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Marine Geoscientist Named 2016 AGU Fellow

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    Peter K. Swart recognized for his pioneering research in marine geochemistry

    Special to UM News

    Peter Swart

    Peter Swart

    MIAMI, Fla. (July 26, 2016)—Peter K. Swart, professor and chair of the Department of Marine Geosciences at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, has been elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the nation’s leading professional society for scientists in the earth and space sciences. The award will be presented during the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

    A pioneer in marine geochemistry who has been at UM since 1983, Swart, the Lewis G. Weeks Professor of Marine Geology and director of UM’s Stable Isotope Laboratory, is best known for his work on isotopes in geochemistry, carbonate diagenesis (physical and chemical changes occurring during the conversion of sediment to sedimentary rock), paleoclimatology, and hydrology.

    “I am pleased that Peter is being recognized by AGU for his pioneering geochemistry research,” said Roni Avissar, dean of the Rosenstiel School. “This is a well-deserved and long-overdue recognition of Peter’s achievements.”

    Swart pioneered the use of geochemistry in other areas such as extra-terrestrial materials, hydrology, and carbonates. His 1982 paper in Science was the first to reveal the presence of highly enriched C-13 phases in meteorites, offering clues to the origin of the solar system.

    “To be elected a Union Fellow is a tribute to those AGU members who have made exceptional contributions to earth and space sciences as valued by their peers and vetted by section and focus group committees,” according to the AGU.

    Throughout his career Swart has been supported through a variety of sources, including the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of the Interior, as well as several global corporations. He is one of the principal investigators in the Comparative Sedimentology Laboratory (CSL), a consortium of petroleum companies, and the former editor of the highly regarded journal Sedimentology. In 2011, his work with Rosenstiel School Professors Kenny Broad and Amy Clement on the dating and isotopic analysis of stalagmites to reconstruct past climate changes was featured as part of a cover story in National Geographic.

    Swart is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Geological Society of America. He is also a member of the American Geophysical Union, the Coral Reef Society, the Geological Society of America, the Geochemical Society, and the International Association of Sedimentologists.

    Swart has an impressive record of scholarly accomplishments, with more than 190 published papers, book chapters, editorials, and special publications that have garnered over 5,000 citations. He also teaches regularly and has served as a Ph.D. and Master’s dissertation committee chair for more than 30 students.

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