Program Faculty

Michela Biasutti

Dr. Biasutti is a Lamont Associate Research Professor.She graduated cum laude in physics at the University of Trieste in 1995. A growing interest in climate modeling and climate dynamics brought her first to visit research centers in Bologna (Italy) and College Park (MD), and then to pursue graduate studies in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA), where she received her MS (2001) and PhD (2003). She joined the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in 2004, first as a post-doctoral scholar and then as faculty.

Her research interests focus on the variability of rainfall in the tropics, from the fast development of weather systems to the dynamics of long-term droughts and pluvials associated with man-made and geological climate changes. She has enjoyed collaborating with scholars outside her discipline, working on the effect of climate change on African ecosystems and crops and on the legal framework of UN-led climate change adaptation. She lives in Manhattan, with her husband and son.

Ben Bostick

Dr. Bostick is a Lamont Associate Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. His research and consulting interests include Soil and Aqueous Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Tropical Soils and Soil Fertility, Environmental Health, and Environmental Remediation.

Brendan Buckley

Dr. 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.

Suzana Camargo

Dr. Suzana J. Camargo is a Lamont Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. She has been working at Columbia University at the Lamont campus since 1999, first at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) before becoming part of the Ocean and Climate Physics Division of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in 2007. Dr. Camargo main expertise is on tropical cyclones (hurricanes and typhoons), in particular the relationship of tropical cyclones and climate in various time-scales. Dr. Camargo has published over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Since 2015, Dr. Camargo is the executive director of the Columbia University Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate. She joined the Columbia University Earth Institute Faculty as an Associate Member in January 2018.

Dr. Camargo was born in Brazil, where she received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Physics at the University of São Paulo (USP). She then moved to Germany, where she conducted her research at the Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) and received her Ph.D. in Physics at the Technical University of Munich in 1992. She was then a post-doctoral research scientist at the Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics until 1996, when she returned to Brazil to become an Associate Professor in Physics at the São Paulo State University (Unesp).

Dr. Camargo has also been an editor of Geophysical Research Letters since 2018 and an associate editor of the Journal of Climate since 2016. Dr. Camargo has been a member of the World Meteorological Organization Expert Team on Climate Change Impacts on Tropical Cyclones since 2017.

Steve Chillrud

Dr. Chillrud, Senior Research Scientist, is an environmental geochemist interested in public health research. Much of his work is focused on the role of particles in the transport, behavior and fate of chemical contaminants. These particles can be fine-grained sediments in surface water bodies, such as the Hudson River, sandy particles in groundwater aquifers, or airborne particles in indoor and outdoor settings. His research on air pollution seeks to understand the sources, behavior, and exposure pathways of airborne contaminants, as well as designing and testing new air monitoring devices, either to be used at fixed indoor and outdoor locations, or to be worn by people.

Alex de Sherbinin

Dr. Alex de Sherbinin is the Associate Director for Science Applications at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), an environmental data and analysis center within The Earth Institute at Columbia University specializing in the human aspects of global environmental change. He is a geographer whose research interests focus on the human aspects of global environmental change and environmental sustainability, as well as geospatial data applications, integration, and dissemination. He is lead or co-author on 55 peer reviewed articles and chapters, including lead authored articles appearing in Annual Reviews of Environment and Resources, Climatic Change, Environmental Research Letters, Global Environmental Change, Science, and Scientific American. He has conducted research on a range of topics, including environmental indicators; climate vulnerability mapping; climate change and migration; urban climate vulnerability and resilience; population dynamics and the environment; and remote sensing applications for environmental treaties. He has served as principal investigator (PI) on 20 research projects, and co-PI on another ten.

de Sherbinin serves as deputy manager of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC); co-Coordinator of the Population-Environment Research Network (PERN); vice chair of the scientific committee of the International Council for Science (ICSU) World Data System (WDS); co-chair of the WDS-CODATA Citizen Science Data Task Group; and co-author of the biennial Environmental Performance Index (EPI). He is also a member of the editorial board of The Geographical Journal and the advisory committee for the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD).

