"Our Earth is experiencing unprecedented environmental change during the current anthropogenic era, with profound impacts on natural ecosystems and human populations."
Biology and Paleo Environment (BPE) division researchers study how animals, plants, and microbes influence, respond to, and record the environment in which they live.
Earth’s ecosystems are shaped by temperature, water, light, nutrient availability, atmospheric gas concentrations, and other environmental factors. Living organisms and their remains often record these environmental conditions. By examining the identity and chemical composition of fossils, pollen, and chemical biomarkers left by organisms in sediments, researchers can understand past environments. Tree rings and coral structures also record information about the environment in which they formed over time, and are the primary source material for other researchers within the division.
BPE places considerable emphasis on how terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are being altered by recent human activities (e.g., changing climate, rising sea level, ocean acidification, increasing greenhouse gases, pollution) relative to the past. Research within BPE therefore spans a wide range of time scales, on an arc from the past to the present day and into the future. Across the division, there are both basic research activities that inform societal needs, and projects that exemplify solutions-based science.
Research on living organisms and modern ecosystems within BPE includes lab-based and field experiments examining sub-cellular to organismal physiology, measuring organismal abundances and activities in different environments, and quantification and modeling of ecosystem processes and exchanges.
Biology and Paleo Environment Researchers & Staff
I am currently a Lamont Associate Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. I research the general circulation of the atmosphere, including the midlatitude jet streams, storm tracks and monsoon circulation, using observations and numerical model simulations. My recent research projects focus on understanding the impact of Arctic sea ice loss on the midlatitude weather and climate as well as understanding the summer monsoon circulation and its associated troposphere-stratosphere transport. Before joining Lamont, I worked an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University and before that, a postdoctoral research associate at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. I received Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Columbia University in 2011.
- Dr. Yongming Han is currently a full professor of the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research interests are related to geochemistry, particulate matter pollution, environmental and climate change, the linkage between the very short atmospheric time series and longer sedimentary records of various pollutants, especially black carbon and combustion products. He is particularly interested in black carbon in different compartments (atmosphere, soils and sediments), including its methodology, origins, transport, deposition, and fate. He seeks to reconstruct past wildfire history and understands the inherent mechanisms regarding biomass burning emissions and climate change. Recently, his research focuses on the interaction between human activities and natural forcing during the Anthropocene period. Dr. Han's research has been funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China, Chinese Academy of Science, and Ministry of Science and Technology of the People´s Republic of China etc.
- I am a Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, The Earth Institute, Columbia University. My research is concerned with characterizing and understanding climate variability and change using observations and global climate models. I am particularly interested in the role of the oceans in climate variability on time scales of years to decades. Throughout my career at Lamont I have mentored graduate and undergraduate students in their research. With my collaborators and students, I published extensively on the topics modern and paleo climate variability. I co-edited and contributed to the 2003 American Geophysical Union Monograph: The North Atlantic Oscillation: significance and environmental impact and was one of the authors of the 1995 National Academies report on Climate Variability on Decade-to-Century Time Scales. Between 2003 and 2014 I served as the director of the Cooperative Institute for Climate Applications and Research (CICAR), a research partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Columbia University. I co-chaired the CLIVAR working group on Decadal Climate Variability and Predictability, which has been sunset last year. I currently co-chair the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) the panel on Grand Challenge on Near Term Climate Prediction. In 2013 I was elected Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.
I have engaged in studies of variability of the Antarctic atmosphere-ocean-sea ice system and its role in global climate since 1995. My research has progressed from the identification of polar-global linkages, expanded to an ENSO-Antarctic Dipole teleconnection mechanism study, and finally resulted in an Antarctic sea ice forecast. At the same time, I have utilized space-born scatterometer observations and developed a series of studies focused on air-sea interactions on synoptic time scales, ranging from cyclone-sea ice interaction, high wind evaluations to satellite enhanced cyclone statistics in the Southern Ocean. With the accumulation of knowledge regarding climate variability in the atmosphere, sea ice and at the air-sea interface, an understanding of the ocean’s role in the mid-high latitudes climate system becomes increasingly important. However, this task is much more challenging because of sparse observations in the Southern Ocean. In recent years, I have developed a few oceanic field programs to advance our knowledge of how the polar ocean plays out in the climate system. I also developed statistical forecast models for polar sea ice fields and maintain Antarctic and Arctic sea ice seasonal predictions routinely.
My research is geared toward understanding global climate change, including current anthropogenic driven changes and past changes to the Earth System. I investigate the natural modes and underlying forcing mechanisms of past climate variability, with the goal of developing a better understanding of how the Earth System responds to natural and human-induced perturbations.
I’m interested in the ways that environmental and climatic information becomes incorporated into the lipids of living organisms and preserved in the geological record, and I take advantage of these mechanisms to examine past environmental change. Lake sediments are comprehensive archives of changes that have taken place through time, and they allow valuable and quantitative reconstructions of past environmental parameters. I use organic compounds and the stable isotope ratios of hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen found in them, to reconstruct past climates and environments.
Geophysicist with broad interests in Earth structure (especially the lithosphere and asthenosphere), geodynamcis, seismic wave propagation and inverse theory.
Fieldwork in Iceland, New England, California, Axial Seamount, and Lau Basin.
Textbooks in inverse theory, environmental data analysis and geophysics.
William is a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. William's research involves using seismic data to image the interior of the Earth, and integrate geodynamic models with the inferred seismic structure to better understand the long-term evolution of our planet. Although the evolution of oceanic plates plays a crucial role in plate tectonics, and therefore Earth evolution, the structure beneath ocean basins remains largely unexplored. He uses ocean bottom seismometers to address a range of problems in marine geophysics, including deep processes related mid-ocean ridges, structural and mechanical properties of the lithosphere and asthenosphere, and the structure and evolution of subduction zones.
William began at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in the fall of 2019. He completed his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley in 2019, and his B.A. in physics and astrophysics from Harvard University in 2012
- 2014-Present: Special Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
- 1986-2014: Doherty Senior Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
- 1984-1986: Senior Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory
- 1984-2014: Adjunct Professor of Geology, Columbia University
- 1982-1984: Associate Director of Marine Geology and Geophysics Div. at Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory
- 1979-1984: Adjunct Associate Professor of Geology, Columbia University
- 1975-1984: Senior Research Associate, Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory
- 1969-1975: Research Associate, Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory
- 1962-1969: Graduate Research Assistant at Columbia University
- 1961-1962: Research Assistant at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Prestigious Invited Lectures
- Oppenheimer Lecture, Los Alamos
- Evnin Lecture, Princeton University
- Dean’s Lecture, G. H. W. Bush Library, Texas A&M
University Course Subjects Taught at Columbia University (1977 to 2014)
- Marine Geology & Geophysics
- Plate Tectonics
- Earth Environmental Systems: Solid Earth
- Paleoceanography Sedimentary Geology
- 1961 R/V Chain in Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea
- 1962 R/V Chain in Mediterranean Sea
- 1965 R/V Robert D. Conrad in Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and North Atlantic
- 1966 R/V Robert D. Conrad in Caribbean and North Atlantic Ocean
- 1968 USNS Elisha Kane in Atlantic Ocean 1970 Glomar Challenger in Mediterranean Sea
- 1973 R/V Vema in Atlantic Ocean
- 1974 Glomar Challenger in South Atlantic Ocean
- 1976 Glomar Challenger in North Atlantic Ocean
- 1977 R/V Melville in Mediterranean Sea
- 1978 R/V Eastward in Mediterranean Sea
- 1982 NOAA Ship Surveyor in Northeast Pacific Ocean
- 1983 R/V Thomas Washington in Pacific Ocean
- 1984 CFAV Endeavour Northeast Pacific
- 1984 R/V Robert D. Conrad in North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea
- 1985 CSS Hudson in North Atlantic
- 1990 R/V Point Sur in Monterrey Fan
- 1991 R/V Urania in Marmara Sea
- 1992 R/V Maurice Ewing on Pacific/Antarctic Ridge in Southwest Pacific Ocean
- 1993 R/V Aquanaut in Black Sea
- 1993 R/V Hudson in Labrador Sea
- 1995 R/V Ewing in the Northeast Pacific
- 1996 R/V Creed in the North Atlantic
- 1998 R/V Le Suroit in the Black Sea
- 1999 R/V Atlantis in the Southeastern Pacific
- 1999 R/V Walford in the Hudson River Estuary
- 2000 R/V Le Suroit in the Mediterranean Sea
- 2005 R/V Mediterranean Explorer in Marmara and Black Seas 2009 R/V Akademik in Black Sea
- 2011 R/V Akademik in Black Sea
Ph.D. Dissertations Directed (20)
- Daniel J. Fornari, 1978: “Submarine lava flows on island flanks and seamounts: chemistry and texture”
- Kim A. Kastens, 1981: “Structural causes and sedimentological effects of cobblestone topography in the eastern Mediterranean”
- Raymond P. Freeman-Lynde, 1981: “The marine geology of the Bahama Escarpment”
- Maria A. M. da Silva, 1983: “The Arapipe Basin, NE Brazil: Regional geology and facies analysis of Lower Cretaceous evaporitic deposition complex”
- John A. Farre, 1985: “The importance of mass wasting processes on the continental slope”
- Ellen S. Kappel, 1985: “Evidence for episodicity and a non-steady state rift valley”
- Suzanne O’Connell, 1986: “Anatomy of modern submarine depositional and distributary systems”
- Angela M. Barone, 1989: “Morpho-tectonic evolution of subsea volcanoes near the boundary of separating plates: Examples from rifting and spreading stages”
- Alberto Malinverno, 1989: “Statistical studies of seafloor morphology”
- Carlos Pirmez, 1994: “Growth of a submarine meandering channel-levee system on the Amazon Fan”
- Lincoln F. Pratson, 1994: “Submarine canyon initiation by downslope-eroding sediment flows: Evidence in late Cenozoic strata on the New Jersey continental slope” Jennifer Robin Reynolds, 1995: “Segment-scale systematics of mid-ocean-ridge magmatism and geochemistry”
- Raymond Paul Freeman-Lynde, 1981: “The marine geology of the Bahama Escarpment”
- Ana Lucia Goncalves Macario, 1995: “Crustal accretion at intermediate spreading rates: Pacific-Antarctic Ridge at 65° S”
- Wen Jin, 2000: “Tectonic strain and submarine lava flows in the mid-ocean ridges”
- Johanna Lofi, 2002: “La Crise de Salinité Messinienne: Conséquences directes et différées du l’évolution sédimentaire de la marge du Golfe du Lion”
- Candace O. Major, 2002: “Non-eustatic controls on sea-level change in semi-enclosed basins”
- Angela L. Slagle, 2007: “Spatial and temporal variability of sedimentary processes in the Hudson River estuary”
- Anne E. Cook, 2009: “Gas hydrate-filled fracture reservoirs on continental margins”
- Anastasia G. Yanchilina, 2016: “Excess freshwater outflow from the Black Sea during glacial and deglacial periods and delayed entry of marine water in the early Holocene requiring evolving sills”
- My research aim is to extract as much quantifiable information as possible from seismic data anywhere within reach of human interaction, from the ocean interior to our deepest drilling projects (and eventually beyond). Primarily, I use and develop attribute analyses to (1) determine viability of basaltic basins for CO2 sequestration, (2) characterize sediment properties on continental margins to assess natural hazards risk, and (3) map turbulent behavior of dynamic mesoscale ocean features. (1) CO2 storage in basaltic basins: I have been examining the CO2 storage potential of Mesozoic rift basins offshore the US east coast on the Long Island Platform. Detailed prestack waveform inversion sheds insight into basin compositions, and thus the character of the rock infill and volumetric storage potential. (2) Seabed stability and slope failure: I am working with collaborators to investigate fluid overpressure off the U.S. east coast and its role in large submarine landslides. Such slides occur frequently, covering ~20% of the seafloor, and are capable of producing tsunamis along the heavily populated coast. Using advanced computational techniques like prestack waveform inversion and machine learning, we gain quantitative insight into seabed conditions and work toward a comprehensive understanding of risk associated with regional submarine landslides. (3) Seismic oceanography: My research goal is to explore energetics in the oceanic interior by mapping diapycnal diffusivity of meso- and sub-mesoscale ocean structures in conjunction with temperature and salinity profiles inverted from seismic data. I am particularly interested in regions with high internal wave activity, seamounts, and large eddies.
I’m an agro-climatologist studying the dynamics of climate variability and its relation to food security using reanalysis products, remote sensing observations and model simulations. I’ve recently been working on how global-scale modes of climate variability pose a risk to major agricultural production regions. I am currently an Earth Institute Fellow working on climate and food security
My research focuses on the characterization of dynamic ice shells, using experimental spectroscopy, ice mechanics, radiative transfer modeling, and instrument development. I aim to identify the limits of our diagnostic capabilities - to improve our understanding of the surface physics and chemistry of ocean worlds, asteroids & comets.
In other words, I break (and build) things in the lab to establish how they work beyond Earth.
Virginia originally hails from Queens, NY, has been with Columbia University since 2006, and presently serves the Climate School as Director of HR. She has an MPA from Baruch College and, prior to joining Columbia, she served in HR and Operations Analyst roles in the Koch and Dinkins NYC Mayoral Administrations, Catholic Charities, and the NYC Animal Sheltering System. She is an avid reader and especially enjoys memoirs.
Vicki Ferrini is a Senior Research Scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO). Her research focuses on using mapping techniques to understand the processes that shape the seafloor in a variety of environments. She has participated in research expeditions around the world mapping shallow water and deep-sea environments using ships, boats, submersibles and towed platforms. Most of her work is in the field of geoinformatics and is focused on ensuring that high-quality marine geoscience research data are made available to the science community and to the public. She is the Head of the Seabed 2030 Regional Center for the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
Ty Rosa is the Associate Director of Research Communications within the Office of Research. Reporting to the Associate Dean for Research, Ty partners with research faculty to develop innovative and high-impact grant proposals that support the School's long-term research vision.
Prior to joining the Climate School, Ty was the Assistant Director of Research Proposal Development within the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research. Within that role, she led the submission of half a dozen center grant proposals (>$10M) across all University schools and various scientific disciplines.
Prior to joining Columbia, Ty was the Director of Product Marketing and Customer Experience for The Real Estate Board of New York’s Residential Listing Service. Within that role, Ty worked closely with 16,000 residential agents and brokers on initiatives to advance New York City’s residential real estate market. Prior to her time at The Real Estate Board, Ty was a Senior Associate at Landmark Ventures, a boutique venture capital and venture development firm, where she worked with clients in the marketing technology space.
I am an organic geochemist and paleoclimatologist, and I use biomarker and stable isotopic tools to investigate interactions between fire, vegetation, and climate in Neogene East Africa. Fire is an ecological disturbance integral to the coexistence of trees and grasses in savannah ecosystems. Our ancestors, hominins, evolved in the context of savannah expansion and increased climatic variability. Hominin evolution of fire use behaviors is under active investigation, and understanding natural fire variability contextualizes possible early interactions between hominins and fire. I am currently reconstructing regional records of fire activity from lacustrine and marine archives, investigating the spatial arrangement of fire and hominin activity on paleolandscapes, and using historical records to understand linkages between the modern climate system and fire controls in East Africa.
Currently (2021-2022), Tobias is hosted by Prof. Dr. William D'Andrea to conduct his Swiss NSF Postdoc.Mobility fellowship project entitled "Holocene climate variability from Kerguelen Islands and NE Greenland: combining sedimentary lipid biomarkers with hyperspectral imaging techniques". He investigates lipid biomarkers such as Alkenones (temperature) and Deuterium-isotopes measured on leaf waxes (hydroclimate) extracted from lake sediments from NE Greenland and Kerguelen Islands, to obtain climate reconstructions over the Holocene (~12 ka BP). He further applies non-destructive scanning techniques such as computed tomography (CT), hyperspectral imaging and X-Ray fluorescence scans to explore the study lakes' paleo productivity and anoxia histories.
Before joining LDEO, Tobias conducted an SNSF early Postdoc.Mobility fellowship hosted at the Geoscience Department at Univesity of Massachusetts, Amherst (2019-2021). He was co-hosted by Prof. Dr. Isla S. Castañeda and Prof. Dr. Raymond S. Bradley. He applied a combination of brGDGTs analyses (lipid biomarker) and hyperspectral imaging to infer local Holocene-length temperature-, eutrophication-, and anoxia variability based on lake sediments from Lakes 578 and Igaliku in S Greenland.
He dedicated his PhD (2014-2018, supervised by Prof. Dr. Martin Grosjean) to the investigation of lake sediments from Cajas National Park, Ecuador (Climate reconstruction, tephrochronology, and pollution history), and Lake Lugano, Switzerland (high-resolution Eutrophication reconstruction based on hyperspectral imaging).
Alongside his research, he co-founded the SNSF Global Fellows Network that connects over 300 SNSF Postdocs from all research fields around the Globe in which he serves as a board member. He further is a regional representative for North America of PAGES early career network (ECN).
