Dr Nicolas Escoffier

Contact: Nicolas.escoffier<a>unil.ch

Research interests

My research interests are dealing with carbon cycling in aquatic systems, focusing on the comprehension of the biogeochemical processes that constrain its spatial and temporal variability. Freshwater systems are tightly bound to their surrounding terrestrial landscapes and resolving the nature of these interactions is key to deepen knowledge on ecosystem properties and processes, and on their trajectories in the face of global change. In this context, I am particularly interested in understanding the dynamics of microbial communities in response to environmental fluctuating conditions and how it impacts ecosystem metabolic regimes and carbon fluxes at larger scale. I have been addressing these questions in lakes and streams characterized by a large gradient of human disturbances. Currently, I aim at delineating the processes acting on CO2at the lateral boundaries of the large Lake Geneva, with a specific attention on the interplay between inorganic carbon geochemistry and communities metabolism, and scaling their relative contributions to the whole carbon budget. To this end, I rely on a combined approach involving high frequency monitoring with environmental sensors, spatial field surveys and analytical biogeochemistry tools.


2019 – Present: SNF Post-doctoral fellow in the Lakes Group of the Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Carbogen project, calcite dynamics scaling with carbon cycling in Lake Geneva.

2015 – 2019: Technical Specialist at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Stream Biofilm and Ecosystem Research Lab, Switzerland. Lab analytical carbon biogeochemistry and sensor network management for continuous monitoring of carbon dynamics in alpine streams.

2010 – 2014: PhD in Environment and Earth Sciences at Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris in collaboration with Nke Instrumentation, Hennebont, France. Title: Contribution of high-frequency biogeochemistry for the assessment of water quality and ecosystem metabolism of the Seine River.

2007 – 2010: Research Engineer at INRA (UMR-CARRTEL), Institut Pasteur and Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle  (Cyanobacteria, Cyanotoxins and Environment Team), France. Proliphyc project: Development of an operational system for real-time monitoring of cyanobacterial blooms in lakes.


Escoffier, N., Perolo, P., Many, G., Pasche, N.T., Perga, M.-E. (2023) Fine-scale dynamics of calcite precipitation in a large hardwater lake. Science of the Total Environment 864, 160699.

Many, G., Escoffier, N., Ferrari, M., Jacquet, P., Odermatt, D., Mariethoz, G., Perolo, P., Perga, M.-E. (2022) Long-Term Spatiotemporal Variability of Whitings in Lake Geneva from Multispectral Remote Sensing and Machine Learning. Remote Sensing 14, 6175.

Escoffier, N., Perolo, P., Lambert, T., Rüegg, J., Odermatt, D., Adatte, T., Vennemann, T., Perga, M.-E. (2022) Whiting Events in a Large Peri-Alpine Lake: Evidence of a Catchment-Scale Process. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 127, e2022JG006823.

Lambert T, Perolo P, Escoffier N, Perga ME. Enhanced bioavailability of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in human-disturbed streams in Alpine fluvial networks. Biogeosciences. 2022;19(1):187-200.

Perolo, P., B. Fernández Castro, N. Escoffier, T. Lambert, D. Bouffard, and M. E. Perga. 2021. Accounting for surface waves improves gas flux estimation at high wind speed in a large lake. Earth Syst. Dynam. 12:1169-1189.

Boix Canadell M., Escoffier N., Ulseth A. J., Lane S. N., Battin T. J. Alpine glacier shrinkage drives shift in dissolved organic carbon export from quasi-chemostasis to transport-limitation. Submitted to Geophysical Research Letters.

Kneib M., Cauvy-Fraunié S., Escoffier N., Boix Canadell M., Horgby A., Battin T. J. Glacier retreat in the Alps and tropical Andes changes diurnal variation intensity and frequency of hydrologic variables in mountain streams. Submitted to Journal of Hydrology.

Escoffier N., Bensoussan N., Vilmin L., Flipo N., Rocher V., David A., Métivier F., Groleau A. 2016. Estimating ecosystem metabolism from continuous multi-sensor measurements in the Seine River. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, DOI 10.1007/s11356-016-7096-0.

Vilmin L., Flipo N.,Escoffier N., Groleau A. 2016. Estimation of the water quality of a large urbanized river as defined by the European WFD: what is the optimal sampling frequency? Environmental Science and Pollution Research,DOI 10.1007/s11356-016-7109-z.

Vilmin L., Flipo N., Escoffier N., Rocher V., Groleau A. 2016. Carbon fate in a large temperate human-impacted river system: focus on benthic dynamics. Global Biogeochem cycles, DOI 10.1002/2015GB005271.

Laborie B., Rocher V., Vilmin L., Poulin M., Raimonet M., Benard L., Bernier J., Guérin S., Cussonneau A., Pouillaude J., Escoffier N., Groleau A., Mouchel J.M., Flipo N. 2016. Le modèle de prédiction de la qualité de la Seine, Prose : Améliorations apportées par les récents travaux de recherche (Piren-Phase VI). Techniques Sciences et Méthodes, 11, 43-66.

Escoffier N., Bernard C., Hamlaoui S., Groleau A., Catherine A. 2015. Quantifying phytoplankton communities using spectral fluorescence: the effects of species composition and physiological state. Journal of Plankton Research, 37(1): 233–247.

Catherine A., Escoffier N., Belhocine A., Nasri A.B., Hamlaoui S., Yéprémian C., Bernard C., Troussellier M. 2012. On the use of the Fluoroprobe, a phytoplankton quantification method based on fluorescence excitation spectra for large scale surveys of lakes and reservoirs. Water Research, 46, 1771-1784.

Rocher V., Groleau A., Escoffier N., Garcia-Gonzalez E., Pouillaude J., Guerin S., Mailler R., Paffoni C. 2012. Suivi en continu de la qualité des eaux de surface : Premiers résultats du projet Carboseine. Techniques Sciences et Méthodes, 1/2, 18-29.

Catherine A., Mouillot D., Escoffier N., Bernard C., Troussellier M. 2010. Cost effective prediction of the eutrophication status of lake and reservoirs. Freshwater Biology, 55(11), 2425-2435.

Le Vu B., Vinçon-Leite B., Lemaire B.J., Bensoussan N., Calzas M., Drezen C., Deroubaix J.F., Escoffier N., Degrés Y., Freissinet C., Groleau A., Humbert J.F., Paolini G., Prévot F., Quiblier C., Rioust E., Tassin B. 2010. High-Frequency monitoring of phytoplankton dynamics within the European Water Framework Directive: Application to metalimnetic Cyanobacteria. Biogeochemistry106, 229-241.

Briand E., Escoffier N., Straub C., Sabart M., Quiblier C., Humbert JF. 2009. Spatiotemporal changes in the genetic diversity of a bloom-forming Microcystis aeruginosa(cyanobacteria) population. The ISME Journal, 3(4), 419-29.

Escoffier N., Gaudin J., Mehzoud K., Huet H., Château-joubert S., Crespeau F., Turquet J., Edery M., 2007. Toxicity to Medaka fish embryo development of okadaic acid and crude extracts of Prorocentrumdinoflagellates. Toxicon, 49, 1182-1192.