Thank you so much to all the school student who voted for me as the best scientist of the week. I had a great time all week long chatting with all of you and I am looking forward for the chats next week :D Keep being curious! :)
I was born in France and I live in Dublin with my cat: Simone. I am a marine geologist, and I love everything related to the sea: ships, waves, the wind, storms, lighthouses... I play the Irish whistle in a band. I love cooking (and eating!), being outdoor, drawing, reading, and I cycle everywhere I go.
I come from a little village in Northern France along the Belgium boundary, I was born in 1988.
I like to read, to listen and play music (Irish whistle), to play board games. I have read Harry Potter a dozen of times as a kid. My most recent reading was about archeological evidences that pre-historic women were also hunters and warriors, all like men. I also like crafting and working with wood: I made my own bed myself.
I love travelling and explore the world: I think the Earth is such a beautiful planet, I would like to see every places. I like drawing the places I visit, such as a sketch of Dublin’s Bay that I have made for a friend’s birthday.
I always loved the sea and watching the Earth, and I became a marine geologist to combine both passions. I obtained my PhD in marine geology from the University of Lille (France), in 2014. Since then I have worked 5 years at the University of Birmingham (UK) and 2 years at the University College Dublin (Ireland).
My work is on plate tectonics, the motions of the continents at the surface of the Earth: I study “rifting”, the break-up of continents, that results in the opening of oceans. I work in collaboration with sailors and other scientists to go at sea with research ships to get scientific data that provide me pictures of the geology of the Earth below a little slice of the ocean seafloor. I then use these pictures to reconstruct and analyse the geology of the area in 3 dimensions, that helps me to understand how it has been formed. The big picture of my work is to understand how continents separate and move appart from each other, such as the European/African continents and the North/South American continents that have been separated from each other when the Atlantic Ocean opened.
Since 2010 I have embarked on 5 different ships for 8 expeditions in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Atlantic Ocean, in the English Channel and in the Pacific Ocean, south of Japan.
My Typical Day
I have a French breakfast, and start working at 9 am, where I work on the analysis of the data collected at sea. I sometimes give a call to colleagues for a coffee at 11am, and we chat about work. Then I get lunch and in the afternoon I often read scientific documents or write articles to publish my work in scientific journals. My work day often ends at 6-7pm.
My work tasks vary from one day to another and I need to be organised.
Most of the time I work in my office with my colleagues (or from home), and I work on a computer workstation. My tasks include: working and analysing my data, read scientific work published by other scientists, write my article to publish my results, or write work reports or funding proposal to obtain money to do my research. As many scientists I also communicate on my work to the other scientists during conferences: a famous scientific conference occurs every year in Vienna (Austria), I have been to this conference 3 years in a row.
I also do public engagement to communicate on my work with a public of non scientists.
Most scientists also go on the field to obtain their data: to do so I either go on a ship at sea, or on field work on land, often along the coasts. On average, I go on the field 2 months per year, often overseas.
What I'd do with the prize money
If I win the prize money, I would like to buy material to show in 3D the pictures of the geology below the oceans that I reconstruct for my work. I would like to print them in 3D, and to show them on a big screen in 3D. I also would like to show more about the research ships I use and the life at sea, by building virtual visits of the ships and to show some accessories we use onboard (for example a life jacket).
University of Lille, France, 2014
University of Birmingham (UK) and University College Dublin (Ireland)
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Marine geologist playing Irish whistle
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes, because I was laughing a bit too loudly in classrooms (sometimes)
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Sushis (miam miam! :p )
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Hiking on an ice sheet at the summit of the French Alps.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1) Speak every langage, 2) Know how to fly, 3) Get a sunny weather when I will visit the west coast of Ireland
Tell us a joke.
What does say a geologist who made a mistake? It is not my fault!