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MSEC / MultiScale Environmental Changes


  • Engineer in Agronomy ENSAR - 1985
  • PhD Paris 6 University – Speciality soil sciences – 1989
  • CR1 - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)
  • Lab. dress: Institute of Ecology and Environnemental Sciences (iEES-Paris)
     32, avenue Henri Varagnat - 92143 Bondy cedex France
  • Email : Henri.Robain|DONTWANTSPAM|

Carrier at IRD

  • Recruitment in 1989 as second class researcher (CR2)
  • Posted in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 1990 to 1996
  • Promoted as first class researcher (CR1) in 1994
  • Posted in Bondy, France (IRD Research Center) from 1996 to 2009. Numerous missions in foreign countries (Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Benin, India, Lao PDR, Thailand)
  • Posted in Bangkok, Thailand (Land Development Department) from 2009 to 2014
  • Posted in Bondy, France (IRD Research Center) since 2014.

Main research activities

  • Integration of different surface geophysics methods (Electrical Resisitivty Tomography, EM31, TDEM) for the study of the layering and the water fluxes within tropical soil covers (Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Benin, Madagascar, India, Lao PDR, Thailand, France)
  • Laboratory experiments aiming at establishing equations linking electrical resistivity with the water content of soils taking into account the shrinkage of porosity during desiccation.
  • Development of interpretation tools for geophysical measurements (Filtering of apparent resisitivty data before inversion, Bayesian inversion of « 3 points vertical electrical soundings »).
  • Study of soil-climate-plant relations in unconventional agricultural lands in South-East Asia (fallow-cultivation successions on slopping lands in Lao PDR, rubber tree plantation on sandy or hydromorphic soils in Thailand)

Major publications for the last 5 years

GRELLIER, S., R. GUERIN, H. ROBAIN, A. BOBACHEV, F. VERMEERSCH and A. TABBAGH (2008). "Monitoring of leachate recirculation in a bioreactor landfill by 2-D electrical resistivity imaging." JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND ENGINEERING GEOPHYSICS 13(4): 351-359.

ROBAIN, H., Y. LETROQUER, P. SOUNYAPHONG, B. X. CHIAKOUA, E. BOURDON and O. RIBOLZI (2008). "Assessment of soil organisation and monitoring of soil water content using electrical resistivity tomography in the uplands of Lao PDR. in: Management of soil erosion and water resources in the uplands of Lao P.D.R. O. Ribolzi (Ed.), A. Pierret (Ed.), L. Gebbie (Ed.), O. Sengtaheuanghoung (Ed.), M. Chanphengxay (Préf.)." Lao Journal of Agriculture and Forestry: 166-182.

SEKHAR, M., J. J. BRAUN, R. K. V. HAYAGREEVA, L. RUIZ, H. ROBAIN, J. VIERS, J. R. NDAM NGOUPAYOU and B. DUPRE (2008). "Hydrogeochemical modeling of organo-metallic colloids in the Nsimi experimental watershed, South Cameroon." ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY 54(4): 831-841.

FRANCESE, R., F. MAZZARINI, A. BISTACCHI, G. MORELLI, G. PASQUALE, N. PRATICELLI, H. ROBAIN, N. WARDELL and A. ZAJA (2009). "A structural and geophysical approach to the study of fractured aquifers in the Scansano-Magliano in Toscana Ridge, southern Tuscany, Italy." HYDROGEOLOGY JOURNAL 17(5): 1233-1246.

BOBÉE C., SCHMUTZ M., CAMERLYNCK C. AND ROBAIN H. (2010) “An integrated geophysical study of the western part of the Rochechouart-Chassenon impact structure, Charente, France”. NEAR SURFACE GEOPHYSICS, 8(4), 259 - 270

VALOIS, R., CAMERLYNCK, C., DHEMAIED, A., GUERIN, R., HOVHANNISSIAN, G., PLAGNES, V., REJIBA, F., ROBAIN, H. (2011) Assessment of doline geometry using geophysics on the Quercy plateau karst (South France). EARTH SURFACE PROCESSES AND LANDFORMS, 36(9), 1183-1192.

BRAUN, J-J., MARECHAL, J-C., RIOTTE, J., BOEGLIN, J-L., BEDIMO, J-P.B., NGOUPAYOU, J.R.N., NYECK, B., ROBAIN, H., SEKHAR, M., AUDRY, S., VIERS, J. (2012). Elemental weathering fluxes and saprolite production rate in a Central African lateritic terrain (Nsimi, South Cameroon). GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA, 99, 243-270.

HUON S., DE ROUW A., BONTE P., ROBAIN H., VALENTIN C., LEFEVRE, I., GIRARDIN, C., LE TROQUER, Y., PODWOJEWSKI, P., SENGTAHEUANGHOUNG, O. (2013). Long-term soil carbon loss and accumulation in a catchment following the conversion of forest to arable land in northern Laos. AGRICULTURE ECOSYSTEMS & ENVIRONMENT, 169, 43-57.

Total number of publications referenced WoK: 24 ; h-index : 10

Scientific and administrative responsabilities

  • Director of IRD Research Unit R027 “GEOVAST” from 1999 to 2005
  • Elected Member of IRD Sectorial Scientific Commission « Physics and Chemistry of the Environment » (CSS1) from 2002 to 2006
  • Member of the editorial comity of “Sécheresse” journal from 2006 to 2008
  • Elected Member of IRD Scientific Council from 2008 to 2012

Teaching activities

Institution: Paris 6 University - Department : Universe, Environment and Ecology Sciences (SDUEE) ; Specialty: Applied Geophysics Resources and Environment (GARE)

Topic: Geophysics and soil sciences

Nature and quantity: Lectures and Practical trainings (TD and TP); approx. 90h/year

Level: Master 2

Institution: LDD

Topic: Geophysics and soil sciences

Nature and quantity: Seminars and practical trainings ; approx. 90h/year

Level: Government officers