Dr. Chloé Chateâu

Chloé Chateâu

EASC Graduate Student

Graduated  2020 - Ph.D

Thesis Project:  Deciphering The Stratigraphy And Architecture Of Tide-Influenced Paleo-Valleys In The Southwest McMurray Sub-Basin, Alberta

Supervisor: Dr. Shahin Dashtgard

What got you interested in Earth Sciences?
I have always dreamed about travelling the world and have been curious about sciences (chemistry, physics, and biology), history and geography. Earth sciences, at the crossroad of numerous disciplines, appeared to me as the best choice to combine all my interests.

What has been your best learning experience?
During a year abroad in Italy, in Mezzavalle beach park, in front of an outcrop. The professor showed us the K-T boundary (i.e. time of dinosaur’s extinction). Sceptical, I challenged the professor and asked why the K-T boundary was not a similar surface located 20 cm below or above. The professor made me sample all 3 surfaces and run geochemistry analysis during my free time the following week. The results agreed with the professor's demonstration in the field, but during this week, I learned to use laboratory equipment, to do some geochemistry analysis, and I found a professor to work with on an undergraduate thesis!

What led you to SFU EASC for your research?
A long path brought me to SFU. I started my undergrad in France, with professors specialized in paleoclimatology. After 2 1/2 years  studying micro-fossils, I decided to do a year abroad in Italy, where I did an undergraduate thesis in the oceanographic department. I loved it so much (beach/boat work), that I decided to start a master's in oceanography. My program allowed me to study both in France and England and focus my master thesis on the sedimentology of channels in modern deltas. From there, I arrived in the sedimentology group of SFU EASC where I still study deltas. But, now it is old deltas, over 100My old!

What advice would you offer students?
As an undergraduate student, I received a piece of advice from one of my professors that I am still following: “You can only excel in a discipline that you really enjoy, your goal as a student is to find this discipline.” Most of the courses offered at university don’t exist in high school, so try as many courses as possible because you cannot know if you like a discipline until you've tried it.

EASC 402 - Sedimentology