I am a marine geophysicist interested in the interplay between relatively large-scale geophysical processes and the microbial biosphere. I am currently studying the tidal modulation of aqueous fluid flow within mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal systems, with the hope of understanding how such flow variations can affect subseafloor primary production. I also study spatial variations in the tidal triggering of microearthquakes within ridge systems, and I study problems in acoustics associated with high-temperature hydrothermal vents and seafloor seismic networks. Ultimately my work has implications for theories about the origins and evolution of life on this planet, and for theories regarding life elsewhere in the universe. I use numerical models to investigate these processes, and I develop new observational techniques and seafloor instrumentation to verify model predictions.
Gentleman Adventurer, 1969-present.
My research is focused on magmas associated with the plate tectonic cycle, at both divergent and convergent plate margins. My main contributions have been to the understanding of:
* Magma generation: quantifying the roles of decompression, temperature and water in driving mantle melting
* Crustal recycling at subduction zones: providing global flux estimates of marine sediment subducted into oceanic trenches, and tracing sediment geochemically from the seafloor to arc volcanoes
* Water content of magmas, and the effects on magma evolution, mantle and slab temperature, and eruptive vigor.
My tools are geochemical, field work has taken me to Nicaragua and the Aleutians, and to sea. I have served on the MARGINS steering committee, the editorial boards of Geology and Earth & Planetary Science Letters, the EarthScope Advisory Committee, as co-chief scientist on Leg 185 of the Ocean Drilling Program, co-lead-author of the SZ4D Vision Document, and one of the writing team for the NAS ERUPT Report.
Plank received the Houtermans Medal from the European Association for Geochemistry, the Donath Medal from the Geological Society of America, is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the Geochemical Society, the Geological Society fo America, and the Mineralogical Society of America. In 2012 she was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, in 2013 elected into the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2016 the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Some of my projects include:
* Magmatism and Mantle Lithosphere across the Basin and Range
* Volatiles In arc magmas and mantle xenoliths
* Diffusion clocks of volcanic processes
* Subduction fluxes of volatile and stable isotope tracers
Tara is UX writer and designer who has structured information/interactions and developed copy/content for diverse clients, audiences, and delivery media, including websites, applications, educational software, and multi-channel communications. Her focus is to meet audience needs, enhance the brand, and achieve measurable results. Tara is also a very active volunteer on grant-funded community wellness and sustainability initiatives, applying her professional experience writing, editing, and structuring information for communication, promotion, education, and audience engagement.
My research involves marine geophysical studies of the formation and early evolution of the Earth's oceanic crust at mid-ocean ridges, magma chamber processes, crustal evolution within plate interiors, and subduction zone properties. I make use of marine reflection seismic imaging, as well as other marine geophysical methods including sonar mapping, magnetics, gravity, and deep submergence studies. I am also involved in the development of cyberinfrastructure for geosciences providing data tools and services for the academic marine geoscience community. I have been a participant on 16 marine research expeditions since 1986, 7 as Chief, Co-Chief or co-PI. My field-work includes expeditions in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans as well as near shore studies of sediment processes in the New York region.
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.
Steven Chillrud, Ph.D. is a Lamont Research Professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. He describes himself as an environmental geochemist interested in public health research. Much of his research is focused on the role of particles in the transport, behavior, and fate of chemical contaminants. His expertise in exposure assessment includes the development and testing of air samplers and analytical methods for quantifying airborne contaminants.
Dr. Chillrud’s formal training was in geochemistry and focused on analytical chemistry and understanding transport and fate of particle-associated contaminants in the Hudson River Watershed through the use of dated sediment cores. During his post-doc at Columbia University, he began reconstructing the history of atmospheric deposition of a wide array of particle-bound contaminants into NYC throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Dr. Chillrud’s research spans air, water and soil pollution in both urban and rural settings. He serves as Director of the Exposure Assessment Core Facility of the Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan, which supports a wide array of air and water pollution projects, including supporting projects in low- and middle-income countries and overseeing the development and use of air sampling equipment.
Dr. Chillrud’s early work identified short commutes in the subway system as being the dominant exposure pathway for NYC adolescents to airborne iron, manganese, and chromium. Frustration with limitations of pumps and monitors led to efforts developing and testing miniaturized, personal air samplers for black carbon and multiple air pollutants.
Dr. Chillrud is also active in research on enhanced remediation methods of groundwater and research translation within Columbia’s Superfund Program on Health Effects and Geochemistry of Arsenic. He is an active member of Columbia’s CleanAir Toolbox, a collaboration of 20 research groups across the Columbia Climate School focused on solutions-oriented work to improve air quality in cities across the Global South, also referred to as low and middle income countries.
Dr. Chillrud teaches classes related to sustainability in SIPA’s Environmental Science and Policy Program and the the SPS Master’s Program in Science of Sustainability.
Professor Steven L. Goldstein is Higgins Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences. In addition to his teaching, Professor Goldstein is also one of the leaders of the Isotope Geochemistry Lab at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. His research utilizes the products of natural radioactive decay to determine the timing of events and as tracers of Earth processes. Routinely used isotopic approaches include Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Th-U-Pb, Lu-Hf, radiocarbon, and intermediate products of U-decay. These tools can be applied across the geosciences and across geological time, and Professor Goldstein’s research has addressed a wide range of topics ranging from the early history of the Earth to recent climate change. He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed papers. Professor Goldstein is a recipient of the American Geophysical Union’s Norman L. Bowen Award “in recognition of outstanding contributions to the fields of volcanology, geochemistry, and petrology”, and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the Geochemical Society/European Association of Geochemistry. He is also a recipient of Columbia’s Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award. He especially appreciates two awards: the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Graduate Student Committee of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates. Prior to coming to Columbia in 1996, Professor Goldstein was Staff Scientist at the Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie in Mainz Germany, in the Geochemistry Division. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1986, his M.A. from Harvard in 1978, and his B.A. from Columbia College in 1976.
In 1894, Fridjof Nansen, a Norwegian scientist, was surprised to see on an expedition that Arctic sea ice wasn't always white and pristine, but was often discolored by dust and mud. He vowed to return one day to discover where the sediment was coming from. But Nansen never did return, and 100 years later I became intrigued by the same question when I saw the wide expanses of "dirty" ice in the Arctic. As a result, my main research interest is determining the role of sea ice - a transport mechanism unique to the Arctic - in the redistribution of sediments and pollutants in the Arctic. When I sample a floe for sediment or pollutant load, I want to know where it came from, what's happened to it since the ice first formed and where the ice is going to melt and release its incorporated materials.
I am developing and using a variety of methods to find answers to these questions. In a broader view, an unusual combination of environmental conditions in the Arctic exacerbates climate change, ozone depletion and deposition of pollutants. DDT and heavy metals from regions far to the south accumulate in the Arctic marine food chain. I am interested in finding out how warming in the Arctic could affect the pathways and fate of contaminants.
Spahr Webb holds the Jerome M. Paros/Lamont Research professorship in Observational Sciences at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory which Is part of Columbia University’s new Climate School. He is also an Adjunct Professor within the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences Department of the Columbia University. His group develops instrumentation to better observe geophysical and oceanographic processes. A principle focus now is on subduction zones and the hazards of megathrust earthquakes with an emphasis on observing slow slip events (SSEs or slow earthquakes). The distribution of slip in SSEs should inform on the coupling behavior of megathrust faults and which have preceded several recent giant earthquakes, and thus may provide the potential for early warning. Other efforts include measuring deformation near the trench of subduction zones using GPS-acoustic techniques, monitoring magma chamber processes beneath Axial volcano using the compliance method. His group runs a fleet of ocean bottom seismometers that have been extensively deployed for studies of the oceanic crust and upper mantle.
Spahr Webb hold B.S. degrees in Physics and also Earth and Planetary Sciences from MIT and a PhD in oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Sonya Dyhrman is a professor of earth and environmental sciences at Columbia University and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Dyhrman graduated with high honors in biology from Dartmouth College and received her Ph.D. in marine biology from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She did her postdoctoral training at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), where she was a tenured member of the scientific staff until she moved to Columbia. She has participated in over 30 research expeditions, including two expeditions to Antarctica for which she was awarded the Antarctic Service Medal. She teaches classes in microbiology, science communication, and climate and is the co-Director of an international training workshop in genomics. Dyhrman is an investigator with the Simons Foundation, a two-time Kavli Fellow in the National Academy Frontiers of Science Program, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Her research leverages molecular tools to study the physiological ecology of cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae and their role in shaping marine ecosystem structure, function and biogeochemistry. In addition to her research efforts, Dyhrman developed ocean science literacy activities for classrooms and the virtual world Whyville, giving more than one million children exposure to ocean literacy standards and the process of scientific discovery.
I am a geochemist and professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. I use the records in sediments and sedimentary rocks to document aspects of Earth’s history.
- Provides administrative support for the Associate Director and Division Administrator of the large, very active, grants-funded research science division of LDEO. Maintains confidentiality with all sensitive materials, matters, and databases for divisional controls, including salary tracking and PI information. Helps with Budget entries - Government and Non-governmental grants. Coordinates Associate Director’s calendar, schedules senior staff meetings, performance evaluations, and ExCom Rep election. Exceptionally work with Columbia University financial systems such as ARC, FDS, and FinSy. Arranges TBERS, known as CONCUR, for Division-wide personnel. Prepares RASCALS, C&Ps, COI, and relevant documents involved with all aspects of grant proposal processing. Organizes and coordinates events, conferences, workshops, and seminars for Division. Keeps training, receipts, and in possession of both P-card and Travel Card. Coordinate and assist in maintaining the division website redesign and MG&G Roster. Expertly liaise with senior and managerial staff members and a wide variety of University and faculty members and external contacts.
Sean Solomon is an Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, where he served as Director from 2012 to 2020. Prior to coming to Columbia, Solomon held appointments from 1972 to 1992 as Assistant Professor to Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and from 1992 to 2011 as Director of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
In his research, Solomon has applied the tools of seismology and marine geophysics to address the formation and tectonic evolution of oceanic crust and lithosphere at mid-ocean ridges and transform faults, the nature and causes of intraplate stress, and the deep seismic structure of oceanic hotspots. Through a combination of spacecraft observations and theoretical analyses, he has sought to understand the internal structure and geophysical evolution of the solar system’s inner planets. A member of the science teams for the Magellan mission to Venus, the Mars Global Surveyor mission, and the GRAIL mission to the Moon, Solomon was the principal investigator for NASA’s MESSENGER mission, which sent the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury and study the planet’s composition, geology, topography, gravity and magnetic fields, exosphere, magnetosphere, and heliospheric environment.
A former Hertz Fellow, Sloan Research Fellow, and Guggenheim Fellow, Solomon was President of the American Geophysical Union from 1996 to 1998. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the International Academy of Astronautics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and the Geological Society of America. He is a recipient of the G. K. Gilbert Award from the Geological Society of America, the Arthur L. Day Prize from the National Academy of Sciences, the Public Service Medal from NASA, the Harry H. Hess Medal from the American Geophysical Union, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the California Institute of Technology. In 2014 he was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama.
In 2017 Sarah Ramdeen earned her PhD in Information and Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interest is the information seeking behavior of geologists when looking for physical sample materials. Physical samples cannot be completely digitized but often have digital materials associated with them. These hybrid collections have unique curation needs which may be better understood by investigating metadata creation and user access.
Dr. Ramdeen holds a BS in Geology and a BA in Humanities from Florida State University (FSU). She also holds an MS in Library and Information Studies with a Certificate in Museum Studies from FSU. Before entering the PhD program at UNC-CH, she worked for the Florida Geological Survey in their core and cuttings repository processing samples for archival storage and later assisting with the development of a repository database.
Ryan Abernathey is an Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, in Ocean and Climate Physics. His primary research interests are the role of ocean circulation (particularly the Southern Ocean) in the climate system, dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and its overturning circulation, and mixing and transport by ocean eddies
Rosanne D'Arrigo is a Lamont Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Her current research is in the Tree-Ring Research Laboratory, where scientists are dedicated to expanding the use and application of tree-ring research around the world to improve understanding of past climate and environmental history. Dr. D'Arrigo has been involved with educational outreach for many years via annual open houses, exhibits, and seminars.
Robin Bell, AGU president (2019 – 2020), has been a member of AGU for more than 30 years. She is a past president of the Cryosphere section and was elected as an AGU Fellow in 2011. Bell received her undergraduate degree in geology from Middlebury College in Vermont and her Ph.D. in geophysics from Columbia University in 1989. Since completing her doctorate, Bell has led the research at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory on ice sheets, tectonics, rivers, and mid-ocean ridges.
Currently, Bell is a Palisades Geophysical Institute (PGI) Lamont Research Professor, directing research programs in Antarctica and Greenland, and she has developed technology to monitor our changing planet. Bell has coordinated 10 major aero-geophysical expeditions to Antarctica and Greenland, studying what makes ice sheets collapse. She has discovered a volcano beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet, several large lakes locked beneath two miles of ice, and demonstrated that ice sheets could thicken from below. Bell also led a Lamont team to map the Hudson River from Staten Island to Albany.
In 2006, Bell received an honorary degree from Middlebury College and had an Antarctic Mountain named after her. During the International Polar Year, Bell led a major expedition to Antarctica to explore the last unknown mountain range on Earth, the Gamburtsev Mountains, which were completely covered with ice. Bell’s team discovered that water hidden beneath the ice sheet runs uphill. Using the new IcePod and gravity technologies, Bell’s team is currently exploring the Ross Ice Shelf, a floating piece of ice the size of France that covers the least-known piece of Earth’s ocean floor.
What can the past tell us about the future? Much of my work is oriented around understanding what the historical record can tell us about climate change, and especially how changes in the composition of the atmosphere affect the flows of energy within the earth system -- the so-called "radiative forcing." On shorter time scales I work on a range of problems related to clouds, radiation, circulation, and climate. One practical thread is related to the nuts-and-bolts of building models. Radiation is the ultimate driver for every atmospheric motion so every model of the atmosphere needs an accruate representation. I'm especially interested in identifying a range of strategies for balancing accuracy and computational cost based on the scales at which radiation couples to circulation. I have a long-standing interest in interpreting remote-sensing measurements. Still inspired by one of my first mentors, I'm especially interested in what we can learn from different views of the same aspect of the world.
Anderson graduated summa cum laude from the University of Washington in 1975 with a double major in chemistry and in oceanography. In 1981 he was awarded his PhD in Chemical Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography. Since 1981 he has been at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, rising through the ranks until reaching his current position of Ewing-Lamont Research Professor in 2010. Along the way he has taught chemistry of the ocean and of continental waters and served as Associate Director for the Observatory (2003 to 2008), when he oversaw the construction of the Comer building for the Geochemistry Division.
As a student, Anderson was convinced that naturally occurring radionuclides could be used to quantify the rates of key processes in marine biogeochemical cycles. Some of the essential principles were defined initially in the paper by Bacon and Anderson (1982). GEOSECS, the first program to systematically study the chemistry of the ocean at a global scale, was then demonstrating the value of synthesizing results from diverse sources. In 2000, following these principles, Anderson teamed with international scientists as architects of a program to study the marine biogeochemistry trace elements and their isotopes, GEOTRACES. The value of using radionuclides to establish rates is shown in Anderson et al. (2009), where rapid changes in the circulation of the ocean around Antarctica were first demonstrated to be responsible for the release of CO2 to the atmosphere as Earth emerged from the last ice age. Work on this project led to a partnership with George Denton to synthesize records from the ocean and from land, respectively, to define features that characterized Earth’s last transition from ice age to interglacial conditions (Denton & Anderson et al., 2010). By elucidating the important role of ocean circulation, it was possible to determine that the low atmospheric CO2 levels of the Pleistocene ice ages was due to increased storage of CO2 in the deep ocean (Anderson et al., 2019). Now, a growing number of synthesis papers from the GEOTRACES program (Anderson, 2020) are exploiting naturally occurring radionuclides to establish rates of processes that regulate the chemistry of the ocean, such as the delivery of dust from the continents, the sinking flux of biogenic material exported from the surface ocean, and the accumulation of sediments world wide, bringing to fruition Anderson’s dream in graduate school.
- I am a climate scientist at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. I was born in the United Kingdom and did my undergraduate studies at the University of Liverpool where I was introduced to atmospheric sciences, climate studies and oceanography. I moved to New York and Columbia to do my PhD under Mark Cane and Steve Zebiak in tropical atmosphere-ocean and climate dynamics. After a postdoc at the University of Washington I returned to Lamont and have been here ever since. My work concerns climate variability and change on timescales of weeks to millennia with a special focus on atmosphere-ocean interaction, the causes of droughts and hydro climate variability and change. My work uses numerical models, observations and proxy climate reconstructions from paleoclimate records and covers the globe.
- Renata Wentzcovitch is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in the Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics Department, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. Her research is devoted to computational quantum mechanical studies of materials at extreme conditions, especially planetary materials. She addresses electronic, structural, and vibrational properties from a fundamental and inter-related perspective.
