Dr. Margaux Pauline Schmeltz

Post Doc
Paul Scherrer Institute PSI
Forschungsstrasse 111
5232 Villigen PSI


Margaux Schmeltz is a postdoctoral fellow in the X-ray Tomography group at PSI since November 2020. She works on the project DYNAMITE: DYNamic phAse-contrast MIcro-Tomography of the human middle Ear, whose goal is to visualize and analyze the biomechanical behavior of the intact human middle ear under a wide range of sound stimulation.

She carried out her first research experience in 2014 as a research assistant at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford, where she got the chance to work on the first experiment of plasma wakefield acceleration of positrons. Her second research experience at the Biomedical Optics department from the Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH, Germany) in 2014-2015 brought her closer to biophotonics and biomedical applications. Throughout her graduate studies, she has developed a broad interest in physics: first through the mathematics of wave propagation and the resolution of diffraction problems, as well as the modelling and discretization of physical phenomena in electromagnetism. Her interest has progressively extended to other fields such as plasma and laser physics, optics and nonlinear electromagnetism, and finally converged to the interdisciplinary field of biophotonics and applications of imaging techniques in life science.

After her graduation from the French engineering school ENSTA Paris and the completion of a Master by research degree at Paris-Saclay University in 2016, she carried out a PhD at the Laboratory for Optics and Biosciences at Ecole Polytechnique in France, about theoretical, numerical and instrumental implementations of nonlinear optical microscopies for collagen imaging and structural characterization. In the course of her PhD work, she established polarization-resolved SHG (Second Harmonic Generation) as a powerful and promising tool for nondestructive nor invasive in-situ diagnoses both in cultural heritage and ophthalmology, worked on interferometric SHG during a 3-month exchange at INRS Varennes (Canada) to eliminate artifacts in SHG imaging of scattering samples and contributed to the development of the 3D imaging modality CD-SHG microscopy, using circularly polarized light with second harmonic generation to probe the out-of-plane distribution of collagen fibrils. Her PhD outcome was awarded in 2021 by the Favard Prize from the French Society of Microscopies.