Royal Society Publishing

In Memoriam

Jean-Marc Molines, Bernard Barnier, Jacques Verron, Philip Woodworth

(Photograph courtesy of Mme. Denise Le Provost.)

This volume is dedicated to the memory of Dr Christian Le Provost, who died unexpectedly on 29 February 2004 in his native land of Brittany. To sketch Christian's scientific career in a few lines is an impossible challenge, as he was involved in so many activities. His Ph.D. was concerned with the tides of the English Channel, and the modelling of the tides of the global ocean became his major research interest, resulting in a highly successful series of models used throughout the oceanographic community. Sea-level changes, ocean circulation and ocean forecasting also formed large parts of his research. He approached all of these topics with an enthusiasm for identifying and then answering the important scientific questions, combining rigorous theoretical background with observational data (notably from tide gauges and satellite altimetry) and numerical modelling. His range of expertise in Ocean Science meant that he was frequently called upon to join international study groups and research programmes: GLOSS, GOCE, IPCC, TOPEX/Poseidon, MERCATOR and GODAE are some recent examples. He was generous with his time with regard to the training of young scientists, attentive to and respectful of the ideas of others, and always pushed those ideas forward as far as he could. This balance of enthusiasm, wisdom, humility and intellect made him an effective and respected leader of science teams in France and beyond, and anyone who worked with him would say that it was a real pleasure. Christian was a wise and thoughtful person whose confidence could be trusted and whose advice was valued. That is why he was considered as a personal friend by many people, including a large number of people in the UK. His memory will definitively accompany us in our future research as well as in our everyday life.