Suzana Camargo is originally from Brazil, where she studied at Physics at the University of São Paulo (USP). She then went to Germany, where she did research at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) and got a PhD in Physics from the Technical University of Munich. She stayed at IPP as post-doctoral researcher for a few years, before moving back to Brazil, where she was an associate professor of Physics at the São Paulo State University (Unesp).
Suzana Camargo has been working at Columbia University since 1999, when she started working in climate science. She first was a research scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, before moving to the Ocean and Climate Physics Division of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, where she is currently the Marie Tharp Lamont Research Professor.