Vincent Mouchi

 

Vincent MouchiI studied Earth Sciences in Jussieu, Paris (France). I always wanted to be a researcher, initially in palaeontology, until I discovered that analyzing the chemistry of rocks could help reconstruct past climates on Earth. Eventually, I did an undergraduate internship one summer in a lab that used fossils for the same goal: reconstruct past temperatures of the environment where the fossil used to live, all along its life.

After several internships using different fossils (gastropods, oysters, mammalian teeth…) I was accepted as a Ph.D. student in the Geology Department of Trinity College Dublin and funded by the Higher Education Authority through the Programme for Research at Third Level Institutions, Cycle 5, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. My research project lies in studying cold-water corals from Irish waters to reconstruct local past climate variations in the last few thousands of years. To do this, I also need to understand the biology of corals, as it has an impact on the chemistry of their skeletons: the old saying “you are what you eat”.

Aside from research, I’m a typical geek, fan of science-fiction, programming, role-playing games and I enjoy instrumental music.

A Day in the Life…

When I arrive in the office I share with other PhD students in the Museum Building, the first thing I do is check my emails. Several mails from mailing lists of worldwide researchers of my field or possibly positive (yes!) or negative (most of the time) answers from additional funding applications I made, as experiments are costly and not everything can be covered by my grant.

I quickly check on newly-published studies from other researchers in my field to know what has been done, and I start working on my samples, preparing them in the lab for today’s experiments.

I then share important (it actually happens some days) thoughts with the team during coffee break, before going back working, writing reports and adding things on my “to do list”.

After lunch with the other students, I make observations on samples under the microscope or analyze their chemistry with the mass spectrometer. Doing so, I find that something seems wrong, and I will need to understand why. This means new observations, new experiments, and new things on my “to do list”…
And at the end of the day, on my way home, I’m complaining about it. But a little voice in my head makes me continue: “Damn, I love research!

My Researcher Video