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sapiens sapiens


Martin Colognoli

Photographer of Water / Marine Biologist

Art, Science & Commitment

Who am I ?

I'm a photographer and marine biologist (founder of the NGO Coral Guardian) with a profile combining art and science. I work with institutions and companies on pioneering projects to raise awareness of the need to preserve aquatic biodiversity.

After working for more than 15 years on coral and the preservation of coral reefs, I decided to limit my travels around the world. I now offer my services all over the world, and all from France. 

I work on both small and large-scale projects, independently or as part of a team. I'm passionate about aquatic environments, marine biology and photography, and like to mix and match them through the medium of photography. I believe that combining science and art is a powerful tool for raising awareness, and photography is one way of achieving this.

For me, coral is both a miracle of life and an emblem of the protection of biodiversity. As for water, it connects the world. It is essential to life and its resource (fresh water) is under threat.

But above all, I am one more human being. A human being who wants to live in the world in closer collaboration with the rest of the living world.

What if I can help you to carry out large (or small) innovative projects? Bring you my knowledge and my photographic creations? Then don't hesitate to contact me.


Humanity has already begun to reap what it has sown, and our world is now facing an unprecedented crisis. The collapse of biodiversity and climate change are having repercussions for all forms of life on Earth. Sensitive to the observations of the global scientific community on the critical state of planetary evolution, I am seeking to provide solutions and give a utilitarian scope to my work. This subject is the very essence of what drives me today, and it's one that profoundly questions my daily life. Questioning what we want for our future seems essential to me. 



My skills are multi-disciplinary, thanks to 5 years studying hydrology, biology and marine ecology, 11 years developing and managing the Coral Guardian association (13 employees worldwide), 12 years practising documentary photography underwater and on land, 1 year studying art history at the ENSBA in Lyon and, above all, 5 years living in Indonesia with traditional fishermen who are connected to the living beings around them.

What am I not?

I'm not a communications agency.



Born on the French Mediterranean coast, I first turned my attention to the primary object of my fascination by studying hydrology, biology and marine ecology, specialising in tropical coral reefs.

My professional career began in Indonesia, as manager of a company exporting corals and other marine animals for the aquarium trade. Very enthusiastic when I arrived, I was soon disillusioned when I realised that I was participating in the pillage and legal poaching of the marine life that I cherished so much.

In spite of myself, I had contributed to the irresponsible exploitation of the marine environment and coastal populations. I realised this and decided to stop. At the end of 2010, the time had come for me to stop.

This experience made me realise that humans draw on natural resources without giving anything in return. I became determined to fight to protect what we exist for.

So in 2012, I co-founded the NGO Coral Guardian. The main idea was to protect coral ecosystems by involving the people who depend on them, in this case traditional fishermen fighting for food sovereignty.

After organising a number of missions to protect the coral reef in Indonesia with the Coral Guardian association, I'm now getting closer to the ecosystems to which I feel directly linked on a daily basis. I'm interested in freshwater resources and Mediterranean ecosystems.

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