Adina Paytan
Paytan Biogeochemistry Lab

photos of sunsets

Adina Paytan
Research Professor, Institute of Marine Sciences
Earth and Marine Science Building, Room C308
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064


Adina holding a thirsty lobster


The major focus of my research is understanding past and present marine biogeochemical cycles. I was born and raised in Israel, and after two years of mandatory military service I traveled to India and Nepal and hiked the Himalayas for another two years.  I obtained my B.Sc. double major in Biology and Geology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Realizing how important science education is to the well-being of our planet, I pursued a M.S. degree in science education at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.  I developed a curriculum in field geology for high school students, which was implemented successfully, and then pursued another masters degree, this time in oceanography, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. My thesis was on oxygen isotope exchange between water and phosphate via biological cycling. In 1989 my husband Ron and I, moved to San Diego to take part in the Ph.D. program at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. My thesis was on marine barite as a recorder of oceanic chemistry, productivity, and circulation. After 6 years, I graduated with a degree and a daughter (Tali) and stayed in San Diego (UCSD) for a post doc, this time producing a high resolution sea water S isotope curve for the past 120 Ma. In the summer of 1999, I moved to Stanford, where I worked for 8 years as a professorin the department of Geological and Environmental Sciences. Currently I am an Research Scientist at the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California Santa Cruz and I am affiliated with the Departments of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Ocean Sciences and teach and mentor students from these departments.

Research Interests

Biogeochemistry, Chemical Oceanography, Paleoceanography, Paleoclimatology, Environmental Chemistry

My principal research interests lie in the fields of biogeochemistry, chemical oceanography and paleoceanography.  The goal of my research is to use the chemical and isotopic records enclosed in wide range of earth materials to study present and past biogeochemical processes. This research spans a wide range of temporal (seasons to millions of years) and spatial (molecular to global) scales.  An over-arching goal of this research is to understand the processes and feedbacks operating in the earth System and how they relate to global changes in climate and tectonics. In addition, I am interested in natural and anthropogenically induced perturbations that affect biogeochemical processes and their impact on humans and the environment.

*Curriculum Vitae*

Page last updated on December 6, 2019