Dr. Julien Thébault, PhD, HDR

Maître de conférences / Associate professor
Ecologie marine / Marine ecology

Etablissement : Université Bretagne Occidentale
Affectation de recherche : Laboratoire des sciences de l'environnement marin (LEMAR UMR6539 UBO/CNRS/IRD/Ifremer)

Equipe(s) : Discovery
Pour la messagerie : prénom.nom@univ-brest.fr
Tél.+33 2 98 49 86 47

Page personnelle :

My passion for marine biology dates back to my childhood when I spent most of my summer holidays looking at biodiversity in intertidal pools. From junior high school, I knew that my career would revolve around academic research in oceanology. I did my best to reach this goal and started my university studies at the University of Rennes 1 (Rennes, France) and then later at the University of Western Brittany (Brest, France) where I completed the French equivalent to Bachelor's Degree (DEUG + Licence) in Life Sciences & Biology of Organisms (1999). I later completed the French equivalent to Masters of Science (Maîtrise + DEA) in Marine Ecology (2001). My thesis dealt with assessing the potential of using shells of the Chilean scallop Argopecten purpuratus as eulerian archives of coastal environmental variability in the South Pacific Ocean (Rinconada Bay, Chile).

I subsequently registered for doctoral studies and moved for almost two years overseas (Nouméa, New Caledonia) to work at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) on biology, sclerochronology and sclerochemistry of another scallop species, Comptopallium radula. The primary goal was to check if these shells could be good archives of environmental pollution by heavy metals released in the south-west lagoon by ore mining industries and urban development. I defended my Ph.D. in 2005 at the University of Western Brittany. After my doctoral thesis, I have worked for a few months as a research assistant at the European Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM, Brest, France) on a project dealing with the understanding of some geochemical signals archived in bivalve mollusk shells (2006).

Then, I felt a desire to work on something different and in 2007, I had the good luck to be invited by Dr. Jim Cloern from Water Resources Division at U.S. Geological Survey (Menlo Park, CA, USA) to describe primary production and assess the ecological importance of South San Francisco Bay salt ponds for resident and migratory birds. Nothing to do with shells but a nice ecological study on wetland dynamics!

I moved back to Europe during summer 2007 to work as a sclero-scientist with Prof. Bernd Schöne at the University of Mainz, Germany (thanks to a research grant awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation), on geochemical composition of freshwater (Anodonta cygnea, Germany) and marine (Arctica islandica, Iceland) bivalve shells. I came back to Brest at the end of 2008 for a Teaching and Research Assistant position (A.T.E.R.) during which I worked on structure and functioning of a remote Mauritanian ecosystem (Banc d'Arguin National Park), and sclerochemistry of intertidal bivalve mollusk shells Senilia senilis.

I finally got a permanent Associate Professor position at University of Western Brittany in September 2009. Since then, I teach zoology, biology of populations and ecosystems, marine ecology, and sclerochronology to undergraduate and graduate students, whereas my research at the Laboratoire des Sciences de l'Environnement Marin (LEMAR) mostly deals with assessment of anthropogenic and climatic influences on structure and functioning of coastal ecosystems, and especially on phytoplankton dynamics, through geochemical records in mollusk shells from polar, temperate and tropical settings.