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Institut de minéralogie, de physique des matériaux et de cosmochimie

Sylvain Bernard

Scientific Expertise


Biosignatures in Rocks

Experimental Fossilization

Experimental Hydrothermalism

Organic-Inorganic Interactions

Shale Gas Generation Processes

Meteorite and Comet Organics  

Contact Details


Office : Site Buffon, 2th Floor, Room 203

Telephone : 01 40 79 35 32

Mail : (karim.benzerara @

Analytical Skills

  - STXM, XANES Spectroscopy, Raman Spectroscopy, Electron Microscopy, P-T and Fluid-Flow Experiments

Professional Resume

  - Since 2010: CNRS Researcher in mineralogy/geochemistry

  - 2009-2010: Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the GFZ (Helmholtz Zentrum Potsdam, Germany)

Educational Background

  - Ph.D. in Fundamental and Applied Geochemistry, University Paris Diderot & IPGP - 09/12/2008


  - Alleon J., Bernard S., Le Guillou C., Marin-Carbonne J., Pont S., Beyssac O., McKeegan K.D. & Robert F. Molecular preservation of 1.88-Ga Gunflint organic microfossils: influence of temperature and associated mineralogy. Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11977, 2016.

  - Alleon J., Bernard S., Le Guillou C., Daval D., Skouri-Panet F., Pont S., Delbes L. & Robert F. Early entombment within silica minimizes the molecular degradation of microorganisms during advanced diagenesis. Chemical Geology 437, 98-108, 2016.

  - Guériau P., Bernard S. & Bertrand L. Advanced synchrotron characterization of paleontological specimens. Elements 12, 45-50, 2016.

  - Bertrand L., Bernard S., Marone F., Thoury M., Reiche I., Gourrier A., Sciau P. & Bergmann, U. Emerging approaches in synchrotron studies of materials from cultural and natural history collections. Topics in Current Chemistry 374, n°7, 2016.

  - Han Y., Horsfield, B. Wirth R., Mahlstedt & Bernard S. Oil retention and porosity evolution in organic rich shales. AAPG Bulletin, in press.

  - Remusat L., Piani L. & Bernard S. Thermal recalcitrance of the organic D-rich component of ordinary chondrites. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 435, 36-44, 2016.

  - Mirvaux B., Recham N., Miot J., Courty M., Bernard S., Beyssac O., Davoisne C., Sougrati M., Demortière A., Guyot F., Tarascon J.M. & Larcher D. (2016) Iron Phosphate / Bacteria composites as precursors for textured electrode materials with enhanced electrochemical properties. Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 163 (10), A1-A10, 2016.

  - Barré P., Plante A.F., Cécillon L., Lutfalla S., Baudin F., Bernard S., Christensen B.T., Eglin T., Fernandez J.?., Houot S., Kätterer T., Le Guillou C., Macdonald A., van Oort F. & Chenu C. The energetic and chemical signatures of persistent soil organic matter. Biogeochemistry, DOI: 10.1007/s10533-016-0246-0, 2016.

  - Kish A., Miot J., Lombard C., Guigner J-M., Bernard S., Zirah S. & Guyot F. Preservation of archeal surface layer structure during mineralization. Scientific Reports 6, 26152, 2016.

  - Saldi G.D., Daval D., Guo H., Guyot F., Bernard S., Le Guillou C., Davis J.A. & Knauss K.G. Mineralogical evolution of Fe−Si-rich layers at the olivine-water interface during carbonation reactions. American Mineralogist, 100, 2655-2669, 2015.

  - Iniesto M., Zeyen N., López-Archilla A.I., Bernard S., Buscalioni A.D., Guerrero M.C. & Benzerara K., Preservation in microbial mats: mineralization by a talc-like phase of a fish embedded in a microbial sarcophagus. Frontiers in Earth Science, 3(51), 1-13, 2015.

  - Rouchon V., Bernard S. Mapping iron gall ink penetration within paper fibres using scanning transmission X-ray microscopy. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 30, 635-641, 2015.

  - Alleon J., Bernard S., Remusat L. & Robert F. Estimation of nitrogen-to-carbon ratios of organics and carbon materials at the submicrometer scale. Carbon, 84, 290-298, 2015.

  - Robin N., Bernard S., Miot J., Blanc-Valleron M.M., Charbonnier S. & Petit G. Preservation of microbial epibionts in the fossil record: Example of calcifying bacteria. Minerals, 5, 488-506, 2015.

  - Bernard S., Benzerara K., Beyssac O., Balan E. & Brown Jr. G.E. Evolution of the macromolecular structure of sporopollenin during thermal degradation as documented by infrared, Raman and C-XANES spectroscopies. Heliyon, 1, e00034, 2015.

  - Li J., Bernard S., Benzerara K., Beyssac O., Allard T., Cosmidis J. & Mousou J. Impact of biomineralization on the preservation of microorganisms during fossilization: an experimental perspective. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 400, 113-122, 2014.

