My main research interest is to better understand the behaviour, history and evolution of critical natural systems at the local environmental and global Earth scales, including their biological components by modeling their advanced thermodynamics. Determining these thermodynamics necessitates the knowledge of experimental analogs of these systems at the submicron scale through the structure of complex interfaces between different media (e.g. biological and mineral), compositional gradients or deciphering phase assemblages in tiny experimental setups (e.g. micro-reactors). For this I systematically apply visualization of these analog microsystems by electron microscopies and spectroscopic techniques.
I am currently applying these approaches to a main research project :
Life of Hyperthermophilic Microoganisms at extreme temperatures in higly mineralized environments. Implications for geochemical cycles, for search of life limits on Earth and in other planets and for discussions about the conditions of emergence of life
In parallel, I am participating to several research projects with similar objectives and using the same scientific skills in the fields of
- High-pressure mineralogy of planetary interiors,
- Thermodynamics of biomineralization by prokaryotic microorganisms
- Environmental biomineralogy with special emphasis on hydrogen production and consumption by microorganisms,
- Medical biomineralogy with special emphasis on interactions between minerals and macro-organisms.