Lectures on board

Guest lecturers, specialists in various fields related to French Polynesia and mainly the Marquesas, will give a series of lectures, to offer a more rounded understanding of the history, culture, art and archaeology of the destination. Lectures are held in our two conference rooms.




These 2 names show their belonging to a double culture. Pascal is a Fenua’s child and has got this comparison ability of people living in different latitudes. His many voyages brought him back to Polynesia, 20 years ago, in order to relearn from his roots. Through his Marquesan Origin, in 1999, he has become the General Secretary of the Cultural Association MOTU HAKA, as well as a member of several Polynesian Cultural associations and ONGs. In 2001, he created OATEA, a Society of Culture, Art, Environment and Tourism advices. Pascal has lots of activities: he created Cultural Centers, he discovered hiking trails, he has been lecturer and teacher in professional schools. Nowadays, he is a technical adviser for several governments about different subjects such as: Tourism, Nature and Culture and he is a council manager for the Marquesas World-Heritage working group.


ALEX SEARLE (Lecturer guide)

Born in Chile and raised in Argentina, Alex spent his childhood living in different parts of these countries and learning about the local cultures. He studied journalism at the University of Chile and did postgraduate studies at UBC in Vancouver, Canada and worked as a television producer. Since he was a child, his lifelong dream was to visit Easter Island, or Rapa Nui in the local language. Alex has worked for years with Lindblad Expeditions on Easter Island and also works as a guide in Chile. He is an avid diver and photographer, and his photos have contributed to books on Easter Island. His love for the cultural past and present of Rapa Nui and Polynesia, as well as his passion for wildlife and nature, make him a passionate guide.

ANNA K. PIOTROWSKA (Doctor in art history)

A graduate of Harvard and New York University, Anna is an art historian with a particular interest in the 18th century, the century of the great discoveries in the Pacific and the encounters between Oceanic and Western cultures. Of Polish origin and with dual French-Canadian citizenship, Anna has lived in Europe, the United States, the Middle East, Asia and Canada. She has taught and worked in several international academic institutions, such as the American University of Dubai, Savannah College of Art and Design in Hong Kong and McGill University in Montreal. In addition to her current research on Polynesian art, Anna is dedicated to promoting international academic cooperation with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs.


Benjamin TEIKITUTOUA called « PIRI » is 68 years old. He was born on a « MARAE » in the Valley of HAKATAO in UA POU, one of the Marquesas Islands. A retired school teacher for 13 years, he now devotes himself to the preservation of his people’s culture. He is in charge of the Cultural Association of Ua Pou and Vice-President of the Cultural Federation MOTU-HAKA of the Marquesas Islands which has revived this fascinating culture. He was also the Vice-President of the Committee that organised the Marquesan Art and Cultural Festival of Ua Pou in December 2019.


Very involved in Polynesian life, she was a sub divisionary of the town planning department from 1981 to 2016, deputy mayor of Nuku Hiva from 2003 to 2014, President of the tourism committee from 1997 to 2003, secretary of the Cultural Association Te Hina o motu Haka from 1991 to 2017, Vice-President of the Association for the Environment of Nuku Hiva, Treasurer of the Association Centre de documentation des Marquises Paevii from 1993 to 2017, Secretary of the Hiking Association of Nuku Hiva Nuku Mai in Taha and finally President of the National Order of Merit of Polynesia elected in April 2017.

Dr. AL WARDI SEMIR (PhD Polital Sciences)

Doctor of Political Science, Head of the Department of Law, Economics and Management and Lecturer in Political Science at the University of French Polynesia
– Member of the Laboratory of Insular Governance and Development, GDI (EA 4240).
– Member of the Committee of the Pacific Island Political Science Association (PIPSA), Auckland, NZ.
– Member of the Asia-Imasia Network of the CNRS
– Member of the French Association of Political Science.

Dr. CAROL IVORY (PhD, University of Washington)

Carol Ivory is an art historian (PhD, University of Washington); she retired from Washington State University in 2014, where she served as Professor of Fine Arts, Chair of the Department of Fine Arts, and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Ivory’s research focuses on the art, history, and culture of the Marquesas Islands. She has worked with cultural leaders and artists in the Marquesas for more than 25 years.

