Paleontology & Geobiology at Williams College

Phoebe Cohen, Assistant Professor of Geosciences


photo by Zoe Banks

Phoebe Cohen is an Associate Professor in Geosciences at Williams College. Phoebe is a paleontologist who utilizes a wide variety of microscopic and microchemical techniques, combined with data from field-based stratigraphy and sedimentology, to reconstruct ancient organisms and ecosystems. Phoebe was born and raised in Newton, MA. She received her undergraduate degree in Earth Systems Science at Cornell University and then spent two years working at the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, NY where she nurtured her dual passions for paleontology and education. Phoebe received her PhD in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences school at Harvard University in 2010, where her thesis focused on a variety of enigmatic eukaryotic fossil groups from the Neoproterozoic, the time period directly preceding the Cambrian radiation of animal life. After graduate school, Phoebe was a postdoctoral fellow at MIT where she was also the Education and Outreach Lead for MIT’s NASA Astrobiology team. Phoebe began her position at Williams in 2012. In 2012, Phoebe was also awarded the Geological Society of America Subaru Outstanding Woman in Science Award. Her research is funded by the NASA Astrobiology program, The American Chemical Society, and The National Science Foundation. She lives in Shaftsbury, VT with her husband, son, and the sweetest pit bull you will ever meet.