Maureen Raymo

Maureen E. "Mo" Raymo (born 1959 in Los Angeles[1]) is an American paleoclimatologist and marine geologist. She is the Co-Founding Dean of the Columbia Climate School,[2] Director of the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, the G. Unger Vetlesen Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, and Director of the Lamont–Doherty Core Repository at the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.[3] She is the first female climate scientist and first female scientist to head the institution.[4]

Maureen E. Raymo
Climate Crisis and Response, Maureen Raymo, 7m16s.jpg
Alma mater
AwardsWollaston Medal, Milutin Milankovic Medal
Scientific career

Raymo has done pioneering work on ice ages, the geologic temperature record, and climate, examining and theorizing about global cooling and warming and transitions in ice age cycles. Her work underlies fundamental ideas in paleoceanography including the uplift weathering hypothesis, the "41,000-year problem", the Pliocene sea-level paradox, and the Lisiecki-Raymo δ18O stack.[5][6][7][8]

Among other awards and honors, Raymo became in 2014 the first woman to win the Wollaston Medal for geology, which had been awarded for 183 years at the time. She was described in her nomination as ".. one of the foremost and influential figures in the last 30 years".[9]


Raymo attended Brown University, receiving her Sc.B. Geology in 1982. She then attended Columbia University, where she earned her M.A. in Geology in 1985, her M.Phil. in Geology in 1988, and her Ph.D. in Geology in 1989.[1]


Raymo is known for developing (along with William Ruddiman and Philip Froelich) the Uplift-Weathering Hypothesis. According to this hypothesis, tectonic uplift of areas such as the Tibetan plateau has contributed to surface cooling. During phases of mountain range formation, there are at the surface many minerals which can chemically interact with carbon dioxide. During the process of chemical weathering, there is a net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, as a result of which the temperature on the ground decreases. She and her colleagues initially suggested that measuring the proportions of isotopes of strontium (Sr) in deep ocean sediments could substantiate the Uplift-Weathering Hypothesis but soon recognized that ambiguities in the sources of Sr to the ocean existed. Over twenty years later, the hypothesis continues to be debated and studied.[10][11][12]

Reconstruction of the past 5 million years of climate history, based on oxygen isotope fractionation in deep sea sediment cores (serving as a proxy for the total global mass of glacial ice sheets), fitted to a model of orbital forcing (Lisiecki and Raymo 2005)[13] and to the temperature scale derived from Vostok ice cores following Petit et al. (1999).[12]

Raymo is also well known for her interdisciplinary work, particularly using palaeoceanography to better understand the thermohaline circulation and pacing of ice ages over the Pleistocene and Pliocene and how they link to changes in orbital forcing and Milankovitch climate dynamics.[14] Raymo, along with her collaborator Lorraine Lisiecki, has made important contributions to palaeoclimate science and stratigraphic by means of oxygen isotope analysis of foraminifera from sample cores of deep ocean sediments including publishing the widely used 5 million year LR04 benthic foraminifera stable oxygen isotope stack record.[15]

Awards and honorsEdit

Raymo is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2016 she was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences.[5] Raymo has won various prizes for her scientific work, including becoming in 2014 the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Wollaston Medal - the highest award of the Geological Society of London.[9][16] In 2014, she received the Milutin Milankovic Medal at the European Geosciences Union’s annual meeting for her use of geochemistry, geology and geophysics to solve paleoclimatology’s big problems.[17] In 2019 she was awarded the Maurice Ewing Medal by the American Geophysical Union.[18] In 2022 she was elected as a Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Class for Geosciences.[19]

