anny cazenave
Anny Cazenave

Year of Election



Country/Region of working/living





Earth and Environmental Sciences




Laboratoire d’Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales (LEGOS), Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)


2022 Leonardo da Vinci Award

In recognition for her Outstanding Lifelong Achievement. Dr. Cazenave is Director for Earth Sciences at the International Space Science Institute (ISSI), in Bern, Switzerland, since 2013. Previously, she was a star scientist of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, in Toulouse, France, where she now is emeritus scientist. She is a world authority on anthropogenic sea level changes. Dr. Cazenave is a leading specialist of space research applied to Earth physics. As already mentioned, she is a world authority on sea level change and its relation with climate, especially using satellite remote sensing (hydrology from space). She is an expert of marine geophysics, mainly using satellite altimetry. She was a pioneer of satellite geodesy and its applications, including gravity, tides, precise positioning, global mass redistributions among oceans, atmosphere and land. Dr. Cazenave’s present research addresses different aspects of sea level changes: improvement of satellite measurements of sea level and quantification of uncertainties, estimation of the causes of sea level variations from global to local scales, and study of sea level impacts in coastal zones. Over the past decade, within the context of the Climate Change Initiative Programme of the European Space Agency, she has led a project to improve the ~30 year-long altimetry-based sea level record through a complete reprocessing of altimetry data from nine different space missions, developing new algorithms, improved geophysical corrections, etc. This huge undertaking, which involved several European partners, produced a new sea level dataset that is now available to the international community. She also initiated new research to estimate sea level changes in coastal zones as classical nadir altimetry does not work within 10-20 km of the coast due to parasitic reflections from land. This is critical research because, until recently, it was not known whether sea level at the coast rises at the same rate as in the open ocean. Novel, unexpected results obtained by Dr. Cazenave and her group showed that, along a large portion of the world coastal zones, coastal sea level trends at distances < 2-3 km from the shoreline are similar to those in the nearby open ocean. In few instances only, higher or lower rates are observed at the coast compared to offshore. This is key information for decision-making and adaptation. Accordingly, it is most befitting for the European Academy of Sciences to grant the 2022 Leonardo da Vinci Award to Prof. Anny Cazenave.