DR. CECILE GASPAR (Founder of the association Te mana o te moana, Veterinary Doctor, Doctor in Marine Ecology)

Settled in French Polynesia since 1993, Dr. Cécile Gaspar has a degree in veterinary medicine, an MBA and a PhD in marine ecology. She is a founding member of World Ocean Network, Tetiaroa Society, French Polynesian Maritime Cluster and founded in 2004 Te mana o te moana NGO.

Dr. CORINNE RAYBAUD (PhD in History & Law)

Corinne has a Ph.D in History and Law and has written around 20 books about Polynesia. She taught History/Geography in Tahiti from 1976 to 2000. Her latest research work focused on the first European explorers of the Pacific Ocean. She has given several lectures on Polynesian history and participated in two film productions for Arte, one about the mutiny on the Bounty and the other, on the Bougainville round-the-world tour.

Dr. EMILY DONALDSON (PhD in Anthropology)

She first visited the Marquesas Islands in 2001 when she was an archaeology student. The following year, she returned to conduct her own anthropological research and, by the end of the summer, she was an adopted member (tafai) of a local family. She spent 10 years running an archaeological field school and conserving the community museum in Vaitahu. She is fluent in French and speaks Marquesan.

Dr. JANE FREEMAN MOULIN (Professor of Ethnomusicology)

Jane is the author of over 50 articles and books on the performing arts in French Polynesia. As lead researcher for the UNESCO project on the territorial study of Oceanic music in the Marquesas Islands, she has recorded and documented more than 740 songs and received a special mention from the Marquesas cultural organization Motu Haka. Her award-winning international thesis, based on UNESCO fieldwork, focused on music, dance and oral poetry from the Marquesas Islands.

Dr. KATHLEEN C. RILEY (PhD in Anthropology)

Professor at Rutgers University. She has worked in the field in the Marquesas Islands, Vermont, France, Montreal and New York. Her research has focused on the relationship between linguistic ideologies and the socialization of language, linguistic change and culturally constructed social identities. Recently, she has examined how food and language are linked both materially and symbolically.

Dr. KEAO NeSMITH (PhD in Applied Linguistics)

Born and raised on the island of Kaua’i in Hawaii, Dr. NeSmith has spent a lot of time on various islands in Polynesia studying Polynesian languages and cultures. He has taught the Hawaiian language, Hawaiian studies, and the revitalization of endangered languages at various universities, such as the University of Hawaii (most of his career), the University of French Polynesia, and the University of Waikato. He conducts research on Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures and languages, travels extensively in Polynesia and abroad for his research and continues to teach.

Dr. KU KAHAKALAU (PhD in Indigenous Education)

Award-winning Hawaiian educator, singer-songwriter, storyteller, researcher and expert in Hawaiian language, history and culture. The first person in the world to earn a PhD in Indigenous Education, she has teaching degrees in Hawaiian and German, and a master’s degree in European languages and literature. An international consultant in indigenous education, she has travelled and worked extensively in Indian countries and Polynesia to revitalize indigenous languages.

Dr. MARIE NOELLE OTTINO (PhD in Prehistory, Ethnology and Anthropology)

She has participated in archaeological research and restoration work, particularly in the Marquesas Islands of Ua Pou, Ua Huka, Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa and Tahuata. Since the 1980s, she and her husband Pierre have been involved in the study of Polynesian heritage in the Marquesas Archipelago, which has extended to the discovery of the oldest sites in East Polynesia at Anapua, Ua Pou. It also led to the systematic study of valleys, such as the ceremonial complex of Tahakia-Kamuihei-Tei’ipoka and the religious site of I’ipona. She has contributed to numerous publications such as dictionaries and exhibition catalogues.

Dr. PIERRE OTTINO (PhD in Prehistoric Archaeology)

He is a researcher at the Development Research Institute. He has spent more than 15 years researching the ruins of settlements in the Marquesas Islands. His work has inspired the local population to rebuild traditional houses based on the memories of elders and his research. This in turn has revitalized traditional crafts such as woodcarving.

Dr. SIDSEL MILLERSTROM (PhD in Anthropology)

Anthropologist, University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Millerstrom will focus her lectures on the origins of migrations from Polynesia and their settlements, particularly on the early settlements and life in the Marquesas Islands. Since 1984, she has travelled extensively through the Marquesas Islands. During this time she discovered and classified a significant number of Tikis including more than 7,000 ancient petroglyphs. Prehistoric architecture, the culture of objects, and tattooing will also be the subjects of her on-board lectures.

