Bénédicte CENKI

Fonction : Enseignant-Chercheur

Thème de recherche principal : Ressources

Équipe(s) : MI - Manteau et Interfaces

Localisation : Bt22 406

Téléphone : +33 (0)4 67 14 45 68

E-mail :

Personal scientific and social IDs





STEM Women (Australian Academy of Science)

IdHAL: benedicte.cenki-tok

Degrees and Qualifications

2013: Habilitation (HDR) ‘Dynamics of orogenic cycles and Pressure-Temperature-time quantification of mass transfers in the Earth’, University Montpellier 2, France.

2003: PhD in Metamorphic Geology (Dr. rer. nat.), ‘Crustal genesis and tectono-metamorphic evolution of the Neoproterozoic Southern Granulite Terrane, Southern India’. Thesis advisors: PD Dr. I. Braun & Prof. M. Raith, University of Bonn, Germany.

1999: MSc in Earth Sciences (Magmatic and metamorphic processes – Volcanology), Universities of Clermont-Ferrand, Lyon and St-Etienne, France. Thesis advisor: Prof. C. Chopin, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France.

Employment history

Since 10/10 Maître de Conférences, University of Montpellier, France
2019-2020: H2020 visiting researcher, School of Geosciences, Sydney Uni, Australia
2007: Invited Maître de Conférences (2 months), University of Strasbourg, France
2006-2010: Research and Teaching Assistant, University of Berne, Switzerland
2006: Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Strasbourg, France
2004-2005: Post-Doctoral Researcher, Open University, UK
1999-2003: PhD position at the University of Bonn, Germany


I am currently leading the ANR CMiO 2024-2028 projet focussing on Critical Metals in Orogens: How metamorphic and tectonic processes concentrate critical metals in the Earth’s crust

Over the past two decades, I have developed broad research, teaching and analytical skills in the geology of metamorphic rocks (including petrology, mineralogy, geochemistry, petrochronology, structural geology and geodynamics).

My expertise allows me to tackle two major research questions in Earth Sciences:

  • How mountains build and collapse, and
  • Where to find critical minerals that are essential to the development of the green technologies at the core of emerging low-carbon societies

I have established a strong independent research program at Montpellier University as evidenced by my extensive record of externally funded research grants of which I am lead CI in 80%. I have been awarded 13 projects from competitive national and international grants as lead CI (total amount: 1.5 M€) and 3 projects as co-CI (total amount: 1.5 Mio CHF) by the:

  • French National Agency delivering competitive grants
  • European Union Horizon 2020 highly competitive Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
  • French Geological Survey, which is has private-public structure.
  • Swiss National Fond

Contribution to my academic field and administrative responsibilities

2021-           Member of the editorial board of Earth Science, Systems and Society (ES3), secretary of the Working Group for Critical Metals of the International Association on the Genesis of Ore Deposits (IAGOD)

2020:            Expert for the EU-MSCA H2020 scheme

2021-2026: Member (elected) of Géosciences Montpellier’s Department Board & local section 35, in charge of Géosciences Montpellier’s “Resources” Research Group

2021-2023: President (elected) of Géosciences Montpellier’s Research Board, member of assistant professor recruiting committees at national level
2016-2018: Director of the MSc “Earth Dynamics and Naturals Hazards”, member of the Department’s Education Committee
2018:            Leader of the PETROCHRO2018 workshop organizing & scientific committee
2013-2018: Member of the education board (MSc “Earth Dynamics and Naturals Hazards”), referee for the Gaia Doctoral Studies School at Uni Montpellier
2010-            Responsible for teaching units and field excursions in the Bachelor curriculum
2009-2010: Manager of the microprobe lab, University of Berne (Switwerland)
2006-2010: Member of the public relation group, University of Berne (Switwerland)
2005:            Responsible for the mineral separation lab, Open University (UK)

Teachings / Outreach

I mainly teach Petrology, Mineralogy, Geochemistry and Mineral Resources at Bachelor level.

Teachings at UM Montpellier (2010-present): ~ 192h/year (incl. theory, practicals & field classes)

Teachings in Bern (2006-2010): ~ 60h – 100h/year (incl. theory, practicals & field classes)

Scientific conferences available online:

Cenki-Tok, B., 2020. Critical minerals, renewables and sustainability. School of Geosciences Seminar Series, Sydney Uni

Cenki-Tok, B., 2020. Formation and preservation of HT/UHT terranes. IGCP 648 virtual seminar series, 02/07/20

Cenki-Tok, B., 2020. Critical minerals geosciences, renewables and sustainability. Ore Deposit Hub virtual seminars, 08/07/20

Cenki-Tok, B., 2019. Rare metal concentration triggered by sulfide dynamic recrystallisation, Geological Society of Australia New South Wales sections monthly seminars, 12/09/19

Media interviews and outreach:

Radio Interview à propos des terres rares @ RadioCampusMontpellier, 21/01/2021

Brief.Science: Les enjeux des terres rares: de la mine aux nouvelles technologies, 8/2/2023

Précieuses Pétites, LUM:, 30/03/2021

General public articles:

Cenki-Tok, B., 2020. Critical minerals are vital for renewable energy. We must learn to mine them responsibly. The Conversation AUS, 16/02/2020

Cugerone, A., Cenki-Tok, B. & Oliot, E., 2020. Ces métaux qui viennent à manquer, un enjeu pour les sociétés de demain. The Conversation FR, 16/06/2020

Cenki, B., 2021. Au fin fond du désert australien, une expédition à la recherche de terres rares. The Conversation FR, 26/04/2021


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