Dr. Marc-Andre Cormier

Marc-Andre Cormier
Dr. Marc-Andre Cormier
Account-Guest
marc-andre.cormier@gfz-potsdam.de

Function and Responsibilities:

Now Postdoctoral researcher at the ​Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich, Switzerland) working at extending our understanding of the roles of Photosynthesizers in the global Earth system.

Within the Climate Geology group at the Geological Institute, I am in charge of the Coccolithophore Culture Laboratory and I am investigating the imprint of carbon concentrating mechanisms in coccolithophore organic and inorganic geochemistry.

Before working at Climate Geology, I studied (BSc) Marine Biology & Biochemistry and (MSc) Geological Oceanography in Canada. Lately I also completed a doctoral thesis in the Department of Environmental Systems Science at the ETH looking at the biochemical and metabolic effects on hydrogen isotope composition of organic compounds in plants.

Following that extraordinary experience with the Plant Physiological Ecology group, I visited laboratories at the University of Oxford (UK) and the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer, France) over the last months to explore how vital effects on stable-isotope composition of organic molecules could be exploited in novel ways to track important marine biogeochemical processes.

In general, I am fascinated by the interactions and feedbacks between the biosphere, including humankind (e.g. immense aspects of plastic & fossil fuel pollution), and the geosphere at different spatial and temporal scales in marine and terrestrial environments. The development of new tools such as those involving stable isotope measurements to investigate biogeochemical processes is fundamental to my research. As such, I am also collaborating on projects at (A) the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ-Potsdam) investigating the changes in aridity and precipitation patterns at the end of the last ice age (15.000 – 10.000 years ago) across the European continent using a novel dual biomarker approach involving hydrogen isotopes and (B) the International Marine Litter Research Unit at University of Plymouth investigating the real risks of plastic pollution.

Career:

2019 - Ongoing: Postdoctoral researcher at the ​Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ( ETH Zürich, Switzerland)
2017 - Ongoing: Visiting Researcher at University of Oxford (Earth & Plant Sciences) 
  • Within the Ocean biogeochemistry group ( OceanBug), I explore how vital effects on stable-isotope composition of organic molecules could be exploited in novel ways to track important marine biogeochemical processes.

2018 - 2019: Postdoctoral Researcher at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) Potsdam within the  Organic Surface Geochemistry laboratory 

  • Within Dr Sachse's team, I studied changes in aridity and precipitation patterns at the end of the last ice age (15.000 – 10.000 years ago) across the European continent using a novel dual biomarker approach involving hydrogen isotopes.

2013 - 2017: PhD student, Research assistant at ETH Zürich (Environmental Sciences) within the Plant Physiological Ecology group

  • Thesis: Biochemical and metabolic effects on the hydrogen isotope composition of organic compounds in plants
  • My project focused on leaf wax n-alkanes and their δD values as eco-hydrological proxy. I conducted experiments under controlled conditions and in the field to understand the biochemical hydrogen isotope fractionation that occurs during the biosynthesis of plant organic compounds in plants.
2009 - 2012: MSc student, Research assistant at the Geotop Research Centre on the Dynamics of the Earth System in Montreal, Canada
  • Thesis: Multi-proxy study of paleoclimate and primary productivity in northern Baffin Bay

Education:

  • Doctorate in Environmental Science (Dr. sc. ETH), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich, Switzerland (2017)

  • PhD Program in Science & policy, Zürich-Basel Plant Science Centre, Switzerland (2017)

  • Master of Oceanography (M.Sc.), Marine Science Institute of Rimouski, University of Quebec at Rimouski, Canada (2013)

  • Bachelor of Biology (B.Sc.) - Marine biology & biochemistry, Laval University, Canada

Projects:

  • STEEPclim  - Spatiotemporal evolution of the hydrological cycle throughout the European continent during past abrupt climate changes
  • COSIWAX - Compound Specific Hydrogen Isotope Analyses of Leaf Wax n-Alkanes as a Novel Tool to Assess Plant and Ecosystem Water Relations Across new Spatial and Temporal Scales
  • TreeCarboFrom assimilates towards tree-rings - Triple isotope analysis of carbohydrates

Publications