Miriam Kastner is a professor of geochemistry at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. Her research centers on the geochemistry and diagenesis of marine sediments and the interactions of sediments and oceanic basalts with seawater, hydrothermal solutions, and meteoric water, and on processes causing metal enrichment in oceanic sediments and deep-sea hydrothermal deposits.
Kastner investigates such diverse subjects as the mineralogy and geochemistry of sediments in conjunction with the asteriod-collision theory at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary, known for the extinction of dinosaurs; mineral deposits associated with deep-sea hydrothermal vents; the origin of chert, phosphorite, and sedimentary dolomite; and the nature, origin, and fluxes of fluids in subduction zones. Primary support for her research comes from the National Science Foundation.
Kastner joined Scripps in 1972 as an assistant professor of geology, following one-year appointments as a research associate at the University of Chicago and Harvard University. She was appointed full professor at Scripps in 1982.
A native of Czechoslovakia, she was born on January 22, 1935, and grew up in Israel, where she earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in geology at Hebrew University. She received a Fulbright travel grant and a scholarship from Harvard where she earned a PhD in geology in 1970.
Kastner received a Guggenheim Fellowship for research in 1982. She was a contributing author to the 1980 American Association for the Advancement of Science Newcomb Cleveland Prize-winning article, “East Pacific Rise: Hot Springs and Geophysical Experiments” (Science, March 28, 1980).
In 2011, she received the Francis Shepard Medal from the Society for Sedimentary Geology. In 1991, she was the recipient of the Office of Naval Research Science Educators Award. In 1984, she received the honorary degree, Docteur Honoris Causa, from the University of Paris XI, France, for distinguished research work in oceanography. The American Chemical Society awarded her the Annual Award for Service through Chemistry in 1984.
Kastner is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union, and is a member of the Geochemical Society, the Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, the International Sedimentological Society, the International Association of Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry, and the Society of Sigma Xi. She has served on many national and international advisory committees.
Kastner served a three-year term (2002-2005) on the National Research Council’s Ocean Studies Board. She has been a panel member of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Earth Sciences and a member of NSF’s Advisory Committee for Earth Sciences. She is a member of the Ocean Drilling Project’s Planning Committee and Section E—Geology and Geography of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The author of more than 80 scientific articles, she has been an associate editor of three journals and is an editor of Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
Kastner resides in La Jolla, CA.
(Update January 2021)