Miriam Kastner

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

Miriam Kastner
Born(1935-01-22)January 22, 1935
Scientific career


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 as there were far fewer careers to pursue in maths. 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] Kastner attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1964 where she received a minor in chemistry and a master's degree in geology. Kastner then decided to attend Harvard University , Boston in 1970 where she received her Ph.D. in geosciences.

Research career

Over the course of her career Kastner has progressed from being an associate professor, to a professor, and now a distinguished professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where she participated in the writing and publishing of 174 articles and journals. Kastner has worked with the Scripps Institution from 1972 till present. Previously to educating at Scripps Institution, Kastner worked as a Research Associate at Harvard University in the Department of Geological Sciences until 1970. In 1971 she worked at the University of Chicago as a Research Associate in the Department of Geophysical Sciences. Along with being a professor, Kastner has served many roles at 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]

Kastner's accomplished many things throughout her entire career but much 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 determined that the diagenetic transformations of opal-A to opal-CT and quartz is important to the formation of siliceous marine deposits. Kastner also found that dolomite formation is ultimately controlled by its associated pore-fluid geochemistry. The discovery solved an outstanding problem in carbonate mineral science. Kastner's measurements of the Sr distribution coefficient was critical in building strontium concentrations in calcite, which was ultimately used for paleoclimate studies that are dependent on carbonate Sr proxies, the discovery also was used for indicating carbonate recrystallization. Kastner also worked vigorously on phosphate deposits, her work included a revision of 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.[4]


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 on the ocean's geological history.
  • Sediment geochemical and diagenetic processes with emphasis on marine authigenic minerals like phosphates, silicates, carbonates[5]

Awards and Honors


  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. "Miriam Kastner, Ph.D." (PDF).
  6. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. "Miriam Kastner". Archived from the original on 2013-10-03. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  7. American Chemical Society. "The Charles R. Bennett Service Through Chemistry Award". Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  8. "Miriam Kastner Abbreviated CV". Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  9. American Association for the Advancement of Science. "Fellows". Archived from the original on 2015-06-10. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  10. American Geophysical Union. "Miriam Kastner". Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  11. Geochemical Society. "Geochemical Fellows". Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  12. The Geological Society of America. "All Active and Current GSA Fellows". Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  13. Elderfield, Henry. "2008 Maurice Ewing Medal Winner - Miriam Kastner". American Geophysical Union. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  14. "IAGC Awards for 2010" (PDF). Newsletter of the International Association of GeoChemistry. June 2010. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  15. Society for Sedimentary Geology. "SEPM Awards". Archived from the original on 2012-11-24. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  16. "Miriam Kastner named 2015 V.M. Goldschmidt Medalist". www.geochemsoc.org. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
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