The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 37.0°F | Partly Cloudy

John M. Edmond

Professor of Marine Geochemistry and Paleoceanography John M. Edmond died on April 10 at the age of 57.

Professor Edward A. Boyle said that Edmond was “an enormously energetic and excitable person” with great enthusiasm for his work.

Edmond was a pioneer in the study of particulate matter and trace elements in the oceans. Boyle said that Edmond started his career researching the role of carbon dioxide in the ocean. Edmond also studied the chemical cycles of other elements and compounds in the ocean.

Edmond was also among the group of scientists that first discovered hot-water vents on the ocean floor. These vents were found to support new many forms of life previously unknown to scientists.

More recently, Edmond’s work focused on studying the chemical composition of rivers and tracing the sources of dissolved particulate matter. In order to observe rivers less disturbed by human contact, Edmond traveled the world, making trips to the Amazon and Siberia among other regions.

A distinguished scientist, Edmond was a Fellow of the Royal Society and the American Geophysical Union.

Edmond received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Glasgow in his native Scotland and his PhD from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Edmond remembered for energy

Colleagues recalled Edmond as a generous, caring individual who was dedicated to his studies and his students.

“He was always getting excited about things,” Boyle said. “He provided a lot of stimulation for his students.”

Boyle added that Edmond, who taught graduate courses and undergraduate seminars in marine chemistry, paid close attention to students.

Edmond “had a willingness to go almost anywhere” on his expeditions, Boyle noted, and that his inquisitiveness set a positive example for his students.

Edmond was Boyle’s thesis adviser, and Boyle said Edmond’s advice and assistance helped him start his own scientific career.

“Things were never dull when he was around,” Boyle said.