Space Research & Planetary Sciences Division Web Site

Planetary Imaging Group Web Site

Olivier Poch

Bureau 314 OSUG D
Université Grenoble Alpes
CS 40700
38058 Grenoble cedex 9, France

Previously at PIG, University of Bern

Research interests


Organic molecules on planetary and cometary surfaces: their chemical evolution and their detection via in situ or optical remote-sensing methods.

  • Study of the influence on organic molecules of physico-chemical processes occurring on planetary and cometary surfaces (UV, sublimation).
  • Development of laboratory simulation experiments and methods for production and characterization of surface analogues.
  • Chemical evolution under Mars and Titan environmental conditions.
  • Techniques for in situ detection of organic molecules.
  • Characterization of the spectro-photometric properties of analogues of comets, icy satellites and exoplanets surfaces.
  • Implications of these results for past, current and future space missions.

Areas of expertise: Exobiology, Mars, Titan, Comets, Experimental Photochemistry, FTIR spectroscopy, UV and VIS-NIR spectro-photometry, Gas phase chromatography, Mass spectroscopy

Academic Education


2013-2010 :




2011 :


2010-2009 :



2009-2007 :


Ph.D in Atmospheric Pollution Chemistry and Environment Physics at LISA

Laboratoire Inter-universitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques (Univ. Paris Diderot, France)

with honours


Diploma of the Ecole Normale Superieure of Paris (specialty in chemistry)


Master’s degree in Chemistry and Physics of the Atmosphere

(Univ. Paris Diderot, France, with honours)


Licence and Master’s degrees in Basic and Applied Chemistry

(Univ. Pierre et Marie Curie and Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris, France)

Research Experience


Post-doc. CNES



Univ. Grenoble Alpes


Interpretation of Rosetta data

Understanding the surface composition of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko via the interpretation of VIRTIS spectro-photometric data

Collaborator: Pr. Eric Quirico





Univ. of Bern

ETH Zurich

NCCR PlanetS




Spectro-polarimetry of ice-dust mixtures

Combination of laboratory measurements and Solar System observations to support the observation of circumstellar disks with SPHERE


Advisors: Pr. Nicolas Thomas and Pr. Hans Martin Schmid




Univ. of Bern

Center for Space and Habitability



Spectro-photometric signatures of abiotic and biotic organic matter

Laboratory analysis of the remote sensing signatures of abiotic or biotic organic matter contained on planetary or cometary surface analogs


Advisor: Pr. Nicolas Thomas


Ph. D thesis


Univ. Paris Diderot

LISA laboratory


Search for life or habitability clues on Mars

Chemical evolution of organic molecules under simulated Martian conditions in the laboratory

Advisors: Pr. Patrice Coll and Dr. Cyril Szopa

Recipient of the PhD thesis award of the French Society of Exobiology 2014



Master 2 Internship


Univ. Paris Diderot

LISA laboratory



Astrobiology on Titan

Study of the chemical evolution of aerosols analogues in putative H2O-NH3 mixture in Titan’s surface or subsurface


Advisors: Pr. François Raulin and Pr. Patrice Coll



Master 1 Internship


Max Planck Institute for

Solar System Research



Contribution to the 2018 ExoMars mission to Mars

Analysis of the chemical derivatization options for the MOMA instrument of the ExoMars mission


Advisor: Dr. Fred Goesmann



Licence 3 Internship n°2


Univ. Pierre et Marie Curie

LATMOS laboratory



The Atmosphere of Mars

Three dimensional modeling of carbon monoxide in the Martian atmosphere


Advisor: Dr. Franck Lefèvre




Licence 3 Internship n°1


Univ. Pierre et Marie Curie

LRS laboratory


Chemistry and the Origin of Life

Study of the fate of an amino acid adsorbed on clay mineral: glycine on saponite


Advisor: Pr. Jean-François Lambert


Planetary Imaging Group Web Site

Space Research & Planetary Sciences Division Web Site