Present position: Professor (Classe Exceptionnelle II) of Physical Geography, Aix-Marseille University, France. Senior Laureate of the Institut Universitaire de France.

Present Professional address: Aix-Marseille University, CEREGE UMR 34, Europôle Méditerranéen de l’Arbois, 13545, Aix en Provence Cedex 04, France. Tel: +33668214531; E-mail:

Summary statement of activity

30 years of engagement in research in coastal geomorphology and morphodynamic processes on the Amazon-influenced coast of South America, West Africa, the Mediterranean and especially the French Riviera, the English Channel and North Sea coasts, and recently the Mekong Delta. My current scientific activity focuses on the geomorphology, sediment dynamics, ecology and management of alluvial coasts. The adopted scientific approach is largely based on experimental field and laboratory work, and employs methodology and techniques relevant to high-resolution topography, sedimentology, hydrodynamics, palaeoenvironmental analysis (Holocene classical and sequence stratigraphy), and innovative techniques in remote sensing, with openings towards modelling based on statistical and cartographic treatment of data. This activity is supported by various on-going grants and projects and involves collaboration with French universities, the IRD, Japanese, American, Vietnamese and Moroccan colleagues specialised in coastal geomorphology, remote sensing and and coastal ecology. The present study sites are the Amazon-influenced muddy coast of South America, the Mekong delta, the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of Morocco, the eastern English Channel, and the southern North Sea. New collaborations are also being set up on aspects of geomorphology and risk management in the face of global change, sea-level rise and sediment supply perturbations on new or revisited areas: the Rhône and Var deltas and adjacent Mediterranean coasts, the coast of Benin, and the tropical islands of Martinique and Mayotte. Since October 2015, named Editor-in-Chief of the Elsevier scientific journal Marine Geology.


• October 2010: Senior laureate of the Institut Universitaire de France (Research endowment 2010-2015).

• January 2010: Officer of the Academic Palms, French ministerial decree (ministerial distinction for meritorious service in national education).

• September 2004: Knight of the Academic Palms (rectoral distinction for meritorious service in national education).


University Education

Doctorat d'Etat (~D.Sc. Thesis): "A geomorphic study of the coast of Sierra Leone". Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, obtained in July 1988.

Doctorat de 3ème Cycle (~PhD. Thesis): "Geomorphic research on the coastal deposits of southern Sierra Leone". Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, obtained in septembre 1982.

Bachelor of Arts - Honours, June 1978, University of Sierra Leone.

Career summary

• Since September 2009: Professor of Physical Geography at Aix-Marseille University.

• 1994-2009:

-        University President (2004-2009) and Professor (1994-2009) of Coastal Geomorphology, Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale.

-        Founder and Head of research team GéoDAL (1998-2004)

-        Vice-President of the university scientific council (1999-2004)

-        Head of the university Doctorate School (2002-2004)

• 1988-94: Lecturer in Physical Geography at Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, tenure in 1989. One-year visting lectureship (1992-93) at the Department of Geology of Université du Bénin, Togo (presently Université de Lomé, Togo).

• 1986-87: Assistant lecturer in Geography at Université de Caen.

• 1984-86: Contract researcher in the Department of Geography, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg.

• 1982-84: Post-doctoral researcher with contracts or grants on the coastal geomorphology of Sierra Leone: Centre d'Etudes de Géographie Tropicale (CEGET), Bordeaux; Land and Water Development Division, Freetown, Sierra Leone; Departments of Geography and Geology, Université Louis Pasteur; Institut de Recherche pour le Développement – (ex-ORSTOM).

• 1979-82: Doctorate – grant from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a research contract with Diamond Distributors Explorations – DDI (New York) – a mining company with concessions in Sierra Leone – geomorphology of fluvial and coastal deposits with alluvial diamonds.

