CNRS research director, Chris Bowler has been the head of the Environmental & Evolutionary Genomics section at the Institute of Biology of the École Normale Supérieure (IBENS, CNRS / ENS) since 2010. He has been one of the scientific coordinators of the Tara Oceans project since 2009, and also a scientific director of the Tara Oceans Polar Circle expedition. An expert in plant and algal biology, Dr. Bowler was awarded the CNRS silver medal in 2010. In his laboratory, he decrypts the genomes of diatoms – photosynthetic unicellular protists that are major constituents of plankton and play a crucial role in the functioning of marine ecosystems. Thanks to the thousands of samples collected during the Tara Oceans expedition, Dr. Bowler identifies the distribution and role of diatoms in our planet’s oceans and studies how these organisms at the base of the food chain respond to climate change.
In January 2019, he was elected to the French Academy of Agriculture. This distinction acknowledges the excellence of the research work Dr. Bowler has carried out since he joined the École Normale Supérieure as a CNRS research director.