Remembering Dr Françoise Guichard

We are deeply saddened and very sorry to hear that Dr Françoise Guichard, member of the CLIVAR/GEWEX Monsoons Panel, unexpectedly passed away on 5 December, 2020, in Concarneau, in her native France.

Françoise was a scientist at CNRM-GAME and joined the CLIVAR/GEWEX Monsoons Panel in 2015 and served as a panel co-chair from 2017 to 2019. As a leader in studies of the monsoon over West Africa, Dr Guichard focused on both observational and modelling studies of land-atmosphere interactions and feedbacks, the diurnal cycle over land, boundary layer, convection and clouds as they relate to monsoon circulations and mesoscale convective phenomena over the Sahel and semi-arid monsoon environments in general. Her expertise and leadership had brought great diversity and contribution to the panel to help advance the understanding of monsoons. But in this short note it is impossible to summarize all her scientific achievements that inspired so many colleagues around the world.  Thus, we transcribe the reactions from some of her colleagues in the CLIVAR community:

-      I have no words to express my sadness with the news and my sentiment to her family and friends for their loss. I interacted with her more closely this year when she kindly offered to help me in connecting with the activities of the MP, for which she served as co-chair. Her friendly words and kind smiles made me feel very comfortable and welcome. This great human being and competent scientist will be dearly missed. My deepest condolence to her family and friends. (Leila Carvalho)

-      I was very shocked to hear this sad news last night. Francoise was very dear to me and I will miss her smile and lovely sense of humour. I worked with her closely on the monsoon panel but we had many occasions to connect beyond this and I will miss her. She was such a great person. I still can't believe it. My deepest condolences to her family and friends. Terrible loss. (Aurel Moise)

-      I talked to her via zoom about ten days ago and she was pleased to be at Concarneau at home, "with her feet in the water", in this period of COVID-19 containment in big cities. (Aida Diongue Niang)

-      I’m very sad to hear about Françoise. It was wonderful to work with her on the Panel and I shall miss her greatly. (Andy Turner)

-      This is among the saddest news of this terrible year. In addition to being an excellent scientist, Françoise was a great human being. I was fortunate to meet and talk with her at length on several occasions. I am very saddened by her departure and by the impossibility of reliving those good moments. It is a great loss that her students, colleagues and our research area can no longer receive her guidance and rich contribution. (Alice Grimm).

-      I am shocked with this saddest news.  It was so nice to meet Francoise at the panel meetings.  Not only her great contributions to science, I will miss her gentle smile at the meetings so bad. (Yukari Takayabu)

-      I am so saddened by this news. I’ve crossed paths with Francoise several times in the last 20 years and she was always so engaging and fun to talk to. What a loss to us and our community, as well as to her family and friends. (Gill Martin)

-      This is such shocking news and quite unbelievable that our ever-smiling friend is gone forever. I have known her only through the Monsoons Panel, and we have developed a warm and affectionate friendship over the past one year, though we never met.  I feel so lost that I will never be able to meet her. (Rupa Kumar Kolli)

-      It is a very shocking news to know that Dr. Françoise Guichard is no more. We are very saddened to hear her sad demise and convey our heartiest condolences to the family and friends. We pray almighty to let her soul rest in peace. She will be remembered by all for her great contributions to science and her gentle smile & charming personality. Our sincere tributes in her memory. (Somnath Mahapatra)

-      This is indeed very sad news, this time last year, we met in SFO (AGU/Panel meeting). Her insights into the physical processes governing the monsoons are invaluable, and her quest to understand the different monsoon components are unmatched. I have had a few scientific exchanges with her during the last two years. Condolences to her family and colleagues, and may her soul rest in peace. (Anna Hariharasubramanian)

-      Though my interaction with her is limited to MP activities for a short period, she managed the MP activities efficiently. She will be remembered by all for her contributions to science and leadership she provided to MP. Condolences to her family and colleagues and may her soul rest in peace. (Suryachandra Rao)

These few testimonials are only a small sample of those who had the privilege of meeting Francoise, and shows how amazing a human being she was. The CLIVAR community feels a great loss in her passing, and sends our deepest condolences to her family.