Graduate student Devin McMahon finishes first among women in the San Francisco Marathon

DEVIN MCMAHON, a PhD student in Earth system science, placed first among 2,355 women in the San Francisco Marathon on July 23.

Devin McMahon
The San Francisco Marathon posted this photograph of Devin McMahon, right, with fellow race winner Jorge Maravilla. (Courtesy the San Francisco Marathon)

McMahon, who ran track as an undergraduate at Cornell, is pursing graduate work on sustainability of afforestation and plantation forestry as part of ROB JACKSON’s lab. Specifically, McMahon studies the long-term effects of tree-planting and plantation forestry on soil nutrients and plant productivity, according to her research profile. Her studies focus on the extreme case of eucalyptus plantations in Southeastern Brazil.

McMahon earned a Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship, which is awarded to doctoral students engaged in interdisciplinary research and the pursuit of questions that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries.

The Mercury News reported that McMahon’s time was 2:52:49, and that she had not expected to be a top finisher. As a winner, McMahon received two round-trip tickets to Paris, courtesy of Air France.

“I was a bit surprised and embarrassed by the media coverage,” McMahon said, “but I am happy with my time and of course with my place in the race. I hope to do many more marathons throughout my life. In the next month or so, though, I will be taking a break from intensive training while I prepare and travel for a conference and fit in some more lab work with my summer undergraduate researchers.”

The marathon celebrated its 40th anniversary with the largest number of participants in the event’s history. It raised more than $300,000 for charity.