Peter Clift grew up far from the Himalayas, just outside London, England. After degrees at Oxford and Edinburgh Universities and some very pleasant field research in Greece to escape the English rain, Peter spent time exploring in central Asia, travelling overland from Pakistan to Beijng. Following this and truly smitten with the travel bug, he made his first expedition to the Indian sub-continent where he began to reconstruct the history of mountain growth from the sediments he found there. Shortly after, an invitation to sail on a cruise in the Southwest Pacific proved impossible to resist. It led to a new love of sea-going science and an interest in the interactions between the land and oceans.

Leaving Scotland in 1993, he worked with the Ocean Drilling Program at Texas A&M University before coming to Woods Hole in 1995 as an Assistant Scientist. When he is not tending to his fuzzy family of cats and birds and cycling around town, Peter continues to do fieldwork in remote parts of Asia more often associated these days with CNN than scientific journals.