Since Dec. 2021 Head of the Ecology Department, French Institute of Pondicherry (India)
Since 2003 Research Fellow at CNRS, affiliated to CEREGE
2001 - 02 Post-doctorate, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (MPI-BGC, Jena, Germany). Resp. S.P. Harrison and Colin I. Prentice.
1997 - 00 PhD - University of Aix-Marseille III, Attached to the French Institute of Pondicherry (India) for 3 years. Subject : "Pollen signal and monsoon climate of South India". Resp. R. Bonnefille
1996 - 97 DEA " Geosciences of the environment ". University of Aix-Marseille III. Subject : "Contribution of the phytolith analysis to reconstructing paleoenvironment of Aramis site, Middle Awash, Ethiopia". Resp. J-D. meunier and R. Bonnefille
Phytoliths are microparticles of biogenic silica (SiO2, nH2O) produced by plants from dissolved silicon absorbed by their roots.
They are particularly abundant and diversified in grasses, especially cereals, where they participate in the maintenance of plant cells, in the protection against fungal attacks, herbivores and phytophagous insects, as well as in the reduction of the toxic effects of heavy metals.
Phytoliths also seem to play a role in plants subjected to environmental stresses such as drought. They are generally well preserved in present-day soils, and in sediments and paleosols even tens of millions of years old.
|Visit the International phytolith Society website: https://phytoliths.org/|
Olduvai Gorge (Crater Highlands, North Tanzania)
Several hominins were discovered in the 1950s by M. and L. Leakey in this gorge through which the Olduvai River flows.
I have been working there since 2009 with the team of Manuel Dominguez-Rodrigo (Univ. Complutense, Madrid) and the members of the TOPPP project.
Hector Arraiz (Univ. Complutense, Madrid) did his PhD thesis on phytoliths and starch grains from the BK, FLK West and Zinj Complex sites.
Our work has enabled us to characterize the Pleistocene paleoenvironment (between 1.9-1.3 million years ago), particularly the vegetation, using the study of phytolith assemblages preserved in the sediments.
Fossil sites studied in Olduvai: DK, FLK N, FLK Zinj and the Zinj complex (FLK, DS, AMK, PTK), BK, and FLK West.
|Potential modern analogue sites surveyed in the Olduvai area: Forests and open forests associated with freshwater springs in Lake Manyara and Lake Eyasi (photo), swamps in the Mbulu Highlands area, and Laetoli.|