Natalie Mahowald

Natalie M. Mahowald

Chair of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Irving Porter Church Professor in Engineering


Professor Mahowald has undergraduate degrees in German and physics from Washington University, an M.S. in natural resource policy from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in meteorology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mahowald conducted her postdoctoral research at Stockholm University in Sweden prior to holding a faculty position at the University of California, Santa Barbara from 1998-2002. She then spent five years as a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) before joining Cornell as a faculty member in 2007.

Research Interests

My research group is focused on understanding feedbacks in the earth system that impact climate change. This includes global and regional scale atmospheric transport of biogeochemically important species such as desert dust, as well as the carbon cycle. We look at these issues through a combination of 3-dimensional global transport and climate models, as well as analysis of satellite and in situ data.

Teaching Interests

Climate change, atmospheric biogeochemistry, modeling

Selected Publications

  • Mahowald, Natalie M., Douglas S. Hamilton, Katherine R.M. Mackey, J. Keith Moore, Alex R. Baker Rachel A. Scanza, Y. Z. Aerosol trace metal deposition dissolution and impacts on marine microorganisms and biogeochemistry. Nat. Commun. 81, 1–15 (2018).
  • Scanza, R. A., Hamilton, D. S., Perez Garcia-Pando, C., Buck, C., Baker, A. and Mahowald, N. M.: Atmospheric Processing of Iron in Mineral and Combustion Aerosols: Development of an Intermediate-Complexity Mechanism Suitable for Earth System Models, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 14175–14196, doi:10.5194/acp-18-14175-80, 2018.
  • Matsui, H., N. Mahowald, H. Moteki, D. Hamilton, S. Ohata, A. Yoshida, M. Koike, R. Scanza, M. Flanner, Anthropogenic combustion iron as a complex climate forcer. Nat. Commun. 9, (2018), 10.1038/s41467-018-03997-0.
  • Mahowald, N., D. Ward, S. Doney, P. Hess, J. Randerson, Are the impacts of land use on warming underestimated in climate policy? Environmental Research Letters, v12, No. 9, 2017,
  • Mahowald, N.M., R. Scanza, R., J. Brahney, C. Goodale, P. G. Hess, J. Keith Moore, J. Neff, Aerosol Deposition Impcts on Land and Ocean Carbon Cycles, Curr Clim Change Rep (2017). doi:10.1007/s40641-017-0056-z.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • AAAS Fellow (American Association for the Advancement of Science) 2020
  • Research Excellence Award (College of Engineering, Cornell University) 2019
  • Provost Research Innovation Award (Cornell University) 2019
  • Lead Author of 2018 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report
  • AGU Fellow (American Geophysical Union) 2013
  • Thomson ISI Highly Cited Researcher (Thomson Reuters) 2015
  • Fellow,(Guggenheim Foundation) 2013
  • City of Paris Research Fellowship 2013
  • Fellow (American Meteorological Society) 2011
  • Henry G. Houghton Award (American Meteorological Society) 2006
  • Marie Tharp Fellow (Earth Institute, Columbia University) 2006


  • BS (Engineering Physics and A. B. German), Washington University, 1988
  • MS (Natural Resource Policy), University of Michigan, 1993
  • Ph D (Atmospheric Science & Meteorology), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1996


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