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The 30th of January, we launched our website with the comics made by Alice Adenis and build on stories we collected on sexism in geosciences. We started few years ago, and the collective work focused on that project. Everyone pushed for it and worked hard to make it real. Now people can propose their stories too on the website, and can join the community.

On this day, we worked with the Equality department of Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and the communication office to organize a full day of discussions and testimonies around The morning, Claudia Jesus-Rydin, coordinator of the Earth System Science program at ERC came to talk about the actions she pushed. A round table followed, with Marie Bocher from the team, Muriel Salle who is an historian, and a well-known cartoonist and writer Diglee. Philippe Liotard animated very interesting debates on sexism in science, feminism, women and labor. Early in the afternoon, several people gave talks, in a TED-like format, on their experience as a scientist, worker of the music industry, YouTuber, teacher building up a program on equality in sports. The presentations were insightful and touching too. Outside, we made an exhibition of Alice’s drawings. We enjoyed our day very much, and were very happy to share our experience with a diversity of people.

You can find the videos in French (except for Claudia Jesus-Rydin’s talk which is in English) here:

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New papers – early 2018

The paper of Marie Bocher on a data assimilation method to reconstruct mantle convection and tectonics jointly is out in Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics. You can download it here: Bocheretal2018. It presents the application of the Ensemble Kalman Filter methodology for the mantle convection problem, in which plate motions are not prescribed but a data to match. Marie developped a method often used for oceanography and weather prediction. Alexandre Fournier, a co-author here, used it to study the evolution of the geomagnetic field. Marie is now postdoc in ETH Zurich.


The paper of Nicolas Coltice and Grace Shephard (Oslo) on making tectonic predictions from global mantle convection models. They show that starting from a guessed initial conditions, the predicted tectonics for the Earth can be very good initially and diverge rapidly. The causes of these errors in these models are more coming from initial conditions than rheology unknowns. Therefore, the method described in Marie Bocher’s paper above could be used to solve the problem. The paper can be downloaded here: colticeshephard2018.

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Our youngest AUGURY teammate

Milo in the AUGURY office

Milo, Sean Langemeyer (visiting from Toronto), Mike Tetley and Maëlis Arnould

Milo is 14 years old and studies in high school. He was an intern within the team for a week in November, and for another week in January. He came to see what it is to work as a scientist. So we proposed him a research project. A research project is one you don’t have a solution yet. So we asked him if there is or there was any plate tectonics on Mars. It was the occasion to work with the e-Mars team too.

Milo searched on maps, worked by himself and asked people around and found some interesting things. More news when the internship will be over 😉

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A week in New Orleans

This year, the American Geophysical Union Fall meeting took place in New Orleans from the 11th to the 17th of December 2017. On Monday morning, Mélanie and Maëlis presented their posters about net rotation and dynamic topography in mantle convection models with StagYY, respectively.


Mélanie and Maëlis in front of one of our posters.

Mélanie and Maëlis in front of one of our posters.

Mélanie also co-convened an afternoon oral session on the effects of mantle convection dynamics on surface observables.

Mélanie’s first time as a chair.

Mélanie’s first time as a chair.


The AGU was also the perfect time to work with scientists from elsewhere and to discuss the group’s recent research progress: Mélanie met with collaborators to discuss her flat-slab subduction models and Maëlis presented her ongoing work on the lateral motion of mantle plumes.


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Bravo Docteur Mallard


Claire Mallard (here on the right of the picture with former PhD students Léa Bello and Marie Bocher, and Maëlis Arnould on the screen) successfully defended her PhD on the 25th of August. Claire studied convection model with the eye of the structural geologist, identifying plates from the outputs of numerical models. She also helped everyone in the group to stay connected to geologic observations. She is now on the way to the EarthByte group.

Claire also got her paper published in G3 on automatic detection of tectonic plates. You can find it here: Mallard_et_al-2017-Geochemistry_Geophysics_Geosystems

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Mike Tetley & Nicolas Coltice @ Nethermod

Sunset in Putten ©Grace Sphephard


Every 2 years, the European workshop of lithosphere dynamics and mantle convection modelling takes place. It is a nice gathering of scientists from all around the world to discuss all sorts of models of deformation of the rocky part of the Earth. This summer, it happened in Putten, Netherlands. Mike Tetley, just starting in Lyon presented his work on absolute plate motions in global plate reconstructions. Nicolas Coltice presented his work in collaboration with Grace Shephard on making tectonic prediction with convection models.

The workshop was super interesting for the group because it is the occasion to talk about the lithosphere and mantle together, see what are the problem for the modelling of both objects that are assembled in the models of AUGURY. It is also a nice place for networking and initiating new projects.

A insider view of the meeting provides a day by day experience of how Nethermod was. You can find it on this blog of the European Geophysical Union

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What we do for better representation of women in Science

This week at the EGU meeting in Vienna, we present our experience and thought about the problem of under representation of women in Science. The team in Lyon is feminine (five women and one man these days) by coincidence, since the start of the project. We decided to take that specificity to discuss the issue of equal opportunity together, being in contact with a social science expert, Philippe Liotard. We think that commitment to make a change had very positive effects on everyone of us, and the people around us. You can find the poster here: TeamPoster_EGU2017_light

Alice Adenis made few comic strips on the theme: Did this really happen? True stories unfortunately. Check this out and join us to improve the situation.

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Lyon team in Sydney


The team from Lyon was in Sydney for 3 weeks of work with the EarthByters in December. The visit had the purpose to develop projects bridging geodynamic models and tectonic reconstructions. It was very fruitful to share data and thoughts. The time spent allowed specific work to be done mixing convection models and tectonic reconstruction data analysis. Several projects are underway following this stay. It was such a chance to be welcome like that, and to have two teams that share common grounds and values. We are looking forward the follow-up science initiated there. The group from the Basin Genesis Hub organized a field trip on the coast close to Sydney.



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November workshops

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In November, Martina Ulvrova and Nicolas Coltice went to Utrecht to participate to the workshop organized by Jeannot Trampert to gather the people from the RheoMan project, iGeo project, ATUNE project and AUGURY. It was a 2 day workshop to share experiences on a common object: the Earth’s mantle.

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It was followed by the workshop in College de France in Paris on mantle flow, organized by Barbara Romanowicz and Patrick Cordier, where Nicolas Coltice gave a presentation. You can watch the video here.


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Bravo Docteur Bocher

Alexandre Fournier, Marie Bocher and Nicolas Coltice, after Marie's PhD defense.

Alexandre Fournier, Marie Bocher and Nicolas Coltice, after Marie’s PhD defense.

Marie Bocher defended her PhD on Friday November the 25th. The committee composed of  Luce Fleitout (Paris), Emmanuel Cosme (Grenoble), Tijana Janjic-Pfander (Munich), Georg Stadler (New York City), Stéphane Labrosse (Lyon) and Alexandre Fournier (Paris, co-advisor) and Nicolas Coltice (Lyon, co-advisor) congratulated her for her 3 year study on sequential data assimilation methods for mantle convection.

The PhD manuscript in english is available here: these_marie

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