Brain Trust Member

Peter B. de Menocal.jpg

Peter B. de Menocal

Dean of Science, Columbia University



As Dean of Science of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, I oversee Columbia’s nine science departments. We’ve launched a new capital campaign initiative - Columbia Science Commits - to advance fundamental science discovery, and to accelerate the knowledge needed to inform solutions in neuroscience, precision medicine, climate, big data, and nanoscience.

I’m the founding director of Columbia’s Center for Climate and Life. We mobilize over 120 scientists to understand how climate impacts life’s essentials - the security of food, water, and shelter - and to explore sustainable energy solutions. We partner with industry, finance, and governments, transferring knowledge to build a more resilient, sustainable world.


My research uses deep-sea sediments as archives of past climate change. Ocean sediments accumulate slowly but continuously and provide records of past changes in Earth climate and ocean circulation over a wide range of timescales, from centuries to millions of years. I’m currently interested in paleoclimate problems that inform human dimensions of climate change.