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Liliane Merlivat, chevalier de la légion d'honneur

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Liliane Merlivat receives the insignia of the chevalier de la légion d'honneur

Liliane Merlivat

On Tuesday, March 17, in the UPMC Atrium, Liliane Merlivat received the insignia of the chevalier de la légion d’honneur from UPMC President Jean-Charles Pomerol.


This emeritus research scientist from the laboratory of oceanography and climate, and digital experiments and approaches (LOCEAN), a pioneer in her field, has played a major role in structuring and stimulating the scientific community in the field of climatology.


After beginning her career at the CEA (Commission for Atomic Energy) where the results of her research led the way towards the reconstruction of our climate and environment, Liliane Merlivat then worked on lunar samples from Nasa’s Apollo program. From 1978, she studied gaseous transfers at the air-water interface, in response to several articles which appeared three years earlier highlighting the significant rise in CO2 in the atmosphere. Liliane Merlivat has never shied from fieldwork and she continued her research at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, at 4000 meters below sea level (thereby risking her life and becoming the first woman to have reached this depth).

In 1983 she took charge of the Photophysics Section of the CNRS Physico-Chemistry Department.

In 1986, she helped create the LODYC laboratory and became its Research Director. This laboratory had tripled in volume under her management by 1998, when it merged with another laboratory to become the LOCEAN lab, UPMC’s renowned oceanography laboratory.

Liliane Merlivat has developed a patented floating buoy equipped with sensors – the CARIOCI system – that makes it possible to take very precise measurements in the ocean and conduct real-time observation.


The results of her studies and discoveries can be found in numerous prestigious scientific journals.