Dr Marc-Andre Cormier

Dr Marc-Andre Cormier

Research Fellow, Christ Church College

Marc-Andre is a Research Fellow studying Plankton Mixotrophy. Prior joining the department and Christ Church, he studied Marine Biology, Biochemistry and Political Sciences at Laval University (BSc), Oceanography at the Geotop Research Center (MSc), and completed a doctoral thesis at the Department of Environmental Systems Science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich (Dr. sc.) as well as a PhD program bridging Sciences and Policy at the University of Zürich. His doctoral thesis in the Plant Physiological Ecology group looked at the biochemical and metabolic effects on hydrogen isotope composition of organic compounds in plants.

As postdoctoral researcher at the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ-Potsdam), he worked at the understanding the changes in aridity and precipitation patterns at the end of the last ice age across the European continent. Later, going back at ETH Zürich (this time at the Geological Institute),  he was in charge of the Coccolithophore Culture Laboratory and was looking at the imprint of carbon concentrating mechanisms in phytoplankton organic and inorganic geochemistry. Besides these extraordinary experiences, he visited several institutions, including the University of Plymouth, the French National Institute for Ocean Science (Ifremer) and the University of Surrey.

In general, Marc-Andre works at extending our understanding of the roles of protists in the global Earth system; this constitute the core of his current research program. As a biogeochemist, he is fascinated by the interactions and feedbacks between the biosphere (including humankind and the issues of plastic & fossil fuel pollution) and the geosphere at different spatial and temporal scales in marine and terrestrial environments. The development of new tools such as those involving stable and radiogenic isotope measurements to investigate biogeochemical processes is fundamental to his research. He is also fascinated by how political regimes module the influence of environmental scientists and of scientific data on the management of environmental issues.

Besides his main program of research funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Marc-Andre is also significantly involved in diverse projects, currently  A) a project looking at the outcomes of a long-term field experiment at Rothamsted Research (Harpenden) and B) a project investigating the fate of Contaminants of Emerging Concerns (CECs) in the biosphere at the new Applied-RadioIsotope & Environmental Laboratory (ARIEL, University of Edinburgh). Marc-Andre is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London and a Member of the Royal Society of Biology.

Werner, R. A. & Cormier, M.-A. Isotope terminology, definitions and nomenclature in Stable Isotopes. In: Rolf Siegwolf, Renee Brooks, John Roden & Matthias Saurer (eds) Tree Rings: Inferring Physiological, Climatic and Environmental Responses (2022) Springer Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-92698-4_8


Lehmann, M. M., Schuler, P., Cormier, M.-A., Allen, S. T., Leuenberger, M. C., Voelker, S. The stable hydrogen isotopic signature: From source water to tree rings. In: Rolf Siegwolf, Renee Brooks, John Roden & Matthias Saurer (eds) Tree Rings: Inferring Physiological, Climatic and Environmental Responses (2022) Springer Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-92698-4_11


Cormier, M.-A.Berard, J.-B., Bougaran, G., Trueman, C. N., Mayor, D. J., Lampitt, R. S., Kruger, N. J., Flynn, K. J., Rickaby. R. E. M. Deuterium in Marine Organic Biomarkers: Toward a new tool for quantifying aquatic mixotrophy (2022). New Phytologist. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.18023


Schuler, P., Cormier, M.-A., Werner, R. A., Buchmann, N., Gessler, A., Vitali, V., Saurer, M., Lehmann, M. M. A high-temperature water vapor equilibration method to determine non-exchangeable hydrogen isotope ratios of sugar, starch and cellulose (2021). Plant, Cell & Environment. https://doi.org/10.1111/pce.14193


Al-Sid-Cheikh, M., Rowland, J. S., Kaegi, R., Henry, T. B., Cormier, M.-A., Thompson, R. C., Synthesis of 14C-labelled polystyrene nanoplastics for environmental studies (2020). Communications Materials. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43246-020-00097-9


Al-Sid-Cheikh, M., Pedrot, M., Dia, A., Davranche, M., Jeanneau, L., Petitjean, P., Bouhnik-Le-Coz, M., Cormier, M-A., and Grasset, F. Trace element and organic matter mobility impacted by Fe3O4-nanoparticles surface coating within wetland soil (2019). Environmental Science: Nano. https://doi.org/10.1039/C9EN00565J


