Bachelors degree level


The members of the “Paleoclimates et Sedimentary Dynamics” team contribute to the Earth Sciences Degree Programme at the Université Paris Sud which provides students with a solid grounding in Geosciences while at the same time integrating the principal scientific disciplines (maths, physics and chemistry). The programme focuses on a natural science approach with a firm emphasis on experimental procedures. It recognizes the importance of practice by providing training in numerous techniques of observation, analysis and measurement used in the Geosciences.

Theoretical knowledge is relayed through field training which provides experience in the description, recognition and mapping of various geological formations. Students interested in paleoclimatology will have an opportunity to take part in scientific missions on board the Marion Dufresne (see Maxime L’s experience), the Pourquoi Pas and the Atalante, which belong to the IFREMER fleet. These missions involve sampling, analyses, geophysical measurement and also offer an opportunity to handle the various pieces of equipment used. We also propose laboratory courses to undergraduates so that they can become familiar with the principal techniques of observation, analysis and data processing used in the fields of paleoceanography and paleoclimatology.


Témoignage Maxime L.
Hydrosed, Photo : Mesurer la taille du Monde

“Fascinated by geology and paleoclimatology since my high school days, I was naturally attracted to the BSc in Earth Sciences offered by the University of Paris South. The multidisciplinary nature of the programme immediately appealed to me not only because of the great diversity of subjects dealt with in courses (sedimentology, tectonics, petrology, and lots more), but also because of the quality of the teaching provided and the constant exchanges with supervisors. Parallel with the theoretical aspects, I was also able to take part in several field studies which proved to be very enriching experiences on a personal and professional level; in particular I gained practical experience  in mapping and recognizing geological facies (in the Alps, Auvergne, Cotentin, and Corbières).

In June 2016, as part of my final BSc year in Paleooceanography, I had the amazing opportunity to take part in an international oceanographic mission off the coast of Ireland on the N/O Atalante. On board I got first-hand experience of various techniques used for analysing hydrological (CTD rosette) and chemical data, and also for sea floor sampling (marine sedimentary cores collected using a Kullenberg corer). This professional experience has encouraged me to pursue further scientific research.”

Dans le cadre de mon stage de fin de licence en Paléocéanographie, j’ai eu l’incroyable opportunité de participer à une mission océanographique d’envergure nationale en juin 2016 le long des côtes irlandaises à bord du N/O l’Atalante. A bord, j’ai été initié à différentes techniques portant sur l’analyse de données hydrologiques (CTD rosette) et chimiques, ainsi que sur l’échantillonnage des fonds marins (carottes sédimentaires marines prélevées par carottier Kullenberg). Cette expérience professionnelle m’a aujourd’hui conforté à poursuivre dans le milieu de la recherche scientifique.»



Hydrosed, Photo : Mesurer la taille du Monde

“A third year student in Earth Sciences at Orsay, I have a particular interest in climates and paleoclimates and I hope to undertake research in this field in the future. In fact, the origins and past variations of the earth’s climate absolutely fascinate me!

At the end of my second year as an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to take part in the HYDROSED oceanographic mission on board the Marion Dufresne which involved spending ten days off the coast of Taiwan. The aim of the mission was to collect sedimentary cores from ocean canyons in order to study the sedimentary dynamics that occur between Taiwan and the sea, to estimate erosion of the island, and to study geochemical tracers with a view to producing a paleooceanographical reconstruction of the region.

During the mission I discovered the field work aspect of research. In particular I participated in the coring process which is carried out in well-defined, methodical steps so as to preserve the cores. I also discovered what life is like on board a research vessel; in fact the work was pretty exhausting but it was worth it!

Being surrounded by researchers, both Masters and PhD students, I have learnt lots about the world of paleoclimatology and the various possible research themes.

This experience was really enriching both on a scientific and a human level and I have wonderful memories of my time on board. I came back from the mission a little more mature, open to others and more motivated than ever to carry out scientific research in this field!”