european researchers' night header

European Researchers' Night

On September 30th, come and meet researchers at the Eureka Gallery!

Far from the institutional framework, theuniversité Savoie Mont Blanc has chosen the unusual setting of the exhibition "Glaciers, a scientific adventure" for its first participation in the European Researchers' Night. In the form of mini-conferences and presentations of experiments, a dozen researchers will take over the Eureka Gallery (150 rue de la République, Carré Curial, in Chambéry) on Friday, September 30 from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm to share their work and their memories of scientific adventures in a captivating and convivial way.

eureka 1

On the agenda

Inauguration of the exhibition "Glaciers, a scientific adventure

From 5pm and throughout the evening, through exploration and experimentation, discover, in the company of the Eureka Gallery mediators, to what extent glaciers, these giants of ice, contribute to the understanding of our history and our environment. The official opening of the exhibition will take place at 6pm.

Mini-conferences open to all


eureka 2

Starting at 5:00 p.m. and continuing throughout the evening, the invited researchers will offer you short lectures in one of the three rooms of the Eureka Gallery. Each lecture is presented twice during the evening, and lasts 30 minutes (no prior registration required). To learn more about the content of the lectures, scroll down the program below.

Ice under the rocks: what can we learn from the study of rock glaciers?
At 5 and 7 pm, in room 1

By Xavier BODIN, geomorphologist at the EDYTEM laboratory (Environments, Dynamics and Mountain Territories)

Formed of ice mixed with rock, rock glaciers shape the mountain landscape with discrete "tongues" of rock, sometimes near hiking trails. Their movements, although slow, accelerate with global warming, which can cause destabilization and even landslides. From maps and aerial photos of the Vannoise, Xavier Bodin will make you rediscover these familiar landscapes and their movement over time.

Xavier Bodin is a geomorphologist at EDYTEM. His research focuses on slope dynamics associated with mountain permafrost, and more specifically rock glaciers, mainly in the Alps and the Andes. As a geographer ( academics), he works in a variety of disciplines, using a variety of methodological approaches, ranging from in situ measurements and observations to the quantification of phenomena using satellite data. The objective of his work is to understand how these masses of rocky debris welded together by ice, which are rock glaciers, react to the climate: we already know that warming is at the origin of their acceleration, and even, for some, of their destabilization, but what are the processes that control these evolutions, sometimes dramatic?

The landscapes of the Alps of yesterday were those of present-day Greenland. An evocative walk between glaciers and reliefs
At 5pm and 7pm, in room 3

By Pierre RENAU, mountain leader, polar guide and geomorphologist

Pierre Renau offers you a graphic but also evocative walk through the pre-Alpine and then Alpine landscapes from 310 Ma to the end of our last ice age. The forms and processes of yesterday here were the same as those there today. And nothing better describes the approach than the sentence of Elisée Reclus (geographer 1830-1905): "What is extraordinary about the mountain is that you can read the earth's movements in it".

Pierre Renau is a mountain leader, polar guide and geomorphologist. Working in collaboration with the USMB, the treks he guides in Greenland have led him to present conferences on this subject with the eye of the scientist in a magnificent setting.

Glacial archaeology in the Alps
At 5pm and 7pm, in room 2

By Eric THIRAULT and Valentin LAFONT, teacher-researcher and doctoral student at the Archéorient laboratory.

The discovery in 1991 of Ötzi, a 5,000 year old mummy in an Austrian glacier, is at the origin of a new scientific discipline, glacial archaeology. The acceleration of the melting of glaciers is releasing more and more remains revealing new knowledge. What are the research programs and the main discoveries in the Alps and particularly in Savoie?

Eric Thirault is Professor of Prehistory at the Université Lumière Lyon 2 and a member of the ArAr "Archéologie & Archéométrie" laboratory. He specializes in Neolithic technical systems and works on the exchange of goods and prehistoric mining industries. In the Alps, his current work focuses on mountain settlements according to a transchronological, ecological and systemic approach. He is particularly interested in pass crossings and has been leading an annual survey mission on glaciated passes in Savoie since 2018.

Valentin Lafont is a doctoral student in archaeology at the University of Lyon 2, associated with the Archéorient laboratory of the MOM. His research focuses on the Neolithic societies of Provence and the Alps. He studies their stone tools that were used for grinding, abrading and percussion, such as grinding stones, polishers, percussors, etc. He is also interested in the mobility of prehistoric populations and the circulation of raw materials between the 6th and 4th millennia BC.

