Tribute to Pierre Soler, our director

It is with great sadness that we pay tribute to our beloved director Pierre Soler, who passed away on Monday 15th May after a prolonged illness.

Since December 2011, Pierre Soler, senior research scientist at the Institut de Recherche et Développement (IRD), has been the director of the Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées (OMP). In a context of change and uncertainty, he held the helm with exemplary professionalism and unflinching optimism. His exceptional human and scientific qualities have been highly influential in the recent development of the OMP.

Pierre Soler trained as a mining geologist and was a graduate of the prestigious Paris Mining School. He devoted a large part of his career to research management, serving many different roles. He led the Earth-Ocean-Atmosphere Department of ORSTOM (now IRD) in 1994, before becoming head of the Dynamic Oceanography and Climatology Laboratory in Paris (LODYC) in 1999. He then represented the IRD in Peru for 3 years before leading the Environmental science Department of the IRD, while being in charge of Research and Training Programs in developing countries (DPF) of the Inter-Agency Research Institute for Development (AIRD) in 2008.

More than just a manager, Pierre was a character who has marked all those who met him. His conviviality and legendary good humour made him a man appreciated by all. The staff of the Observatoire Midi Pyrénées share the pain of this loss of a great man who still had so much to offer. Our sincere condolences go to his family at this difficult time.

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