Scientific accomplishments and influence

Member of the editorial board of the following scientific journals: Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (since 2012), Marine Geology (since 2006, Editor-in-Chief since Oct 2015), Journal of Coastal Research (since 1996), Africa Geoscience Review (since 2006), Associate editor: Géomorphologie : relief, processus, environnement (since 2004), and Méditerranée (since 2009. Review of manuscripts (about 15 a year over the last five years) for the following journals (in alphabetical order): African Journal of Earth Science, Bio-Geoscience, Continental Shelf Research, Coastal Engineering, Earth-Science Reviews, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Ecological Engineering, Estuaries and Coasts, Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, Forest Ecology and Management, Geographical Journal, Geography Compass, Geology, Geological Society of London – Special Issues, Geo-Marine Letters, Geomorphology, Hydrobiologia, International Journal of Earth Sciences, International Journal of Ecology and Development, Journal of Archaeological Science, Journal of Geophysical Research, Journal of Sedimentary Research, Progress in Physical Geography, Sedimentary Geology, Sedimentology, Wetlands, Tourism Management, Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie.

Chairman of the Commission on Coastal Systems (CCS) of the International Geographical Union since December 2008.

Invitations by universities and institutions abroad (administrative functions from 2004 to 2009 set a limit on invitations):

WWF Suriname: cycle of conferences on destabilization of the coast of Suriname resulting from mangrove deforestation - 18-25 October 2016.

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) – 6-23 January 2014, invited by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, (AIST), Tsukuba, Japon: 2 seminars - Nagoya University (10 January 2014) and AIST, Tsukuba (21 January 2014) - 1. Significance of palaeoenvironmental study for coastal conservation and its challenges; 2. Morphodynamics of the muddy Amazon-Orinoco coast of South America.

GDR Littoraux Guyanais sous Influence Amazonienne (LiGA) : seminar - Les plages de sables : Fonctionnement et variabilité d’un atout pour la Guyane. 20 October 2014.

Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources Naturelles and WWF: cycles of several conferences on the dynamics and management of coasts, and on the geomorphology of the Mekong delta: 8-15 April 2013 at Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Tre and Ca Mau, Vietnam.

Ministry of Agriculture, Guyana : cycle of conferences on destabilization of the coast of Guyana by coastal defences and, rehabilitation based on conservation and replanting of mangroves (18-22 March 2013).

Université Nationale du Bénin, Departement of Geology, Bénin: conferences and lectures on coastal geology, geomorphology and management, February 1991,  February 1994, March 2008.

University of Greenwich, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, U.K., annual lecture April 1998-2001 "Sediment dynamics and geomorphology of tropical estuarine systems".

University of Sao Paolo, Brazil, Instituto Océanografico: annual conferences February 2000-2002 "Geomorphology, hydrodynamics, ecology and management of estuaries".

Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Department of Geography, 4-8 novembre 2001, 2 conferences on tropical coasts and coastal management practice in the French Mediterranean.

University of Brighton, May 2004, conference on the sediment dynamics of the eastern English Channel coasts.

Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, and Université de St. Louis, Senegal, December 2006, May 2007: conferences on the erosion and management of tropical coasts.

University of Balamand and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of Lebanon, conferences on coastal management, April 2007.

University of Kent at Canterbury, March 2006: 2 conferences on the sustainable management of the coastal zones of the TransManche area.

Overseas invitations as External PhD Examiner for the following theses: (1) Brian Baily, December 2000, University of Porstmouth, U.K. (2) Selma van Houwelingen, January 2005, Loughborough University, U.K. (3) Kevin Lynch, December 2006, University of Ulster, U.K. (4) Dylan Horne, February 2010, University of New South Wales, Australia. (5) Abdel Elmrini, 2011, Université Abdelmalek Essaadi, Morocco. (6) Mohammed Taaouati, 2012, Université Abdelmalek Essaâdi, Morocco. (7) Anne Montreuil, 2012, Loughborough University, U.K. (8) Mehdi Maanan, Université d’El Jadida, Morocco.

Participation in 46 Phd juries (of which 30 as examiner/reporter) in France since 1991 (Geography, Earth Sciences, Coastal Oceanography), and of 12 HDR (~ D.Sc/D.Litt) (of which 7 as examiner/reporter).

● Founder and head of the Coastal Geomorphology and Shoreline Management Unit (Géomorphologie Dynamique et Aménagement des Littoraux (CGSMU) from September 1994 to March 2004 (ministerial recognition/funding in 1998 and 2002, enabling upgrading in January 2008 into part of a CNRS unit UMR 8187 Laboratory of Oceanology and Geoscience, Wimereux). With 9 permanent staff, 2-3 PhD candidates a year, and up-to-date equipment (~2.2 M€), the CGSMU had already become a recognised leader in coastal geomorphology by 2004.

