Fontaine was not only a marine biologist, but he also had some expertise in chemistry. In order to fund his research (and to, perhaps, get wealthy), Fontaine had developed a series of chemicals and powders that repelled various abominations, such as maze dragons, channel chompers, wave shadows and others, that were found within the Great Maze. Upon Fontaine's death (see below), the Collegium retained the patents on those chemicals and continued to market them.
During one of Fontaine's research expeditions into the maze, he was killed by a band of pirates known as the Maze Rats. There has been some confusion to what exactly happened.Initially, it was reported that when the Maze Rats captured Fontaine's research vessel, they cut him off from his air supply, and when he frantically tried to surface, he was eaten by sharks that had been swarming around the Maze Rat's ship, The Typhoon.Later, it was reported by the surviving crew of Fontaine's vessel that, after the Maze Rats captured the ship, they filled the water around it with buckets of chum, driving the sharks into a frenzy, leading them to most likely attack Fontaine before he even knew what was transpiring.Very little of Fontaine's remains were recovered after the incident. Despite the fact that it was determined by eyewitness accounts of the crew and Professor Susan Franklin, as well as by The Amazing Xemo's psychokinetic amplification, that the Maze Rats were indeed responsible for the death of Fontaine, the law would not take action on the basis that Fontaine's death might not take even qualify as a murder. Because the law was either unwilling or unable to pursue justice for one of the members of the Collegium, Oswald Hardinger made a motion that the organization become more involved in defending the town from lawlessness.
Thus it was that Dr. Pierre Fontaine brought the Collegium into the middle of the conflict that simmered within Gomorra.
Later, about the time that the Kingdom Come riots occurred, Sheila Mirabella reported discovering Fontaine's boat with all of its inventions intact.