Lehmann, M. M., Ghiasi, S., George G. M., Cormier, M.-A., Gessler. A., Saurer, M., Werner, R., A. Starch deficiency in plant mutants and its influence on photosynthetic and post-photosynthetic carbon isotope fractionations (2019). Journal of Experimental Botany. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erz045


Cormier, M.-A., Werner, R. A., Leuenberger, M. C., Kahmen A. The biochemical origin of 2H-enrichment of carbohydrates and lipids in heterotrophic plants (2019). Oecologia. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-019-04338-8


Cormier, M.-A., Werner, R. A., Sauer, P. E., Gröcke, D. R., Leuenberger, M. C., Wieloch, T., Schleucher, J., Kahmen A. 2H-fractionations during the biosynthesis of carbohydrates and lipids imprint a metabolic signal on the δ2H values of plant organic compounds (2018). New Phytologisthttp://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.15016


Cormier M.-A., Rochon, A., De Vernal A., Gelinas Y. Multi-proxy study of primary production and paleoceanographical conditions in northern Baffin Bay during the last centuries (2016). Marine Micropaleontology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marmicro.2016.07.001


Radi, T., Bonnet, S., Cormier, M.-A., De Vernal, A., Durantout, L., Faubert, E., Head, M. J., Pospelova, V., and Rochon, A. Operational taxonomy and (paleo-)autecology of round, brown, spiny dinoflagellate cysts from the Quaternary of high northern latitudes (2013). Marine Micropaleontology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marmicro.2012.11.001.



Selected Communications:


Cormier, M.-A. (Invited), Berard J-B., Nelson, D. B., Flynn, K. J., Lampitt, R., Bougaran, G.  Deuterium in marine organic biomarkers: toward a new tool for investigating the relation between HAB and mixotrophy, The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (ICES-IOC): Annual Meeting of the Working Group on Harmful Algal Bloom Dynamics, 16-18 April 2024, Nantes, France.


Blanchet, C., Cormier, M.-A., Liang, Z., Zhao, X., Rik, T., Ramisch, A., Wulf, S., Schwab, M., Brauer, A. and Sachse, D. Large-scale atmospheric circulation changes in the northern Mediterranean realm during the Younger Dryas: new insights from Lago Grande di Monticchio (Italy), EGU General Assembly 2024, 14-24 April 2024, Vienna, Austria. https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-17746.


Cormier, M.-A. Berard J-B., Nelson, D. B., Flynn, K. J., Lampitt, R., Bougaran, G.  Toward using δ2H Values for Investigating Marine Mixotrophy, EGU General Assembly 2024, 14-24 April 2024, Vienna, Austria. https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-17441.


Cormier, M.-A. Berard J-B., Flynn, K. J., Whichello, G., Bougaran, G., Rickaby, R. E. M.  Disentangling Metabolic and Climatic Information in δ2H Values for Investigating Marine Mixotrophy, Ocean Sciences Meeting, 18-23 February 2024, New Orleans, USA.


Cormier, M.-A. (Invited), Berard J-B., Flynn, K. J., Bougaran, G., Rickaby, R. E. M. Investigating toxin production and the new “mixoplankton” paradigm in marine ecosystems using hydrogen isotope ratios of geochemical biomarkers, 10th International Toxinology Meeting, 23-28 August, St Edmund Hall, Oxford, United Kingdom.


Cormier, M.-A., Whichello, G., Berard J-B., Bougaran, G., Flynn, K. J., Rickaby, R. E. M. Metabolic signals recorded in hydrogen isotope ratios of organic biomarkers, Challenger 150: The Challenger Society Conference 2022, 5–9 September, London, UK.


Cormier, M.-A. (Invited), Werner R. A., and Kahmen, A. Differential deuterium enrichment occurring during the synthesis of organic compounds under different metabolisms affects hydrological signal of n-alkanes and a-cellulose d2H values, 49th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society (GfÖ) 9-13 September 2019, Münster, Germany.


Cormier, M-A., Collins, J., Maas, D., Aichner, B., Schenk, F., Engels, S., Lane, C., Neugebauer, I., Ott, F., Słowiński, M., Wulf, S., Brauer, A. and Sachse, D. The role of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet in controlling the European climate during the Younger Dryas: New insights from the dual biomarker approach, EGU Galileo conference “The anatomy abrupt climate change: dissecting the palaeo-record to trace the mechanisms of climate variability”,27-31 August 2018, Gniew, Poland.


