Joerg M. Schaefer

Joerg M. Schaefer

Research Interest



08/2012 - today: Lamont Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Adj. Associate Professor, DEES, Columbia University;

07/2010 - 07/2012: Lamont Associate Research Professor; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory,

9/2003 - 06/2010: Doherty Research Scientist; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

1/2001 - 6/2003: Lamont-Doherty Postdoctoral Fellowship, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

6/2000 - 10/2000: Postdoctoral Research Scientist, ETH Zürich, Isotopegeology, Switzerland


10 Selected Publications

Schaefer, J.M., Finkel, R.C., Balco, G., Alley, R.B., Caffee, M., Briner, J.P., Young, N.E., Gow, A.J., Schwartz, R., 2016. Greenland was nearly ice-free for extended periods during the Pleistocene. Nature 540, 252-255.

Johnson, J.S., Nichols, K.A., Goehring, B.M., Balco, G., Schaefer, J.M., 2019. Abrupt mid-Holocene ice loss in the western Weddell Sea Embayment of Antarctica. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 518, 127-135.

Young, N.E., Lamp, J., Koffman, T., Briner, J.P., Schaefer, J., Gjermundsen, E.F., Linge, H., Zimmerman, S., Guilderson, T.P., Fabel, D., Hormes, A., 2018. Deglaciation of coastal south-western Spitsbergen dated with in situ cosmogenic 10Be and 14C measurements. Journal of Quaternary Science 33, 763-776.

Young, N.E., Briner, J.P., Maurer, J., Schaefer, J.M., 2016. 10Be measurements in bedrock constrain erosion beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet margin. Geophysical Research Letters 43, 11708-11719.

Schaefer, J. M., Denton, G. H., Kaplan, M., Putnam, A., Finkel, R. C., Barrell, d. J. A., Andersen, B. G., Schwartz, R., Mackintosh, A., Chinn, T., and Schlüchter, C. (2009). High frequency Holocene glacier fluctuations in New Zealand differ from the northern signature. Science 324, 622.

Tulenko, J.P., Briner, J.R., Young, N.E., Schaefer, J.M., 2018. Beryllium-10 chronology of early and late Wisconsinan moraines in the Revelation Mountains, Alaska: Insights into the forcing of Wisconsinan glaciation in Beringia. Quaternary Science Reviews 197, 129-141.

Maurer, J. M., Rupper, S. B., and Schaefer, J. M., 2019, Acceleration of Ice Loss across the Himalayas over the last 40 years: Science Advances 5, 10.1126/sciadv.aav7266.

Schaefer, J.M et al., 2015. The Southern Glacial Maximum 65,000 years ago and its Unfinished Termination. Quaternary Science Reviews 114, 52-60.

Young, N.E., Schweinsberg, A.D., Briner, J.P., Schaefer, J.M., 2015. Glacier maxima in Baffin Bay during the Medieval Warm Period coeval with Norse settlement. Science advances 1, e1500806.


Synergistic activities

  • Establishment of the cosmogenic dating group and laboratory at L-DEO; head of group.
  • Member of the Columbia University/Lamont steering committee for the 'Bhutan initiative', including multiple scientific visit to Bhutan.
  • Supervisor of postdocs (Vincent Rinterknecht, Meredith Kelly, Mike Kaplan, Deirdre Commins) and PhD-students (Brent Goehring, Meg Reitz, Columbia University; Aaron Putnam, U of Maine).
  • Organisation of the NOAA sponsored Mini-Conference in March 2002 that initiated the CRONUS –Earth (Cosmic Ray Produced Nuclide systematics on Earth) project.
  • Active member of the Joint Chinese/Swiss/US project investigating the paleoglaciations of the Tibetan Plateau including organization of bilateral science exchange, organization of the expeditions 1998-2001 to Nyalam County, South Tibet).


Professional Preparation

University of Heidelberg, Germany

Physics B.S., M.S., 1995


ETH Zürich, Switzerland 

Earth Sciences Ph.D., 2000


Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY  Geochemistry 2001 - Present