Dr Marc-Andre Cormier

Dr Marc-Andre Cormier

Visiting Researcher
Tel: +44 748 870-2520

As postdoctoral researcher at the ​Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich, Switzerland) I worked at extending our understanding of the roles of Photosynthesizers in the global Earth system. At the Geological Institute, I was in charge of the Coccolithophore Culture Laboratory and was looking at the imprint of carbon concentrating mechanisms in phytoplankton organic and inorganic geochemistry.

I studied Marine Biology, Biochemistry (BSc)  and Political Science at Laval University, Geological Oceanography (MSc) at the Geotop Research Center, and I completed a doctoral thesis (Dr. sc.) in the Department of Environmental Systems Science at the ETH Zürich as well as a PhD program bridging Sciences and Policy at the University of Zürich. My doctoral thesis in the Plant Physiological Ecology group looked at the biochemical and metabolic effects on hydrogen isotope composition of organic compounds in plants.

Following these extraordinary experiences, I visited laboratories at the University of Oxford, the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer) and the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ-Potsdam) to explore how vital effects on stable-isotope composition of organic molecules could be exploited in novel ways to track important marine biogeochemical processes.

In general, I am fascinated by the interactions and feedbacks between the biosphere, including humankind (including immense aspects 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 isotope measurements to investigate biogeochemical processes is fundamental to my research. As such, I am also collaborating on projects at (A) the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ-Potsdam) investigating the changes in aridity and precipitation patterns at the end of the last ice age (15.000 – 10.000 years ago) across the European continent using a novel dual biomarker approach involving hydrogen isotopes and (B) the University of Surrey investigating the real risks of plastic pollution and emerging contaminants.


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., 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.