Raf received his BSc in Physics from Eindhoven University of Technology in 2017 and two MSc's in Climate Physics and Geophysics from Utrecht University in 2020. The last year of his Master's program he visited Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory on a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research under supervision of Marco Tedesco for his Master's thesis. In 2020, he started his PhD program at Columbia University, advised by Marco Tedesco. His research interests include ice-climate interaction, surface mass balance, polar geophysics and glacial history.
Radley Horton is a Lamont Research Professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. His research focuses on climate extremes, tail risks, climate impacts, and adaptation. Radley was a Convening Lead Author for the Third National Climate Assessment. He currently Co-Chairs Columbia’s Adaptation Initiative, and is Principal Investigator for the Columbia University-WWF ADVANCE partnership, and the NOAA-Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments-funded Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast. He is also the Columbia University lead for the Department of Interior-funded Northeast Climate Science Center, and is a PI on an NSF-funded Climate Change Education Partnership Project. Radley has been a Co-leader in the development of a global research agenda in support of the United Nations Environmental Program’s Programme on Vulnerability, Impacts, and Adaptation (PROVIA) initiative. He serves on numerous national and international task forces and committees, including the Climate Scenarios Task Force in support of the 2018 National Climate Assessment, and frequently appears on national and international television, radio, and in print. Radley teaches in Columbia University’s Sustainable Development department.
- SUGAR refraction seismic imaging project - http://sugarseismic.blogspot.com/
Pierre Dutrieux received his Ph.D in Oceanography from the University of Hawaii in 2009. His PhD work investigated tropical ocean circulation and dynamics with a particular focus on meso-scale eddy variability. Since then he directed his attention to the interaction between the oceans and the polar ice sheets, first at the British Antarctic Survey (until 2015), at the Polar Science Center, APL-UW, and now at LDEO.
Using pioneering autonomous platforms (Autosub 3) to roam under at least 300 m thick ice for tens of kilometers, his research demonstrated that warm waters >3° above the in situ freezing point reaches the grounding line (where the ice sheet comes afloat and eventually extends into an ice shelf) of Pine Island Glacier, in West Antarctica. This water efficiently melts the ice shelf, reduces its buttressing effect on the flow of grounded ice into the ocean, and is now shown to be a key driver of a wide-spread glacial acceleration and retreat in the Amundsen Sea, West Antarctica, with important contributions to sea level rise, the freshwater budget of the Southern Ocean and possible impacts on the global thermohaline circulation and local primary production.
Using autonomous platforms, ship-borne ocean observations, ground-based and airborne radar observations, satellite observations and numerical modelling, Pierre further demonstrated that in this setting glacial melt is strongly modulated in time by remote climatic sources, and that the spatial distribution of melt is complex, varying at meters to kilometers scales, and carving and interacting with intriguing landscapes under the ice.
Developing new observational tools and integrating new understanding into predictive models, Pierre continues his work to shed light on the processes controlling the oceanic melting of glacial ice and its implications for the climate system.
- As the deputy director and director of research at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, Peter Schlosser plays an active role in developing interdisciplinary research on sustainable development—in addition to conducting his own research, teaching, designing courses and publishing regularly. For several decades, Peter Schlosser has been one of the world’s leading earth scientists. His research is directed at understanding the natural state of the Earth’s hydrosphere, including its oceans, groundwater and terrestrial surface waters, as well as the human perturbation of our planet’s natural state. One dimension of his focus on anthropogenic impacts on our planet is climate change, one of Schlosser’s specific areas of expertise. He is the founding director of the Columbia Climate Center (CCC) , which partners with approximately 20 schools, departments and centers at Columbia and the Earth Institute to promote multidisciplinary research collaborations across the University. Through these collaborations, the CCC aims to improve humankind's capacity to understand, predict and respond to climate variability and change within a multidisciplinary approach to sustainable development. In addition to his work with the CCC, Schlosser is Vinton Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and a professor of earth and environmental sciences. He serves as chair of the Earth Institute Faculty, a group of senior faculty and researchers from around the University that provides intellectual leadership to the Earth Institute. This role is becoming increasingly complex and influential as the Earth Institute expands its scope by choosing new and diverse sustainable development projects to tackle problems on local, regional and global scales. According to Professor Schlosser, the Earth Institute’s greatest imperative is “keeping the complex and interlinked agenda of the Earth Institute moving forward in the academic environment [and] establishing sustainable development as an academic discipline with tangible benefits for society.” To address the essential connection between research and practice, Schlosser helped develop the Earth Clinic. Schlosser recognizes that the key to success for the Earth Institute goes beyond the cutting-edge research that its 600 plus scientists are involved in around the world. The Earth Institute is in a unique position as a research center of a world class university, using a new approach to solve the problems of sustainable development through interdisciplinary collaborations across academic departments. Schlosser received B.S. and M.S. in 1981 from the University of Heidelberg in Germany and a Ph.D. from the same institution in 1985. While pursuing his Ph.D. in physics, he was inspired by the subject’s potential to improve quality of life. He eventually chose to focus on environmental physics “because of [his] interest in the fate of the environment under increasing pressure due to human development.”
- Peter Eisenberger attended Princeton University from 1959-1963, where he received a B.A. in Physics with honors. He received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for his first year at Harvard University and a Harvard Fellowship for his second year. He graduated in 1967 from Harvard University with Ph.D. in Applied Physics and remained at Harvard for one year as a Post Doctoral Fellow, where he did research in both biophysics and on the polaron problem. In 1968 he joined the staff at Bell Laboratories, where his research centered on using Compton Scattering to determine the momentum distribution of electrons in metals and semiconductors. From 1974-1981 he was a department head at Bell Laboratories, and his research interests switched to using X-ray produced by Synchrotron radiation to study structural properties of complex solids and surfaces. He was a consulting professor at Stanford University’s Applied Physics Department from 1981-1987. As an outgrowth of those interests, he became actively involved in the growth of those facilities, including Chairship of the Advanced Photon Steering Committee and participation in National Academy of Science (NAS) and Department of Energy (DOE) studies. In 1981 he joined Exxon Research and Engineering Company as Director of their Physical Sciences Laboratory. In 1989 he was appointed Professor of Physics and Director of the Princeton Materials Institute at Princeton University. He is currently a Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, where from 1996-1999 he held the posts of Vice Provost of the Earth Institute of Columbia University and Director of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Dr. Eisenberger is a fellow of both the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Eisenberger was one of the authors of the National Action Plan for Materials Science and Engineering, and was a member of the Commission on the Future of the National Science Foundation (NSF). He was chair of the Advisory Committee in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Division of the NSF and serves as co-chair of the NSF Conference "Organizing for R&D in the 21st Century". His recent activities include Chairman of the Board of the Invention Factory Science Center, Member of the Board of Trustees for New Jersey’s Inventors Hall of Fame, Director of Associated Institutions for Materials Science, and organizer of NSF/DOE Conferences, "Basic Research Needs for Vehicles of the Future," "Basic Research Needs for Environmentally Responsive Technologies of the Future," "Organizing for Research and Development in the 21st Century," and "Basic Research Needs to Achieve Sustainability: The Carbon Problem". More recently, he has been appointed by Governor Whitman to the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology and is a member of the GEO2000 Task Force of the NSF.
Peter Kelemen studies the chemical and physical processes of reaction between fluids and rocks. He has worked on the genesis and evolution of oceanic and continental crust, chemical cycles in subduction zones, and new mechanisms for earthquake initiation. His primary focus now is on geologic capture and storage of CO2 (CCS), and reaction-driven cracking processes in natural and engineered settings, with application to CCS, the global carbon cycle on Earth & Mars, geothermal power generation, hydrocarbon extraction, in situ mining. He teaches a popular course on “Earth Resources for Sustainable Development” and a new course on “Carbon Storage” at Columbia, as well as courses and seminars on petrology, geochemistry, and geodynamics.
Kelemen was a founding partner of Dihedral Exploration (1980-1992), consultants specializing in exploration for mineral deposits in steep terrain, with contracts in Canada, Alaska and Greenland. Research and climbing have taken him to Peru, India, Oman, the Aleutian Islands, 7,500 meters above sea level in Pakistan, and 5,500 meters below sea level via submersibles along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
Kelemen received his AB from Dartmouth College in 1980, and his PhD from the University of Washington in 1987. He spent 16 years at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution before moving to Columbia’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory in 2004.
Kelemen was recently awarded the American Geophysical Union Hess Medal. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the Mineralogical Society of America, and the Geochemical Society.
- I am a paleoceanographer who uses deep-sea sediments as archives of past climate change. Ocean sediments accumulate slowly but continuously and provide detailed records of past changes in Earth climate and ocean circulation over a wide range of timescales. I’m currently interested in paleoclimate problems that inform human dimensions of climate change. I’m the founding director of Columbia’s Center for Climate and Life, a research accelerator that mobilizes scientists to understand how climate impacts life’s essentials - the security of food, water, and shelter - and to explore sustainable energy solutions. We partner with industry, finance, and governments, transferring knowledge to inform solutions.
The evolution of continental ecosystems (including their external and internal controls and their biological and physical components) is my overall area of research. I am especially interested in the pattern, causes and effects of climate change on geological time scales, mass extinctions, and the effects of evolutionary innovations on global biogeochemical cycles.
In recent years my students and I have engaged in multidisciplinary projects including: drilling and recovering more than 20,000 feet of core from Triassic lake deposits in New Jersey to understand the influence of variations of the earth's orbit on tropical climate, detailed analysis of the great mass extinction 200 million years ago that set the stage for the dominance of the dinosaurs, excavations at major fossil vertebrate sites throughout eastern North America and Morocco, and the evolutionary processes mediating global carbon cycling.
My approach is to use whatever techniques are available to understand ancient earth's biological and physical systems, and consequently, students involved in these areas have used a broad range of disciplines including structural geology, palynology, geochemistry, geophysics and paleontology.
Paul Richards has taught at Columbia University since 1971, where he has conducted research on the theory of seismic wave propagation, the physics of earthquakes, the interior structure of the Earth, and the application of seismological methods to explosion and earthquake monitoring. He is a co-author of the advanced text “Quantitative Seismology” (available in Russian, Chinese, Japanese as well as English), and co-discoverer of evidence for super-rotation of the Earth’s inner core. He has been emeritus Professor of Natural Sciences since 2008, and is currently Special Research Scientist at Columbia where he continues to conduct research on methods to improve the monitoring of earthquakes and explosions.
He has held Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships, chaired Columbia’s Department of Geological Sciences from 1979 to 1983, served terms as a visiting scholar at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in 1984 and 1993, was elected (1992) to membership in the Council on Foreign Relations, participated for the United States delegation in Geneva in CTBT negotiations, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received the Seismological Society of America’s 2009 medal for outstanding contributions in seismology.
Patrick Alexander is an Associate Research Scientist in the Marine Geology and Geophysics division at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He is a cryospheric scientist focusing on interactions between ice and climate. He incorporates remote sensing and in situ measurements with global climate models and regional climate models to study ice-climate interactions, particularly interactions between climate and polar ice sheets, with the goal of understanding the future impact of climate change on sea level rise. Prior to his current position, Patrick was a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Lamont and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He earned his undergraduate and master's degrees in environmental engineering from Columbia University, and his doctorate from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. A complete list of his publications can be found on Google Scholar.
August 4, 1937
Microbial Physiological Ecologist, Biologist, and Educator
- Bachelor of Arts (Botany), Washington University, St. Louis, 1959
- Master of Arts (Biological Education), Washington University, 1961
- Doctorate (Biology and Education), Washington University, 1964
- Professor of Natural Sciences, Columbia University T. C., 1964-2020
- Teachers College, Department Chairman, 1974-1980, 1993-1996, 2000-2017
- Senior Research Scientist (Adj.), Biology, 1967-present – Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
- Faculty Member at Large, Columbia University – Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1993-present
Nicole Davi is a an Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at the Tree-Ring Laboratory at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and a professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Science at William Paterson University. Davi’s research focuses on developing and interpreting high-resolution paleoclimatic records in order to further our understanding of climate change over the past 2000 years. She has authored/co-authored dozens of peer-reviewed articles on paleoclimate and has received awards from National Science Foundation and other funding agencies for her research. Davi also has several projects that focus on improving science literacy for undergraduate and K-12 students, and also for public audiences. Davi often collaborates with artists to explore new and compelling ways to communicate the excitement of scientific explorations with diverse audiences.
Nick came to the Lamont Earth Observatory within the Earth Institute in 2007 to work with Dr Robin Bell to develop and deploy an Airborne Geophysics system capable of mapping the remotest parts of Antarctica in preparation for the International Polar Year. In the process he and Robin set up the kernel of the Polar Geophysics Group that has grown today into an extended family of scientists, researchers, Grad Students, Doctoral Students and Engineers that number over 30 in total. Nick also set up the Polar Geophysics lab to develop the sensors and systems necessary to carry out the work and today has extended the role of the lab to develop sensors for many aspects of the Earth Sciences.
Educated in Britain, and groomed at an American plate boundary, Christie-Blick’s research deals with sedimentation processes, crustal deformation, and deep-time Earth history – currently with emphasis on the geology of the Neoproterozoic Earth. He is known also for his work in seismic and sequence stratigraphy, and the paradox of low-angle normal faulting. Christie-Blick teaches courses in sedimentary geology and tectonics, receiving the Best Teacher Award from both graduate and undergraduate students.
I am a Ph.D. student in the organic geochemistry group at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. My research focuses on using molecular-fossils or "biomarkers" preserved in marine sediments to reconstruct different attributes of the Earth's climate system in the geologic past on timescales of decades to millions of years. In particular, I measure the flux, distribution and hydrogen and carbon isotopic composition of plant-waxes to investigate how vegetation and precipitation have varied in the monsoon region of West Africa on orbital timescales in the Pleistocene. I also have projects focused on improving the understanding of wildfires in ecosystem transitions in West Africa using molecular flux records of pyrosugars and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during the Green Sahara period in the mid-Holocene and on reconstructing changes in the paleo-ocean circulation of the North Atlantic in the Neogene using alkenone-based sea surface temperature records.
- Nathan Steiger is an Adjunct Associate Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. He works to understand the historical variability of the climate system and its relevance to human societies. In particular, he conducts research on the physical mechanisms of severe droughts, pluvials, and other climate extremes.
Natalie works in the Office of Research at The Climate School. She is focused on researcher professional development and is responsible for designing programs around building and cultivating leadership skills to empower the researchers at The Climate School to take advantage of greater funding opportunities. Prior to joining The Climate School in 2021, Natalie worked at the Zuckerman Institute for Mind Brain Behavior on institute-wide scientific programming and mentoring efforts. She charted the course for the Columbia Neuroscience Seminar Series through the transition from in-person to virtual events, setting program best practices and organizational processes in place and launched the Zuckerman Institute Affiliate Members Program. If you have any ideas, feedback, or suggestions for programming, please email Natalie at [email protected]
I am a non-traditional stable isotope geochemist. In 2018, I received my PhD on stable Ni isotopic fractionation in high temperature terrestrial and lunar rocks from Oxford University, UK. I am currently working on several Ni isotope studies, expanding on this work and the explosion of recent interest in this area. I am also preparing to move into our new clean lab at LDEO, Alex Halliday's NICER Lab (Novel Isotopes in Climate, Environment, and Rocks).
I am originally from Cumbria in the North of England, and grew up around the magnificent rocks of the Lake District. The Borrowdale volcanics and abundant local hematite started my interest in Geology, and led to an A level in the subject. The A level convinced me that this subject was going to be my passion, and ~10 years on nothing has changed!
I am an Ecoclimatologist who researches the interactions between climate change and natural and human ecosystems. My expertise includes dendrochronology, plant ecophysiology, remote sensing, and climate science. I received his PhD in 2020 Columbia University. In my research I have investigated flooding in the Brahmaputra and Indus Rivers in South Asia and the impact of dzud (cold winters that cause livestock mortality) on pastoral nomadic herding communities in Mongolia. I am is currently working on projects to understand the forest carbon cycle, the vulnerability of boreal forests and livestock herding in Mongolia to climate change, and the use of dendroarchaeology to reveal the hidden stories behind the construction of New York City in the 19th and early 20th century.
A complete list of my publications can be found on Google Scholar.
Michelle is currently a PhD candidate in the Marine Geology and Geophysics division advised by Dr. Suzanne Carbotte and Dr. Maya Tolstoy. Her research focuses on utilizing seismic data and seismic analysis techniques to understand the geophysical and structural properties associated with seamounts. Her PhD research specifically focuses on using marine seismic data to understand the structure and volcanic processes of Axial Seamount, an active submarine volcano located on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. She is also working on using marine seismic data to understand subseafloor properties and structures at and near passive and burried seamounts along the Cascadia Margin.
