Welcome to my personal website!
My name is Ny Riavo Voarintsoa (known by many as Voary). I am a geologist with specific interests in paleoclimate and paleoenvironmental reconstruction in tropical regions, presently in Southern Africa and Madagascar. I use a variety of geological archives, such as stalagmites, and I investigate their geochemical (stable isotopes of O and C) and physical aspects to understand how climate and environment have changed in the past. Currently, I am a Marie Curie Fellow at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, at KU Leuven in Belgium. I lead a project entitled "PALEOMADA", which stands for Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction in Madagascar.
Climate and environmental changes are among important challenges facing our society today, yet rising debates among politicians whether they are "hoaxes" or not. I see them collectively as a "cancer" that can progressively destroy our planet Earth if preventative measures are not taken. This motivates me to focus more on paleo-reconstructions. Why? Because our knowledge of what has happened in the past will help us better prepare for the future.
The causes of climate and environmental changes are diverse but they can be generally grouped into three main categories: (1) natural, (2) anthropogenic, and (3) the combination of 1 and 2. Paleoclimate and paleoenvironmental studies are among fundamental scientific disciplines that can help us understand the causes and the nature of the changes. As a geologist and paleoclimate scientists, my job can be understood as follow "a doctor investigating the health states of a patient, checking the patient's level of pain, and prescribing medicines or specific treatments to minimize the pain". Analogically, I investigate a range of proxies from stalagmites (=upward growing mounds of sediments in caves), including stable isotopes, petrography, and mineralogy to reconstruct the changes and to understand the magnitude of the changes. AIong with other available paleo-records, I use my datasets to test climate models. Most importantly, I wish to communicate the results of my scientific investigations to bring awarness to a broader–lay audience. Public awarness is a primary antidote to the negative impacts of climate and environmental changes, and convincing policy-makers to take preventative actions would minimize the risks associated with them.
As a native from Madagascar, I realize that my expertise can benefit Madagascar in several ways. Besides the fact that Madagascar is a developping country, the percentage of its remote and poor regions is high, and this can make its population more vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate changes. I understand that my research is not only important in terms of science, i.e. helping us understand the pattern of past environmental changes and climate to better predict the future, but also it will increase the awareness of Madagascar to climate changes. I wish to reinvest my skills and talents in education, research, and outreach to empower Madagascar. Education is the main path to transparency, good governance, and stability, and having well educated population can help Madagascar fight against graft and corruption, which are the main enemies of its development. Good education would also create opportunities for sustainable economic growth. Research is the approach to define problems and to propose viable solutions that are based on scientific investigations. Outreach consists of communicating the results of scientific investigations to lay audience, thus research is shared without borders.