Collège de France Annual Chair: Biodiversity and Ecosystems

With the support of the Jean-François de Clermont-Tonnerre and Marie-Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre Foundation and the Zao Wou-Ki Foundation.

The Foundation sponsorship to the Annual Chair, presented by CNRS research director, Chris Bowler.

The main objective of the Chair is to promote the research and teaching of leading French and foreign specialists in biodiversity and ecosystems who, through their work and action, highlight the challenges we currently face. The teaching provided at the Chair will ensure that these issues are widely disseminated to the academic world, decision-makers and the general public, and will allow the invitation of a leading personality, renewed each year.

The teaching will comprise of an opening lesson and a series of eight free courses open to all, according to the tradition of the College, followed by seminars and an international conference.

Chris Bowler

Chris Bowler is research director at the CNRS and director of the plant and algae genomics laboratory at the Institute of Biology of the École normale supérieure in Paris. He obtained his doctorate at Ghent University in Belgium, followed by postdoctoral studies at Rockefeller University in New York.

In 1994 he established his own laboratory working on signaling in higher plants and marine diatoms at the Stazione Zoologicade Naples, Italy, and in 2002 he took up his current role in Paris. He has been a member of EMBO since 1995, received the CNRS silver medal in 2010, the ERC Advanced Awards in 2012 and 2018 and the Louis D. Foundation prize from the Institut de France in 2015.

In 2018, Chris was elected member of the French Academy of Agriculture. The primary focus of his research is the understanding of the response of marine plants and diatoms to environmental signals, through functional and comparative genomics. He is one of the scientific coordinators of the Tara Ocean project aimed at exploring the biodiversity, ecology and evolution of plankton in the world’s oceans.

Collège de France

Collège de France was founded in 1530 and is a higher education and research establishment in France. It is located in Paris, in the 5th arrondissement, or Latin Quarter, across the street from the historical campus of La Sorbonne.

The Collège is considered to be France’s most prestigious research establishment. As of 2017, 21 Nobel Prize winners and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with the Collège. It does not grant degrees. Each professor is required to give lectures where attendance is free and open to anyone. Professors, about 50 in number, are chosen by the professors themselves, from a variety of disciplines, in both science and the humanities.

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