Role: PLATO Mission Consortium Lead (2007-2013)
Born in 1958, graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique with a Ph.D in astrophysics,
Claude Catala, astronomer, has been president of the Paris Observatory
Claude Catala has directed the Toulouse Astrophysical Observatory within the
Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées (OMP) from 1999 to 2001. He was a member of the science council of the OMP, of the Paris Observatory and, also, of the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur. From 1999 to 2003, he has headed the INSU national stellar physics programme.
From 2005 to 2011, he has been the scientific counselor on astronomy to the Dept. of Research and Innovation Strategy of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research.
Since 1993, Claude Catala has been involved in numerous major international space projects; he has participated in the CoRoT mission for the search of exoplanets and for the study of the internal structure of stars via the analysis of their oscillations.
From 2007 to 2012, he had the scientific responsibility for the PLATO space mission,
which as a logical extension of COROT, was selected in 2014 by ESA within the framework of its Cosmic Vision programme.