Research & Courses
Phone: +41 44 632 38 28
Judith A. McKenzie has been Full Professor of Earth System Sciences in the Institute of Geology at the ETH Zurich since April 1, 1996.
Prof. McKenzie was born in Pennsylvania, USA. She studied chemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder receiving a MS degree in 1970. Pursuing her interests in natural environmental systems, she began a second course of study in marine geology and geochemistry at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA, and subsequently earned her doctorate in July 1976 in the Institute of Geology at the ETH Zurich. Her dissertation was awarded the ETH silver medal. From 1976 to 1984 she completed postdoctoral work at the institute. As a senior assistant she set up the laboratory for stable isotopes and introduced courses in chemical sedimentology and limnogeology. In 1985 she returned to the USA where she was associate professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville. In 1987 she became a member of the scientific staff at the ETH Zurich, was awarded the title of professor and in 1996 was appointed Full Professor.
Her research concentrates on the study of evidence for past climate and environmental change as recorded in chemical sediments from both lacustrine and marine systems. The study of important modern environmental systems, such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia or hypersaline lagoons in Brazil or geochemical cycles in lakes in Switzerland, is emphasized in her research along with an evaluation of anthropogenic influences on these environments. Her research has recently taken a new direction into the field of geomicrobiology or biomineralization in an attempt to understand the influence of microbes on dolomite precipitation, particularly in the Earth's early history.
The Earth System Sciences Group under her direction includes the Stable Isotope, Limnogeology and Geomicrobiology Laboratories. Over the years, she has been very active in the international Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) in both a research and advisory capacity and is now involved in the management of Swiss participation in the new Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). She is an active member of several professional societies, serving currently as the President of the International Association of Sedimentologists (2002-2006). She was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 1999 and a foreign member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters in 2006. Prof. McKenzie received the 2006 Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal of the European Geosciences Union.
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