I was born and raised in Udine, Italy. I went to college in Trieste to study Physics and eventually fell in love with climate science. Thanks to good mentors at ICTP, COLA, and CMCC, I ended up getting my PhD in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. I came to Lamont in 2004 as a postdoc and never left. I live in NYC with my husband, my son, and my cat Emma.
Michael Shelter is the Assistant Director of Research Initiatives responsible for running internal seed funding programs that catalyze high-risk reserach collaborations, and who will project manage interdisciplinary teams towards successful federal grant proposals.
Prior to joining the Columbia Climate School in 2022, Michael worked as the Administrative Manager and Program & Operations Coordinator within the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research where he was tasked with variety of responsibilities including human resource operations, office management, event planning and support, and providing assistance on large federal funding grants and site visits.
Before Columbia, Michael worked as a Car Free Day Coordinator and Participatory Budgeting Coordinator for NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. During his time as a student at The New School, he was part of a team of Research Assistants with promoting the culture and awareness around sustainability.
- My current research involves using paleoclimate and spatial data alongside geochemistry and geochronology to reconstruct past sea level and ice volume changes that took place millions of years ago. My expertise includes high-precision strontium isotope geochronology of shallow water carbonates, uranium-thorium series dating of fossil coral, and coastal geomorphological field mapping using LiDAR, dGPS and 3D photogrammetry.
- I am a geophysicist who works mainly on sedimentary systems with projects related both to tectonics and earthquakes, and to sea level and stratigraphy. A particular interest is vertical motions of the Earth’s surface and their preservation in the sedimentary record. My main field area is currently Bangladesh where I work both on the heavily-sedimented IndoBurma subduction zone (IBSZ), including the earthquake hazard, and on deltaic processes in the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta (GBD), including sea level rise, land subsidence, sedimentation and river avulsions. I have worked in Bangladesh, and adjacent parts of India and Myanmar, for 20 years, taking part in and leading a number of field campaigns. I am also currently working on tectonics in Western Turkey, and on fresh and salty groundwater in both Bangladesh and offshore New Jersey.
My research interests fall under the broad heading of climate dynamics. Currently, I am working to better understand i) the dynamic and thermodynamic controls of the atmospheric water cycle in present-day and future climates, and ii) the atmosphere/ocean effects of annular mode/North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) variability.
After obtaining a B.A. summa cum laude from SUNY Buffalo (1992), I earned an M.Sc. at the University of Maine-Orono and a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado-Boulder. After a short stint as a Research Associate in Boulder, I was a Postdoc at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Edinburgh (Royal Society of London Postdoctoral Fellow), and at LDEO. Since 2006, I have been at LDEO.
Michael was a classroom Earth Scence Educator in middle school, high school, and college for 44 years. He continues to provide instruction in the graduate ES teachers program at the American Museum of Natural History in a career that now spans more than 50 years.
In 1998, he offered the first scientist-teacher Saturday workshops at Lamont that developed into the Earth2Class program. E2C is a unique science/math/technology resource for K-12 teachers, students, the general public, and geoscientists. It is a collaboration among researchers and an Earth Science educator at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University; technology integration specialists from Brasil; and classroom teachers from New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere.
Pre-pandemic,E2C centered around “Saturday Workshops for Educators” held at Columbia's Lamont Campus in Palisades N.Y.Now, programs are provided via zoom, so they are available to teachers and students anywhere.
Michael Has been a leader in Earth Science Education at the local, regional, national, and international level. He has served as President of the Science Teachers Association of New York State, Eastern Section of the National Aassociation of Geoscience Teachers (three times), and National Earth Science Teachers Aassociation (twice). Currently, he is the Newsletter Editor of the International Geoscience Education Organization (IGEO).
Maya Tolstoy is a Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York. She is a marine geophysicist specializing in seafloor earthquakes and volcanoes. Dr. Tolstoy has led 18 research expeditions at sea as Chief or co-Chief Scientist, and has 62 peer-reviewed scientific publications, including 6 in Science and 4 in Nature. She has led or co-led over $22 million worth of federally funded research, including co-PI for an Ocean Bottom Seismology National Facility for more than a decade, and was part of the leadership team that implemented the largest community marine seismology experiment to date – The Cascadia Initiative. Professor Tolstoy has been teaching in her area of expertise for more than 20 years, including courses at the graduate and undergraduate level in geophysics.
In addition to her research and teaching, Professor Tolstoy was the Interim Executive Vice President of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University from September 2018 through December 2019. Prior to that she led a number of key faculty governance groups. She co-chaired the Columbia Senate’s Commission on the Status of Women for 5 years, and led its 2014 Pipeline report. In 2016 she was elected to the Policy and Planning Committee (PPC), the faculty governance committee of Arts and Sciences at Columbia. In 2017/18 she chaired PPC leading a number of important initiatives, including developing a faculty voting process, leading a major equity study of faculty, and initiating studies on lecturers in discipline, best practices for by-laws, and childcare and schooling.
She is the recipient of the Wings Worldquest Sea Award honoring women in exploration and was a finalist for NASA’s Astronaut selection. She serves on the National Academy standing Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics and was honored by the American Geophysical Union as the Birch Lecturer in 2016. Dr. Tolstoy has also done extensive outreach work to communicate the excitement and importance of earth science to non-science audiences and worked with film-maker James Cameron on the IMAX documentary Aliens of the Deep. Her research has been covered by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, and numerous other media outlets.
She holds a BSc Honors in Geophysics from the University of Edinburgh and a Ph.D. in Earth Science from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at the University of California San Diego.
Maureen E. Raymo is Co-Founding Dean of the Columbia Climate School, Director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, G. Unger Vetlesen Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, and Director of the Lamont-Doherty Core Repository.
She has degrees from Brown and Columbia Universities and studies the history and causes of climate change in Earth's past. She is best known for the Uplift-Weathering Hypothesis that ties global cooling and the onset of the ice ages to a drawdown in atmospheric CO2 caused by the uplift of the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau.
In addition to publishing fundamental work on the stratigraphy and chronology of the recent geologic epochs, Raymo has also proposed hypotheses explaining the patterns of ice sheet variability observed over the last few million years and developed new ways of studying past sea level change. In 2014 she was the first woman to be awarded the Wollaston Medal by the Geological Society of London, their most prestigious award given out annually since 1831.
Raymo’s research has always focused on documenting how and discovering why the Earth's oceans, biogeochemical cycles, and climate have changed in the past, knowledge that is integrated with numerical models of past and future climate. Through detailed analysis of deep sea sediment cores, she has generated records of geochemical, paleontological, and paleoclimatic change that have advanced the study of Earth’s climate on tectonic, orbital, and millennial time scales.
For much of her career she has also worked to improve the timescales and stratigraphy that provide the foundation for the study of Earth’s history. Most recently her research group has focused on the reconstruction of sea level and ice volume during past warm climate intervals with the goal of improving predictions of future sea level rise in response to global warming.
Isotope geochemist developing novel techniques for investigating low and high temperature environments. I am currently working as a postdoctoral research scientist at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University. My research is focused on applying Sb isotopes to areas ranging from the formation of our solar system to using Sb as a tracer for environmental contamination. Other research interests include developing new mass spectrometer techniques for providing high precision measurements, and developing models for interpreting isotope measurements.
Martin Stute, Alena Wels Hirschorn'58 and Martin Hirschorn Professor in Environmental and Applied Sciences began teaching at Barnard in 1993 and became a full-time faculty member in 1995. He serves as Co-Chair (or Chair) of Barnard's Department of Environmental Science.
Professor Stute holds a concurrent position as Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and is a member of the faculty of Columbia's Department of Earth and Environmental Science. Professor Stute teaches such courses as Environmental Data Analysis, Hydrology, Workshop in Sustainable Development and leads the joint Columbia/Barnard Senior Research Seminar, the capstone experience for our majors.
His research interests include water resources, contaminant transport in groundwater, Carbon sequestration, unconventional gas production, paleoclimate, mathematical modeling of environmental phenomena, and the social and economic impact of global environmental change.
Regarding his development as an environmental scientist, Professor Stute says, "I knew early on that I wanted to dedicate my career to environmental issues and studied physics, because there was no such thing as environmental science to study at a university back then. My PhD thesis research topic at the University of Heidelberg focused on novel tracer techniques to study the dynamics of ground water flow, and the use of ground water as an archive of paleoclimate. I have been interested in water issues ever since and can still hardly resist to take a plunge into a thermal spring I encounter or take a sip from a well that might tap an interesting aquifer. I believe that water will play an increasingly important role in our attempts to achieve a sustainable global development."
Marley Bauce is the inaugural Associate Dean for Research within the Columbia Climate School, responsible for proposal development, internal seed funding, faculty development, and industry relations in service of Columbia’s dynamic climate research community. Prior to joining the Climate School in 2021, Marley was the Director of Research Proposal Development within Columbia’s Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, wherein he was tasked with large-scale “center grant” proposal development, writing, project management, and non-academic partnership formation. Marley has directly supported interdisciplinary faculty teams requesting $280M+ in federal sponsorship, and has obtained $57M in awards.
In addition to his role within the Climate School, Marley is an adjunct associate professor in NYU’s Graduate Program in Environmental Conservation Education, where he teaches a core MA course in environmental philosophy and sociology. He holds an MPA in Management from Columbia and an MA in the Environmental Studies from NYU, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Education Policy from Teachers College.
Like so many other oceanographers, I was born in Brooklyn, New York, in the days before the Dodgers left and precipitated the decline of American civilization. I was lucky enough to work on the tropical oceans in the era when we came to understand and predict El Niño and the Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the now famous pattern of interannual climate variability with well-publicized global consequences. Together with then student Steve Zebiak, I devised the first numerical model able to simulate ENSO, and in 1985 we used this model to make the first physically based forecasts of El Niño. Over the years the Zebiak-Cane model has been the primary tool used by many investigators to enhance understanding of ENSO. Making predictions led to asking what to do with them. So I began to work on the impact of El Niño and other climate variability on human activity, especially agriculture and health. My 1994 paper (with student Gidon Eshel) on the strong effect of El Niño on the maize crop in Zimbabwe has been influential in prompting decision makers to consider climate variability. This line of inquiry led to the creation of the International Research Institute for Seasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction, housed here at Lamont. While I continue to work on numerical models, equatorial dynamics, El Niño, prediction of climate variations and climate impacts, and global climate issues, my main interests at present are explaining the variations in the paleoclimate record, especially the astoundingly strong abrupt changes and the succession of droughts over the past millennium.
Marina Gemma is a PhD Candidate at Columbia University and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who does her research in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History. She studies primitive meteorites with Denton S. Ebel, focusing on the spectral and geochemical characteristics of ordinary and carbonaceous chondrites using a variety of analytical techniques. She greatly enjoys teaching, mentoring undergraduate researchers, and the multitude of public outreach she does as a scientist at AMNH and in New York City.
Dr. Tzortziou's research integrates multidisciplinary datasets, satellite observations, and ecosystem models to provide mechanistic insights into the impacts of human and environmental pressures on biogeochemical cycles and ecological processes along the continuum of terrestrial, wetland, estuarine, and open ocean ecosystems. A key objective of her research is applying results to link science to practice and enhance decision support systems. Dr. Tzortziou has led numerous field campaigns across a range of environments, from the tropics to the Arctic, and has received two NASA Group Achievement Awards (2016, 2019) as Science Team member of the DISCOVER-AQ and OWLETS missions.
Dr. Tzortziou is on the Science Steering Committee for the Ocean Carbon Biogeochemistry Program, the Science Leadership Board of the North American Carbon Program, and member of the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS). She is on the Editorial Board of Remote Sensing and Associate Editor for Biogeosciences. Dr. Tzortziou serves as the Deputy Program Applications Lead for PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem), a strategic NASA satellite mission that will extend key ocean color, aerosol, and cloud data records for Earth system and climate studies. She is the Applied Science Lead and Science Team member for NASA's recently selected Earth Venture Instrument-5 Investigation GLIMR (Geostationary Littoral Imaging and Monitoring Radiometer), a new instrument competitively selected by NASA to provide unique observations of ocean biology, chemistry, and ecology that are critically needed to improve coastal resource management, enhance decision making, and enable rapid response to natural and man-made coastal hazards.
Maria Rosabelle "Ross" Ong focuses on investigating short-term and long term (decadal-to-centennial) scale climate variability and ocean atmosphere interactions through the reconstruction of paleoenvironmental records using geochemical techniques, such as stable isotope and trace metal analysis of carbonates and water.
Her work involves utilizing the geochemistry of slow growing brain corals from the Caribbean to understand how changes in environmental parameters such as sea surface temperature (SST) and sea surface salinity (SSS) interact with climate teleconnections such as the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation in the Common Era. She is currently working on the calibration and reconstruction of SST derived from a new coral species collected from Trinidad and Tobago. Her goal is to better understand the natural variability of the climate and ocean systems and how they have changed in the past, to give a better insight in predicting future climate change.
Margie Turrin is Director of Educational Field Programs at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory where for over 20 years she has developed and delivered science education for formal and informal educators, and conducted research linking science and education. She is committed to field based teaching and research opportunities. She has worked extensively on the Hudson River and surrounding watershed, and is the education lead for Lamont’s Hudson River Field Station. She has participated in multiple field programs in both Greenland and Antarctica on climate research projects, focusing on linking these regions into climate education, and is currently working with Greenlandic partners as part of a project working on the co-production of field-based education for students in Greenland.
Some of her favorite educational contributions are a book she co-authored “Earth Science Puzzles: Making Meaning from Data”, a series of publications she co-authored on the power of question asking in science education, and two map based educational apps she co-developed on changes in the Antarctic Ice Sheet (Thwaites Explorer) and the science of sea level change (Polar Explorer: Sea Level).
Margie is on the Board of the Hudson River Environmental Society, and serves on the Lamont's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Standing Committee, and the Thwaites International Glacier Collaboration Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Committee.
Marco Tedesco is a Lamont Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and Adjunct Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). He received his Laurea degree and PhD in Italy, from the University of Naples and the Italian National Research Council. He then spent five years as a postdoc and research scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He moved to CCNY in 2008 as an Assistant Professor where he was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012. During his time at CCNY, he founded and directed the Cryosphere Processes Laboratory and was a rotating Program Manage at the National Science Foundation between 2013 and 2015. In January 2016, he joined Columbia University. Dr. Tedesco’s research focuses on the dynamics of seasonal snowpack, ice sheet surface properties, high latitude fieldwork, global climate change and its implications on the economy and real estate.
Marc Spiegelman holds a joint position in the Departments of Earth & Environmental Sciences and Applied Physics & Applied Mathematics at Columbia University. He obtained a BA in Geology (1985) from Harvard University and a PhD in Geology and Geophysics from Cambridge University (1989). He was then a Lamont Post-doctoral Fellow in Columbia University, and a Research Scientist and also Lecturer at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He joined the faculty of Columbia University in 2000 and became full Professor in 2008.
Professor Spiegelman’s research interests include understanding the dynamics and observable consequences of fluid flow in strongly deformable porous media. His current computational research focuses on methods and software for more flexible exploration and solution of multi-physics problems including using tools for automatic code generation for multi-physics problems (FEniCS) and rapid composition of physics-based preconditioners using PETSc.
Mahi is interested in the physics, chemistry, and habitability of icy moons, specifically how the ice shells of Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Enceladus deform to potentially transport radiolytically produced surface oxidants to their underlying oceans. He combines laboratory experiments with numerical models to better understand how multiphase ice rheology and chemistry control the thermo-mechanical structure of icy lithospheres in the Outer Solar System.
For the past 30+ years, I have served in various capacities in managing, planning, and implementation of our institution’s research computing, administrative processes and projects, and campus information technology (IT) infrastructure. As a Director, and the Chief Technologist, I am responsible for the strategic direction and leadership of computational needs of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. I lead a team dedicated to compliment researchers and administrators in effectively utilizing computing, storage, networking, security resources to advance this world-renowned Earth Sciences research institution with a mission to seek fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world.
Lynn Sykes has been involved for 55 years in the verification of underground nuclear testing and the long battle to obtain a total ban on nuclear testing. In 1986 the Federation of American Scientists presented him and two colleagues with its Public Service Award for working to revive scientific and public interest in a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty. He along with Walter Pitman from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and Jason Morgan of Princeton showed unequivocally that the earth’s outermost layers consist of nearly rigid plates that move over the surface of the earth. That major revolution is called plate tectonics.
Sykes, a long time resident of Palisades New York became a member of the Lamont Staff in 1965 after graduating from M.I. T. followed by a PhD at Columbia. He has authored more than 135 scientific articles, including 35 on the nuclear testing. He was a member of the U.S. delegation that traveled to the Soviet Union in 1974 to negotiate the Threshold Test Ban Treaty. He testified before the U.S. Congress numerous times as an expert on nuclear-test verification, a subject with large scientific and public policy components.
