National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS
Gesellschaftsstrasse 6 | 3012 Bern | Switzerland
  +41 31 684 32 39

Fontanive Clémence, Dr.

2.0_project, 2.3_project, Center for Space and Habitability, Phase 3 - Domain C - Project 2, Universität Bern
Postdoc / CSH Fellow
3012 Bern
+41 31 684 33 13
Please give us a personal quote or a quote of a famous person (e.g. of Albert Einstein) that describes you and your life/work.
“Have no fear of perfection; you’ll never reach it.” – Marie Curie
Please describe your job in only one sentence and tell us what the most important goal of this work is.
I work on the detection and characterisation of giant exoplanets and brown dwarfs (astronomical objects between stars and planets) in order to understand the origin of worlds lying outside our own Solar system.
How did you get into this research/work field?
I was always curious about the universe and understanding how things work. My dad is a keen amateur astronomer and introduced me very young to night sky observations. Later, his collections of books by Hubert Reeves inspired me to pursue a career in astrophysics, and a long line of encouraging teachers, supervisors and collaborators have brought me to my current position.
What would be the greatest discovery you would like to see in your life time?
Finding life is of course on that list, but I would love to see the discovery of a planetary system analogous to our own Solar system. We known of thousands of exoplanets but most of them have very different properties than the planets around the Sun, which seem to be somewhat atypical in our Galaxy.
You work for the NCCR PlanetS. What do you think will the NCCR enable you to do you couldn’t do without it?
It is extremely important in science to be able to take a step back and look at a broader picture than the narrow field of expertise each scientist specialises in. NCCR gathers a large community of researchers with very different backgrounds and knowledge, with a mix of observers and theorists, allowing for crucial interdisciplinary collaborations for scientific progress.


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