Prof. Laurent Charlet received his PhD in environmental and soil sciences at the University of California (Riverside, CA, USA) in 1986. He did postdoctoral training on nanoparticle surface complexation at the Federal Swiss Water Institute with Prof. Stumm (EAWAG-ETHZ) and at the University Bern, Switzerland (with Prof. Schindler). During that time he started coupling the surface complexation approach with various spectroscopic methods (ESR in Zurich, and XAFS while in Bern).
Dr. Charlet became at 35 Full Professor, then IUF academy member and is now Outstanding Professor in Water (nano)geochemistry at the University of Grenoble, France. He has been Invited Professor at UC-Berkeley (USA), EPFL (CH), University of Utrech (NL) and Adjunct Professor at University Waterloo (Canada). His research group investigates the biogeochemical processes in human cells, surface and ground- waters and their influence on chemical speciation, mobility, bioavailability and biotransformation of trace elements (particularly Hg, As, Se, Ag), and organics (e.g. PrP proteins and antibiotics). He aims to develop general methods for understanding the reactivity of engineered or natural nanoparticles, particularly as a means of predicting biogeochemical processes that are relevant to nanotoxicity, environmental quality, sustainability, and risk assessment. His group maintains a modern environmental and human cell chemistry laboratory specialized in trace element analysis, surface chemistry, oxygen-free synthesis, solute and gas sorption analysis and nanotoxicology. In several projects it makes use of synchrotron X-ray techniques, such as X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy, neutron scattering, Mössbauer and XPS spectroscopy. Insights provided by molecular simulations (DFT, MD) confronted to the spectroscopic/scattering data are critical to a fundamental understanding of the structure and surface chemistry of nanoparticles. The group is represented in numerous French and international scientific and funding bodies. Outreach activities include the organisation of Workshops and Conferences (e.g. Goldschmidt Conference). He has been twice, 4 years long, International Advisor, University of Grenoble Chancellor Office.