de Sherbinin holds a PhD in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation from ITC at the University of Twente (Netherlands), and MA and BA degrees in geography from Syracuse University and Dartmouth College, respectively. Prior to joining CIESIN, he served as a USAID Population-Environment Fellow with the Social Policy Program of International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN, Gland, Switzerland), and a Population Geographer at the Population Reference Bureau (PRB, Washington, DC). From 1984-1986 he served as an agricultural extension agent with the U.S. Peace Corps in Mauritania, West Africa.

de Sherbinin has profiles on ResearchGate, LinkedIn, and ORCID, a Twitter feed, and blog postings through the Earth Institute’s State of the Planet, CODATA and WDS blogs.

Ed Garvey

Ed Garvey is a Lecturer at the School of Professional Studies, Columbia University. He is an environmental geochemist, a licensed professional geologist (PA, NY), and a technical vice president with Louis Berger , Inc. in Morristown, NJ. His research interests include the integration of geochemical and geophysical data to establish sediment and contaminant transport, the geochemical study of persistent organic pollutants (e.g., PAHs, PCBs, dioxins), and the geochemical study of heavy metals, (e.g., lead, mercury). He has co-authored numerous presentations, government reports, and articles on the application of environmental forensics, sediment core dating, and high resolution analytical techniques to investigate and remediate major Superfund sites across the US.

Ed received his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the Cooper Union, and his doctorate in geochemistry from Columbia GSAS/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. For more than 25 years, Ed has served as the chief scientist for the USEPA on the Hudson River PCB superfund site. He is also directed the Superfund investigations of the Lower Passaic River and Newark Bay (NJ), Onondaga Lake (NY) and numerous smaller sites throughout the U.S. He is currently providing technical direction for the City of New York on investigations for Gowanus Canal and Newton Creek, pertaining to combined sewer overflow discharges. Ed has also testified as the lead expert witness for the government of Ecuador in its litigation against Texaco/Chevron regarding legacy petroleum production-related contamination in the headwaters of the Amazon rainforest. He has served on the Environmental Engineering Committee of the USEPA’s Science Advisory Board.

David Goldberg

Dr. David Goldberg is a Lamont Research Professor and has studied and published on a range of subjects from quantifying marine methane hydrates in nature to the structure and alteration of oceanic crust to carbon dioxide storage and renewable energy. He has acted as Principal Investigator for many collaborative research projects, including recent multi-national carbon management studies, and been directly involved with several international scientific drilling programs. In carbon management, his interests have evolved to focus on the integration of different technologies and cross-disciplinary approaches to develop achievable climate solutions. He also currently serves as an Associate Director of the Earth Institute’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University.

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 has served on numerous panels related to international scientific drilling, the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee, and as a core faculty member for the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy at Columbia. Goldberg continues to advise graduate students interested in carbon management, scientific drilling, and related research areas.

Einat Lev

Einat Lev is a Research Assistant Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, where she started as a Lamont-Doherty Postdoctoral Fellow in 2009. Einat holds a B.Sc. in Geophysics and Computer Science from Tel-Aviv University in Israel, and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from MIT. Her research is focused on the fluid mechanics and physical processes controlling volcanic eruptions. In particular, Einat studies how the complex properties of magma and lava, and the variable eruption conditions, play a role on the outcome of eruptions. Einat’s research relies on a range of methods, primarily numerical modeling, fluid mechanics experiments using materials analogous to magma and lava, field surveys, and aerial photography. Einat has published many articles in scientific journals, as well as popular science blogs and radio interviews. In addition to volcanoes and geology, Einat is a passionate about science education, and strives to bring the insights gained from basic research into applications that benefit society and to expand the reach of science education to all sections of society.

