Paleoclimatologist, Research Director at the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences, CEA Paris-Saclay, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group 1. Valérie Masson-Delmotte obtained her DEA and engineering degree in fluid and transfer physics from the École Centrale Paris. She presented her PhD thesis in 1996 on the study of the mid-Holocene climate using atmospheric general circulation models.
he began her career as a researcher at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE) in Paris. In 1998, she became head of the 25-person GLACCIOS team, working on ice cores and paleoclimate studies. She then became Director of Research at the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energy Commission (CEA) in 2008. In 2010, she became head of research for the “Paleoclimate group”.
She has received several prestigious awards including the 2013 Prix Irène-Joliot-Curie in the category "Woman Scientist of the Year". In 2018, she was selected by the journal Nature as one of the ten researchers who made their mark on the world that year.
Valérie Masson-Delmotte is also the winner of the 2019 CNRS silver medal. Most recently, she was awarded the "Milutin Milankovic" medal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) - which will be presented at the next EGU General Assembly in Vienna in April 2020 - for her outstanding research in climate modelling and climate change studies.
Her research mainly focuses on climate variation and change through the analysis of climate markers in tree rings and polar ice cores. She combines this analysis with numerical simulations of stable isotopes of water. These fields of research, also pursued at the University of Liège, have led her to collaborate and publish with several scientists and professors of ULiège over the past ten years.
Valérie Masson-Delmotte's work and expertise has led her to join, and now chair various working groups for the 4th (2007), 5th (2013) and 6th IPCC reports (2021). It should be noted that, in 2015, she was elected as co-chair of Working Group 1 for the sixth report, due in 2021. She has also contributed extensively to the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) reports on climate and environmental change in Antarctica.
In parallel with her brilliant career as a researcher, Valérie Masson-Delmotte has worked enormously to share science with the general public, and particularly with young people. She has written three books for children, aged 9 to 12, as well as some 15 books for a wider audience, to raise awareness of past and future climate change and to provide a general understanding of the natural and human world around us. A motivated communicator, she gives numerous conferences to the general public, in schools and retirement homes, and even in prisons. She participates in many national and international debates and is also a scientific advisor to the Cité des Sciences de Paris.
In addition to highlighting the scientific career of an exceptional researcher, this honorary distinction reflects the influence of the scientific projects carried out at the University of Liège in related fields. Moreover, this recognition, awarded to one of the scientific references in the fight against global warming, aligns perfectly with ULiège's decision to support a summer school on climate in July 2020 (climACTES, 4th -19th July 2020).