Paleoenvironments record the interactions between geodynamics, climate and biologic evolution through geological time.
Paleoenvironments enable to understand the Earth system during major changes and crises.
Paleoenvironments provide analogues to foresee the destiny of our changing Earth.
With a community of international scientists from trandisciplinary backgrounds we acquire and date paleoenvironmental records in the field, develop cross-calbrated paleoenvironmental proxies and integrate them into geodynamic, paleogeographic and climate models.
Many of my research projects focus on long term global climate change to understand why the world turned from a warm greenhouse state to an icehouse state governed by ice-caps. Constraining paleoenvironments in this period with enigmatic hyperthermal events and transient ice shees to is key to understand high pCO2 climate.
In particular I look at environmental changes in relation to Asian tectonics and climate during the greenhouse-icehouse transition.
I also participate in several projects on paleoenvironment and hominid evolution mostly within the East African Rift.
On this website you will find descriptions of this research initiative including the team members, the various projects, publications, outreach activities, teaching material, a set of scientific tools and more.
Feel free to contact me if you have further questions or comments.
What is the challenge of earth and environment sciences today? Since the revolution of the plate tectonic theory, the evolution of continental surfaces has been associated with the interactions of lithospheric plates. More recently, the digital modeling revolution has shaken the tectonic paradigm by showing the importance of interactions between external processes (eg. climate, alteration, biotic changes) and internal processes (eg. geodynamics, dynamic topography). On the one hand, climate models show that changes at regional scales (monsoons, aridification ...) as well as globally (cooling, pCO2 ...) can be attributed to phenomena of internal origin by means of variations in the distribution of reliefs, seas and continents. On the other hand, geomorphological models show that these internal processes can be influenced in return by the climatic variations through the erosion of the surface of the continents. Our goal today is to test and calibrate models using multi-disciplinary methodologies that allows to differentiate and quantify the respective contributions of internal and external processes to the paleoenvironmental variations observed during regional and global changes. To do so we particularly focus on providing key records of past environmental changes that enable to constrain external climate as well as internal tectonic variations.
I believe that transdisciplinarity is the key for outstanding discoveries. The field of Earth sciences being transdisciplinary by nature is one of the most exciting. Today, this field is bringing science at the heart of the societal and economical debates defining our responsibility in preserving and sharing our planet's fragile environments and resources. My goals are therefore to better understand Earth processes by exploring the interfaces with other scientific fields and communicate the implications of these scientific discoveries to society. Hopefully this will contribute helping us live in harmony with Nature!
Countryside life in Myanmar. Photo by F. Poblete, 2016