Plate tectonics revolutionized the study of the earth’s crust, providing a understanding of the formation of mountain ranges, the drifting of the continents, volcanoes, earthquakes, ocean basins, mid-oceanic ridges, deep sea trenches, the evolution of climate and the distribution of natural resources. Sykes proved the importance of great faults that intersect mid-ocean ridges in accommodating plate motion. Dr. Marcia McNutt a geophysicist and President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences called the discovery of plate tectonics “one of the top ten scientific accomplishments of the second half of the 20th Century.”
Sykes is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and of the American Geophysical Union, which honored him with its Macelwane and Bucher awards. He also received the Seismological Society of America’s most prestigious H.F. Reid medal. He received an honorary degree from Columbia University in 2018. While officially retired, he continues his research on earthquakes and explosions. He was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in 1937 and grew up near Washington DC.
I am a marine biologist with broad interests in marine invertebrates ecology, evolution, and environmental change. My research focuses on bivalve molluscs, with particoular focus on blue mussels and the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, and links between variations in shell biomineralisation, biomechanics, environmental conditions, and water chemistry. I use a combination of field, material characterization and modelling methods to study natural patterns in marine species, populations and communities, across large spatial scales and over historical times, and the biological implications at different organisational levels and geographic regions of projected changes under future climates.
Louise has worked in Development for over 10 years. Previous to working for Columbia University she was the Development Director of a Pre-K through Grade 8 Montessori School. Louise has also worked for KPMG, Lloyds Bank and Hogg Robinson Travel. She has lived in the United Kingdom, Malawi, Hong Kong, Thailand and Australia before moving to the USA in 2007.
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Logan Brenner (she/her) is an assistant professor at Barnard College in the Department of Environmental Science and an Adjunct Associate Research Scientist in the Biology and Paleo Environment Division at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. She is a paleoclimatologist with research interests that lie at the intersection of climate and environmental science. She mainly studies coral geochemistry to reconstruct climate in tropical regions. She also applies these same methodologies to answer questions about modern coastal conditions. Her current projects involve studying the geochemical composition of coral skeletons to develop histories of ocean temperature, precipitation, salinity, and coastal factors such as river discharge. Future projects include the study of estuarine foraminifera and bivalves.
Logan is also leading an NSF-funded research opportunity program through Barnard called the Environmental Pathways Scholar Program. This program is focused on providing undergraduate research opportunities in the Earth Sciences for people excluded from science base on enthnicity and race (Science PEERS; Asai, 2020) and first generation or low income students.
She graduated from Skidmore College in 2012 with a B.A. in Geosciences where she studied stalagmites (cave formations) to develop a history of precipitation in Yucatan, Mexico. She received her Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Science from Columbia University and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, where she studied coral geochemistry as proxies for climate change.
I am a paleoceanographer interested in past climate change, with a particular interest in how Earth's carbon cycle has operated far back in time. For my PhD research I am focused on reconstructing seawater pH and atmospheric carbon dioxide over the Cenozoic Era to better understand climate evolution over the last 65 million years. Much of my work involves analyzing the boron isotopic and trace elemental composition of fossil planktic foraminiferal shells buried in sediments under the deep ocean to assess past surface ocean carbon chemistry and paleotemperature.
Lingling, with degrees in Earth science and computer science, jointed Lamont Doherty Observatory from NCAR (National Center of Academy Research). Her interests are to quantitatively describe the observed objects in scientific research, translate data into scientific information and visualize the information, implement data-models, etc. Her vision is to apply state-of-the-art knowledge in the computing, mathematics, physics, and data science to advance the earth science research. She desires to learn and joint the newest research in big data, artificial intelligence, quantitative computing… These related research in other fields can provide us with new vision, methods and tools, so that our Earth studies can be equipped with the leading technologies.
I joined Lamont as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist after receiving my Ph.D. from the Ohio State. My research focuses on natural gas hydrates ('frozen ice' that can burn) in subsurface sediments. I integrete logging and coring measurements and numerical models to understand the formation mechanisms of hydrate reservoirs and evaluate their amount and distribution in subsurface.
- Lei WANG is a research scientist at Fudan University and has a M. Sc. degree and a Ph.D. degree in atmospheric physics from University of Toronto. He received a Bachelor degree in atmospheric sciences and a M. Sc. degree in meteorology from Peking University. He has a broad range of interests in (i) large-scale general circulation and stratospheric dynamics, (ii) subseasonal-to-seasonal predictability in the atmosphere and cryosphere.
Laurel Zaima is the Education and Outreach Coordinator at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Laurel has substantial experience working with youth, teaching students through informal education about the natural environment through hands-on experiences since 2015.
At Lamont, she works on education initiatives that communicate science research to the general public, K-12 and undergraduate school groups, and New York and New Jersey teachers. Her primary educational focus is on connecting people to the Hudson River and their local waterways by using a place-based instructional approach with an emphasis on field explorations. She also teaches about sustainability, climate change, and sea level rise with a strong emphasis on the changes occurring in the polar regions. Laurel has led and advised high school and undergraduate students through Lamont's summer research opportunities including the Secondary School Field Research Program (SSFRP) and Next Generation of Hudson River Educators Program.
In addition, Laurel serves as the U.S. Board President and instructor of the Terranaut Club, a non-profit organization that is committed to providing science and environmental education opportunities for young women and gender minorities through immersive experiences in STEM and nature.
Kristin (Kris) is a research assistant studying firn (dense snow) rheology and compaction. Their interests broadly include understanding and measuring material properties experimentally and the influence this has on large scale geophysical models. Presently, they're working with the rock and ice mechanics group at Lamont on a set of experiments studying firn compaction to answer how compaction depends on physical parameters (density, temperature, stress) and how this can be applied to glacial models.
Klaus H. Jacob, Ph.D., is a geophysicist and a rebuilder. He has worked at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for over 50 years, and is a renowned earthquake, disaster and climate expert. He has a focus on disaster risk management, with most current research on rising sea levels, climate change and disaster resilient megacities.
Jacob served on the Mayor’s New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC, 2008-2019); the NY State’s ClimAID project; and the post-Sandy, HUD-sponsored Rebuild by Design (RBD) research advisory group. TIME Magazine named him one of 50 “people who mattered in 2012” for forecasting consequences of a SANDY-like storm on New York City a year before SANDY hit. He developed for the NY MTA and specifically for its NYC-Transit subway system a climate change adaptation model plan.
Jacob taught courses in disaster risk management at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs; in the Sustainability Management Program of the CU School of Professional Studies; and at Barnard College. He co-led with CU GSAPP faculty international urban planning studios to make cities disaster resilient with focus on Caracas, Venezuela; Istanbul, Turkey; Accra, Ghana; CanTho, Vietnam; and Pune, Maharashtra/India; amongst other locations.
Prior to 2000, his basic and applied research focused largely on earthquake and volcano hazards in Alaska, and many regions on five continents, including Pakistan, Singapore, Australia, Egypt, El Salvador and others. He was a co-founder of the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (NCCER), and a contributor to the Seismic Building and Bridge Construction Codes for the US, NY State, and NYC.
Jaocb often interacts with the media and professional organizations (architects; urban planners and designers; engineers, journalists) to raise public and professional awareness towards disaster and climates risks, and to achieve sustainable resilience.
After more than 150 million years of isolation the podocarps that dominate the forests of the west coast of the south island of New Zealand have remarkably slow growth rates by comparison to most other forest tree species. The question is, why? In New York, the aging eastern deciduous forests continue to rapidly accumulate carbon. Could this be the result of the high levels of atmospheric N deposition this area receives? When plants are grown in elevated CO2 photosynthesis is stimulated initially but often this enhancement does not last and given time, a strong acclimation to the new growth environment can occur. Is there a reason why some plants acclimate to CO2 and others do not? Plant respiration is often thought of as the processes by which plants loose carbon during the night. How then can we estimate the contribution of respiration to the carbon balance of arctic plants which never experience night during the growing season? Plant cells from leaves of plants grown in elevated CO2 tend to have twice the number of mitochondria and chloroplast as cells from plants grown in ambient CO2. Is there a link between this structural observation and physiological function?
These are a few examples of the type of research questions my lab is currently working on. The objective of this research is to explain processes in plant and ecosystem ecology in terms of the physiological, biochemical and biophysical processes involved. Ultimately we hope to increase our understanding of both the role of the Earth's vegetation in the global carbon cycle and the interactions between the carbon cycle and the Earth's climate system.
Kevin Krajick is the Earth Institute's senior editor for science news. He grew up in the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley of upstate New York, where he started in journalism at his high-school newspaper. He has since reported from all 50 U.S. states and 30-some countries, covering science, criminal justice, immigration and other subjects. His work has been featured in National Geographic, Newsweek, The New Yorker, Science, Smithsonian and many other publications. His 2001 book "Barren Lands" is the true account of how prospectors discovered diamond mines in Canada's remote far north. He lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his wife and two daughters.
Kerstin Lehnert is Doherty Senior Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and Director of the Geoinformatics Research Group. Kerstin's work centers on the development and opereation of community-driven data infrastructure for the Earth and space sciences and, in particular, on using cyberinfrastructure to improve access and sharing of data generated by the study of physical samples. Kerstin leads the EarthChem data facility for geochemistry, petrology and volcanology (NSF funded); the Astromaterials Data System (NASA funded); and the System for Earth Sample Registration (NSF funded). Kerstin is currently member of the NASEM Division Committee for the Gulf Research Program; member of the NOAA Science Advisory Board's Data Archive & Access Requirements Working Grouph; chair of the EarthCube Council of Data Facilities; and President of the IGSN e.V. In the past, she was a member of the NSF Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure; member of the Board of Directors of the American Geophysical Union AGU; Chair of the EarthCube Leadership Council; and President of the AGU Earth and Space Science Informatics Focus Group.
Kelsi Welter is the Senior Grants Manager for the Climate School. In this role, she provides comprehensive support to Climate School researchers in the development, review, and submission of large research grant proposals.
For three years before joining the Climate School, Kelsi was a Senior Project Officer in Sponsored Projects Administration at Columbia’s Irving Medical Center. During this time, she performed detailed compliance reviews for 200-300 proposals per year, in addition to relevant progress reports and closeout documents. Her expertise lies in providing guidance, advice, and feedback about federal and institutional compliance and policies pertaining to sponsored projects for STEM research.
Prior to joining Columbia, Kelsi spent 10+ years at Weill Cornell Medicine in multiple research administration roles, including as a Grants Administrator, Senior Subawards Specialist & Team Lead, and Senior Grants & Contracts Specialist. In addition to proposal review and contract negotiation, she drafted and maintained SOPs related to sponsored research processes, and oversaw a team of Subaward Specialists. She received her B.A. in Dramatic Arts from Mills College, and is a Certified Research Administrator (CRA) through RACC.
Kailani Acosta is a Ph.D. candidate interested in biological oceanography and Phosphorus and Nitrogen in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Her research interests include nutrient cycling, microbial ecology, and ecosystem modeling. She is passionate about increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM.
I currently study how Antarctic supraglacial meltwater changes temporally and spatially using a variety of remote sensing. I am also interested in ice shelf dynamics, glacial surface energy balance; Antarctic glacial history, and all things remote sensing. I am also passionate about teaching, and spreading the beauty and importance of polar geoscience.
Julia Gottschalk is a marine geologist and climate scientist who studies the past dynamics of the climate system based on various climate archives from the ocean and from land. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (Columbia University) funded through the German Research Foundation working on better understanding past interglacial climate states and carbon cycle dynamics with Bärbel Hönisch, Gisela Winckler, Bob Anderson and Jerry McManus. Further information on her current research project can be found in the project database of the German Research Foundation GEPRIS. Julia Gottschalk received her undergraduate degree in Geosciences from the University of Bremen (Germany) in 2009 and completed her PhD degree in Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge (UK) in 2015. Over the recent years, her research focused on past climate- and ocean dynamics in the southern high-latitudes. She recently joined 33 other international scientists during Expedition 383 of the International Discovery Program to the South Pacific (Dynamics of the Pacific Antarctic Circumpolar Current) onboard the Joides Resolution. Her research also led her to sail to the Arctic Ocean aboard RV Ivan Petrov, the North Pacific aboard RV Sonne, the North Atlantic aboard RV James Cook and the South Atlantic aboard RV Marion Dufresne. Publications can be found on her Google Scholar profile page. Associated research data are publicly available via the PANGAEA database.
I have several research interests in the intersection between geology, climate change and energy. I am especially interested in geologic carbon sequestration and how fluid-gas-rock reactions can lead to secure and permanent sequestration of industrial carbon dioxide., Currently, I am working in three overlapping areas:
- CO2-water-rock interactions and reactive flow in deep aquifers
- Fluid flow and solute transport in saturated media
- Subsurface fluid injection and geomechanical stability of reservoir rocks
Some of my projects include:
- Secure and long-term sequestration of industrial carbon dioxide in calcium-magnesium silicate rocks
- Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership
- Mineral carbon dioxide sequestration into basalt - CarbFix Project, Iceland
- Natural carbon sequestration in ophiolite peridotites - Rates and mechanism of serpentinization and carbonation
- Permanent carbon dioxide sequestration in ocean sediments: flow-through reactor studies
Jorge Luis is a climate scientist. Originally from Mexico City, he quickly became interested in interested in clouds, convection and most aspects of tropical meteorology and climate while pursuing a degree in Earth Sciences.
His current interests include monsoon dynamics and predictability, tropical cyclone structure and forecasts, and Stratosphere-Troposphere coupling in the Tropics.
I went to The University of York, UK, and did a Physics BSc. My final year project was on the nucleation of freezing in supercooled water, supervised by Dr Richard Keesing. We scattered a laser through droplets of supercooled water to observed freezing as it was initiated by the application of an electric field.
Between 2009 and 2013 I did PhD in glaciology in the Department of Geography, Sheffield University, supervised by Dr Felix Ng. My thesis was entitled 'Modeling ice-dammed lake drainage'. I used mathematical models to study how water flows beneath glacier.
Between 2013 and 2016, was a Glacier Geophysicist at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Cambridge, UK. I was employed on a NERC-funded project led by Richard Hindmarsh. We used radar and mathematical models to study present-day and past ice flow in West Antarctica. I conducted two two-month field seasons in the Weddell Sea Sector of Antarctica.
In March 2016 my wife and I moved from the UK and I started my current position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
My research is concerned with obtaining a better understanding of glacial processes to improve predictions of ice-sheet evolution.
I advise a group of students and post-docs using remote-sensing, mathematical modeling and fieldwork to better understand glacial processes.
Professor John Mutter is jointly appointed in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences with a specialty in marine seismology, and in the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and is a member of the faculty of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He is Director of Graduate Studies for the PhD in Sustainable Development at SIPA and currently director of the Earth Institute’s post-doctoral Fellows program. He researches the role of natural disasters in supporting and promotong the global inequality in development status and particularly in suppressing development opportunities for the poorest. He teaches a course on the sub ject with his colleague Sonali Deraniyagala, an economist from University College London. Together they are completing a shot on Disasters and Development. He also examines these questions through the lens of human rights, asking whether rights attainment can predict disaster outcomes, such as the response to Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, and how the norms and principals of human rights can provide guidance for climate adaptation strategies. He is author most recently of Climate Change Science: A primer for sustainable development (Columbia University Press, 2020)
Dr. Joaquim Goes was born in Nairobi, Kenya, to parents who formed part of a large diasporic community from a Portuguese colony in India named Goa. Political turmoil forced them to return to Goa where he and his siblings completed their education. After finishing his Master’s degree in 1992 at the University of Bombay in India, Joaquim was offered a Doctoral fellowship by the Japanese Ministry of Education and he moved to Nagoya University, Japan. Clueless in a pre-internet age, he dived headlong into a new culture and language, and oved every bit of it from the sashimi and onsen to kanji.
After Japan lost its ocean color satellite, Joaquim changed the course of his research. Molina and Rowland had just won the Nobel Prize for their work on the formation of the Ozone Hole. Little was then known on how ocean biology would respond to excess solar UV radiation. Working with the late and world renowned geochemist, Prof. Nobuhiko Handa, Joaquim showed how enhanced exposure to UV radiation could profoundly impact phytoplankton photosynthesis and the metabolic compounds they produce.
Later, he pursued his Postdoctoral studies under the late Prof. Toshiro Saino developing a novel algorithm to estimate seawater nitrate from remote sensing. Fortuitously, during his stint as a postdoctoral fellow in Japan, Joaquim met Dr. Barney Balch at a Japan-USA workshop on ocean color in Hawaii in 2000 who invited him to Bigelow Laboratory, Maine after his stint in Japan ended. Once again he embarked on a new journey, this time in a land of lobsters and vast expanses of untouched land often covered in a foot of snow. A year into his Postdoc, Joaquim was appointed as a Senior Research Scientist.
In 2010, he felt the need for another adventure so he moved to the big city of New York. Joaquim is currently a Lamont Research Professor at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in the Palisades and his research focuses on understanding how ocean ecosystems and plankton are responding to climate change. He uses his background in biochemistry to study organisms at the cellular level and combines this with his expertise in ocean color remote sensing and coupled physical biological modeling to address large-scale climatic questions.