After the melt ... birth and development of post-glacial ecosystems
At 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm, in room 1

By Jérôme POULENARD, teacher-researcher at the EDYTEM laboratory

The melting of the glaciers is an obvious loss but it is also accompanied by the birth of new terrestrial ecosystems. New soils, new microorganisms, then new plants... And as they age, changes in composition, evolutions of biodiversity, successions... It is this story of the birth of a mountain ecosystem after the melting that we will tell during the researchers' night.

Jérôme Poulenard is a professor of Soil Science at the University of Savoie-Mont Blanc and is assigned to the EDYTEM laboratory (Environment DYnamics and TErritory de la Montagne). He studies the history and functioning of soils in mountain areas. For the past ten years, he has been working on ecosystems developing on post-glacial margins in the Alps and in the Andes.

Ice covers on high mountain walls, a threatened glaciological heritage
At 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm, in room 2

By Ludovic RAVANEL, CNRS research director at the EDYTEM laboratory and member of the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix

In the Alps, small and lesser known glaciers are nestled in steep walls at high altitudes. They can be hanging glaciers when their front is steep and lets loose dangerous seracs. Often close to them or more isolated, we also find "glacial-nival covers". Studied only for a few years, they are a major condition for the practice of mountaineering and participate in the attractiveness of the landscape of the high mountains. Despite their high altitude, these masses of ice melt rapidly, making thousands of years old ice disappear, and yet they have much to teach us!

Ludovic Ravanel is Director of Research at the CNRS EDYTEM laboratory and a member of the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix. This double role allows him to understand the evolution of the high mountains from numerous missions and field work. He is in particular a specialist in rock destabilization due to permafrost warming and glaciers on high altitude steep faces. A significant part of his activities is dedicated to the popularization of science.

Tourism and recreation in a deglaciating world
At 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., in room 3

By Emmanuel SALIM, post-doctoral fellow at the University of Lausanne

Climate change is leading to changes in the high mountains that directly influence the tourist and recreational activities that take place there. How are these changes transforming these practices? What (mis)adaptations are developing? What are the influences on individual behavior? These are some of the questions that Emmanuel Salim will try to answer.

Passionate about mountain practices, Emmanuel Salim completed a master's degree and then a doctoral thesis in geography at the University of Savoie-Mont-Blanc on the theme of the evolution of glacier tourism in the face of climate change. His current work at the University of Lausanne continues this approach by questioning the influence of climate change on tourism and recreational activities and on the adaptation and mitigation strategies implemented.

The need for academic research to be environmentally virtuous
At 8 and 9 pm, in room 1

By Nicolas CHAMPOLLION, research fellow at the IGE (Institute of Environmental Geosciences)

The evolution of the climate linked to human activities will lead to profound changes in the environment and in our societies during the 21st century. Academic scientific research has made it possible to highlight these relationships between human activities and the evolution of the climate and ecosystems, but at what price? Indeed, researchers are not exempt from environmental impact in their professional activities. Thus, Nicolas Champollion will show in this presentation what can be the emissions associated with scientific activities, and how in recent years scientists are seizing these issues and act! This will be done through examples (astrophysics, polar activities) and national initiatives (Labos1point5, My Earth in 180 Minutes).

Nicolas Champollion is a research fellow in the Glaciology Department, at the Institute of Environmental Geosciences (Saint Martin d'Hères Campus). He simulates mountain glaciers. His research work focuses on simplified simulations of surface mass balance and glacier dynamics for application to the scale of all terrestrial glaciers and to estimate their future evolution, using open access tools and calibration/validation data. It is also conducting work on changing practice in higher education and research to reduce its carbon footprint.

Spy satellites to observe the Earth and glaciers
At 8 and 9 pm, in room 2

By Amaury DEHECQ, Research Fellow at the IGE

Satellite images are now available in abundance, such as those visible on Google Earth or provided by the European Space Agency. But long before these civilian satellites, many satellite missions were operated in the greatest secrecy by the United States or the Soviet Union since 1959. Their objective: to locate the military bases and ballistic power of the opposite bloc. Almost 40 years later, these images have been declassified and represent an enormous potential for observing changes on the Earth's surface. In this talk, Amaury Dehecq will present these images, their exceptional characteristics and the challenge of working with this historical data. We will see how these images can be used to document glacier melt over 40 years and more generally the profound changes of continental surfaces.