  - Le Guillou C., Bernard S., Brearley A.J. & Remusat L. Evolution of organic matter in Orgueil, Murchison and Renazzo during parent body aqueous alteration: in-situ investigations. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 131, 368-392, 2014.

  - Bernard S. & Papineau D. Graphitic carbons and biosignatures. Elements, 10(6), 345-350, 2014.

  - Bernard S. & Horsfield B. Thermal Maturation of Gas Shale Systems. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science, 42, 635-651, 2014.

  - Bernard S. & Horsfield B. Reply to comment on “Formation of nanoporous pyrobitumen residues during maturation of the Barnett Shale (Fort Worth Basin)”. International Journal of Coal Geology, 127, 114-115, 2014.

  - Romero-Sarmiento M.F., Rouzaud J.N., Bernard S., Deldicque D., Thomas M. & Littke R. Evolution of Barnett Shale organic carbon structure and nanostructure as a function of increasing maturation. Organic Geochemistry, 71, 7-16, 2014.

  - Kuga M., Carrasco N., Marty B., Marrocchi Y., Bernard S., Rigaudier T., Fleury B. & Tissandier L. Nitrogen isotopic fractionation during abiotic synthesis of organic solid particles. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 393, 2-13, 2014.

  - Miot J., Li J., Benzerara K., Sougrati M.T., Ona-Nguema G., Bernard S., Jumas J-C., Guyot F. Formation of single domain magnetite by green rust oxidation promoted by microbial anaerobic nitrate-dependent iron oxidation. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 139, 327-343, 2014.

  - El Albani A., Bengtson S., Canfield D.E., Riboulleau A., Rollion Bard C., Macchiarelli R., Ngombi Pemba L., Hammarlund E., Meunier A., Moubiya Mouele I., Benzerara K., Bernard S., Boulvais P., Chaussidon M., Cesari C., Fontaine C., Chi-Fru E., Garcia Ruiz J.M., Gauthier-Lafaye F., Mazurier A., Pierson-Wickmann A.C., Rouxel O., Trentesaux A., Vecoli M., Versteegh G.J.M., White L., Whitehouse M. & Bekker A. The 2.1 Ga Old Francevillian Biota: Biogenicity, Taphonomy and Biodiversity. Plos One, 9(6), e99438. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099438, 2014.

  - Le Guillou C., Remusat L., Bernard S., Brearley A.J. & Leroux H. Amorphization and D/H fractionation of kerogens during experimental electron irradiation: comparison with chondritic organic matter. Icarus, 226(1), 101-110, 2013.

  - Li J., Benzerara K., Bernard S. & Beyssac O. The link between biomineralization and fossilization of bacteria: Insights from field and experimental studies. Chemical Geology, 359, 49-69, 2013.

  - Pasini V., Brunelli D., Dumas P., Sandt C., Frederick J., Benzerara K., Bernard S. & Ménez B., Low temperature hydrothermal oil and associated biological precursors in serpentinites from a Mid-Oceanic Ridge. Lithos, 178, 84-95, 2013.

  - Bernard S., Wirth R., Schreiber A., Schulz H-M. & Horsfield B. Formation of nanoporous pyrobitumen residues during maturation of the Barnett Shale (Fort Worth Basin). International Journal of Coal Geology, 103, 3-11, 2012.

  - Bernard S., Horsfield B., Schulz H-M., Wirth R., Schreiber A. & Sherwood N. Geochemical evolution of organic-rich shales with increasing maturity: a STXM and TEM study of the Posidonia Shale (Lower Toarcian, northern Germany), Marine and Petroleum Geology, 31(1), 70-89, 2012.

  - Couradeau E., BenzeraraK., Gérard E., Moreira D., BernardS., Brown Jr. GE., López-García P. An early-branching microbialite cyanobacterium forms intracellular carbonates. Science, 336(6080), 459-462, 2012.

  - Galvez M.E., Beyssac O., Benzerara K., Menguy N., Bernard S., Cox S.C. Micro and Nano-textural evidence of Ti(-Ca-Fe) mobility during fluid-rock interactions in carbonaceous lawsonite-bearing rocks from New Zealand. Contribution to Mineralogy and Petrography, 164(5), 895-891, 2012.

  - Galvez ME., Beyssac O., Benzerara K., Bernard S., Menguy N., Cox SC., Martinez I., Johnston MR. & Brown Jr GE. Morphological preservation of carbonaceous plant fossils in high grade metamorphic rocks from New Zealand. Geobiology, 10(2), 118-129, 2012.               

  - Bernard S., Horsfield B., Schulz H-M., Schreiber A., Wirth R., Vu T.T.A., Perssen F., Könitzer S., Volk H., Sherwood N. & Fuentes D. Multi-scale detection of organic and inorganic signatures provides insights into gas shale properties and evolution. Chemie der Erde - Geochemistry, 70(S3), 119-133, 2010.

