© Cyril Frésillon/CNRS photothèque

Nicolas ArnaudDirector of the National Institute for Earth Sciences and Astronomy

Nicolas Arnaud is a CNRS research professor and a geologist by training. He has devoted his research to the processes of continental deformation and landform formation in relation to plate tectonics through the use of isotopic geochronology methods (particularly low-temperature closure) to date rocks and minerals. In 2009, he founded the Mediterranean Environmental Research Observatory in Montpellier which he directed until 2012 and which works on the observation of the Mediterranean environment and natural hazards. He was Vice-President of the University of Montpellier 2 from 2008 to 2012 when he joined the CNRS's National Institute for Earth Sciences and Astronomy (INSU) as Deputy Scientific Director in charge of the Continental Surfaces and Interfaces field. In this post, he was particularly involved in the construction of research and observation infrastructures in the critical zone of the Earth, in France and in Europe.


To develop, promote and coordinate research, at the national and international level in astronomy and in the Solid Earth Sciences, the ocean, space and the environment.

Areas of research

  • Oceanography
  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Climatology
  • Hydrology
  • The environment
  • Planetary science
  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics

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