The projects that Joaquim works with are very diverse covering the physiology and productivity of marine phytoplankton, carbon cycling in the sea, climate impacts on marine ecosystems and socio-economic implications, microplastics in aquatic ecosystem etc. Funding for his work comes from NASA, NOAA, NSF, Gordon Betty Moore Foundation, Sultan Qaboos Cultural Centre, Hudson River Foundation.
Joaquim mentors undergraduates, graduates and postdoctoral students both in his laboratory at Columbia University and at sea, but he especially enjoys working the High School students some of whom have won National and International recognition for their work in his laboratory.
Joaquim has published over 120 peer reviewed papers. Some of his work has been featured in highly acclaimed newspapers, magazines and on Public Broadcasting Service. Joaquim hold a Doctor of Science degree in Ocean Biogeochemistry from Nagoya University, Japan and a Master’s degree in Microbiology, Bombay University, India. He loves music and played the bass in a rock band as a teenager.
Jennifer Mays is a Data Manager for the Astromaterials Data System hosted by the Geoinformatics Research Group at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.
I am an isotope geochemist who uses noble gas analyses and complementary geochemical tracers in the geologic record to evaluate interactions between the oceans, atmsophere, ice sheets, and solid Earth over a range of past climatic conditions.
My research investigates the thermo-mechanical evolution of the Earth's lithosphere by means of computational and analytical modeling. I specifically study the interactions between tectonic, hydrothermal, magmatic and surface processes at continental rifts and mid-ocean ridges, as well as the dynamics of subduction zones.
Prof. Jason E. Smerdon is a Lamont Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. He also holds appointments at Columbia University as an Earth Institute Faculty Member and as Co-Director of the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development. He teaches courses on climate, environmental change and sustainable development to undergraduate and graduate students. Smerdon also lectures widely in public and private settings on the subject of climate change and its social dimensions.
Smerdon’s research focuses on climate variability and change during the past several millennia and how past climates can help us understand future climate change. He publishes widely in the scientific literature on paleoclimate reconstruction techniques, the dynamics of past climate change and variability, and on assessing climate model simulations of the past and future using paleoclimatic information. He is co-author (with Ed Mathez) of the textbook Climate Change: The Science of Global Warming and Our Energy Future (Columbia University Press, September 2018).
Smerdon received his B.A. in physics from Gustavus Adolphus College and his Ph.D. in applied physics from the University of Michigan.
I am an earth and environmental scientist with interests in climate change and carbon cycling. My experience and area of expertise include marine geology, paleoclimate research, isotope geochemistry and molecular analysis of organic matter.
Janice Savage is the Chief of Research Operations for the Columbia Climate School. She serves as the top strategy and implementation partner to Co-Founding Dean Maureen Raymo. Prior to joining the Climate School in 2021, Janice held leadership positions within Columbia at both the Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. She has over 15 years experience in financial and administrative operations within Columbia. Janice received her MS in Health Policy and Management from The New School, and her BA in Psychology from Boston College.
Space Geodesy Group Leader at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for over 20 years before moving to the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in 2010. Associate Director for the Seismology, Geology, and Tectonophysics Division since 2019. Over one hundred refereed papers.
I am an interdisciplinary scientist working in the interface of geochemistry and geobiology. I am primarily interested in understanding the nature and dynamics of fluid-mineral interactions and their implications for the chemical and redox processes in surficial and deep Earth reservoirs, and the habitability of rock-hosted environments in our planet and beyond. I also study carbon mineralization reactions as a strategy for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) and curbing increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
Jacqueline Austermann is an Assistant Professor at Columbia University and part of the Seismology, Geology and Tectonophysics Division of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. In her research, she studies sea level changes ranging from the past glacial cycles to Millions of years ago in order to infer ice mass changes and ice sheet stability as well as constrain the Earth's rheology. Austermann also works on geodynamic and plate tectonic problems dealing with plate driving forces and dynamics of the Earth's deep interior.
I am a geophysicist interested in the interaction of fluids with rocks and ice. To that end, I perform laboratory experiments that recreate extreme conditions ranging from Earth's interior to the surface of other planetary bodies in our solar system. My current focus is using experimental techniques to learn how to efficiently and permanently store carbon dioxide in rocks to help mitigate the long-term consequences of climate change.
I have a Glaciology and Atmospheric Sciences background with expertise in satellite and airborne remote sensing. The main area of my research include mass balance of ice sheets and ice shelves. I study physical processes that impact the mass balance and stability of ice sheets and ice shelves, ice-atmosphere and ice-ocean interactions using a combination of satellite remote sensing, airborne radar and laser altimeter, ground based measurements, and modeling.
I did my Ph.D in Atmospheric Physics from Indian Space Research Organization in 2007 where I worked on radiative transfer algorithms to retrieve marine aerosols from satellite data. After briefly working on estimating snow depth in the Himalayas, in 2007 I came as a postdoc to University of Alaska Fairbanks to work on mass balance of Alaskan glaciers using airborne laser altimetry.
In 2010, I came to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to work on surface processes impacting surface mass balance of Antarctica. I am now an Assistant Research Professor and my work has evolved to include both surface and basal processes of ice sheets and ice shelves. I also work on paleo observations of accumulation rates and climate history of Greenland ice sheet. I am a co-PI on the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (NSF-NERC ITGC) and work on integrating remote sensing observations and ice sheet models to understand basal processes and conditions at the bed. I serve on National Academies on Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and a council member of the International Glaciological Society.
I am a PhD student in Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. My research is focused on magmatic volatile processes including carbon isotope evolve with the experiment.
Huy Le is a graduate student majoring in geophysics in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University. He received a B.S. degree in geology from the University of California, Davis, in 2019.
Huy's research concentrates on applying electromagnetic (EM) geophysical methods for imaging subsurface structures in different geological settings. His current work is imaging offshore groundwater systems in the U.S. Atlantic margin and Bangladesh.
I am a water guy.
In my research, I try to understand the variability and changes in the water cycle at multiple spatial and temporal scales, and apply such understanding to water resources management.
I care about reproducible research. I believe in sharing knowledge and work to promote science to a broader audience. I love teaching and I do my best to instill research interests in students.
Before coming back to academia, I was an engineer, running water treatment plants in Qatar and Singapore. Having seen the bolts and nuts of water resources systems, and the problems they inherited from a larger scale, I appreciate the importance of systematic planning and operation. That triggered me to pursue a PhD in Engineering Systems and Design, with a focus on water resources management.
As I was working towards better water management for a better future, I realized that the key to the future lies in the past, and trees hold—in their rings—a treasure map that can lead us to that key. Since then, the weirdly wonderful world of tree rings has always fascinated me.
My current research focuses on determining the water content of rocks from earth’s upper mantle. This is of crucial interest to scientists studying the material properties of tectonic plates and magma formation.
Previously I worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City where I specialized in electron microscopy and 3D analysis with x-ray computed tomography.
My research focuses on the viscoelastic properties, especially anelasticity, of polycrystalline materials. Rock anelasticity causes dispersion and attenuation of seismic waves. In order to interpret the seismic structures in the Earth, it is important to understand the effects of temperature, grain size, melt fraction, and dislocation density on rock anelasticity. For this purpose, I have so far taken experimental approaches to measure viscoelastic properties using rock’s “analogue” materials. At Univ. Tokyo in Japan, I used organic polycrystals and mainly studied the effects of temperature and partial melting on anelasticity. Here at Lamont, I am using ice polycrystals to investigate the effects of dislocations on anelasticity. Taking advantage of the analogue experiments, I attempt to understand the underlying physical processes common to general polycrystals including rock.
I am the Data Curator for PetDB/EarthChem Group, which is a searchable database of geochemical data from igneous and metamorphic rocks, which are compiled primarily from published literature.
- Gwen Nero serves as deputy director of the Industry Relations Group at Columbia Technology Ventures supporting corporate partnerships for the Columbia Climate School and Pandemic Response Institute. Most recently, Gwen served as director of corporate affiliates, business development, industry outreach, and innovation at UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography. At Scripps, Gwen developed and led Scripps Corporate Alliance, a program that facilitates collaboration between Scripps and corporate members as well as startBlue, an ocean accelerator funded by the Economic Development Administration and Department of Energy. Gwen has served on the boards of TMA BlueTech and Ocean Visions and on the Entrepreneurial Advisory Committee of NYC Tech Connect. Gwen has taught for The National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (NYCRIN NSF I-Corps) program and served as program manager for incubator Harlem Biospace. Gwen holds a bachelor's in physics from Barnard College and master's and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Columbia University.
Ekström was born and grew up outside Stockholm, Sweden. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1981 with a degree in physics and did post baccalaureate work in seismology at Moscow State University, USSR. He graduated from Harvard University in 1987 with a Ph.D. in geophysics. After postdoctoral work at Columbia University, he joined the faculty at Harvard in 1990 as professor of geology and geophysics. In 2006 Ekström moved to Columbia University where he is professor of Earth and environmental sciences. His teaching includes environmental hazards and risk assessment. Ekström has served as chair of the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, the EarthScope Steering Committee, the International Federation of Digital Seismographic Networks, and the International Seismological Centre executive committee. In 2015 he was awarded the Beno Gutenberg Medal by the European Geophysical Union for his outstanding contributions to seismology.
Gisela Winckler is a Lamont Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory where she also serves as the Associate Director of the Geochemistry Division. She received her Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Heidelberg in 1998. She was a researcher at the International Atomic Energy Agency before joining Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in 2001.
Winckler has been a leader in paleoceanography and the interplay of climate change, carbon cycle and aerosols since 2003. As an environmental physicist and isotope geochemist she uses elemental and isotopic analyses (noble gases, U-Th series, cosmogenic and radiogenic isotopes) to unravel processes of climate and environmental change in the oceans and on continents, on timescales ranging from decades to tens of millions of years. Her research uses climate archives such as deep-sea sediments, lake sediments and polar ice cores from Antarctica and Greenland. Her reconstructions of past climates are key to understanding the climate system’s sensitivity to natural variability and anthropogenic perturbations.
Winckler has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, including in Nature, Science, Nature Geoscience, Science Advances and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Winckler is passionate about mentoring graduate students and postdocs, and a recent recipient of the LDEO Excellence in Mentoring Award. She teaches in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. She has served as the ‘Climate Scientist in Residence’ at Columbia’s Journalism School where she has been involved in developing innovative course material at the interface of journalism, climate science and art. She is deeply engaged in the JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion) space. She served as the co-chair of the Lamont Diversity Equity and Inclusion Task Force, and currently co-teaches a seminar on Climate Change, Race and Environmental Justice. More details at wings.ldeo.columbia.edu.
Galen McKinley is Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Columbia University and the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. She is an ocean, carbon cycle and climate scientist. Her research focuses on the physical, chemical and ecological drivers of the global ocean’s uptake of anthropogenic carbon. Regional and global ocean and climate models, and data science techniques applied to large community-compiled datasets are her primary tools. Professor McKinley earned a BS in Civil Engineering from Rice University (1995) and a PhD in Climate Physics and Chemistry from MIT (2002). Her postdoctoral work was at Instituto Nacional de Ecologia in Mexico and Princeton University. From 2004-2017, she served on the faculty in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at University of Wisconsin – Madison. Selected honors include the 2020 Ocean Science Voyager award from the American Geophysical Union, 2012-2013 Defense Science Study Group, and the Class of 1955 Teaching Award at UW-Madison in 2011.
- Frank O. Nitsche received a MS in geophysics from the University of Kiel, Germany and a Ph.D. from the University of Bremen, Germany. Between 1997 and 2001 he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Applied Geophysics Group at the ETH Zurich. In 2001 he came to the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University where he started as a postdoctoral researcher and is now a research scientist. There he studies sediment processes and morphological conditions of the Hudson River Estuary and the Long Island Sound. In addition, he investigates the morphology of the Antarctic continental margin and is reconstructing the path of past ice streams and related sediment transport processes. His research uses mostly acoustic mapping techniques and data integration through GIS to understand sediment transport, deposition and related processes that shape continental margins from estuaries to the deep sea. In addition he is a data manager for the USAP Data Center since 2016.
Folarin Kolawole is a structural geologist whose research involves the integration of field observation, subsurface geophysical imaging, and geomechanics to investigate research problems related to the evolution of early-stage continental rift zones and fault reactivation in intraplate settings of natural and induced seismicity. He studies continental rift evolution in East Africa, southeast Brazillian rifted margin, and the Rio Grande Rift (U.S.), and investigates intraplate seismicity in central and eastern U.S., southern Africa (Botswana), and western Africa.
Farideh received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY. Her research primarily focuses in the field of analytical chemistry including electrochemical detection, characterization of nanoparticles and dissolved ions, and the development of sensors/biosensors for environmental and clinical applications. She was the founder of Clarkson University Electrochemical Society Student chapter (CU-ECS), she is a recipient of President’s challenge 2020 best research award at Clarkson University for her novel sensor development, and she was recognized and awarded for her leadership skills several times. During her most recent research, she worked on the electrochemical treatment of landfill leachate and industrial wastewaters for the removal of PFAS, heterocyclic compounds containing nitrogen and heavy metals. Farideh calls herself an electrochemist and analytical chemist interested in developing sensors and treatment methods for environmental applications.
Emily received her BA in Physics from UC Berkeley in 2019, and subsequently spent two years working on quantum technologies at HRL Laboratories. In 2021, she began a PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University and joined the Polar Geophysics Group at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, advised by Indrani Das. Her research interests include mass balance of Antarctic ice sheets, ice-ocean interaction, remote sensing, and glacial history. She is currently a first-year graduate student.
I'm Elizabeth Case. I'm a scientist, writer, artist, and educator. Currently I'm working on my PhD at Columbia University and the Lamont-Dohety Earth Observatory under the guidance of Jonny Kingslake. I use phase-sensitive radar to study firn compaction and englacial processes. I am the co-founder of Cycle for Science, a program that trains early career scientists to create hands-on curriculum for K-12 students. My writing and audio work has been published in Scientific American, the State of the Planet, and more.
Einat Lev is an Associate Research Professor at the Seismology, Geodynamics and Tectonics (SGT) group at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory ( LDEO), of Columbia University. Her research focus is physical volcanology, including numerical modeling, geologic fluid mechanics, field work at active volcanoes, laboratory experiments, image and video analysis, and anything else that can help us understand how the mechanical properties of geologic viscous fluids affect their deformation.
- I’m a climate scientist interested in drought, hydroclimate, and interactions between the land surface and the climate system.
Dr. Dorothy M. Peteet is a Senior Research Scientist at NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Adjunct Professor, Columbia University. She directs the Paleoecology Division of the New Core Lab at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia and in collaboration with GISS climate modelers and LDEO geochemists is studying the Late Pleistocene and Holocene archives of lakes and wetlands (peatlands, salt marshes, tidal freshwater marshes, bogs, fens). Documenting past vegetational change using pollen and spores, plant and animal macrofossils, loss-on-ignition, carbon, and charcoal in conjunction with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating, her research provides local and regional records of vegetational and climate history and carbon sequestration. Peteet has performed GCM experiments to test hypotheses concerning LGM and abrupt climate change. She is interested in climate sensitivity from past climate changes and ecological shifts with future climate change. Droughts are of recent interest.
Donna Shillington uses active-source seismology together with other geophysical and geological data to investigate deformation and magmatism at plate boundaries, including continental rifts and rifted margins, subduction zones, and transform boundaries.
Dr. Ebel is a geologist specializing in meteorites: pieces of planets and "left-overs" from the formation of the solar system. The distant, resource-rich asteroid belt is his field area. He develops thermodynamic models describing the outcomes of condensation, evaporation, and crystallization processes. Dr. Ebel is a leader in combining electron beam image analysis of surface chemistry (2D) with x-ray CAT-scan 3-dimensional imaging to obtain comprehensive information about extraterrestrial samples that yield clues to the origin of the solar system. His group analyzes data from the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, comet samples from the Stardust mission, and the geochemistry of samples from the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary.
Dennis V. Kent is Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and Board of Governors Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University. He is an author of more than 300 journal and book articles with nearly 40,000 citations and an h-index of over 90 on Google Scholar dealing with paleogeography, paleoclimate and the long-term carbon cycle, polar wander, geomagnetic paleosecular variation and the tempo of polarity reversals, and other aspects of Earth magnetism.
Kent has served as a member and a chair of the governing boards of the Joint Oceanographic Institutions and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International; as elected president of the Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism Section of AGU; as elected member-at-large of the section on Geology and Geography of AAAS; and on the editorial advisory board of the Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
Kent is married and they have a married daughter and live in Piermont, New York.
