Miriam Kastner

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Miriam Kastner
Born January 22, 1935

- Hebrew University of Jerusalem

- Harvard University
Occupation Distinguished Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Miriam attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1964

Miriam Kastner (born January 22, 1935)[1] is an American oceanographer and geochemist. Kastner is currently a Distinguished Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.


As a child, Miriam Kastner had originally wanted to be a mathematician, she had later decided down the road that, math was not the career for her. Miriam had noticed that not many women were scientists in her early life, which had inspired her to research further about the different sciences[2]. Miriam attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1964 and received her M.S degree in Geology.

Research Career[edit]

Over the course of her career Miriam has progressed from being an associate professor, to a professor, and now a distinguished professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Kastner has worked with the Scripps Institution from 1972 till present. Previously to educating at Scripps Institution, Miriam worked as a Research Associate at Harvard University in the Department of Geological Sciences until 1970. In 1971 she brought her talents to The University of Chicago and took on the role of Research Associate in the Department of Geophysical Sciences. Along with being a professor, Miriam has served many roles at The Scripps Institution of Oceanography including Chair and Vice Chair of the faculty, Associate Director and Director in the Geosciences Research Division, Chair of Academic Senate Committee on Research, as well as Curricular Group Coordinator of Geological Sciences.[3]

Miriam Kastner’s accomplished many things throughout her entire career and even till this day shows no sign of slowing down but some outstanding accomplishments of what she has achieved came from the earlier part of her career when she put her talents to work and directed her focus on the origin of authigenic feldspars, she also focused on zeolites in the oceanic sediments during that time. With the oceanic sediments she figured out that the diagenetic transformations of opal-A to opal-CT and quartz is very important to the formation of siliceous marine deposits. Kastner also figured out and that dolomite formation is ultimately controlled by its associated pore-fluid geochemistry. By finding this out she solved what no one else could, the problem in carbonate mineral science. Kastner's impressive discovery on the Sr distribution coefficient was very critical in building strontium concentrations in calcite, which was ultimately used for all paleoclimate studies that are dependent on carbonate proxies, the discovery also was used for indicating carbonate recrystallization. Kastner also worked vigorously on phosphate deposits, her work was so great that she revised whole ideas on the stability of P-O bonds in apatite and phosphate ions, after the revision there was a recalculation of the ocean residence time of phosphorus. the work she has put in just through her earlier work alone shows how great she is in her field.[4]

Research Interests and Expertise[edit]

Miriam Kastner is a marine geochemist. Her research expertise is on the fluctuation of fluids at plate boundaries, specifically where two plates meet to cause earthquakes and at ridge-crests where hypothermal deposits are found. Kastner’s work is based on numerous studies, including the following:
  • long-term monitoring in observatories of marine gas hydrates and implications for climate change, slope stability, and ocean chemistry
  • On the oceanic contribution of methane to the atmosphere
  • Chemical paleoceanography: establishing new marine phases based off of the ocean's geological history.[5]
  • Sediment geochemical and diagenetic processes with emphasis on marine authigenic minerals like phosphates, silicates, carbonates[6]

The Role of Women in Science[edit]

After realizing her talents, Miriam knew she wanted to pursue a career in the science department. Her ambitious and confident demeanor led to her success in a male dominated industry. During her attendance at Harvard, she was the only female student in her faculty for three years. She had to fight to gain respect among her peers because women were not taken seriously at that point in time. She faced this and many other obstacles, including the lack of access to funds for her research studies, all due to her gender. Miriam continued to persevere, eventually becoming the second female professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the first woman in the institutes Geo Science Research Division.[7] The contribution of women to science has grown tremendously since Miriam first began her career, but there is still more room to grow.[8] Kastner has helped to pave the way for women in the science field and hopes that more will pursue careers amongst male dominant faculties.

Awards and Honors[edit]


  1. ^ Harkewicz, Laura (23 May 2006). "Oral History of Miriam Kastner" (PDF). University of California. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  2. ^ "A Scientist's Life: Miriam Kastner | Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego". scripps.ucsd.edu. Retrieved 2017-10-11. 
  3. ^ "Research Profiles". Research Profiles. Retrieved 2017-10-11. 
  4. ^ "Miriam Kastner - Honors Program". Honors Program. Retrieved 2017-10-11. 
  5. ^ "Paleoceanography". 
  6. ^ "Miriam Kastner, Ph.D" (PDF). 
  7. ^ "A Scientist's Life: Miriam Kastner | Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego". scripps.ucsd.edu. Retrieved 2017-10-11. 
  8. ^ "Women in Oceanography: A Decade Later" (PDF). 
  9. ^ John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. "Miriam Kastner". Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  10. ^ American Chemical Society. "The Charles R. Bennett Service Through Chemistry Award". Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  11. ^ a b "Miriam Kastner Abbreviated CV". Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  12. ^ American Association for the Advancement of Science. "Fellows". Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  13. ^ American Geophysical Union. "Miriam Kastner". Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  14. ^ Geochemical Society. "Geochemical Fellows". Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  15. ^ The Geological Society of America. "All Active and Current GSA Fellows". Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  16. ^ Elderfield, Henry. "2008 Maurice Ewing Medal Winner - Miriam Kastner". American Geophysical Union. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  17. ^ "IAGC Awards for 2010" (PDF). Newsletter of the International Association of GeoChemistry. June 2010. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  18. ^ Society for Sedimentary Geology. "SEPM Awards". Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  19. ^ "Miriam Kastner named 2015 V.M. Goldschmidt Medalist". www.geochemsoc.org. Retrieved 2017-10-11.