Prehistorian and archaeologist specialising in cave art. Curator General of Heritage
Appointed curator of Chauvet Cave in 2000, she set up the preservation office and managed it until 2014. Member of the UMR 7041 ArcScan – CNRS – Nanterre prehistorical ethnology laboratory.
She studied under André Leroi-Gourhan at the Sorbonne, and joined the CNRS laboratory in 1973, taking part in the excavations at the Magdalenian site in Pincevent. She has managed the research team for the major Arcy-sur-Cure (Yonne) cave since 1994, where the paintings were discovered in 1990.
She has been a member of the Chauvet Cave scientific team since it was set up in 1998, and works with Valérie Feruglio on the Brunel Chamber and Megaloceros Gallery. They have shown the existence – for the first time in a decorated cave – of several panels produced by the palms of ochred hands placed together, which endows the Aurignacians who lived in the cave with physical reality. At the entrance to the Megaloceros Gallery, they have demonstrated the existence of successive phases in the creation of the panels. The first phase identified consists of black paintings that are older than those currently seen and therefore date to before 36,000 BP.