PhD Student, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law
Thomas is a PhD student at the University of Ottawa, Faculty Law. His general research interests in law are at the intersection of cultural property, traditional knowledge, biotechnology, biodiversity, intellectual property ethics, and decolonization. Thomas specialized in legal anthropology and in intellectual property (University of Paris I and the University of Paris VIII).
In his thesis project, he will analyze theoretically and empirically non-governmental and non-legal instruments implemented in France and Canada to regulate the circulation of traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity. Thomas has conducted several field missions in New Caledonia, French Polynesia and French Guyana and was associated in 2010 to the draft of the bill on the protection of Indigenous intangible heritage in New Caledonia (Projet de loi du pays relative à la sauvegarde du patrimoine culturel immaterial autochtone).
In 2013, he organized several workshops in French Polynesia for the development of ethical codes. This led to the draft of three codes of ethic (one for a French research laboratory, one for the French Polynesian government, and one for an association of local Polynesians). Thomas has published several articles on the protection of traditional knowledge in France and on the relationships between researchers and Indigenous communities related to the access and use of traditional knowledge.