For the past fifteen years, my research has focused mainly on characterising the long-term (multisecular) functioning of boreal ecosystems. The boreal forest comprises one of the largest areas of forest on the planet, with more than one billion hectares that encircles the northern hemisphere from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, at the level of the Arctic Circle. It plays a fundamental role in the planet’s climatic balance, in particular by constituting the largest terrestrial reservoir of carbon, accumulated mainly in peatlands over several millennia. As a corollary, forest fires are one of the major disturbances that shape the landscapes of the boreal forest. One of the objectives of my research is to characterize the natural variability of fire disturbance regimes in the context of ongoing climate change. To investigate this, I use paleoecological tools and approaches. I am developing this research activity within the International Research Network (IRN) ‘Cold Forests’. Our consortium brings together Canadian, Russian, Scandinavian and French researchers. The IRN is also a training facility for masters and doctoral students in forest ecology and biodiversity management, providing advanced courses via the consortium.
– Deputy Director of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Montpellier