Laurent Chauvaud – University of Copenhagen

Laurent Chauvaud

Laurent Chauvaud is director of  the Marine Observatory of the  European Institute for Marine  Studies and Research director CNRS at LEMAR, University of Brest, France.

He started his career at the University of Western Brittany with the study of semi-enclosed ecosystems functioning and scallop ecology, and monitored the impact of marine invasive species on carbon and silicon cycles. He became strongly involved in studies related with delta 18O/ water temperature calibration while he was postdoctoral researcher at the USGS (CA) focusing on the description of growth strategies in several scallop populations along a latitudinal gradient (France – Norway). In this work, he suggested that calcified benthic organisms in estuaries generate a potential CO2 supply equal in magnitude to the CO2 emissions from the world’s lakes or from planetary volcanism. Now his research interests concern the flow and processing of silicon and carbon in temperate and tropical coastal ecosystems and the validation of marine biogenic carbonates as archives of environmental change in temperate, tropical and polar ecosystems.

Today the core of his activities deals with the functioning of coastal ecosystems. He works in tropical, temperate and polar ecosystems, with special focus on benthic primary production, respiration and calcification. Part of his activities also relates to the understanding of structural (variation of growth increment width) and geochemical (variation of stable isotope ratios and elemental concentrations) proxies archived in shells of freshwater and marine mollusks in order (i) to get information on their life-history traits (growth, longevity, metabolism, reproduction), and (ii) to assess past and present variability of environmental conditions (temperature, salinity, primary production, pollutions, etc.).

Laurent was the main coordinator of the CHIVAS project, studying the shell chemistry of European scallops and funded by the French National Research Agency, which allowed calibrating several isotopic and elemental proxies gathered from bivalve mollusc shells.