Thomas Burelli holds a Ph.D in Law from the University of Ottawa (2019), an LL.M in Law from the University of Ottawa (2008), an MA in anthropology of law from the University of Paris I (2009) and a Master's of Industrial Property from the University of Paris 8 (2012).
Thomas Burelli completed his Ph.D under the supervision of Professor Sophie Thériault. This title of his thesis is : "Ni vues, ni connues : Étude des contributions des acteurs des milieux autochtones et universitaires pour l'encadrement de la circulation des savoirs traditionnels au Canada".
Thomas Burelli was invited to work in the field of ethics of research involving Aboriginal Peoples by his mentor Régis Lafargue in 2008, judge at the Court of Appeal Noumea (New Caledonia). Under his supervision, Thomas assisted with the review and drafting various versions of the draft law of the country on safeguarding intangible heritage of indigenous New Caledonia.
As part of his research, Thomas Burelli has carried out several missions in French overseas territories (French Guyana, French Polynesia and New Caledonia). He has contributed alongside the Fondation France libertés – Danielle Mitterrand to reveal several cases of biopiracy (notably those involving Faux Tabac and Quassia Amara). With Tamatoa Bambridge (researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research – CNRS), he also drafted the first French ethical code for research involving indigenous and local populations.