif d’aller au-delà du connu, soif d’émerveillement, liberté et audace, mais également respect des sites et des peuples,…  ce sont les valeurs que la Fondation IRIS a voulu promouvoir à travers la dizaine d’expéditions soutenues depuis  9 ans. 

Les expéditions ont été historiquement le vecteur de découvertes, elle continuent d’apporter de nombreuses connaissances et récemment elles ont permis des prises de conscience écologiques. Elles nourrissent les scientifiques tout comme le grand public.  

Conscients de l’excellence de l’exploration française, passée et actuelle, conscients des besoins financiers des expéditions, la fondation IRIS, conjointement avec la Société des Explorateurs Français, lance la Bourse SEF IRIS. 

Cette bourse s’adresse aux membres de la Société des Explorateurs Français, pour une expédition orientée vers les thématiques de la biodiversité et de la  préservation des sites en apportant des  connaissances, en favorisant la diffusion des savoirs et en sensibilisant le grand public à ces sujets.

The documentary "Planète Méditerranée" , supported by the IRIS Foundation , traces the underwater epic of 4 divers in the Mediterranean sea with Laurent Ballesta, head of expeditions. They lived on board  a yellow capsule of 5 square meters for a month, in July 2019 from which they left every day, in order to explore by diving between 60 and 120 meters deep the sites still preserved between Marseille and Monaco. A sublime beauty bath not to be missed!


Unknown biodiversity ...    

On the frontiers of life !



"Further to the first expedition supported by the Iris Foundation  on the Dallol site in 2016, very interesting scientific results were obtained by the  research team  led by Purificación López-García and David Moreira:  


- The discovery of life in these polyextreme, hyper acid, hyper basic and hyper saline sites near Dallol, by metagenomics analyses

- The discovery of a new group of archaea (unicellular organisms, different from bacteria) which have an interesting phylogenetic position (Baker et al. In prep).  


See Articles in

  Nature Ecology and Evolution  


Frontiers in Earth Science

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February  2020  

7th Continent Expedition: Let's tackle everything!



"I first learned that the 7th continent of plastic waste does not exist as we imagine" Find here the entire short film directed by Sophie Lemoine, cook aboard the schooner "7th Continent" during the last scientific expedition in October 2019.



February 2019

Shipping to  Gabonese forest

The  Iris Foundation  participated in  shooting of some scenes of the future film  by Luc Marescot entitled "Green lung and red carpet". These shots took place  in the Gabonese equatorial forest. The main aim of this film is to disseminate as widely and as urgently as possible the message conveyed by the venerable  French botanist  Francis Hallé  in his fight for the survival of tropical forests. The  Iris Foundation  supports this project.

sur la cime des arbres au gabon,  pendant le tournage de quelques scènes du futur film  de Luc Marescot intitulé « Poumon vert et tapis rouge ». Ces prises de vue ont eu lieu  dans la forêt équatoriale gabonaise.


7th Continent Expedition

voilier 7eme continent, lutte pollution plastique, expédition scientifique, fondation Iris


Association  7th Continent Expedition  acquired in 2017 a sailboat, financed by the  Iris Foundation , which allows it to go further in its fight against plastic pollution in the seas and oceans. This sailboat is made available to scientists working on plastics and also makes it possible to increase awareness-raising operations.  

After 5 years of carrying out missions on the oceans of the planet to understand this subject, Alexandra TER HALLE points out that if we see a lot of macro waste in the oceans, they mainly come from single-use packaging intended for use. only a few minutes. It therefore makes sense and becomes urgent to mobilize all consumers and industrialists in civil society to change our consumption habits and reduce our production.

The objective of the September 2019 mission to the Mediterranean was to focus on plastic pollution invisible to the naked eye. 4 scientists and 4 sailors therefore embarked tools adapted to each size range. From tweezers for particles visible to the naked eye to the air filter for nanoparticles that can reach the atmosphere.

See here the press conference on the return of this  shipping :



West Papua Expedition



The second  "Sciences and Images" expedition of the  Iris Foundation  took place in  West Papua  between December 2016 and January 2017. Part of the Raja Ampat archipelago famous for its extraordinary marine biodiversity, it then joined Triton Bay in the south of West Papua.


Bringing together scientists and artists in an environmental watch approach, its main objective was to highlight the extraordinary biodiversity of the regions crossed and to identify the dangers that threaten it , with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of conserving this environment. extraordinary natural heritage.  

A book about this expedition  is available in bookstores.

In March 2019, the Parliament of West Papua approved  a law that makes this region the very first zone  Conservation Authority of Indonesia. This new legal framework, unique in its kind,  protects the most intact marine and terrestrial ecosystems that survive in Indonesia, promotes the development of sustainable livelihoods and recognizes the rights of indigenous peoples.



the quest for the first moments of life



The association "Aux Origines du Monde" organized from January 12 to 27, 2016 a mission on the site of  Dallol  in the Danakil depression in the northeast  from Ethiopia, considered one of the most extreme environments on Earth. Although macroscopic life appears to be absent from this site, scientists in this project hypothesize that microbial life has developed there.


Purificación López-García , research director at CNRS and attached to Paris-Sud University in Orsay, is the  scientific coordinator of the project. She was  accompanied by 8 other scientists. A photo report and a documentary were  carried out in the field by  Olivier Grunewald .


This unique place is today in the middle of mining concessions for the exploitation of potash, which can in the very short term degrade this environment. The  Iris Foundation  has helped  this scientific study, as well as its media coverage, so as to sensitize the Ethiopian authorities to the necessary protection of the site.



in the small Sunda Islands


The  Iris Foundation  organize expeditions  "Sciences and Images"  whose objective is the study of fragile sites or sites with high biodiversity in order to promote their preservation.


The first of these expeditions took place in the  Small Sunda Islands  during the summer of 2015 aboard a traditional Indonesian boat. The richness of the natural sites and the cultural diversity of this string of islands which stretch east of Bali to the borders of Timor are a subject of study in its own right, a paradise for naturalists as well as for ethnologists.


The main goal of the participants in this expedition was to highlight the various environmental issues facing these regions today.


The  logbooks of this expedition  are available.  

A book about this expedition  is also available in bookstores.



Scientific mission

"At the Center of the Earth"


This mission, led by the MAGMA EXPLORATION association, responded to the request for assistance from the Volcanological Observatory of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to relaunch research and monitoring as quickly as possible.  Nyiragongo  in the  Virunga National Park  listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.


The central objective of the mission, which took place at the end of June-beginning of July 2015, was to resume scientific research with the main goal of improving the means of forecasting eruptions in order to alert and protect local populations. . This better understanding of volcanic activity has also contributed to the promotion of localized and controlled tourism in order to increase revenues and allow regular funding for the maintenance of the National Park. This Park is indeed home to an exceptional biodiversity, in particular endemic species and rare, globally endangered species such as the mountain gorilla.