Edouard Bard has the Professor Chair in Climate and Ocean Evolution at the Collège de France and his laboratory is located in Aix-en-Provence.
His various studies are at the interface of climatology, oceanography and geology. The essential objective is to understand the natural functioning of the ocean-atmosphere system on time scales ranging from a few centuries to several million years. To document these changes more fully, to date them precisely, to understand the mechanisms and to model them are important tasks within the framework of projects aimed at predicting the future evolution of the climate.
For this research, Edouard Bard uses the techniques of analytical chemistry to determine the extent and the timing of climatic variations. New quantitative methods have enabled him to reconstruct past climates using varied archives such as oceanic sediments, lake sediments, corals, stalagmites and polar ice. The guiding principle is the wish to study the same climatic phenomena, for example the glaciations, using complementary and often innovative geochemical techniques. Another characteristic of this research is the to-and-fro of information between recent and older periods. Indeed, the variations of the climate involve mechanisms with very different time-constants. It is thus necessary to have a long-term perspective in order to distinguish the respective impacts of geological, astronomical and anthropogenic forcings.
Over the last twenty years, his main contributions are related to the following topics: diffusion in the ocean of carbon dioxide radiolabelled by thermonuclear 14C measured by accelerator mass spectrometry, paleotemperature fluctuations of the surface ocean by means of isotopic proxies and biomarkers in deep-sea sediments, sea level variations by applying the uranium-thorium mass spectrometry to date ancient coral reefs, past conditions at the ocean-atmosphere interface by using 14C as a paleo-tracer, calibration of the radiocarbon dating method and use of other cosmogenic nuclides to constrain past changes of the solar activity, geomagnetic field and the carbon cycle.
Edouard Bard earned his master degree in 1985 from the geological engineering school at Nancy and his doctoral degree in 1987 from the University of Paris 11-Orsay. He conducted research in Columbia University's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory as a postdoctoral fellow in 1988 and as an Associate Research Scientist in 1989. He started teaching as a professor at the University of Aix-Marseille in 1991 and at the Collège de France since 2001. He has served the community by taking editorial duties (for Science in 2000 and 2001, for Earth and Planetary Science Letters from 2001 to 2004 and for Quaternary Science Reviews from 2004 to 2007).
He has received several international awards for his scientific work, including the 1993 Outstanding Young Scientist Award of the European Union of Geosciences, the 1997 Macelwane Medal of the American Geophysical Union, the 1997 Donath Medal of the Geological Society of America, a 2004 Mentorship Award of the Comer Science Education Foundation, the 2005 A.G. Huntsman Award for “excellence in marine science” (Canada), the 2005 Georges Lemaître Prize (Belgium) and the 2006 Gérard Mégie Grand Prize of the French Academy of Sciences and the CNRS. In 2009, he has been elected as a member of the Academy of Europe (Academia Europaea), in 2010 as a member of the French Academy of Sciences and in 2011 as a foreign member of the Royal Academy of Belgium. In 2013, he became Honorary Fellow of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) and received the Alfred Wegener Medal of the EGU and the Werner Petersen award from the Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research (GEOMAR Kiel). In 2014, he has been elected as an associate member of the US National Academy of Sciences.
Edouard Bard gave several honorary lectures: the 1997 Paul Gast Award Lecture of the Geochemical Society (7th V.M. Golschmidt Conference in Tucson), the 2001 Challenger Lecture (W. Smith meeting of the Geological Society in London), the 2006 Flint Lectures (Yale University), the 2006 Dudley Wright Lecture (University of Geneva), the 2006 Sverdrup Award Lecture of the Ocean Science section of the American Geophysical Union (Fall Meeting in San Francisco), the 2008 Wiley Lecture of the Quaternary Research Association (Royal Geographical Society, London), the 2009 Oeschger Lectures (University of Bern), a 2011 Plenary Lecture at the 21st V.M. Goldschmidt Conference in Prague and the 2012 Jaeger-Hales Lecture of the Australian National University (Canberra).
Edouard Bard has served in several national and governmental advisory panels, notably as member of the Scientific Council of the French CNRS (2001-2003), President of the Scientific Council of the French Polar Institute (IPEV) (2002-2006), Vice-President of the governmental advisory panel “Grenelle de l'Environnement” (2007), ministère de l'Ecologie, du Développement et de l'Aménagement durable, member of the Council of the Agence d'évaluation de la recherche et de l'enseignement supérieur (AERES) (2007-2011), member of the delegation of the French government for the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, member of the governmental advisory panel “Commission du Grand Emprunt National” (Aug.-Dec. 2009) and member of the Scientific Council of OPECST (French Senate & Chamber of Deputies) (2010-2013).