Canberran scientist Kurt Lambeck has been awarded the Legion of Honour, the highest decoration in France.
The Award of Chevalier dans l'Ordre National de la Lé´gion d'Honneur was presented to the Australian National University professor in recognition of his contribution to the field of science and his strong ties to the European country.
Though it's considered the highest honour in France, Professor Lambeck was modest about the accolade he received on Wednesday.
"It's a very nice recognition of the work we've done," he said. Professor Lambeck said his work with his French colleagues began in the early 1970s, when he was undertaking satellite research.
"It was a time when there was a lot of exciting geophysics going on," he said.
"The French were interested and asked me to help drive their program in the direction of geophysics."
Professor Lambeck helped set up the French program in space geodesy, spending almost eight years working in France, with the latter years at the Institut de Physique du Globe.
The French Ambassador to Australia, Sté´phane Romatet, presented the award during a ceremony held at the Australian Academy of Science's Shine Dome on Wednesday.
Academy president Professor Suzanne Cory congratulated Professor Lambeck, saying the honour was very well deserved.
"Kurt has been a strong and tireless advocate for international collaboration in science, and has done much to advance knowledge in both Australia and France," she said.
Since returning to Australia, Professor Lambeck took up a position at the Australian National University while continuing to work closely with researchers in France.
He has served as the foreign secretary of the Australian Academy of Science, then president, and was awarded the Balzan Prize for Solid Earth Sciences in 2012. The prize was awarded for his "exceptional contribution to the understanding of the relationship between post-glacial rebound and sea change levels".