- 2006-… Directeur de Recherche 1ere classe (Senior Research Scientist) CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
- 1999-2006 Directeur de Recherche 2ème classe CNRS
- 1990-1999 Chargé de Recherche (Research Scientist) 1ère classe CNRS
- 1985-1990 Chargé de Recherche (Research Scientist) 2ème classe CNRS
- 2014 Visiting Professor at Columbia University through the Alliance program (1st semester)
- 2004-2005 Visiting Research Professor at University of Bayreuth through the von Humboldt Research Prize
- 1990-1992 Visiting Research Scientist: Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia University
- 2014-… Adjunct Senior Research Scientist @ Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
- 2010-2014 Director of the CERES-ERTI (Environmental Research and Teaching Institute at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris)
- 2002-2006 Deputy Director, and co-founder of the Research Institute (IFR 119) "Mediterranean and Tropical continental Biodiversity" in Montpellier, 2002-2006. 1992-2006 Chair of the Paleoenvironments Laboratory at Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution, UMR CNRS 5554, Montpellier II University (France)
- 1992-2014 Adjunct Research Scientist @ Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
- Visiting Lecturer: University Montpellier II, University Aix-Marseille II, Université Paris XII-Paris VII, University of Milan, Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Max-Planck Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg, University of Cambridge, Quaternary Center, Academia Sinica, Institute of Geology, Beijing, University of Beijing, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, University of Bayreuth, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris, University of Nebraska Lincoln, GISS NY, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, University Forcari Venice, Batsheva de Rothschild foundation Jerusalem, University of Montpellier.
Examination of the chemical and physical evolution of the terrestrial planets by the methods of experimental petrology. Parallel interest in the development of new experimental techniques and new materials.
My research has involved applying massive waveform cross correlation to earthquake location, earthquake detection, repeating events, measuring temporal changes in the crust associated with large earthquakes, testing competing models of foreshock occurrence, studying the earthquake source using empirical Green’s functions, and nuclear monitoring.
David Goldberg is a Lamont Research Professor and his interests focus on the integration of different technologies and cross-disciplinary approaches to develop achievable climate solutions. Goldberg received his undergraduate and MS degrees in earth and planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his doctorate in geophysics and an MBA from Columbia University. He conducted post-doctoral studies at the Institute Français du Petrole in Paris and has been at Lamont-Doherty since 1985. He also currently serves as a Deputy Director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Associate Director of the the Marine Large Programs division, a core faculty member for the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy, and a lecturer in the Columbia University Sustatainabiltiy Science program.
David Porter is an Associate Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in the Climate School at Columbia University. He studies how the atmosphere and ocean drive changes in the ice sheets, and how the resulting changing sea level affects coastal communities. His research involves climate processes at high-latitudes, and is particularly interested in the interactions between different Earth System components. His expertise is at this intersection of traditional disciplines. At the ice-ocean interface, he studies how ice is melting in warming ocean waters, likely the most pressing question for the future of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Are warming ocean waters responsible for the increase in mass loss of marine-terminating glaciers worldwide? How stable are Antarctic ice shelves, especially the Ross Ice Shelf which holds back several meters of sea level rise? At the atmosphere-ice interface, he asks “what drives the newly-observed liquid water on the surface of the frigid Southern Continent?” And at the solid earth-ice interface, under the massive and ancient ice sheets themselves, he’s involved in projects to link geological controls on fast moving glaciers and ice streams.
Dave started his science career in meteorology at Rutgers University in New Jersey, fascinated both by the power of hurricanes Andrew and Allison but also playing in snow drifts dropped by potent nor’easters. Since that time, he has diversified his interests, advancing polar meteorology by modeling atmospheric changes to Arctic sea ice loss for his doctorate from University of Colorado at Boulder. Further broadening for his postdoctoral project at LDEO of Columbia University, he used new gravity-derived bathymetry from NASA Operation IceBridge to link ocean heat to glacier mass loss. Since then he has sailed aboard the US ice breaker Nathanial B. Palmer to the remote East Antarctic coast to map the seafloor and collect new water samples, and currently working with coastal communities in Greenland to link changes in the Greenland ice sheet to impacts on the built environment and social systems.
- I am currently a Lamont Assistant Research Professor at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, NY. In addition, I am a Columbia University Climate and Life Fellow leading a project on air pollution and climate change in Africa. I am also an affiliated scientist with the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York, NY, and an air pollution advisor to the US State Department. Prior to Lamont, I worked as a Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP) postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University. I completed my PhD degree in May 2013 in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, under the supervision of Dr. Peter Adams. Outside of work, I enjoy sports, science, reading, and New York City living.
Daniel Green received his Ph.D. in Human Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University, where he investigated methods of reconstructing seasonal climate using the chemistry and anatomy of mammalian dentition. As an Earth Institute Postdoctoral Researcher, Daniel is contributing to reconstructions of seasonal environments in east Africa over the last the 30 million years that shaped the evolution of African fauna, including African great apes, and human ancestors. Daniel’s research relies upon stable light isotope geochemistry, trace metal analyses, microscopy, and physiological modeling. You can learn more about Daniel's research at www.danielrgreen.org.
Dallas Abbott has worked in the areas of Marine Geology, Geophysics, Precambrian Geology, and Impact Geology. Over the past 13 years, Abbott has developed the microtechniques necessary to study the fine debris from oceanic impacts. Deep-sea impacts pose several problems. The first is a very restricted sample size compared to subaerial impacts. The second is a lack of large quartz grains in most settings, resulting in a reduced abundance of or no shocked quartz. Her collaborators and she have developed microtechniques to study oceanic impacts. They use the scanning electron microscope and analyses of thin sections of tiny grains to find and confirm impact ejecta.
Abbott has also learned how to separate out particulates from ice cores at ages of suspected Holocene impacts. They measured the highest concentration ever of marine diatoms in the GISP2 ice core. The diatoms are low latitude and originate from a source on a continental shelf with high biological productivity. Several other types of dust, including micrometer sized CaCO3 crystals, accompany the diatoms. The latter may have caused a dust veil and climate downturn that lasted for 18 months (Feb. 536 to June 537 AD). Some dust with both substantial Ni and K may be impact ejecta. They are still developing these microtechniques but they have already yielded some important scientific results. By combining proxies for continental dust with historical accounts of unusual dust storms, they have managed to date their ice core samples to within a calendar year. This allows us to tie our scientific results into the historical record-a mix that should attract students of both Earth Science and History. One accomplishment is documenting oldest primary native Fe ever found. Abbott and her collaborators found 1.6 Ga native Fe in the Chaibasa Formation in India. This is the worlds oldest primary native Fe by over a billion years.
Dr. Nelson is a geochemist with expertise in basalt chemical weathering, aqueous geochemistry, and secondary mineral formation. She earned both an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, where her field-based research focused on basalt weathering in both subsurface and surficial settings in Iceland. She is researching carbon capture and storage technologies. Her current interests include in-situ carbon mineralization in basaltic reservoirs, as well as coastal and terrestrial enhanced weathering as climate change mitigation strategies. Currently, Dr. Nelson uses reactive transport modelling to optimize mineralization during carbon dioxide injections into basaltic rock. Her aim is to contribute to the scaling of this in-situ mineralization technology by specifically focusing on large-scale injections in offshore settings. When not working, Claire is usually skiing, biking, or indulging in NYC's abundance of live music.
Dr. Hamilton is planetary volcanologist specializing in magma–water interactions and Solar System exploration. His research combines field-based observations, remote sensing, machine learning, and geophysical modeling to investigate geological surface process, planetary climate, and habitability.
Major Project Leadership: The "RAVEN: Rover–Aerial Vehicle Exploration Network", NASA Planetary Science and Technology Through Analog Research (PSTAR), Principal Investigator. RAVEN will develop and field-test new robotic rover and unmanned aircraft systems technology for future Mars exploration.
Current Spacecraft Involvement: The "Io Volcano Observer (IVO)", NASA Discovery Program (Phase A), Co-Investigator. IVO is a new satellite mission concept that would investigate volcanism and tidal heating within Jupiter's moon Io.
Research Highlights: Hamilton et al. (2020), "Lava‐Rise Plateaus and Inflation Pits in the McCartys Lava Flow Field, New Mexico: An Analog for Pāhoehoe‐Like Lava Flows on Planetary Surfaces", Journal of Geophysical Research—Planets, 125(7), E2019JE005975, https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JE005975
2014–Present: Associate Professor (since 2020), Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL), University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA
2015–Present: Assistant Professor (since 2020), Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA
2018–Present: Adjunct Associate Professor, Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY, USA
2019–Present: Adjunct Professor, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland (Háskóli Íslands), Reykjavík, Iceland
- 1963 - Born
- 1985 - BS Geophysics & Geology, University of Wisconsin Madison
- 1989 - MA Geological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin
- 1993 - PhD Geophysics, Scripps Inst. Oceanography, Univ. of California San Diego
- 1993 - Lamont Postdoctoral Fellow
- 2010 - Lamont Research Professor
- Christopher Zappa is a Lamont Research Professor in Ocean and Climate Physics, and a Lecturer in Earth and Environmental Sciences. His research interests include air-sea interaction, wave dynamics and wave breaking, effect of near-surface turbulence on heat, gas, and momentum transport, infrared remote sensing, upper-ocean processes, coastal and estuarine processes. Prior to joining Columbia in 2003, he received his Ph.D. in 1999 from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, where he also accepted a Postdoctoral Scholar Award. He received his Masters in Engineering in 1994 from the University of Washington.
I joined the research staff at LDEO in 1968 and was Appointed Associate Professor in 1973 and Professor in 1977. I study the brittle deformation of the earth, both on the short term: earthquake physics, and the long term: fault mechanics. My work includes experimental rock mechanics, field studies of faulting, and theoretical studies. I have co-authored with students and colleagues over 300 papers on these subjects, and am the author of the leading treatise in this field, now in its third edition: The Mechanics of Earthquakes and Faulting, 3rd ed. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2019. Earlier editions were translated into Japanese and Chinese.
I am a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and have been awarded the Murchison Medal of the Geological Society (London) and the Harry Fielding Reid Medal of the Seismological Society of America.
I am a seismology PhD candidate at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Obsevatory of Columbia University. My research focuses primarily on imaging subsurface structure on a tectonic scale using surface-wave methods. I am most interested in lithospheric structure and evolution, particularly at plate margins.
Science is an active process and I enjoy engaging with every step, from data collection in the field to science communication and outreach beyond the classroom.
My research explores the way that micro-features control macro-behavior. Defects in the structure of crystalline materials, such as impurities, dislocations, grain boundaries, and partial melt, all affect the way that seismic waves are damped in the mantle, for instance, or how tidal energy is turned into heat within an icy moon's outer shell. In order to better interpret seismic data and provide better constraints for goephysical modeling, I design experiments to isolate and scrutinize the underlying microphysics of defect-controlled processes such that resultant laboratory data can be scaled up to macroscopic settings. With material properties being the constant element, my work spans a variety of time and length scales and geologic contexts: from the deep earth, to the cryosphere, to the outer solar system.
Chia-Ying Lee is an Assistant Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University. She is working on tropical cyclone (TC) and climate, and her research topics include developing a statistical-dynamical TC downscaling system for risk assessment, Madden–Julian oscillation and TC relationships in the subseasonal to seasonal (S2S) dataset. Lee has a background in Atmospheric Science. She received my B.S, and M.S. at the National Taiwan University under Professor Chun-Chieh Wu. In 2007, she attended the Meteorology and Physical Oceanography(MPO) division at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) at the University of Miami. Lee worked with Professor Shuyi Chen on air-sea coupled modeling in TCs and received her degree in 2012.
My research focuses on marine geology and sedimentation processes to understand earthquake and tsunamis, sea-level changes, climate and the impact of anthropogenic activities in the local rivers and estuaries such as the Hudson and Long Island Sound. I have also studied the effects of extra-terrestrial impact events as the one that happened 35 million years ago in what is today Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Virginia. My driver for conducting research is the discovery of the unknown. Very little is known about the ocean floors in proportion to their huge coverage of the Earth 70%. Indeed there are discoveries in every expedition I participated. The beauty of studying sediments is that in the submarine environment they tend to be deposited and not disturbed as on land. So the history of events in preserved back in time for millions of years. We learn about the past to understand the future and the sediments are great sources of information. As one of the precursors of the field of submarine paleoseismology I study earthquakes and tsunamis under the sea. This work began in Turkey in 1999 after catastrophic earthquakes caused thousands of casualties and much destruction. As Pi and CoPi, I have lead expeditions to study the M7.0 2010 and M7.2 2021 Haiti earthquakes as part of RAPID Responses, and I am studying the disastrous M 9.0, 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami as part of the International Ocean Drilling Expedition to the Japan Trench.
The burning of fossil fuels releases gases into the atmosphere creating a greenhouse effect. So the Earth is getting warmer and so are the oceans. As a result, mountain glaciers and ice sheets are melting and the oceans are warming. These processes lead to a rise in sea-level that is accentuated by thermal expansion of the ocean waters. Warmer oceans lead to increased storm activity and greater storm surges that are penetrating further landwards and maintaining their energy through longer periods of time. These factors threaten our heavily populated cities. By studying the sedimentation record I learn what climate and sea-level were in the past and hope to help understand their impact in the future.
Catalina Sanchez-Roa is a Columbia Climate School Fellow in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).
Her primary focus is proof of concept and optimization of carbon capture and storage, through carbon mineralization. Catalina designs and executes experiments that sit at the interface between geophysics and geochemistry. She uses a bespoke triaxial rock deformation rig to conduct tests on carbonation of peridotite and basaltic samples under in-situ reservoir conditions.
Her research focuses on fluid-rock interaction, geomechanics in the subsurface and the role of mineralogy and rock physical properties in geological processes of importance to society and industry. She uses a combination of experimental rock deformation and analytical techniques (electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, computerized tomography, etc.) to evaluate the changes that occur as a result of fluid-rock interaction, temperature and pressure gradients in faults and fractured zones. By quantifying rock physical properties, her work provides data to support a safer exploitation of the subsurface for energy generation and CO2 storage. This research is fundamental to the fields of geothermal energy and carbon capture and storage, both of which are crucial to achieving sustainability and a net zero future.
- Cassie Xu is the Associate Director of Non-Degree Education and Outreach Programs at the Earth Institute. In this role, she leads the development, implementation, and management of non-degree educational, outreach, and training programs and activities associated with the Earth Institute. These activities include professional learning programs for adult learners, educator training efforts, pre-college programs, and curriculum development for K12 learners, among others. She holds a dual role with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, where she has oversight of existing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) efforts for K12 students and educators and public audiences.
Carson Witte is a 4th-year PhD student at Columbia University, studying Air-Sea Interaction under the mentorship of Christopher Zappa. He holds a B.A. in Physics & Engineering from Pomona College and a M.A. and M.Phil. in Ocean & Climate Physics from Columbia University. He has spent the past several years working on Ikaaġvik Sikukun, a knowledge co-production project conducted in partnership with Indigenous Elders in the Alaskan village of Kotzebue. He is now working on an observational study of the influence of algae blooms on air-sea heat exchange from Research Vessel Falkor, and is also an AGU Thriving Earth Exchange Community Science Fellow working with communities in South Carolina to address the causes and consequences of unprecedented flooding that has occurred in the past few years. He is interested in using observational techniques in pursuit of community-led goals, bridging the scales of direct observation to wider spatiotemporal domains, and constantly asking questions of the cultural context in which scientific research is conducted and results interpreted. Carson also enjoys pretty much all types of outdoor recreation, is passionate about music, and loves to cook.
My research focuses on understanding hydroclimatic variability in semi-arid Asia, especially Mongolia, using networks of tree-ring data.
Caroline is a Ph.D. Candidate at Columbia University in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Caroline is interested in using satellite data, big datasets, and statistical modeling to understand natural hazards in the context of modern climate. Under the mentorship of her advisor Dr. Park Williams, she is currently investigating how climate affects wildfires in the western United States. Between college graduation and her Ph.D., she was a project coordinator at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/ Science Systems and Applications, Inc. in Greenbelt, MD, where she launched and managed the NASA citizen science project Landslide Reporter.
On the side, she is motivated by her passion to increase access to opportunities in STEM and dedicates her free time to mentoring students and volunteering for outreach and diversity initiatives in the aerospace and Earth science communities. She serves as a member of the Executive Team for the Brooke Owens Fellowship and co-founded SpaceInterns.org, a platform for aerospace-related resources and an opportunities database. She is also an artist who creates illustrations, comics, and digital designs for her science, to express her love for space, and to creatively tell stories.
Caroline graduated in May 2017 with an A.B. in Earth & Planetary Sciences and a minor in Environmental Sciences and Public Policy from Harvard University. Her senior thesis research titled, "25 Years of Carbon Exchange and its Factors in the Harvard Forest", received an Honors recommendation.
Carol Cotterill is a Associate Researcher based at Lamont-Doherty earth Observatory, Columbia University. Her research concentrates on the impact of environmental processes, in particular Glacitectonics, on the geotechnical properties of soils with respect to offshore infrastructure (mainly monopile turbine installations). With a Ph.D from the University of Southampton, UK, she previously worked for the British Geological Survey, leading the offshore renewables team, prior to coming to Columbia and LDEO.
