Cosmochemistry and Geochemistry


Exploring the origins of Earth and our Solar System.

A chondrule in a chondrite meteorite viewed using cross polars. 

Our Research

We aim to build a timeline of Earth and our Solar System’s early development. Our cosmochemists address the early history of the solar system, and the formation and early evolution of meteorites and their asteroidal parent bodies, Mars, Mercury, and the Moon. Our geochemists combine laboratory and field studies of modern and ancient rocks from diverse geographic areas to investigate the origin of Earth’s crust and the dynamic processes that exchange material between surface and interior.

Research Staff

Conel M. O'D. Alexander - Cosmochemistry; isotopic chemistry and origin of interstellar grains, the origin of the organic compounds in meteorites

Richard W. Carlson - Isotope geochemistry; history and nature of chemical evolution of the Earth's crust and mantle; early history of the solar system

George Cody - Geochemistry; the chemical history of the early Solar System; geobiological applications of Solid-State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR)

Yingwei Fei - Earth and planet evolution; planetary interior processes; compositions of the Earth's mantle and core; physical properties of materials at high P and T; materials synthesis at high pressure; development of high-pressure techniques 

Dionysis Foustoukos - Geochemistry; planetary science; the evolution of geofluids in a wide range of natural environments

Shaunna Morrison - Data-driven approaches to characterizing the coevolution of the geosphere and biosphere; applications of advanced analytics to Earth and planetary systems, with a particular emphasis in mineral relationships; Martian mineralogy via surface missions and meteorites; crystal-chemical behavior and bonding systematics in minerals

Bjørn Mysen - Physics and chemistry of materials; melting phase relations of mantle materials; isotope fractionation; structure and properties of silicate melts; solubility mechanisms, transport mechanisms in amorphous materials

Larry R. Nittler - Cosmochemistry; presolar grains in meteorites; secondary ion mass spectrometry and planetary remote sensing

Douglas Rumble, III (Staff Scientist Emeritus) - Geochemistry; petrology

Anat Shahar - Geochemistry; high pressure; planetary science

Steven B. Shirey - Igneous petrology; isotope geochemistry; trace element geochemistry; geochemical evolution of the Earth's crust and mantle

Michael Walter - High-pressure experimental petrology; geochemistry; mineral physics

Technical Staff

Emma Bullock - Electron Microprobe Lab Manager

Michelle Jordan - Geochemistry Laboratory Manager

Timothy Mock - Mass Spectrometry Laboratory Manager

Brian Schleigh - Electronic Design Engineer

Jianhua Wang - SIMS Lab Manager

Suzy Vitale - FIB Lab Manager

Postdoctoral Fellows and Associates

Jens Barosch - Ph.D., Geochemistry, University of Cologne (2020)

Asmaa Boujibar - Ph.D., Petrology, Université Blaise Pascal (2014)

Nico Küter - Ph.D., Experimental Petrology, ETH Zurich (2018)

Peng Ni - Ph.D., Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan (2017)

Nicole Xike Nie - Ph.D., Isotope Geo/Cosmochemistry, University of Chicago (2019)

Margo Reiger - Ph.D., Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta (2020)

Zachary TorranoPh.D., Geological Sciences, Arizona State University (2020)

Da Wang - Ph.D., Geology, Washington State University (2018)

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Tools of the Trade

We maintain six mass spectrometers for the analysis of trace elements and isotope ratios at high sensitivity, high precision, and/or high spatial resolution. Our scientists share four electron beam instruments for the characterization of sample surfaces and elemental compositions, as well as for focused ion beam lift out for additional characterization such as transmission electron microscopy. We also utilize solid-state NMR, Raman, and FTIR spectroscopy to characterize natural and experimental samples.



Our instrumentation >>