Dr. "Merry" Yue Cai's webpage

Hello, I am a lecturer and postdoctoral research scientist at the Department of Earth and Environmental Science of Columbia University. I teach a course called “Frontiers of Science.” For research, I mainly work at the Lamont campus, where we have lots of facilities for geochemistry. For my Ph.D., I used geochemical tracers, especially radiogenic isotopes in volcanic rocks to study the nature and evolution of earth’s mantle.

Teaching has become a very important part of my life. It constantly reminds me that science is not just a bunch of facts or a nice story, instead for me science is a constantly evolving way of looking at the world. I think doing good science doesn't mean knowing everything perfectly, for me it means to know how to ask questions and how to look for the answer to the questions. There is still so much in the world that we don't fully understand yet. Thus, often times we are trying to see the elephant from its toes. Being able to look at a question from different angles is very important for a scientist. Teaching and interacting with students often inspire me to do exactly that. I am often surprised and delighted by how a seemingly naive question leads me to think outside of the box. So, I am always looking for curious students (highschool, undergraduate) who might want to try out a small science project with me at Lamont. If you are interested in working with me for part of this summer, feel free to email me: cai@ldeo.columbia.edu


My current research interests are:


Current collaborators


Student interns