2024 Haüy-Lacroix Prize

The SFMC jury has decided to award the Haüy-Lacroix 2024 prize to Chloé TRUONG.

Chloé TRUONG’s thesis, entitled “In search of biosignatures of hyperthermophilic archaea”, was carried out at the Institut de Minéralogie, de Physique des Matériaux et de Cosmochimie (Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris) under the supervision of François Guyot, Aurore Gorlas and Sylvain Bernard. The aim of her thesis was to determine whether the black smoker vents at ocean ridges, which expel warm, metal-rich water, can host hyperthermophilic life, i.e. organisms that develop in water at over 100°C. To do this, Chloé TRUONG adopted a multidisciplinary approach combining experimental mineralogical and microbiological studies in the laboratory and the characterisation of natural samples. This thesis provides major results on the formation and evolution of mineral phases such as pyrite, demonstrating that its presence can result from the activity of microorganisms. The identification of such mineral biosignatures will enable a systematic search for traces of life in modern and fossil black smokers.