Moynier Receives 2013 Hisashi Kuno Award

Frédéric Moynier received the Hisashi Kuno Award at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “accomplishments of junior scientists who make outstanding contributions to the fields of volcanology, geochemistry, and petrology.”


moynier_fredericOnce upon a time, in a small town in wonderful Provence known by the name of Manosque, best known today, however, for being home to the international tokamak project, a boy was born to a local couple of chemists and was given the name of Frédéric. These parents decided to give him some education and sent him far away from his native Provence to the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon.

Fred was a great Ph.D. student, acquiring a strong background in chemistry from Janne Blichert-Toft and also learning how to solve more esoteric scientific problems with the rest of us. From 2002 to 2006, his Ph.D. in Lyon was a time not only of great friendship and fun but also of uplifting projects. Except for iron, nobody had ever before explored the isotopic variability of transition elements. Fred’s work on meteorites, lunar rocks, and plants is strong and original. One of his greatest strengths (sorry, Fred, but this is a rare quality) is to never shy away from learning from his own mistakes and to see science before pride. This was also the time a new friendship grew up, this time with Toshi Fujii, which would prove very productive. Although Janne and I advised a number of great Ph.D. students in Lyon, Fred was clearly among the better ones.

Then he had to find a job, and he flew across the great pond and all of the continental United States to work with our old friend and great scientist Qing-zhu Yin at the University of California, Davis. Their work on chromium isotopes on early condensates was a landmark. Qing-zhu also taught him the art of having an independent mind. Then Fred was hired by Washington University in St. Louis, and this is where he really made his name. His work on stable isotope fractionation, both mass dependent and mass independent, and extinct radioactivities earned him both a standing in the community and his tenure. The paper of his great surgeon-student Randy Paniello on zinc volatility during the lunar giant impact truly stirred the community and represents a great recognition for the “small” isotopes Fred personifies. Fred’s contribution to medical applications of transition metal isotopes is also particularly promising.

Mostly for family reasons, Fred is now moving to Paris, and all I wish for him is to be welcomed as warmly as he was in St. Louis. His future is bright, and his star is still rising.

It is my great pleasure and honor to present to you today Frédéric Moynier for the Kuno Award.

—FRANCIS ALBARÈDE, Ecole Normale Supérieure Lyon, Lyon, France


I would like to thank the Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology section for awarding me this prize and all the people who were involved in my nomination and wrote the letters. When Catherine McCammon phoned me to let me know that I was awarded the Kuno Award, I was very surprised at first, and then I felt very honored and lucky. I have been very lucky to have Francis Albarède and Janne Blichert-Toft as Ph.D. advisors. Without their mentoring, I would not be standing here today. Completing my Ph.D. in this dynamic laboratory was an incredible experience, and I was very fortunate to meet many people who became mentors, collaborators, and friends, among whom I will cite Arnaud Agranier, Pierre Beck, and Toshi Fujii.

My postdoc in California under the supervision of Qing-zhu Yin was also an extraordinary and productive experience.

I would like to thank Washington University and the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences. They trusted me enough to let me have my own lab. It allowed me to build new collaborations with distinguished scientists and also gave me the opportunity to advise great graduate students and postdocs: Randy Paniello, Kun Wang, Max Thiemens, Chen Heng, Maria Valdes, Emily Pringle, Chizu Kato, Paul Savage, and Julien Foriel.
I would also like to thank my new institution, the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, and the Université Paris Diderot. I already have very exciting collaborations with James Badro, Julien Siebert, Manuel Moreira, Edouard Kaminski, and, I am sure, many others in the future.

Finally, I would like to thank my parents, Danielle and Jean; my sister, Florence; and, especially, my wife, Marie, and son, Louis, who are in the room today.

—FRÉDÉRIC MOYNIER, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Paris, France