Full Professor of Earth System Sciences in the Institute of Geology at the ETH Zurich.
Her research concentrates on the study of evidence for past climate and environmental change as recorded in chemical sediments from both lacustrine and marine systems. The study of important modern environmental systems, such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia or hypersaline lagoons in Brazil or geochemical cycles in lakes in Switzerland, is emphasized in her research along with an evaluation of anthropogenic influences on these environments. Her research has recently taken a new direction into the field of geomicrobiology or biomineralization in an attempt to understand the influence of microbes on dolomite precipitation, particularly in the Earth's early history.
The Earth System Sciences Group under her direction includes the Stable Isotope, Limnogeology and Geomicrobiology Laboratories. Over the years, she has been very active in the international Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) in both a research and advisory capacity and is now involved in the management of Swiss participation in the new Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP).
She is an active member of several professional societies, serving currently as the President of the International Association of Sedimentologists (2002-2006). She was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 1999 and a foreign member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters in 2006. Prof. McKenzie received the 2006 Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal of the European Geosciences Union.