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Dr. François holds a Canada Research Chair in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia. Dr. François obtained his PhD from the University of British Columbia in 1987 and spent the subsequent fifteen years of his career at the Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he is still an adjunct scientist. He has been actively involved in large international programs with a biogeochemical focus, such as JGOFS and GEOTRACES.

Dr. François’ research is centered at the intersection of physical, chemical and biological processes and has influenced our understanding of climate-related changes in ocean circulation and ocean chemistry. His research has focused partly on the global carbon, nitrogen and silica cycles (past and present), and more recently on the global biogeochemical cycling of metals. He has been particularly innovative in applying novel techniques to address processes that have occurred in the past million years. Specifically, he has developed the use of light stable isotopes for understanding algal production and nutrient cycling in the ocean, and for determining past changes in water column stratification. Additionally, he has developed tracers that have paved the way for the reconstruction of past ocean circulation and its impact on global climate and his innovative techniques for measuring sedimentation processes are being used to explore the history of sediment burial. Dr. François is internationally renowned for his deeply insightful research in marine biogeochemistry, his innovative skill in data acquisition and analysis, and his interpretation of the complex behaviour of the ocean–atmosphere system over long-term climatic timescales.