Assistant Scientist, Science
Michel Bouchard, who joined the GCI in October 2006, is part of the Institute's Museum Research Laboratory staff.
Michel, a native of Lebanon, received a master's degree in organic chemistry from the University of Cergy-Pontoise/Paris XI in 1997. He went on to earn his doctorate in spectrometry and archaeometry in 2001 in the PhD program at the National Natural History Museum of Paris, where his thesis examined the use of Raman microscopy in the analysis of corroded metals, stained glass, and prehistoric pigments. His postdoctoral work at the University of Lille involved analysis of rare metallic oxides; this research was followed by participation within the French National Center for Scientific Research in work conducted by several universities and industrial firms, investigating approaches to incorporating anti-UV inorganic agents into varnish as a way to avoid discoloration of wood.
At the GCI Michel has assisted Getty Museum conservators with developing appropriate approaches to treatment by identifying and characterizing materials on objects using, among other techniques, Raman microscopy and X-ray diffractometry. He worked closely with Decorative Arts and Sculpture Conservation on the newly installed Stark Collection of outdoor sculpture, conducting analysis of metallic alloys, corrosion products, sculpture coatings, and paint layers. He has also worked on the analysis of furniture pieces in the Getty Museum's Decorative Arts collection, as well as analysis of objects under consideration for acquisition by the Getty Museum.
Since 1999 Michel has been part of an international team studying different prehistoric sites in Matto Grosso, Brazil. His participation, which has continued since he came to the GCI, involves analysis by Raman microscopy of pigments from cave paintings at these sites.