Katherine H. Freeman

The Pennsylvania State University

Primary Section: 15, Geology
Secondary Section: 63, Environmental Sciences and Ecology
Membership Type:
Member (elected 2013)


Katherine H. Freeman is an Evan Pugh University Professor in the Departments of Geosciences and Chemistry at The Pennsylvania State University. Professor Freeman earned a B.A. from Wellesley College, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Indiana University in geosciences, with concentrations in biogeochemistry and analytical chemistry. She was a postdoctoral scholar at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography before joining the Penn State faculty in 1991. Freeman is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, Geochemical Society, American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Geophysical Union, and previously of the Guggenheim Foundation and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Her teaching and research contributions have been recognized by numerous awards, including the Treibs medal from the Geochemical Society and The Nemmers Prize from Northwestern University. Professor Freeman is co-Editor of the journal Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Director of the Astrobiology Center for Isotopologue Research (ACIR), supported by NASA. 

Research Interests

Professor Freeman studies organic molecules from ancient organisms, and she has developed ways to analyze their carbon stable isotope abundances. She uses these signatures to explore interactions of Earth’s carbon cycle and climate with past oceans, plants, and microbes. She also investigates stable isotope patterns within organic molecules as biotic and environmental signatures on Earth and, potentially, other planetary habitats.

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software