Professor of Geosciences (Geochemistry)
Department of Geosciences
M48 Guyot Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544
Phone: (609) 258-2936
Michael Bender received a B. S. in Chemistry from Carnegie-Mellon University, where he was introduced to geochemistry by Truman Kohman. He did his Ph. D. in Geology at Columbia University with Wallace Broecker. After a brief postdoc, he moved to the Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, where he taught for 25 years. In 1997, he moved to Princeton.
Bender's research has centered on two themes. One is
glacial-interglacial climate change, and the other is the global carbon
cycle. Since 1984, Bender's paleoclimate research has involved
measuring gas properties in ice cores to date critical climate changes
of the ice ages, and to advance our understanding of changes in the
biosphere on glacial-interglacial timescales. The carbon cycle research
involves studies characterizing the fertility of ecosystems at the
global scale, at the scale of ocean basins, and at regional to local
scales within the oceans.
Much current work in Bender's lab involves making highly precise measurements of the concentration and isotopic composition of O2 in air, in seawater, and in ice core trapped gases as a means of studying both the geochronology of climate change and the carbon cycle at a range of scales. Bender's past work has also included studies of trace element assimilation by carbonate tests, seawater trace metal geochemistry, hydrothermal processes on the flanks of mid-ocean ridges, diagenesis of organic matter in deep sea sediment pore waters, and the history of the seawater Sr isotope composition.