Dr John Hayes ForMemRS
Initially trained as chemist, John Hayes was drawn to the earth sciences by his interest in the production and fates of organic matter in earth’s carbon cycle. He made the first measurements of the distribution of the isotopes of carbon within biolipids. That innovation provided a foundation for new studies of the pathways of carbon in natural environments, both modern and ancient.
Because the production of organic matter requires concomitant production of O2 or some other oxidized product, Hayes’s studies of the carbon cycle bear strongly on the development of the global environment and provide evidence about the timing of evolutionary events such as the development of O2-producing photosynthesis.
He was for 26 years professor in the departments of chemistry and geology at Indiana University, then moved to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the US and received the Treibs and Goldschmidt Medals of the Geochemical Society and, jointly with Geoffrey Eglinton, the Urey Medal of the European Association for Geochemistry.
Dr John Hayes ForMemRS died on 3 February 2017.
Scientist Emeritus, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Interests and expertise
atmospheric history of carbon dioxide,
cycling of carbon in the ocean,
isotope effects in organic chemical reactions,
Natural products of microorganisms,
The Carbon Cycle