Mathieu Daëron

Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement
Bâtiment 714 - Orme des Merisiers
F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France

I am a CNRS research scientist at LSCE. As a stable isotope geochemist, I try to solve Earth science mysteries by studying tiny variations in the concentrations of stable isotopes in different types of natural samples.


Isotopes are variants of the same chemical element (e.g., carbon) which have very similar chemical properties but slightly different atomic masses (e.g., carbon-12, carbon-13 and carbon-14). Some isotopes are unstable and undergo radioactive decay. For instance, carbon-14 decays into nitrogen-14 with a half-life of 5,700 years, which makes it useful for radiocarbon dating at time scales of a few tens of thousands of years.

“Stable isotopes”?

Other, non-radioactive (“stable”) isotopes can be used as natural time capsules recording past environmental of geological conditions. Over the past 70+ years, stable isotope geochemistry has provided far-reaching insights into past and current processes shaping planet Earth, its structure, its climate, and its environments.