John M. Hayes (scientist)

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John M. Hayes

Dr John Hayes ForMemRS.jpg
John Hayes at the Royal Society admissions day in July 2016
John Michael Hayes

(1940-09-06)September 6, 1940
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
DiedFebruary 3, 2017(2017-02-03) (aged 76)
NationalityUnited States
Alma mater
Scientific career
ThesisTechniques for high resolution mass spectrometric analysis of organic constituents of terrestrial and extraterrestrial samples (1966)
Doctoral advisorKlaus Biemann[1]
Doctoral students
Other notable studentsDaniel P. Schrag (post doc)

John Michael Hayes (September 6, 1940 – February 3, 2017)[2] ForMemRS[1] was a scientist emeritus at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.[3][4][5]


Hayes was educated at Iowa State University graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1962. He completed his postgraduate education in analytical chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he was awarded a PhD in 1966 for analysis of organic constituents of terrestrial and extraterrestrial samples using mass spectrometry supervised by Klaus Biemann.[1][6]

Career and research[edit]

Hayes made the first measurements of the distribution of the isotopes of carbon within biolipids. This innovation provided a foundation for new studies of the pathways of carbon in natural environments, both modern and ancient.[7][8][9][10]

Because the production of organic matter requires concomitant production of O₂ or some other oxidized product, Hayes's studies of the carbon cycle[11] bear strongly on the development of the global environment and provide evidence about the timing of evolutionary events such as the development of O₂-producing photosynthesis.[1]

For 26 years he was Professor in the departments of chemistry and geology at Indiana University Bloomington, then moved to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.[1] During his career he has held academic appointments at Harvard University, the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, Berkeley.[2]


Hayes died on February 3, 2017, at his home in Berkeley, California, from pulmonary fibrosis at age 76.[12]

Awards and honours[edit]

Hayes was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States in 1998 and received the Alfred E. Treibs Award and V. M. Goldschmidt Award from the Geochemical Society in 1998 and 2002, respectively. With Geoffrey Eglinton he was awarded the Urey Medal from the European Association for Geochemistry in 1997.[1] He was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 2016.[1]


Beginning in 2019, the Organic Geochemistry Division of the Geochemical Society is given an annual award in Hayes's name to a mid-career scientist for outstanding accomplishments that draw together multiple fields of investigation to advance biogeochemical science.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Anon (2016). "Dr John Hayes ForMemRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on April 29, 2016. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

  2. ^ a b "Curriculum Vitae: John Michael Hayes, born 6 September 1940" (PDF). Woods Hole: Archived from the original (PDF) on May 23, 2016.
  3. ^ "People Finder: John Hayes, Scientist Emeritus". Woods Hole, Massachusetts: Archived from the original on May 23, 2016.
  4. ^ Hayes, John M.; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Sylva, Sean P.; Brewer, Peter G.; DeLong, Edward F. (1999). "Methane-consuming archaebacteria in marine sediments". Nature. 398 (6730): 802–805. doi:10.1038/19751. PMID 10235261. S2CID 4416542.
  5. ^ John M. Hayes's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  6. ^ Hayes, John Michael (1966). Techniques for high resolution mass spectrometric analysis of organic constituents of terrestrial and extraterrestrial samples (PhD thesis). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. OCLC 18679992. ProQuest 302307231. (subscription required)
  7. ^ Kelley, D. S. (2005). "A Serpentinite-Hosted Ecosystem: The Lost City Hydrothermal Field". Science. 307 (5714): 1428–1434. doi:10.1126/science.1102556. PMID 15746419. S2CID 42382974.
  8. ^ Hayes, John M. (2001). "Fractionation of Carbon and Hydrogen Isotopes in Biosynthetic Processes". Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry. 43 (1): 225–277. doi:10.2138/gsrmg.43.1.225.
  9. ^ Hayes, John M.; Strauss, Harald; Kaufman, Alan J. (1999). "The abundance of ¹³C in marine organic matter and isotopic fractionation in the global biogeochemical cycle of carbon during the past 800 Ma". Chemical Geology. 161 (1–3): 103–125. doi:10.1016/S0009-2541(99)00083-2.
  10. ^ Hayes, J.M.; Freeman, Katherine H.; Popp, Brian N.; Hoham, Christopher H. (1990). "Compound-specific isotopic analyses: A novel tool for reconstruction of ancient biogeochemical processes". Organic Geochemistry. 16 (4–6): 1115–1128. doi:10.1016/0146-6380(90)90147-R. PMID 11540919.
  11. ^ Hayes, John M; Waldbauer, Jacob R (2006). "The carbon cycle and associated redox processes through time". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 361 (1470): 931–950. doi:10.1098/rstb.2006.1840. PMC 1578725. PMID 16754608. open access
  12. ^ "John Hayes : Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution". Obituary. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. February 6, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  13. ^ "John M. Hayes Award". Geochemical Society.