BNP Paribas Foundation-supported scientist Jean-Pierre Gattuso receives prestigious Blaise Pascal medal in Earth and Environmental Sciences for outstanding work on ocean acidification.
Jean-Pierre Gattuso is a Research Professor based at the Villefranche-sur-Mer Oceanography Laboratory, a marine station in southern France. On 27 November in Porto he received the Blaise Pascal medal awarded by the European Academy of Sciences, of which he now also becomes a member.
The goal of the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC) is to promote excellence in scientific research and education. Every year this highly-esteemed organisation awards the Blaise Pascal medal to up to six scientists in recognition of their outstanding contribution to science or technology. This year Jean-Pierre Gattuso has been honoured for his contribution to research on ocean acidification and its consequences, in particular his work with the European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA) and the European Free Ocean Carbon Dioxide Enrichment Experiment (eFOCE).
Jean-Pierre Gattuso served as coordinator for the 2008-2012 EPOCA project, which demonstrated that pico- and nanoplankton thrive when the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in sea-water increases, and that this causes disruption in the food chain. In order to study this phenomenon further, Professor Gattuso, aided by Frédéric Gazeaux and staff at the Villefranche-sur-Mer laboratory, set up a new ground-breaking experiment with the help of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in California. The European Free Ocean Carbon Dioxide Enrichment Experiment (eFOCE) is supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation under its Climate Initiative programme. The project now being implemented consists of installing two instrumented enclosures on the sea bed that enable manipulation of the local ocean acidity level through CO2 enrichment and allow observation of the repercussions of this process on the fauna and flora over a lengthy period.