Braddock Linsley

Brad Linsley is a Lamont Research Professor and Director of the Lamont-Doherty Stable Isotope Laboratory. He came to Lamont in 2011 after 16 years as a Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University at Albany-SUNY. Brad is from the Connecticut shore where he developed a life-long interest in the oceans. Following his Ph.D. research in marine sediment core-based paleoceanography at the University of New Mexico, Brad began working with and developing the use of massive corals as recorders of past oceanographic and climate conditions while a postdoctoral associate at Rice University in Houston. Since then the sediment and coral facets of his research have taken him to remote sites across the Pacific studying sediment cores and coral cores from sites in Panamá, Clipperton Atoll, Fanning Atoll, Rarotonga, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, the Great Barrier Reef, the Makassar Strait in Indonesia, the Sulu Sea, and the New Guinea margin. Back in the lab, meticulous work on the coral cores generates near-monthly resolved geochemical reconstructions of water temperature and salinity over the last several centuries. The sediment cores are used to make deeper-time reconstructions of surface, intermediate and deep water conditions in the far western Pacific. Brad recently returned from a 9 week expedition on the JOIDES Resolution drill ship as part of Ocean Discovery Program Leg (IODP leg 363) in the western Pacific warm pool. Over his career, Brad has developed influential paleoclimate records from the circum-Pacific that have significantly advanced our understanding of interannual-multidecadal climate dynamics and millennial-scale variability in the ocean.

Frank Nitsche

Frank O. Nitsche is a research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. He studies sediment processes and morphological features of coastal areas including the Hudson River Estuary and the Long Island Sound. In addition, he investigates seafloor features of the Antarctic continental margin and is reconstructing past ice stream dynamics and the vulnerability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. In his research he uses mostly geophysical mapping techniques and data integration through GIS.

Nitsche teaches in Columbia’s Masters programs in Sustainability Science. He previously has taught an Environmental Data Analysis course at Barnard College and coordinated environmental field classes on the Hudson River.

Nitsche received a Diplom (Master of Science) in geophysics from the University of Kiel, Germany and a Ph.D. from the University of Bremen, Germany. After a post-doctoral position at ETH Zurich he came to the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in 2001 where he started as a postdoctoral researcher. He has participated in nine ocean-going and numerous coastal expeditions, He has consulted on several environmental projects for New York State and Connecticut State.

Michael Previdi

Michael Previdi is a Lamont Associate Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. He holds a B.S. degree in Meteorology and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, both from Rutgers University. Following the completion of his Ph.D., Mike stayed on at Rutgers for one more year as a Post Doctoral Associate in the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, where he studied the effects of North Atlantic Oscillation variability on the air-sea exchange of CO2. Mike then did a second postdoc at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, where he focused on the response of the global hydrological cycle to different anthropogenic forcings. In 2010, Mike entered the Lamont Research Professor track at the assistant level, where he subsequently published several papers on the global hydrological cycle, climate sensitivity, and stratospheric ozone effects on climate. He was promoted to Lamont Associate Research Professor in 2015. Mike’s latest research is focused on the causes of Arctic amplification in climate models and observations.

Lawrence Schwartz

Dr. Larry Schwartz has worked in both academic and industrial research settings. He holds a B.S. from the City College of New York and a Ph. D. from Harvard University. From 1972-82 he was a member of the Brandeis University Physics Department where his research focused on the electronic properties of disordered materials. In 1982 Larry joined the Schlumberger-Doll Research Center where he served in a number of research and management positions. His scientific work at Schlumberger dealt with the vibrational and transport properties of reservoir rocks. Most recently he was concerned with the interpretation of sub-surface magnetic resonance measurements.

From 1999 to 2007 Dr. Schwartz managed Schlumberger’s worldwide University Relations Program. In 2007 he returned to his position as a Scientific Advisor and was posted to MIT in the Department of Earth Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences where he served as Schlumberger’s representative to the MIT Energy Initiative. He retired from Schlumberger in October of 2009 but remained with them as a consultant through 2014. He has also consulted for the Department of Energy and Cambridge Energy Associates. At the DOE he organized a 2010 Workshop to identify research areas common to carbon sequestration and geothermal energy systems.

