Assistant Professor, Department of the Geophysical Sciences and the College
University of Chicago
Pamela Martin is an assistant professor of geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago. She teaches courses related to the ocean carbon cycle, climate change, and food production/environment. Her research focuses broadly on reconstructing changes in deep ocean temperature, chemistry, and circulation to understand oceanic controls on climate change. She is interested in the links between ocean cycles, atmospheric carbon dioxide, and climate change on time scales ranging from that of a human lifetime to hundreds of thousands of years. Her research techniques include measuring the chemical composition of fossils and formulating computer simulations.
In 2006, Martin co-authored a study showing how the food people eat is just as important as what kind of cars they drive when it comes to creating the greenhouse gas emissions that many scientists have linked to global warming. This study has led Martin to additional work on food production and the environment, including a field study begun in 2009 to assess the energy efficiency and greenhouse gases associated with food from small-scale, diversified farms. She received her Ph.D. in geophysical sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2000. At Chicago, she heads a research group on paleoclimate reconstruction and an internship project centered on small-scale, sustainable agriculture.