Dominique Weis, Visiting Professor at the Collège de France

November 15, 2021

PWIAS Associate Dr. Dominique Weis was a Visiting Professor at the Collège de France in October 2021. Dr. Weis, who is the Canada Research Chair in Geochemistry of the Earth’s Mantle, and Director of the Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research, was hosted by Prof. Barbara Romanowicz, Chair in Physics of the Earth’s Interior, Collège de France. This international exchange was supported by a partnership agreement between PWIAS and the Collège de France.

Dr. Weis says, “Prof. Romanowicz and I have often discussed our complementary approaches to study the Earth’s mantle. When Prof. Romanowicz came to Vancouver in 2018, as a Distinguished Visiting Professor to PWIAS, we talked extensively about key locations (Hawaii, Galapagos) where our data has enough resolution to allow us to bridge our two disciplines. Having the opportunity to collaborate with Prof. Romanowicz, a world-renowned scientist on imaging the Earth’s interior, represented a unique opportunity to allow us to spend time together and discuss the fundamental implications of our work.”

It is only by understanding our fundamental results coming from different viewpoints, geophysical and geochemical in this case, that we will realize a breakthrough in understanding the Earth’s interior.

During her visit, Dr. Weis delivered four public lectures on diverse subjects, including the geochemistry of the mantle plume in Hawai’i and the volcanoes in the Cascades, using bees and salmon to assess how clean our cities are, and tracing the ancient trade networks of Indigenous communities. While this created a very dense schedule, the talks were well received and led to numerous discussions with specialists in those fields.

Dominique Weis receiving the Collège de France medal from Prof. Romanowicz, October 2021

Dr. Weis also participated in a symposium on“Global scale seismic imaging and dynamics of the Earth’s mantle”, organized by Prof. Romanowicz. Fruitful meetings were held at the Institut de Physique du Globe, in particular with Profs. James Badro, Catherine Chauvel, Cinzia Farnetani, Fred Moynier, and Prof. Al Hofmann, a specialist of mantle geochemistry visiting from the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry.

Putting together four conferences for the general public in 10 days, while a demanding exercise, makes for very beneficial thinking about our research and how to communicate it better. I am very grateful to PWIAS and the Collège de France for supporting this outstanding opportunity.

Dr. Weis and Prof. Romanowicz plan to meet again in 2022 to continue their collaboration and develop scientific publications.