Dr. TERRY HUNT (PhD in Anthropology)

Dean of Clark Honors College and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oregon, Dr. Hunt is an archaeologist whose research and teaching focuses on historical environmental change and life on islands in the Pacific Ocean. He has been conducting archaeological research in the Pacific Islands for more than 30 years. Dr. Hunt has published numerous scientific articles on the archaeology, prehistory and linguistics of the Pacific. In 2008, Dr. Hunt received the prestigious Medal for Research Excellence from the Council of Regents at the University of Hawaii in recognition of his ground-breaking work on Rapa Nui. In 2005, Dr. Hunt received the University of Hawaii Regents Medal for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Hunt’s research was featured in a cover story in National Geographic Magazine (July 2012) and in a full-length television documentary in Nova-National Geographic broadcast in November 2012.


Ed Rampell is a freelance writer and author based in Los Angeles. He is named after legendary CBS anchor Edward R. Murrow for his television revelations about Senator Joe McCarthy. He studied film at Hunter College in Manhattan. After graduation, Rampell lived in Tahiti, Samoa, Hawaii and Micronesia, reporting on the nuclear freedom and independence movements in the Pacific and Hawaiian sovereignty for ABC News “20/20,” Reuters, AP, Radio Australia, Radio New Zealand, NewsWeek, Honolulu Weekly and others. In 1999, Rampell moved to L.A. and contributed to “The Finger” column in New Times L.A., Variety, Written By, The Nation, L.A. Times, L.A. Daily News, Financial Times, New York Press, Guardian etc. Rampell co-authored “Conversations with W.S. Merwin” and the film histories “Made In Paradise, Hollywood’s Films of Hawaii and the South Seas,” “Pearl Harbor in the Movies” and “The Hawaii Movie and Television Book.

GERALDINE LE ROUX (PhD in Anthropology)

Co-director of the Department of Ethnology at the Université de Bretagne Occidentale (Brest, France) and Associate Researcher at James Cook University (Townsville, Australia), Géraldine Le Roux devoted her thesis in art history and anthropology to the production and international circulation of contemporary Oceanic arts. As an exhibition curator, she has contributed to the dissemination of Pacific artists in Europe. Her lectures fall within the scope of her research – museographic approaches, heritage processes, the ethics of the Aboriginal art market, Oceanian festivals, and indigenous identity claims. For the past few years, she has also been working on marine pollution and the artistic recycling of sealeaves, the subject of her next book.

GHISLAIN HOUZEL (Engineer & Geophysicist)

He worked for many years in Polynesia where he often resides. Fascinated by the history of the great maritime discoveries in the Pacific Ocean, Ghislain has written many articles on this subject; notably, he is the author of the book “Des nouvelles de monsieur de la Perouse”. In France, he is Vice-President of the Association of Friends of French Polynesia and Honorary General Secretary of the Centre for Studies on Easter Island and Polynesia. Within this framework, he leads numerous conferences in the Universities of the Third Age. The subjects of the conferences are: Historical Discovery of Polynesia and the Marquesas Islands, the mutiny of the Bounty, the shipwreck of the Matilda, the expedition LA PEROUSE, and the expedition of Entrecastaux.


Her family comes from Ra’iatea, but she grew up in Tahiti. After high school, she left for France where she studied foreign languages. She spent 10 years there before coming back to Tahiti; she taught English at Tai’arapu Senior High School for 20 years and then decided to retire from National Education to have more time for her family and research. As she’s always been deeply interested in the history of her country, in 1994 she undertook research in ethnology and history. Now a PhD in Humanities she still teaches at the University of French Polynesia and writes on the history of Tahiti.


Loïc Josse, born and living in Brittany, followed various studies at University (political sciences, history, ethnology) before doing different jobs: journalist, teacher, executive in the industry, bookseller...
In love with the sea, literature, and travelling, he is also the author of some books, gives lectures, is in charge of literary prizes… and enjoys sailing on all the oceans.
He wrote the book “Marquises, so distant Land of Men” published by Nevicata.

MAURICE BLIGH (Inventor and Historian)

Maurice travelled aboard the Aranui where he recounted the travels of his great-great-great-great-grandfather, Vice-Admiral William Bligh of the historically renowned HMS Bounty. For more than 45 years, Maurice Bligh has been researching his legendary ancestor and working to dispel the misinformation and inaccurate portrayal of William Bligh found in several novels and two films about the Bounty mutiny. Maurice reveals that William Bligh, known as “Captain Bligh”, was a man who had been a member of the Bounty family for many years. He was a British national hero who was an integral part of the navigation of the Pacific Ocean and the exploration of Tahiti.

