A paleontologist of international reputation, Yves Coppens is professor of paleoanthropology and prehistory at the College de France in Paris. He also directs the Anthropological Research Center, Museum of Man, a laboratory associated with the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).
Throughout his career, Yves Coppens has carried out extensive fieldwork that has led to the discovery of many fossil hominids and the oldest known manufactured stone tools (over three million years old). He has also constructed models to explain the origin of hominids (eight million years ago) and of Man (three million years ago), as well as a cultural model to explain the evolution of thought. Yves Coppens is one of the co-discoverers of the Australopithecus afarensis Lucy. He became known to the general public through The Odyssey of Species, a documentary-fiction on the evolution of man, which met a great success in France and the other countries where it was distributed. In January 2010, he was named President of the Scientific Committee in charge of the conservation of the Lascaux Cave. Yves Coppens is member of the French Academy of Science.
A co-founder of mammuthus, Yves Coppens took part in expeditions at the center of some of the most spectacular paleontological discoveries of the last dozen years. He considers the mammoth as a symbol par excellence of an ecosystem (the large, frigid faunae) and an ecological niche (the steppe of the mammoth) lost to the changing climate 10,000 years ago. Acting to contribute to the reconstitution of this biological diversity that has become accessible due to current climate, he maintains that this heritage carries the potential of an unprecedented lesson for the future of our own natural world.