Amaury Dehecq is a research fellow at the Institute of Environmental Geosciences on the Saint Martin d'Hères campus. He studies the evolution of glaciers over the last decades using remote sensing methods (satellite or airborne images in particular). His work has led him to work for NASA, but also to travel to the glaciers of the Alps, the Himalayas and North America. His passion today is to build a time machine by exploiting historical image archives since the 1900s.

Alpine glaciers revealed by old maps
At 8 and 9 pm, in room 3

By Christophe GAUCHON, teacher-researcher at EDYTEM laboratory

Old and current maps tell the story of the evolution of knowledge about glacial environments and glacier fluctuations. Paradoxically, if glaciers have attracted the attention of travelers in the Alps at least since the 16th century, their cartography has been a problem as long as one did not venture near them: hence the first very incomplete representations. But as knowledge of the high mountains progressed, glaciers were mapped more and more precisely, and sometimes with technical innovations that would later spread to rocky environments. Today, the question arises of mapping glacial retreat...

Christophe GauchonChristophe Gauchon, professor of Geography at the USMB, is a specialist in underground worlds and mountain heritages. His work also focuses on the history of geographical sciences.

The invisible agony of karst glaciers
At 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm, in room 1

By Fabien HOBLEA, teacher-researcher at EDYTEM laboratory

The underground ice houses, which we find (or used to find...) in our limestone mountains from 1400 m of altitude, are the result of a fragile equilibrium which allows the academics of ice in natural caves. Weakened by global warming, these ice houses all tend to melt. While the lowest ones have already disappeared in their permanent form, large glaciers well known to cavers and scientists have become unrecognizable. Their strong reactivity make markers of the effects of global warming. Moreover, beyond the loss of a scientific and landscape heritage, their agony weakens the holding of the moulded ice in the cavities, which can constitute a danger for caving visits. This is why their evolution is monitored by scientists and cavers. Fabien Hoblea will present several examples from the Savoyard Prealps to make you better understand these underground mini-glaciers whose rapid disappearance is much less publicized than that of their big surface brothers.

Fabien HobléaFabien Hobléa is a geographer and teacher-researcher in geomorphology and speleo-karstology at the EDYTEM laboratory ofUniversité Savoie Mont Blanc. He studies the caves of Savoie (Bauges, Chartreuse...) and has been caving with the Savoie Speleo-club since 1984. He has participated in several expeditions of geographical and speleological exploration in remote karsts of warm regions (Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Indonesia) or colder regions (Siberia, Chilean Patagonia). He has been involved for a long time in the scientific councils of the Regional Natural Park and the Nature Reserve of the Chartreuse High Plateaux, and in that of the Regional Natural Park and Geopark of the Massif des Bauges, as well as in the Geopark of the Chablais, all of which contain glaciers that have been studied to measure the effects of global warming.

How do we look inside mountains? Imaging cold, ice and water with geophysics
At 8:30 and 9:30 pm, in room 2

By Pierre-Allain DUVILLARD, geomorphologist and geophysicist at STYX4D

Permafrost (or permafrost) is a thermal state by definition. It can be observed with thermal measurements or expensive drilling. Both methods are invasive and provide only spatially limited information. Pierre-Allain Duvillard will present how geophysics allows to detect and monitor permafrost in mountains thanks to non-invasive and fast measurements, sometimes even in dizzying slopes!

Geomorphologist & Geophysicist at STYX4D, Pierre-Allain Duvillard is a specialist in permafrost imaging. After a thesis and a few years as a researcher at the EDYTEM laboratory (CNRS / USMB), he provides expertise to managers or research for the visualization of permafrost in the Alps and Greenland.

From glaciers to lakes, the great journey of microplastics
At 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm, in room 3

By David GATEUILLE, teacher-researcher at the EDYTEM laboratory.

Our plastic waste can be found everywhere. Invisible to the naked eye, microplastics contaminate even high altitude lakes. But where can they come from? Follow David Gateuille in this investigation to trace the journey of microplastics in the mountains from lakes to glaciers.

David Gateuille is a teacher-researcher at EDYTEM. After graduating from the Grenoble School of Hydraulic Engineering, he was destined to work with the rivers he loves so much. But his thesis on the transfer of organic pollutants led him, in 2019, to join EDYTEM's study on microplastics in mountains. He works on high altitude lakes and studies the presence of microplastic.

This evening is also part of the Unight event, coordinated by the European university alliance UNITA.

For more information

final banner logo night of the researchers