I am a computational mineral physicist whose research spans a wide range of topics in planetary mineralogy, going from the supercritical state that dominated the protolunar disk, to the internal structure of exoplanets. With the help of atomistic simulations, I try to understand the Earth’s evolution during Hadean, decipher the formation and evolution of the primordial atmosphere and hydrosphere, and explore what conditions planets must fulfill to make prebiotic chemistry thrive.
Over the years I have worked on all the major mineral components of the deep Earth, on water ice and other molecular crystals, and on a series of technological materials. I have a background in both Geology and Materials Sciences. After undergraduate studies at the Univ. of Bucharest (Romania) where I worked on crystal morphology, I pursued a PhD degree working on the physical properties of modulated crystals at the Catholic Univ. of Louvain (Belgium). My activity in high-pressure mineral physics took off at the University of Minnesota (USA) and continued during the Carnegie Fellowship at the Carnegie Institution of Washington (USA), and the Humboldt Fellowship at the Univ. of Bayreuth (Germany). Nowadays I am a senior researcher at the Institute de Physique du Globe de Paris (France).