Daphné Lemasquerier received her B.Sc. degree in Earth and planetary sciences from École Normale Supérieure (ENS) de Lyon in 2016, followed by her M.Sc. degree in fluid mechanics and nonlinear physics from Aix-Marseille University in 2018. Following her taste for interdisciplinary and multimethod science, she completed her Ph.D. in 2021 in geophysical fluid dynamics under the supervision of Dr. Michael Le Bars and Dr. Benjamin Favier at Institut de Recherche sur les Phénomènes Hors Equilibre (IRPHE) (CNRS and Aix-Marseille University, France). In her Ph.D. research, she combined innovative laboratory experiments with insightful theoretical and numerical analysis to better understand the nonlinear dynamics of Jupiter’s atmosphere, including its shallow vortices, deep jets, and their complex interactions.
In addition to the Donald L. Turcotte Award for her contribution to nonlinear geophysics, her commitment to research and her exceptional work were awarded the Milton Van Dyke Award for a poster submitted at the 2019 Gallery of Fluid Motion of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics (APS/DFD) meeting in Seattle, two L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women In Science awards received in 2021 and 2022 (French Young Talents program and International Rising Talents program), and the APS/DFD Andreas Acrivos Dissertation Award in Fluid Dynamics in 2022.
Since obtaining her Ph.D., Daphné has kept following the same scientific path at the frontier of fluid mechanics and geosciences. From January to August 2022, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, working with Dr. Krista Soderlund on modeling the fluid dynamics of subsurface oceans in the icy satellites of Jupiter and Saturn. Since September 2022, she has started a lectureship position in fluid mechanics at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.
—Michael Le Bars and Benjamin Favier, IRPHE, CNRS, Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France
It has been a great and privileged experience for me to carry out my Ph.D. at IRPHE (Institut de Recherche sur les Phénomènes Hors Equilibre), Marseille, and it is a real honor to receive the Donald L. Turcotte Award for this work.
My thesis work focused on the fluid dynamics of Jupiter, which exhibits fascinating dynamics in its cloud layer, from large-scale vortices to east-west bands and smaller swirling motions. Better understanding of the emergence and equilibration of these features is among the goals of NASA’s ongoing Juno mission, but its complex measurements need to be complemented by idealized modeling. By combining laboratory experiments, numerical simulations, and theoretical analyses, I tried to shed light on the phenomena observed on Jupiter in a simplified, but physically motivated, context.
I feel extremely lucky to have undertaken this project under truly privileged human and material conditions. I want to take this opportunity to thank the many great people who supported me and contributed to the outcome of this project. I am particularly grateful to Jon Aurnou (University of California, Los Angeles), with whom I discovered geophysical fluid dynamics and who initiated the Jacuzzi experimental project; and my Ph.D. supervisors, Michael Le Bars and Benjamin Favier, who offered me incredible scientific, professional, and personal support. A huge thank-you also to the technical staff at IRPHE and their great enthusiasm and help in setting up the experiments.
A Ph.D. is first and foremost a great human and scientific adventure, and it has been both a challenging and very fulfilling experience for me. I feel like I enjoyed every single aspect of what my work involved, from the conception to the building of experiments, to the data analysis and interpretation, and the communication to various communities and audiences. Academia is nonetheless a very competitive and demanding work environment that sometimes sprinkles doubt along the path of early-career researchers. In this regard, I am deeply grateful to my supervisors for nominating me for this award and giving me the chance to feel that I’m at the right place.
I’m finally very excited about the visibility that this award offers me. A few years ago, when I discovered planetary fluid dynamics, I was truly amazed to see how we can better understand phenomena occurring at the scale of a planet using human-sized experiments in water. I hope I can now humbly try to help inspire young people and particularly young women in joining this community!
—Daphné Lemasquerier, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, U.K.