MIT EAPS Directory

David McGee

Associate Professor
Associate Department Head for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

David McGee’s research focuses on understanding the atmosphere’s response to past climate changes. By documenting past changes in precipitation and winds using geochemical measurements of stalagmites, lake deposits and marine sediments and interpreting these records in the light of models and theory, he aims to offer data-based insights into the patterns, pace and magnitude of past hydroclimate changes. His primary tool is measurements of uranium-series isotopes, which provide precise uranium-thorium dates for stalagmites and lake deposits and allow reconstructions of windblown dust emission and transport using marine sediments.

McGee joined the faculty in 2012 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship with a joint appointment at the University of Minnesota and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He holds a Ph.D. in Earth and environmental sciences from Columbia University.


Biller-Celander, N., Shakun, J., McGee, D., Wong, C.I., Reyes, A.V., Hardt, B., Tal, I., Ford, D., Lauriol, B., 2021. Increasing Pleistocene permafrost stability and carbon cycle conundrums inferred from Canadian speleothems. Science Advances 7, eabe5799.

Chen, C.Y., McGee, D., Woods, A., Pérez, L., Hatfield, R.G., Edwards, R.L., Cheng, H., Valero-Garcés, B.L., Lehmann, S.B., Stoner, J.S., Schwalb, A., Tal*, I., Seltzer, G.O., Tapia, P.M., Abbott, M.B., Rodbell, D.T., 2020. U-Th dating of lake sediments: Lessons from the 700 kyr sediment record of Lake Junín, Peru. Quaternary Science Reviews 244, 106422.

McGee, D., 2020. Glacial-interglacial precipitation changes. Annual Review of Marine Science 12, 525-557.

Skonieczny, C., McGee, D., Winckler, G., Bory, A.., Bradtmiller, L.I., Kinsley, C.W., Polissar, P.J., De Pol-Holz, R., Rossignol, L., Malaizé, B., 2019. Monsoon-driven Saharan dust variability over the last 240,000 years. Science Advances 5, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav1887.

McGee, D., Moreno-Chamarro, E., Marshall, J., Galbraith, E.D., 2018. Western U.S. lake expansions during Heinrich stadials linked to Pacific Hadley circulation. Science Advances 4, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav0118.

Google Scholar Profile


Kerr-McGee Career Development Associate Professor (2015-2017) | Ally of Nature Fund, MIT (2013) | Earl Killian and Waidy Lee Fund, MIT (2011) | NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow (2009) | NSF Graduate Teaching Fellow (2008) | NSF Graduate Research Fellow (2005) | Phi Beta Kappa (1996)