Edgar Steenstra
Former Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow

Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow Edgar Steenstra

Research Interests

Core formation; planetary bulk and interior compositions; magma ocean crystallization processes; trace element fractionation processes; loss of volatiles and sulfides


B.Sc., Earth and Economics, Vrije University, Amsterdam, 2011; M.Sc., Geology, Vrije University, Amsterdam, 2014; Ph.D., Vrije University, Amsterdam, 2018.

Contact & Links

  • 202-478-8900
  • Earth and Planets Laboratory
    Carnegie Institution for Science
    5241 Broad Branch Road, NW
    Washington, DC 20015-1305
  • Personal Website


Steenstra in the lab

Edgar Steenstra's research is focused on experimental petrology and its application on the formation and early evolution of planetary bodies.  He uses a wide range of equipment (piston cylinder, gas mixing furnace, multi-anvil, diamond anvil cell, in-situ synchrotron techniques, elecron microprobe, Raman, spectroscopy, LA-ICP-MS) to study geochemical processes at high pressure and temperature. Using this data, he studies the formation and evolution of planetary bodies in the inner solar system.

His research interests include isotopic fractionation of trace elements in magmatic systems; systematics of metal-silicate and sulfide-silicate partitioning of lithophiel, siderophile, and chalcophile elements; assessment of sulfide saturation in planetary materials; optimizing analytical set-ups for LA-ICP-MS analyses of trace elements in metal targets.

Steenstra worked with Mike Walter and Yingwei Fei on constraining the elemental and isotopic partitioning behavior of trace elements between sulfides, metals and silicates at high (>5 GPa) pressures and temperatures (i.e., relevant to Mars, Earth and Mercury).