Career Profile

I am a palaeoclimatologist focused on the development and application of innovative statistical techniques based on the estimation and propagation of proxy natural uncertainties to reconstruct climate from extensive networks of fossil data. I am particularly interested in studying the spatial imprint of climate change in tropical regions on the centennial to orbital time scales. My research is oriented along the three following axes:

  • Using proxy uncertainties to enhance fossil records. I believe that the natural uncertainties that pertain to all proxy data contain critical information that should be used to improve the representativity of each palaeoclimatic records in space and time.
  • Integrating large compilations of fossil records. I am convinced that combining independent records together in dedicated frameworks can improve the signal-over-noise ratio of individual climate records. There is strength in numbers.
  • Understanding climate drivers from tropical regions. I use a large array of state-of-the-art combined data-model assimilation approaches to shed light on the dynamical response of broad-scale climate drivers to past and future climate change.


Project Leader

2023 - present
Department of Meteorology, University of Bonn, Germany.

A member of the German consortium PALMOD, my role is to

  • Coupling marine and terrestrial datasets
  • Data-model comparison and/or integration
  • Software developments

Postdoctoral Researcher

2020 - 2023
Department of Meteorology, University of Bonn, Germany.

A member of the German consortium PALMOD, my role is to develop Bayesian statistical models to calculate the Bayes factor of temperature/precipitation reconstructions. Once develovelped, use of the tools to analyse the PALMOD transient climate simulations.

  • Bayesian statistics
  • Data-model comparison and/or integration
  • Software developments

Postdoctoral Researcher

2017 - 2020
Institut des dynamiques de la surface terrestre (IDYST), University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

During this postdoc, I worked on a project focused on reconstructing Holocene climate across the Northern Hemipshere extratropics (Europe, North America, Russia) using extensive collections of fossil pollen data.

  • Data compilation and curation
  • Methodological developments
  • Databases
  • ‘Big’ Data Analysis

Postdoctoral Researcher

Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier (ISEM), University of Montpellier, France.

During this postdoc, I developed a relational database of climate records from Africa and implemented an R package to query and extract the data more easily.

  • Databases
  • Software development

PhD Student

2012 - 2015
Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier (ISEM), University of Montpellier, France.

During my PhD, I focused on developing new tools to reconstruct climate from pollen data and to employ them on southern African fossil records. I also created a point-and-click graphical interface to employ my novel statistical tools

  • Methodological & Software development
  • Data Analysis
  • Synthesis and integration with climate models

Ongoing Projects

PALMOD - The PalMod project aims for a better understanding of how slow feedbacks in the Earth system operate by integrating state-of-the-art climate models and data compilations to produce transient simulations of the last glacial cycle (from 130,000 years ago into the future).
crestr - A probablistic climate reconstruction method and associated R package.
Democratising CREST - Employing CREST with iconic records from different continents to showcase its potential.
EVISCO - SNF SPARK grant to study how fossil proxy spatial uncertainties can be used to create information between records.

Community-based Activities

President of INQUA PALCOM - The remit of the INQUA Palaeoclimate Commission (PALCOM) is to optimise the use of palaeo-data for detailed climatic reconstructions. The overall objective is to enhance understanding of Quaternary climatic perturbations, transitions and abrupt events.
Secretary of AFQUA - The African Quaternary Association (AFQUA) brings developed and developing world researchers together to discuss progress in studies of the Quaternary period (the last 2.6 million years) in Africa, bridging regional divides, and fostering communication and collaboration at both regional and continental scales.

Selected publications

The complete list of publications are available from my personal page (link on the top right). If you do not have access to them, please contact me.

  • A review of statistical methods to quantify past climates from fossil pollen data.
  • Chevalier, M., Davis, B.A.S., Heiri, O., Seppä, H., Chase, B.M., Gajewski, K., Lacourse, T., Telford, R.J., Finsinger, W., Guiot, J., Kühl, N., Maezumi, S.Y., Tipton, J., Carter, V., Brussel, T., Phelps, L.N., Dawson, A., Zanon, Vallè, F., Nolan, C., Mauri, A., de Vernal, A., Izumi, K., Holmström, L., Marcisek, J., Goring, S., Sommer, P.S., Chaput, M. and Kuprianov, D.
    Earth Science Reviews, 210:103384, 2020.
  • Temperature change in subtropical southeastern Africa during the past 790,000 yr.
  • Chevalier, M., Chase, B.M., Quick, L.J., Dupont, L.M. and Johnson, T.C.
    Geology, 49, 71-75, 2021.
  • CREST (Climate REconstruction SofTware) a probability density function (PDF)-based quantitative climate reconstruction method.
  • Chevalier, M., Cheddadi, R. and Chase, B.M.
    Climate of the Past, 10(6), 2081–2098, 2014.

    Skills & Proficiency



    Databases (PostgreSQL)


    Analysis of palaeo-datasets

    Analysis of climate simulations

    Figure design