Moearii Darius (Author)

Moearii Darius is Polynesian. A graduate of a business school, she is an executive in a large local company dedicated to air transport and tourism. His profession and his curiosity led him to travel regularly the archipelagos of the Pacific. Highly invested in Polynesian culture, Moearii has danced for more than twenty years in groups of Ori Tahiti and followed a university training (Du) on Polynesian natural, cultural and historical heritage.

OLIVIER POTE (Historian)

A graduate of the Higher school of agriculture (ESA), agroecology specialty, he became in 2006 the territorial delegate of ADIE France (Association for the right to economic initiative), then became the regional director of ADIE Polynesia in 2011. In 2015, he was Head of the Agroecology Department at the Normandy Chamber of Agriculture, a year later, he took over the management of the Foundation to Act Against Exclusion in Polynesia (FACE) and finally, in 2020, he founded the Ecomuseum «Te Fare Natura».

PAULINE REYNOLDS (Author and researcher)

Pauline Reynolds lived for many years in Tahiti and Norfolk Island before moving to Australia to continue her studies. She wrote a book: Pitcairn Tapa ‘Ahu no Hitiaurevareva on her research on tapa fabric made by her forefathers, the Polynesian women of Bounty. In 2010, she received a Churchill Scholarship to visit and study Pitcairn tapa preserved in museum collections around the world today. She is currently working on a book about the lives of the forgotten women of the Bounty. She is considered the world’s leading authority on Pitcairn tapa.

ROBERT & DENISE KOENING (Professor – Nurse)

Denise is originally from Basel, Switzerland; she worked at the hospital in Tahiti as a nurse. He was a VAT 69, i.e. a Technical Aid Volunteer, and came to Tahiti in 1969 to teach philosophy at the Protestant College of Papeete and also at the Nursing School for many years. He was President of the Society of Oceanic Studies. Denise and Robert founded a small publishing company, Haere Po which has, since 1981, published about 100 books on our islands, all printed in Tahiti itself.

SETH BYBEE (Researcher)

Seth M. Bybee is an academic researcher from Brigham Young University. The author has contributed to research in topic(s): Monophyly & Odonata. The author has an h-index of 21, co-authored 74 publication(s) receiving 1703 citation(s). Previous affiliations of Seth M. Bybee include University of Florida & University of California, Irvine.

TAHIARII PARIENTE (Independent Researcher, Sailor, Navigator & International Lecturer)

Born in Tahiti, Tahiarii’s life was influenced by his childhood between Europe and Polynesia. In 2003, Tahiarii returned to the Raromatai Islands to be close to his people and settled in Bora Bora, dividing his time between his IT activity and his cultural responsibilities. Tahiarii follows the ancient Arioi tradition by practicing and interpreting Polynesian arts, teaching the younger generations to reconnect the ancient with the contemporary. He has participated in the organization of cultural events such as the internationally renowned “Festival of Tattoonesia”. In 2007, he moved to Hawaii to pursue his research on his indigenous heritage and was accepted as a student of the highly recognized sailors such as Nainoa Thompson and Onohi Paishon. In 2009, he sailed the Te Matau a Maui canoe in the historic Tavaru Fleet expedition from New Zealand to Rarotonga via Tahiti, using non-instrumental guidance. He was a lecturer in Polynesian culture aboard the Robert C. Seamans, an American research vessel, in 2012 from Tahiti to Hawaii.


She was Deputy Director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, before moving to New Zealand in 1995.  She has maintained her museum associations while working to preserve Maori and European cultural heritage.  She has travelled extensively in the Pacific in search of the material culture of different island groups.  With her extensive experience and knowledge of the Polynesian and European history of New Zealand, the Marquesas Islands, Samoa and Niue, Ms. Andrews will explore early voyages of discovery in the Pacific and the links and associations between island cultures.  Discussions will include recent voyages in double-hulled canoes.  Traditional Marquesan art, crafts and tattooing will be featured alongside artists and writers such as Paul Gauguin, Jacques Brel and Herman Melville.  The revival of Marquesan culture and tradition will be discussed as well as the romantic appeal of French Polynesia.

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