Rachel Pike studies climate change at the molecular level — tracking how emissions from biofuel crops react with the air to shape weather trends globally.

Why you should listen

Rachel Pike knows the intricacies of climate research -- the laborious, exacting and subtle techniques behind findings that end up in IPCC reports and, later, news headlines.

As a Ph.D candidate at Cambridge, Pike's research on isoprene, a major biofuel crop emission, and other molecules has taken her soaring over rainforest canopies in multi-ton labs-on-wings, into the cooled-down sub-levels of supercomputer grids, and into massive experimental atmospheric chambers. Her exhaustive work represents a major step toward a complete picture of how human activity affects the global ecosystem.

What others say

“We study incredibly narrow topics -- things as narrow as a few processes or a few molecules.” — Rachel Pike

Rachel Pike’s TED talk

Quotes from Rachel Pike

Despite its very small weight, enough [isoprene] is emitted into the atmosphere every year to equal the weight of all the people on the planet.
Rachel Pike
TEDGlobal 2009 • 354K views Nov 2009
Informative, Fascinating