  - Bernard S., Benzerara K., Beyssac O., Brown Jr. GE. Multiscale characterization of pyritized plant tissues in blueschist facies metamorphic rocks. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74, 5054-5068, 2010.

  - Bernard S., Beyssac O., Benzerara K., Findling N. & Brown Jr G.E. XANES, Raman and XRD signatures of anthracene-based cokes and saccharose-based chars submitted to high temperature pyrolysis. Carbon, 48, 2506-2516, 2010.

  - Corvisier J., Brunet F., Fabbri A., Bernard S., Findling N., Rimele G., Barlet-Gouédard V., Beyssac O. & Goffe B. Raman mapping and numerical simulation of the distribution of CaCO3 polymorphs in experimentally carbonated Portland cement cores. European Journal of Mineralogy, 22(1), 63-74, 2010.

  - Miot J., Benzerara K., Morin G., Bernard S., Beyssac O., Larquet E., Ona-Nguema G., Kappler A. & Guyot F. Transformation of vivianite by anaerobic nitrate-reducing iron-oxidizing bacteria. Geobiology, 7, 373-384, 2009.

  - Miot J., Benzerara K., Morin G., Kappler A., Bernard S., Obst M., Férard C., Skouri-Panet F., Guigner J.M., Posth N., Galvez M. & Brown Jr G.E. Iron biomineralization by neutrophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73(3), 696-711, 2009.

  - Bernard S., Benzerara K., Beyssac O., Brown Jr GE., Grauvogel-Stamm L. & Duringer P. Ultrastructural and chemical study of modern and fossil sporoderms by Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy (STXM). Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 156, 248-261, 2009.

  - Bernard S., Beyssac O. & Benzerara K. Raman mapping using advanced line-scanning systems:  geological applications. Applied Spectroscopy, 62/11, 1180-1188, 2008.

  - Chopin C., Beyssac O., Bernard S. & Malavieille J. Aragonite-garnet intergrowths in eclogite-facies marble, Corsica. European Journal of Mineralogy, 20/5, 857-865, 2008.

  - Bernard S., Benzerara K., Beyssac O., Menguy N., Guyot F., Brown Jr G.E. & Goffe B. Exceptional preservation of plant fossils in high-pressure metamorphic rocks. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 262/1-2, 257-272, 2007.

  - Simoes M., Avouac JP., Chen YG., Singhvi AK., Wang CY., Chan YC., Jaiswal M. & Bernard S. Kinematic analysis of the Pakuashan fault tip fold, west central Taiwan: Shortening rate and age of folding inception. Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, B03S14, 2007.

  - Bernard S., Avouac JP., Dominguez S. & Simoes M. Kinematics of fault-related folding derived from a sandbox experiment. Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, B03S12, 2007.

Main Collaborators  

  - Preservation of biosignatures in rocks: O. Beyssac (IMPMC, Paris, France), K. Benzerara (IMPMC, Paris, France), J. Marin (UJM, St Etienne, France), D. Papineau (UCL, London, UK), S. Charbonnier (CR2P, Paris, France), A. El Albani (IC2MP, Poitiers, France), G.E. Brown Jr (Stanford, CA, USA)

  - Hydrocarbon generation in gas shales: B. Horsfield (GFZ, Potsdam, Germany), R. Wirth (GFZ, Potsdam, Germany), J.N. Rouzaud (LGENS, Paris, France), M.F. Romero-Sarmiento (IFPEN, Paris, France)

  - Aqueous alteration of meteorites and irradiation of organics: C. Le Guillou (CNES, Paris, France), L. Remusat (IMPMC, Paris, France), F. Stalport (LISA, Paris, France), A. Brearley (UNM, NM, USA)

  - Micro-organism biomineralization and fossilization: J. Miot (IMPMC, Paris, France), F. Skouri-Panet (IMPMC, Paris, France), A. Kish (MCAM, Paris, France), S. Zirah (MCAM, Paris, France)

  - Organic/clay/carbonate interactions in soils: P. Barré (LGENS, Paris, France), S. Derenne (METIS, Paris, France), A. Huguet (METIS, Paris, France)

  - Hydrothermal mineral weathering: D. Daval (LHyGeS, Strasbourg, France), F. Guyot (IMPMC, Paris, France), T. McCollom (LAPS, CO, USA)

  - Cultural heritage and degradation mechanisms: V. Rouchon (CRC, Paris, France), L. Bertrand (IPANEMA, Soleil, France), C. Moulherat (Quai Branly, Paris, France)


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Guillaume Fiquet (Guillaume.Fiquet @

Directeur de l'institut

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Nalini Loret (Nalini.Loret @

Attachée de direction

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Dany Thomas-Emery (danielle.thomas @

Gestion du personnel

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Gestion financière

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Chargée de communication

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Fax : 33 +1 44 27 51 52

Geobio Team @ IMPMC

The Geobio Team @ IMPMC brings together :

 - 10 permanent members

 - 3 postdoctoral fellows

 - 6 PhD students