Dr. Schwartz has served on a number of University Advisory Committees With the American Physical Society, he has served on the Panel on Public Affairs and the Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics. He has taught Energy Technology at Harvard (2011) and Renewable Energy at Yale (2012-16) and at NYU Engineering (2017).

Ajit Subramaniam

Ajit Subramaniam is a Lamont Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, located in Palisades, New York. He has worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center in Charleston, SC, the University of Maryland in College Park, MD, and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles prior to moving to Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York in 2004. He has served as the Program Director for the Marine Microbiology Initiative at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and a program manager in the Biological Oceanography Program at the U.S. National Science Foundation. Ajit earned his Ph.D. in Coastal Oceanography and M.S. in Marine Environmental Science from SUNY, Stony Brook. He has a Bachelors degree in Physics from The American College in India.

Subramaniam is a biological oceanographer who uses remote sensing, bio-optics, Geographical Information Systems, to better understand how the marine ecosystem works and can be managed. Specifically, he works on understanding the diversity and productivity of phytoplankton: why does a particular phytoplankton species bloom where it does, the factors that lead to its demise, the consequences of such blooms, and how these might change in the future as a consequence of anthropogenic activity and climate change. He has worked with remote sensing data for more than 20 years and has developed algorithms for detection of cyanobacterial blooms. Subramaniam has taught at the Austral Summer Institute, Universidad de Concepción in 2004, 07, and 10 and was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Award in 2010 for this. He was awarded a Mercator Fellowship by the University of Rostock and the Baltic Sea Research Institute, Germany in 2017. He has extensive sea-going experience and been chief scientist on major oceanographic cruises.

Marco Tedesco

Dr. Marco Tedesco is a Lamont Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and Adjunct Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS). He took his ME and PhD in Italy, then moved to NASA, where he spent five years as a postdoc and research scientist. In 2009, he moved to the City College of New York as Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012. While at CCNY, he served as a Program Officer at the Polar Program of the National Science Foundation for 2 1/2 years. In January 2016, he accepted his current position at Columbia University. Dr. Tedesco’s research interests concern remote sensing of the cryosphere, regional climate modeling of the polar regions, and high-latitude fieldwork.

Lex van Geen

Dr. van Geen is Lamont Research Professor, whose research interests range from chemical oceanography to paleoceanography. He has increasingly turned his focus on the interactions between the environment and human health. His ongoing projects include the study of the patterns of contamination in well water across south Asia and lead in soil contaminated with mine tailings in the Peruvean Andes.

Yutian Wu

Yutian Wu is a Lamont Assistant Research Professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. She researches the general circulation of the atmosphere, including the midlatitude jet streams, storm tracks and monsoon circulation, using observations and numerical model simulations. Dr. Wu’s 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. She is the recipient of the 2017 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. Before joining Lamont, Dr. Wu worked as 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. Dr. Wu received Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Columbia University in 2011.

Beizhan Yan

Dr. Beizhan Yan received his Ph.D. in Geology in 2004 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, NY and currently he is a Lamont Associate Research Professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University. His Ph.D. study at RPI (2000-2004) focused on the source apportionment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in urban waters. He initially developed a systematic approach to differentiate major PAH sources by using molecular isomer ratios and compound-specific carbon stable isotope ratios as source indicators. 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. This research has important implications for the immobilization of uranium and biodegradation of aromatic compounds at contaminated sites. In 2007, he joined LDEO as an institutional postdoctoral fellow through a highly competitive recruiting process in which more than 110 Ph.D. level scientists applied and only three got hired. Since then, he has established an Environmental Organic Geochemistry Lab with ability to extract, isolate, and identify organic contaminants and biomarkers from environmental and biological samples

Using source-sensitive indicators and compound-specific stable isotope ratios, 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 air and water quality and health outcomes, he is conducting a collaborative study in adjacent counties of western NY (Broome, Tioga, and Chemung) and northern PA (Susquehanna, Bradford, and Tioga).