Éric Collias

  • Lecturer @ Universities Rennes 1 and Rennes 2
  • Ecological Humanities

Biography

Born in the harbour of Lorient, Brittany, I became a naturalist in 1976 when I joined the birdwatching club of my college. After two years of intense practice in the marshes and dunes of South Brittany, I turned my attention to friends, music, and traditional Breton night-time dance parties, and went back later to the natural environment through my involvement in river-cleaning youth camps.

Having failed in my second year exams in Biology at Rennes 1 University (because of a huge lack of interest in Organic Chemistry and Mathematics), I started to work in the communication industry. This period allowed me to learn the art of conversation with people involved in the economic world, to discover the anthropology of communication, actor-network theory and to get a degree in Communication Science at Rennes 2.

Involved in the coordination of the « Nature en Ville » special issue of the Penn ar Bed journal, I had the opportunity to convert this work into an admission to a Master’s degree in Applied Ecology and Social Sciences for Environmental Management at Rennes 1. I then went back to naturalist field work in the salt-marches of the Mont-Saint-Michel bay, an experience that encouraged me to become consultant in applied ecology.

Mapping wetlands, heathlands, rivers and hedgerows, was a great opportunity to meet their inhabitants and to discover the knowledges born from their practical engagement with theses environments. These encounters  have had a significant effect on me, and today I am seeking to build an art of noticing that mixes anthropology and natural history : https://humanpalud.hypotheses.org/. Since I read Gregory Bateson I have never given up my desire to grasp the « pattern which connects all the living creatures » that I continue to seek through ecosemiotics : https://ecosemiotic.hypotheses.org/.