Marc Elie is a historian focusing on disasters in the Soviet Union. He holds a doctorate from Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales in France. In his dissertation, completed in 2007, he explored the liberation, return, and rehabilitation of Gulag prisoners after Stalin's death in 1953. After spending six years in Moscow, first working on his dissertation, then as a deputy director of the French-Russian center for the social sciences and humanities, he moved to Paris to become a researcher with the Centre d'études des mondes russe, caucasien et centre-européen (CNRS-EHESS).
His current research topics are: the agricultural development of the steppes regions, 1948-1980s; the ecological and humanitarian fiasco and the fall of the Soviet Union, 1986-1991; and anti-mudflow dam-building in Kazakhstan in the 1960s. His Carson project is entitled ‘’Great Steppe, Disastrous Steppe: Scientists and Natural Calamities in Twentieth-Century Russia.’’