Peter K. Swart Named Lewis G. Weeks Professor of Marine Geology

Peter Swart

MIAMI — November 2, 2102 — University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science Dean Roni Avissar announced that Peter K. Swart, professor and chair of Marine Geology & Geophysics has been selected as the Lewis G. Weeks Professor of Marine Geology. Swart, who has been with UM since 1983, is a pioneer in marine geochemistry. The selection committee of distinguished faculty members who selected him was led by UM Professor Emeritus Robert N. Ginsburg.

Swart has an impressive record of scholarly accomplishments, with more than 150 published papers, book chapters, editorials, and special publications that have garnered over 3,500 citations. Director of UM’s Stable Isotope Laboratory, he 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) and hydrology. He also teaches regularly and has served as Ph.D. and Master’s dissertation committee chair for more than 20 students.

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.

“We are proud to recognize Dr. Swart for his many contributions to the field, and look forward to supporting his efforts as he continues to uncover new ways in which to better understand the geology and chemistry of the planet, and educate future generations of geochemists,” said Avissar.

Swart’s research is currently focused on the study of stable isotope geochemistry called ‘clumped isotopes’. This innovative method relies on measuring the clumping of two rare isotopes of carbon dioxide given off during the dissolution of calcium carbonate by acid. Swart has also been involved in the use of stable isotope of nitrogen to understand the role of nutrients in controlling coral health.

Throughout his career he has been supported through a variety of sources including the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Departments of Energy and Interior, as well as several global corporations. He is a Principal Investigator for the Comparative Sedimentology Laboratory (CSL), a consortium of 15 petroleum companies, and is editor of the highly regarded journal Sedimentology. In 2011, Swart’s work with Dr. Kenny Broad 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 and the Geochemical Society and the International Association of Sedimentologists.

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

dr. peter swart •  marine geology and geophysics •  weeks chair •  stable isotope •  um rosenstiel school •