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France Allard

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France Allard

It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of France Allard, Director of Research at the CNRS, which occurred during the night of October 3-4, 2020, at the age of 57.

France is the world specialist in the modeling of cold star atmospheres, especially very low mass stars (M dwarfs and brown dwarfs) characterized by the formation of molecules in their atmosphere, and also exoplanets.

France received her PhD from the University of Heidelberg in 1990 on dwarf M atmosphere models. She did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Montréal until 1993, then was Lecturer at the University of British Columbia until 1995, and then Associate Researcher in the Physics Department at Wichita State University until 1997. In October 1997, she was recruited as a research staff at CNRS, and joined CRAL to work in the astrophysics team at ENS in Lyon.

France has rapidly acquired a worldwide reputation in her field and remains one of the spearheads in this area. Years of close collaboration have allowed the development over time of the models of structure and evolution of low mass stars and brown dwarfs which contribute to the reputation of the team. She has contributed to the development of the radiative transfer code PHOENIX and to the production of several model grids that have become references for modeling the atmospheres of M dwarfs, brown dwarfs and more recently exoplanets. France’s rare expertise was much sought after and appreciated in various national and international consortia (from the DENIS survey and the first discoveries of brown dwarfs, to the SPHERE and SPIRou consortia, the ESA PLATO missions, etc.).

France was a cheerful and generous person who loved life. On her social web page, she noted "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Charles Baudelaire".

Our community is losing a very great scientist and a colleague who was passionate about her work. All our condolences and sympathy go to her family in Canada, her son Christophe and her loved ones.

We will communicate the details of France Allard’s funeral at a later date.