The 1995 Milutin Milankovic Medal is awarded to Jean-Claude Duplessy in recognition of his outstanding contributions to isotopic geochemistry for the reconstruction of palaeo-oceanic circulations.
Jean-Claude Duplessy was born in 1942 in Paris. He studied physics and geology at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris and submitted a Masters thesis in geology at the University of Paris in 1967. He received the Agregation de Physique in 1967 and submitted his These de Doctorat-es-Sciences on “the geochemistry of carbon stable isotope in the sea” at the University of Paris in 1972.
He began his research at the Centre des Faibles Radioactivites (a joint laboratory of CNRS and CEA) by analyzing speleothems in order to estimate the past air temperature at the surface of the continents. He then shifted his interest and used the variations of the isotopic composition of carbon and oxygen in planktonic and benthic foraminiferal shells to study broad aspects of marine palaeoclimatology and palaeoceanography: variations in the monsoon intensity under glacial conditions, first evidences of changes in both the global deep water circulation and the location of major convection areas in the North Atlantic Ocean during the last climatic cycle, utilization of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry carbon-14 dating to measure the rate of temperature change during the abrupt climatic changes of the last deglaciation.
J.C. Duplessy is currently Director of the Centre des Faibles Radioactivites and Chairman of the French Scientific Committee for IGBP; he has promoted numerous French and European multi-disciplinary scientific research programmes in the field of climatic changes.
Newsletter 55, 19, 1995