Inaugural Lecture - Prof. Jérôme Chappellaz


Event details

Date 14.02.2023
Hour 17:1518:45
Speaker Prof. Jérôme Chappellaz
Location Online
Category Inaugural lectures - Honorary Lecture
Event Language English
Date: 14 February 2023
Time: 17:15 - 18:45
Introductions by the Dean, lectures by Prof. Jérôme Chappellaz and Prof. Devis Tuia. Followed by an Apero.
Place: CO 1
Zoom link

Ferring Pharmaceuticals Margaretha Kamprad Chair Lecture: 
"From ice to water: an experimental path in deciphering greenhouse gas dynamics"

Greenhouse gases are of major concern since human beings increased their atmospheric concentration since pre-industrial times. The future climate will not only depend on possible trajectories of greenhouse gas emissions by human activities but also from natural feedbacks which could well amplify the human-driven climatic trend.
Natural feedbacks can be investigated by reconstructing the temporal evolution of greenhouse gases in relation with past natural climatic changes. For a significant part of the Quaternary era, this research relies on analyzing ice samples from polar glaciers. I will provide a glimpse of this endeavor which occupied team members and myself over the last 30 years, helping to understand why greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane or nitrous oxide evolved through time, as well as to identify which natural mechanisms may lead to amplifying effects in a future warmer world.
This research significantly relied on dedicated technological developments, notably based on optical spectroscopy. Since a decade, with my team we adapted them for applications helping to better constrain the current processes at work regarding the biogeochemistry of greenhouse gases in aquatic environments. I will shortly present these applications as well.

About the speaker
Jérôme Chappellaz is Full Professor at EPFL since November 2022, heading the “Smart Environmental Sensing in Extreme Environments - SENSE” laboratory (in Sion). He obtained his PhD in environmental sciences in 1990 at the University of Grenoble, France. He then joined the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA / GISS) in New York City as a postdoc, to work on modelling the global biogeochemical cycle of atmospheric methane. Recruited as junior researcher by the French National Center for Scientific Research – CNRS, he became Director of Research at CNRS in 2002. He led or co-led several research teams as well a French research unit (the Laboratory of Glaciology and Geophysics of the Environment – LGGE).
Jérôme Chappellaz worked for nearly three decades on ice cores drilled in Antarctica, Greenland as well as alpine glaciers, helping to decipher natural greenhouse gas dynamics, but also to constrain the temporal evolution of polar climate. Awarded with a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced grant as well as a ERC Proof of Concept grant, he notably developed methodologies to adapt optical methods for the analysis of trace gases and their stable isotopes in natural ice but also in aquatic environments. 
Between 2018 and 2022, Jérôme Chappellaz was the Executive Director of the French polar institute IPEV, the national public agency in charge of selecting and implementing research projects in polar and sub-polar regions. With this position, he represented France in several international institutions related with polar science. Being a Highly Cited researcher and a Knight of the Legion of Honour, his work has been recognized throughout the years with several national and international prizes and awards.


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