Director IPANEMA European Ancient materials synchrotron research platform, CNRS, MCC, UVSQ, USR 3461
Université Paris-Saclay, site du synchrotron SOLEIL
F-91192 Gif-sur-Yvette, France


With a background in physico-chemistry, I have been dedicating my research since 1999 to the study of ancient and historical materials from archaeology, cultural heritage, palaeo-environments and palaeontology by working at C2RMF (Paris), at the University of Cambridge (UK), and at the SOLEIL synchrotron (Saclay). I am director of the IPANEMA European research platform on ancient materials since 2010, that I have initiated and that was inaugurated in 2013. Since 2015, I coordinate, with I. Pallot-Frossard, the participation of France to the European Research Infrastructure on Heritage Science (E-RIHS).

IPANEMA is a CNRS / French Ministry of Culture / University of Versailles laboratory hosted at SOLEIL, that partners with the National Museum of Natural History. The laboratory is supported by the European Commission and international partners, including the Smithsonian Institution of the USA and the Dutch research funding agency NWO.

My personal research is centered on the study of properties of ancient materials through their full-field and raster-scanning microimaging, by developing methodological approaches based on infrared, UV-visible and X-ray synchrotron radiation. I am particularly interested in developments leading to a more accurate information on the long-term ageing processes and exceptional preservation of biological remnants and materials from archaeological settings studied at microscale (micro-taphonomy), manufacturing techniques used in the past, and the provenance of raw materials used to produce archaeological artefacts.

Main research interests

Physico-chemical properties of ancient materials
Photon-based imaging and microspectroscopy of ancient materials, particularly through synchrotron X-ray, UV/visible and infrared spectroscopy
Long-term alteration and exceptional preservation of biological remnants in archaeological and palaeontological settings (textiles, hair, soft and hard tissues)
Advanced study of artists' materials (pigments, varnishes)