Head of doctorate studies: head of the Doctorate School of Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale from January 2002 to March 2004 – 13 research teams, 150 academic staff. Federation of all the doctorate schools of the 6 universities of Nord-Pas de Calais at my instigation in 2006.

Supervision of 21 completed PhD theses since 1992

(1) M'hamed AMYAY, 30/09/1992. Professor, Université d’Oujda, Morocco. (2) Olivier COHEN, 18/12/1996. Lecturer, Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale (ULCO), Dunkerque. (3) Franck DOLIQUE, 12/01/1998. Professor, Université Antilles-Guyane, Martinique. (4) Vincent SIPKA, 19/12/1998. Research Engineer, ULCO, Dunkerque. (5) Christine DOBRONIAK, 25/12/2000. Project manager (PM) Développement Durable, Aulnay/Bois, 93. (6) Antoine GARDEL, 8/11/2000. Lecturer, ULCO, Dunkerque. (7) Stéphane VANHEE, 9/12/2002. PM, Institution Interdépartementale des Wateringues, St. Omer, Pas de Calais. (8) Béatrice REICHMÜTH, 17/12/2003. Roadwaorks engineer, Société Guintoli, St. Etienne-du-Grès, 13. (9) Méha MRANI, 31/03/2006. Senior officer, Institut supérieur du Génie Appliqué, Fès, Morocco. (10) Yacine Hemdane, 10/10/2006. Coastal Engineer, Société SOGREAH, Oran, Algeria. (11) Mouncef SEDRATI, 13/12/2006. Lecturer, Université de Bretagne Sud. (12) Claire Marion, 3/12/2007. Lecturer, CNAM INTECHMER, Cherbourg. (13) Arnaud OBLINGER, 8/12/2008. Teaching and research assistant, ULCO, Dunkerque. (14) Matthieu JEANSON, 18/12/2009. Teaching and research assistant, Université de Pau. (15) Abdel ELMIMOUNI, 19/12/2009. Teaching and research assistant, Université Cadi Ayyad, Marrakech, Morocco. (16) Julia BASTIDE, 31/03/2011. Company director. (17) Raoul LAIBI, 22/09/2011, Teaching and Research Assistant, Université Abomey-Calavi, Benin. (18) Elodie BRISSET, 06/05/2014, Aix Marseille Université, Post-doc Canada. (19) Eléonore PAQUIER, 19/11/2014, Aix-Marseille Université, Post-doc United States. (20) Guillaume BRUNIER, 11/12/2015. (21) R. WALCKER, 14/12/2016, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, assistant research engineer.

Current PhD supervision: (1) Michel QUINQUIS, viva in 2016, (2) Ismail AOUICHE, viva in 2016, (3) Mamadou SADIO, viva in 2016, (4) Benjamin KULLING, viva in 2016, (5) Manon BESSET, viva in 2017.

Beneficiary of the Prime d’Excellence Scientifique (Bonus for Quality Research).

Scientific expertise (national)

Scientific expertise at the behest of the Ministry of Higher Education DS3 (Earth Science Section) 2002 to 2006, and of the National Agency for Research and Teaching Evaluation (Agence d’Evaluation de la Recherche et de l’Enseignement AERES) – evaluation of research teams and doctorate schools. · Since 1998, evaluation of scientific project proposals in response to programmes run by the National Research Agency (Agence Nationale de la Recherche ANR): Programme Ecosphère Continentale et Côtière (EC2CO), ANR blancs, Programme National Environnement Côtier PNEC.

Scientific expertise for overseas institutions and international research programmes

- Netherlands: Research projects - Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (ALW1PJ/11086).

- U.S.A.: Research projects - National Science Foundation; Professoral mobility  - New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers The State University of New Jersey.

- Portugal: Research projects - Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology.

- Romania: Research projects - National Council for Development and Innovation.

- Japan: Research projects - International Ocean Drilling Program (IODP).

- U.K.: Research projects and PhD projects - University of Ulster.