Originally built on the desire to explore a variety of topics in paleoceanography, the laboratory has now a broader mission: to understand how the climate system works by applying and developing marine palynology. Marine palynology is the study of terrestrial climatic indicators (pollen and microcharcoal particles) preserved in marine sediments. This approach allows the establishment of a direct correlation, without any chronological ambiguity, between the response of the different Earth’s reservoirs of the climate system (continental and marine biospheres, hydrosphere, notably the oceans, and ice dynamics) to a given climate change. To highlight this new research interest the laboratory was renamed in 2007 "Paleoclimatology and Marine Paleoenvironments".
Our research has been mainly funded by French (CNRS-INSU, ANR) and international (ERC, ESF, NERC) programs.
Current research topics
• Abrupt climate changes with particular attention to the timing and nature of vegetation response. Regions of interest: Europe including the Mediterranean basin, North America, South Africa, Peru and Gulf of Bengale.
• Glacial – Interglacial climate variability: length, amplitude and variability of interglacials, and the mechanisms of deglaciation and glacial inception.
• Climate changes and their impact on human populations in Europe and South Africa.
• Pollen morphometry.