In 2002, she was included by the illustrated magazine Discover in a list of the 50 most important women in science[6][20] and in her nomination for the Wollaston Medal, Professor James Scourse described her as ".. one of the foremost and influential figures in the last 30 years...She's been an important role model to women scientists—you can get to the top".[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b M.E. Raymo (July 2018). "Curriculum vitae" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  2. ^ "Leadership of the Columbia Climate School".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "Maureen Raymo". Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  4. ^ Schwartz, John (2020-07-10). "She's an Authority on Earth's Past. Now, Her Focus Is the Planet's Future". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-07-12.
  5. ^ a b "Ice & Sea-Level Scientist Maureen Raymo Elected to National Academy of Sciences". Columbia University. Center for Climate and Life. May 4, 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b Fitzgerald, Brian (26 September 2003). "2003-04 Guggenheim fellowship winner, Maureen Raymo: studying 40 million years or climate change". B. U. Bridge. Boston University. VII (5).
  7. ^ Gornitz, Vivien (2009). "Active mountain building and climate change". Encyclopedia of paleoclimatology and ancient environments. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. p. 855. ISBN 9781402045516. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  8. ^ Gornitz, Vivien (2009). "Issues in middle Pliocene warming". Encyclopedia of paleoclimatology and ancient environments. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp. 567–568. ISBN 9781402045516. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Climate Scientist Is First Woman to Win Geology's Storied Wollaston Medal". Lamont -Doherty Earth Observatory. March 4, 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Theory on a Plateau And the Climate Gains". The New York Times. November 3, 1992. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Cracking the Ice Age". NOVA. September 30, 1997. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  12. ^ a b Petit, J. R.; Jouzel, J.; Raynaud, D.; Barkov, N. I.; Barnola, J. M.; Basile, I.; Bender, M.; Chappellaz, J.; Davis, J.; Delaygue, G.; Delmotte, M.; Kotlyakov, V. M.; Legrand, M.; Lipenkov, V.; Lorius, C.; Pépin, L.; Ritz, C.; Saltzman, E.; Stievenard, M. (1999). "Climate and Atmospheric History of the Past 420,000 years from the Vostok Ice Core, Antarctica". Nature. 399 (6735): 429–436. Bibcode:1999Natur.399..429P. doi:10.1038/20859. S2CID 204993577.
  13. ^ Lisiecki, Lorraine E.; Raymo, Maureen E. (January 2005). "A Pliocene-Pleistocene stack of 57 globally distributed benthic d18O records" (PDF). Paleoceanography. 20 (1): PA1003. Bibcode:2005PalOc..20.1003L. doi:10.1029/2004PA001071. hdl:2027.42/149224.
    • Supplement: Lisiecki, L. E.; Raymo, M. E. (2005). "Pliocene-Pleistocene stack of globally distributed benthic stable oxygen isotope records". Pangaea. doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.704257.
    Lisiecki, L. E.; Raymo, M. E. (May 2005). "Correction to "A Pliocene-Pleistocene stack of 57 globally distributed benthic δ18O records"". Paleoceanography. 20 (2): PA2007. Bibcode:2005PalOc..20.2007L. doi:10.1029/2005PA001164.
    data: doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.704257.
  14. ^ Raymo, M. E.; Huybers, P. (2008). "Unlocking the mysteries of the Ice Ages". Nature. 451 (7176): 284–285. Bibcode:2008Natur.451..284R. doi:10.1038/nature06589. PMID 18202644. S2CID 4360319.
  15. ^ Lisiecki, Lorraine E.; Raymo, Maureen E. (March 2005). "A Pliocene-Pleistocene stack of 57 globally distributed benthic D 18 O records" (PDF). Paleoceanography. 20 (1): n/a. Bibcode:2005PalOc..20.1003L. doi:10.1029/2004PA001071. hdl:2027.42/149224.
  16. ^ "Wollaston Medal". The Geological Society of London. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  17. ^ European Geosciences Union - Milutin Milankovic Medal 2014
  18. ^ "Past Recipients". American Geophysical Union. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Several researchers elected new members of the Academy". Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  20. ^ Svitil, Kathy A. (November 1, 2002). "The 50 Most Important Women in Science". Discover. Retrieved 16 February 2018.

External linksEdit