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


With a background in physico-chemistry, I have devoted my research since 1999 to the study of materials from archaeology, cultural heritage, palaeo-environment and paleontology by working at C2RMF (Paris), the University of Cambridge (UK), Laboratoire de physique des solides, the SOLEIL synchrotron facility and IPANEMA (Paris-Saclay).

I have been director of the IPANEMA European research laboratory on ancient materials since 2010. IPANEMA is a joint laboratory of the CNRS, the French Ministry of Culture, and the University of Versailles located at SOLEIL. IPANEMA is and has been supported by the European Commission, the US NSF, the Dutch research funding agency NWO, the Smithsonian Institution, etc.

I am the Scientific Director of the European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science (E-RIHS) for the preparatory phase, and I coordinate the participation of France in the infrastructure with I. Pallot-Frossard. I am the coordinator of the Key Research Sector "Matériaux anciens et Patrimoniaux" with E. Anheim and I. Rouget which includes 117 laboratories and institutions in the Île-de-France Region.

My personal research focuses on the study of the properties of ancient materials through full-field and raster-scanning microimaging, developing methodological approaches based on infrared, UV/visible and X-ray synchrotron radiation. I conduct research on the long-term aging processes and exceptional preservation of biological remains and materials of archaeological systems studied at the microscopic scale (micro-taphonomy), on manufacturing techniques used in the past, and on the origin 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, in particular by synchrotron X-ray, UV/visible and infrared spectroscopy
Long-term alteration and exceptional preservation of biological remains in archaeological and palaeontological contexts (soft and hard tissues, textiles, hair)
Advanced study of artists' materials (pigments, varnishes)