She is also a science communicator, working as the Assistant Director of Education and Outreach for the U. S. Science Support Program, part of the International Ocean Discovery Program. As such, her remit is to raise awareness of Earth Science, inspire and prepare students for future careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and ensure that policymakers are aware of the strategic importance of the scientific research and economic benefits to the US economy.
Caitlin received a Bachelor of Science in Earth Science from Columbia University in May 2013. She joined the Polar Geophysics Group at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in December 2016 as a Senior Research Staff Assistant where she processed, analyzed, and managed airborne geophysical data for the group, in addition to participating in fieldwork. In 2021, she became a first year graduate student working with Kirsty Tinto. She is involved in the Bed Classes, Oceans Melting Greenland, Operation IceBridge, and ROSETTA-Ice projects.
- Spencer is a postdoc in the Ocean Transport Group at Lamont. He studies the global ocean circulation and large-scale effects of ocean mixing.
- Professor Brian Mailloux joined the faculty of Barnard College in January 2006. While at Columbia Professor Mailloux has taught courses in Ecotoxicology, Environmental Measurements, and Water, Sanitation and Health. He is the campus representative for the Geological Society of America, 2008 to present. Other professional affiliations include American Geophysical Union, American Chemical Society, and the American Society for Microbiology.
Brendan Buckley holds the position of Lamont Research Professor, and has been a long-time member of the Tree Ring Lab at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (LDEO). While he has worked in locations around the globe, Buckley has been one of the pioneers of tropical dendroclimatology, having produced the longest and best replicated records of absolutely dated tree ring sequences from Southeast Asia. Among his most important discoveries were the identification of two key periods of drought that coincided with the two most tumultuous periods of the past millennium over Southeast Asia – the Angkor droughts of the late 14th/early 15th century, and the Strange Parallels Drought of late 18th century, respectively. He continues this important work by using new methods to develop discrete seasonal reconstructions of regional hydroclimate, including measures of the strength of summer and winter monsoons, as well as the “shoulder” seasons that lead into and out of them, over the past millennium. Buckley is a proponent of interdisciplinary research, working with historians, archaeologists, geochemists and atmospheric scientists. Along with his research in the Asian tropics, he has a long history of research in the North American boreal forests, having conducted some of the first dendroclimatic forays in northern Labrador, Canada, and North America’s northernmost trees in the Firth River of Alaska. He was also instrumental in developing the longest temperature reconstructions from the Southern Hemisphere as part of his PhD research in Tasmania and New Zealand.
Buckley received his undergraduate degree in Physical Geography from Plymouth State College in New Hampshire, a Masters degree from Arizona State University in Tempe, and his PhD from the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies (IASOS) at the University of Tasmania, Australia. He held Post-doctoral positions at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, before commencing his current LDEO position in 1999.
As a geoscientist, my primary objective as a researcher is to improve our knowledge of the Earth across a wide range of tectonic settings and geologic timescales. I am a strong proponent of applied research and believe that the greatest contributions of geoscientists involve global societal issues, including hazards, energy, and education. My research as an active-source seismologist focuses on characterizing the structure and evolution of the Earth’s lithosphere. In particular, I seek to understand the feedbacks between stress, metamorphism, deformation, topography, climate, and mass/fluid fluxes along plate boundaries and mature tectonic settings. I am interested in the manifestation of these processes spatially from the upper mantle to the surface, and temporally from the creation of new lithosphere to its destruction at subduction zones.
My interdisciplinary approach is founded in the imaging, interpretation, and inversion of active-source seismic data, combined with complementary data types, such as passive seismic imaging, geologic observations, and geochemical analyses. With my research, I aim to improve our knowledge of fluid-tectonic interactions within the lithosphere, and the consequential hazards from earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes. I am currently working with new seismic data collected along the Cascadia subduction zone to better understand these tectonic processes.
My passion for the geosciences was instilled during my early youth growing up in Colorado, where I was exposed to incredible exposures of geologic formations. This curiosity led me to begin my academic adventure at Western Colorado University, where I received B.S. degrees in Geology and Mathematics. At Western, I was emersed in the beauty of the Gunnison valley and became fascinated with the stratigraphic record of the Ancestral Rockies. Field trips to the Moab region along the Colorado Plateau, skiing on the Crested Butte laccolith, and floating rivers carving through Precambrian basement rocks further solidified my passion for the outdoors and connection to the geosciences.
Following my time at Western, I pursued a PhD at the University of Texas at Austin Institute for Geophysics. At UT, I infused my background in geology and mathematics by developing skills in marine geophysics to study plate tectonic processes. I was fortunate to interact with a diverse range of geoscientists across the globe, acquiring marine seismic data in New Zealand, deploying seismometers in the Kenyan Turkana rift, and venturing to southern Spain to collect samples for geochronological analyses. My PhD research targeted two fundamental tectonic process – continental rifting and subduction initiation. I analyzed active-source seismic data along the Eastern North American Margin and Puysegur Margin, New Zealand, to investigate the mechanisms that enable lithospheric rupture during the breakup of continents and formation of subduction zones. After graduating from UT, I started my current position at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist.
Bennett Slibeck is a PhD candidate in Dr. Paul Olsen's lab studying paleontology and paleobiology with a particular focus on ecosystem recovery in the wake of the End Triassic Mass Exticntion.
Dr. Beizhan Yan is an Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs and a Lamont Associate Research Professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO). His Ph.D. study at RPI (2000-2004) focused on the source apportionment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Hudson River. After two years of postdoc in Idaho National Laboratory, he joined Washington University in St. Louis to study nanoscale size effects on biogeochemical processes for environmental bioremediation. At LDEO, he has established an Environmental Organic Geochemistry Lab with ability to extract, isolate, and identify organic contaminants and biomarkers from environmental and biological samples.
He has successfully traced metals and aromatic hydrocarbons in the waters and air of NYC and linked the exposures of these air pollutants to pediatric asthma outcomes. He is also leading a collaborative study to examine the association between pediatric respiratory outcomes and air pollutants (including PM2.5 and black carbon, VOCs) in Beijing China. To determine possible impacts of hydrofracking on environment stresses (e.g., noise and air and water pollutions), psychological stress, and health outcomes, he is leading a collaborative study in Pennsylvania. He is also conducting the ecological impact of microplastics in estuaries and oceans.
Bärbel Hönisch is a Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and specializes in Paleoceanography. Her primary research interests are the linkages between atmospheric carbon dioxide and climate in the past, including the validation and application of paleoproxies in marine archives.
Arturo Pacheco is a dendroclimatologist studying the climatic drivers of tree ring growth and its effects on wood anatomy. His PhD research in Forest Ecology from the University of Padua (Italy) focused on the formation of intra annual density fluctuations of Mediterranean tree species under drought conditions. Although most of his research focuses on Mediterranean species, alpine and artic species also form part of his expertise. At the Earth Institute he will be working with Dr. Laia Andreu-Hayles of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) Tree-Ring Lab, integrating within the ‘Collaborative Research: Reconstructing South American monsoon sensitivity to internal and external forcing: reconciling models and tree-ring proxies in the Central Andes’ and also participating of the NSF project ‘Climate Research Education in the Americas using Tree-Ring Speleothem Examples’ (PIRECREATE). Before joining Columbia University, Arturo worked as a Postdoc at the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli (Italy) starting the Italian Tree Talker Network (ITT-Net) a state-of-the-art continuous large-scale monitoring of tree functional traits and vulnerabilities to climate change. He also holds degrees from the University of Bangor, United Kingdom (M.Sc.) and University of Costa Rica (B.Sc.).
- Arthur Lerner-Lam is the Senior Advisor to the Co-Founding Deans at the Columbia Climate School. A seismologist, he has led scientific expeditions in the Middle East, Europe, Central and South Asia, the Southwest Pacific, and throughout the United States. Over the last 20 years, he has lectured and written widely on natural hazard risk identification, assessment and management. At Columbia, Lerner-Lam directs the masters programs in sustainability science and environmental science and policy. These programs provide a broad and quantitative understanding of the environment, including Earth’s climate, and foster critical thinking about the public policies and private sector management principles needed for resiliency and sustainability. With colleagues from political science, economics and international affairs, Lerner-Lam also has developed related curricula on sustainability management and sustainable investing suited for intensive executive education certificate programs. Lerner-Lam received his undergraduate degree in geological sciences from Princeton University, and his doctorate in geophysical sciences from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. He has held Post-doctoral positions at Scripps and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has been at Lamont-Doherty since 1985. He has been on numerous scientific advisory committees and editorial boards including as a member on the Federal Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee for the U.S. Geological Survey, as a consultant to the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and as a contributing author to the U.N.’s Global Risk Update and the World Bank’s Global Hotspots Report. He has consulted on environmental and natural hazard resilience for the governments of Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Chile, India, China, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on the Nation’s preparedness for natural disasters.
I am a field-going physical oceanographer, an observationalist. My research is directed at the ocean's stratification, circulation and mixing and its role in Earth's climate system. I study the transfer of heat and freshwater within the ocean and between the ocean, cryosphere and atmosphere. I view the ocean as a global system, with specific attention to interocean exchange and to ventilation of the deep ocean interior through sea-air-ice interaction. Comparison and extension of observational data with model results are an increasingly important part of my research. Historically much of my research deals with the Southern Ocean and South Atlantic, but research within the warmer waters of the Maritime Continent and Indian Ocean now compose most of my research program. Recently my focus is on the role of the ocean mesoscale in the transfer of heat and freshwater to compensate for net sea-air flux. I tend to go to areas that have been neglected by the research community, but have the potential of being key players in the global system.
Arianna is a Ph.D. candidate at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in the City of New York. Her research focuses on precipitation trends and variability in southeastern South America (southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and northeastern Argentina) in observations and climate model simulations. Her goal is to better understand the drivers of past and present precipitation change so that we can better constrain future projections of precipitation. Arianna is co-advised by Jason Smerdon at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and Park Williams of University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Anne Bécel's research focuses on characterizing the seismic structure of the Earth’s crust and uppermost mantle to better understand major processes that are taking place along active plate boundaries such as transform faults or subduction zones but also at rifted passive margins and ocean basin settings. To investigate these processes, she primarily uses marine active-source seismology. Her research at Lamont has mainly focused on the study of the Alaska Peninsula and Hellenic subduction zones with an emphasis on assessing specific risks such as large earthquakes and associated tsunamis and the development of the Eastern North American continental rifted margin.
Angela Slagle is a Research Scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Her work focuses on petrophysical measurements as a means of characterizing sub-seafloor sediments and rocks, applied to a range of projects and geologic environments. Her current projects include studies of carbon sequestration in marine basalts (western Atlantic, Cascadia region in NW Pacific); cyclicity in physical properties as a response to Earth processes (Maldives Inner Sea); and integration of core, downhole logging, and seismic properties (various locations). Angela received a Ph.D. in Marine Geology and Geophysics from Columbia University.
Over the last ten years, she has sailed on seven research expeditions for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program and International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), as well as a number of research cruises on UNOLS vessels. She is also the Associate Director of the U.S. Science Support Program (USSSP) for IODP (usoceandiscovery.org).
Andrew Miller is Deputy Director of Research Administration at the Office of Research within the Columbia Climate School. In this role he is responsible for proposal development, faculty training, compliance, project management, and internal communications. Prior to joining the Office of Research, Andrew oversaw all pre-award grant management tasks for the Morningside campus portion of The Earth Institute.
Between 2013 to mid-2016, Andrew was The Earth Institute's Assistant Director, International Accounts and Operations. During that time, he led a team of 3-4 that oversaw financial and administrative management in seven international, affiliate offices.
Between mid-2008 to 2013, Andrew was Senior Manager, Finance and Administration at The Earth Institute's Agriculture and Food Security Center. In that role he assisted the Director with project management of several large, international research projects. He also provided financial and administrative management for the Center's team of 20-25.
Andrew earned his M.P.A. in Environmental Science and Policy in May 2008 from Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. Prior to earning his M.P.A, Andrew earned a B.S. in Biology and Natural Science from Midland Lutheran College (May 2005), and worked for two years as an Analytical Chemist at Novartis Consumer Health.
I am an aquatic ecologist and oceanographer with broad interests relevant to basic and applied issues in coastal marine systems, estuaries, rivers and lakes. Much of my research has focused on studying the growth and physiology of planktonic microorganisms (planktonic algae, protist microzooplankton, invertebrate zooplankton, and bacteria). I use a holistic perspective that encompasses how planktonic organisms interact with their physical/chemical environment, how they interact with their competitors and predators, and the implications for their population dynamics.
Planktonic organisms form the base of most aquatic food webs, and thus, the processes that regulate their populations also directly affect the abundance, diversity, and activities of higher trophic-level organisms. Plankton also play critical roles in aquatic biogeochemistry, such as fluxes of carbon and nitrogen. In addition, interactions within the community of planktonic organisms relate directly to applied, water-quality issues such as nutrient pollution and eutrophication, sewage pollution, harmful algal blooms, and hypoxia.
My research approach links hypothesis-driven, controlled laboratory experiments with small-scale field manipulations and field observations. Such research is inherently interdisciplinary, connecting cell biology and physiology with ecology, and physics and chemistry of the environment. I am always open to new and interesting ways to apply my expertise.
Andreas Thurnherr has degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from ETH Zurich (Switzerland), and in Physical Oceanography from the University of Southampton (UK). He has been working as an observational physical oceanographer at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University since 2003 and he also holds an adjunct position at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Allison Franzese is an Associate Professor at CUNY Hostos Community College, where she teaches courses in Chemistry and Earth and Environmental Sciences. Her research activities take place at both Hostos and Lamont and involve the application of isotope geochemistry to paleoceanography. An overarching theme of her research is how the “Global Conveyor Belt” or thermohaline circulation (THC) was different in the past, with a particular focus on how the surface return flow of the THC has changed over millenial-scale, glacial-interglacial, and longer timescales.
My current research focuses on ways to reduce the impact of the environment on human health. For two decades, I coordinated earth-science and mitigation efforts under Columbia’s Superfund Research Program on the origin and health effects of elevated levels of arsenic in groundwater. A theme that runs through this and other ongoing projects, e.g., concerning fluoride in groundwater in India, bauxite dust in Guinea, or soil contaminated with lead from mine-tailings in Peru, is that patterns of contamination are spatially very heterogeneous. This complicates prediction but often also points the way to mitigation when the hazard can be mapped. For this reason, I am a firm believer in the more widespread use of field kits by non-specialists to reduce exposure to environmental toxicants, particularly in developing countries. I collaborate with public health and social scientists to evaluate how such kits can be deployed at scale and have published over 180 peer-reviewed papers on this and other environmental topics. I hold a research professor appointment at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and am a member of the Earth Institute faculty at Columbia University.
- Alberto Malinverno received a degree in geology at the University of Milano, Italy, in 1981 and a Ph.D. in geology at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University, New York, in 1989. After graduating, he spent three years at LDEO as a post-doctoral scientist and research scientist, participating in a total of twelve marine geology and geophysics seagoing expeditions. In 1992 Alberto joined the Schlumberger-Doll Research center in Ridgefield, Connecticut, where he worked on the quantifying uncertainties in the inversion of borehole measurements. He returned to Lamont in 2005 as a principal research scientist at the LDEO Borehole Research Group. As a logging scientist, he participated in five scientific drilling expeditions on the US drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution (North Cascadia margin, Bay of Bengal, Equatorial Pacific, and twice on the Costa Rica Pacific margin). Alberto is now a Lamont Research Professor and an adjunct professor at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences of Columbia University, where he teaches "Quantitative Methods of Data Analysis" (EESC G6908). See also the career profile interview published in the September 2010 issue of Oceanography.
Adam H. Sobel studies weather and climate, with a focus on extreme weather events and a particular interest in the tropics. Phenomena include tropical cyclones, intraseasonal variability, precipitation, severe convection, and climate change. Sobel’s research spans basic and applied prediction and risk assessment, and uses observations, theory, and numerical simulations with models spanning a hierarchy in complexity. He is particularly interested in the interactions between turbulent deep convection and large-scale atmospheric dynamics, as these are key to the qualitative and quantitative understanding and prediction of many modes of atmospheric behavior, including extreme precipitation events. He has developed novel methods for diagnosing these interactions, connecting high-resolution explicit simulations of cloud systems to simple theoretical representations of large-scale dynamics in order to extract essential mechanisms and understand the connections between weather and climate. In another line of work, with colleagues in both academia and the insurance industry, Sobel has been developing hybrid statistical-dynamical models, combining mechanistic understanding with inference from observational data, to assess the risk of rare but extremely damaging extreme weather events, particularly tropical cyclones, tornadoes, and hail.
Sobel received a BA in physics and music from Wesleyan in 1989 and a PhD in meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998. He has received the Meisinger Award (2010) and Louis J. Battan Author’s Award (2014) from the American Meteorological Society, the Ascent Award from the Atmospheric Sciences Section of the American Geophysical Union (2014), and the Lamont-Doherty Award for Excellence in Mentoring (2010).