Kahmen, A., Gamarra, B. and Cormier, M.-A. Hydrogen isotopes in plant organic compounds reflect the carbohydrate metabolism of plants, EGU General Assembly 2018,12-17 April, Vienna, Austria.


Cormier, M.-A. (Invited), Werner R. A., and Kahmen, A. Long-term metabolic changes recorded in δ2H values of plant organic compounds in response to increasing pCO2, Special Lecture at Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL),22 September 2017, Birmensdorf, Switzerland.


Pedentchouk, N., Belt, S., Brown, T., Cormier, M.-A., Smik, L., Mock, T., Jones, M. The Effect of Light Intensity on 2H/1H Ratios of Highly Branched Isoprenoids (HBIs) in the Diatom Pleurosigma Intermedium, Goldschmidt 2017,13-18 August, Paris, France.


Cormier, M.-A.,Werner, R. A., Kahmen A. How atmospheric CO2concentrations can affect the hydrogen isotope composition of plant organic compounds, AGU Fall meeting 2016,12-16 December, San Francisco, USA.


Cormier, M.-A.,Werner, R. A., Kahmen A. Biochemical hydrogen isotope fractionation during biosynthesis in higher plants reflects carbon metabolism of the plant, AGU Fall meeting 2015,14-18 December, San Francisco, USA.


Cormier, M.-A. (Invited)Werner R. A., Kahmen A. Hydrogen isotopes of organic plant compounds reflect the plant’s carbon metabolism, AC2NE conference 2015,22-26 June, Texel, Netherlands


Cormier, M.-A., Werner R. A., Kahmen A. δ2H values of organic plant compounds reflect the plant’s carbon metabolism, Plant Wax Conference 2015,16-20 June, Ascona, Switzerland.


Cormier, M.-A. & Kahmen A. Hydrogen isotopic compositions of organic compounds in plants reflect the plant’s carbon metabolism, EGU General Assembly 2015,12-17 April, Vienna, Austria.


Cormier, M.-A. (Invited) & Kahmen A. Biochemical hydrogen isotope fractionation during n-alkanes biosynthesis in higher plants, Goldschmidt 2014,8-13 June, Sacramento, USA.


Cormier M.-A., Rochon A., & De Vernal A., Gélinas Y.Multi-proxy study of paleoclimate and productivity in northern Baffin Bay, Canada, Arctic workshop 2011, 2-4 March, Montreal,Canada.


Other Significant Contributions


Al-Sid-Cheikh M., Rouleau C., Bussolaro D., Ribeiro C. A. O. and Pelletier E. (2019) Tissue Distribution of Radiolabeled 110m Ag Nanoparticles in Fish: Arctic Charr (Salvelinus alpinus). Environmental Science and Technology 53, 12043–12053. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b04010


Wieloch T. (2019) Intramolecular isotope analysis reveals plant ecophysiological signals covering multiple timescales. URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-154968


Al-Sid-Cheikh M., Rowland S. J., Stevenson K., Rouleau C., Henry T. B. and Thompson R. C. (2018) Uptake, Whole-Body Distribution, and Depuration of Nanoplastics by the Scallop Pecten maximus at Environmentally Realistic Concentrations. Environmental Science and Technology 52, 1 7. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b05266


Kimak A., Kern Z. and Leuenberger M. (2015) Qualitative Distinction of Autotrophic and Heterotrophic Processes at the Leaf Level by Means of Triple Stable Isotope (C–O–H) Patterns. Frontiers in Plant Science 6, 1008. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2015.01008


Al-Sid-Cheikh M., Pédrot M., Dia A., Guenet H., Vantelon D., Davranche M., Gruau G. and Delhaye T. (2015) Interactions between natural organic matter, sulfur, arsenic and iron oxides in re-oxidation compounds within riparian wetlands: NanoSIMS and X-ray adsorption spectroscopy evidences. Science of the Total Environment 515–516, 118 128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.02.047


Al-Sid-Cheikh M., Pédrot M., Coz M. B.-L., Dia A., Davranche M., Neaime C. and Grasset F. (2015) Robust Method Using Online Steric Exclusion Chromatography-Ultraviolet-Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry to Investigate Nanoparticle Fate and Behavior in Environmental Samples. Analytical Chemistry 87, 10346 10353. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.5b02413