Monday, 18 February 2019  


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The group conducts research that addresses the early history of the Solar System, and the formation and evolution of the Earth, Moon, and meteorites.

Scientific Staff

Conel Alexander
Rick Carlson
Erik Hauri
Larry Nittler
Steve Shirey
Fouad Tera
Technical Staff

Mary Horan
Tim Mock
Jianhua Wan

Postdoctoral Fellows

Terry Blackburn
Jemma Davidson
Marion Garçon
Marion Le Voyer
Jared Marske
Hanika Rizo
Liyan Tian
Shoshana Weider

Visiting Investigators

Research in cosmochemistry includes:

  • identification and analysis of presolar circumstellar grains in meteorites and interplanetary dust particles,
  • formational mechanisms of chondrules and refractory inclusions,
  • isotopic and chemical characterization of interstellar organic matter in meteroites and interplanetary dust particles,
  • isotopic analysis of cometary and interstellar dust samples returned by NASA's Stardust mission,
  • origin of water in Martian meteorites,
  • chronology of early solar system processes.

Research in geochemistry combines laboratory and field studies of modern and ancient rocks from diverse geographic areas. Topics of investigation include:

  • geochemical and isotopic evolution of the Earth's crust and mantle,
  • formation and stabilization of cratons,
  • role of water and other volatiles in plate tectonics and magma generation.

Facilities for Research:

TIMS: Thermo-Fisher Triton

ICP-MS: Nu Plasma HR, Nu Plasma II, Axiom

SIMS: NanoSIMS 50L, Cameca 6f with 1 meter magnetic sector


At the Geophysical Lab: JOEL superprobe, Zeiss Auriga FIB-SEM, FTIR, Raman spectroscopy

Supporting Labs: Chemistry, machine shop, electronics lab


The primary tools used are the concentrations and isotopic compositions of major and trace elements, including measurements of long- and short-lived radiometric decay series and of variations in ratios of stable isotopes caused by nucleosynthetic processes and by mass-dependent fractionation.

Our well-equipped laboratories permit use of a wide range of analytical techniques. Major instrumentation includes two thermal ionization and two inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers, an ion probe with a second, large-radius magnetic sector, and the new NanoSIMS 50L ion probe. The instrumentation is supported by clean laboratories for chemical separations and equipment for micro- and macro-sample preparation. Elsewhere on campus, full electron beam and stable isotopic analytical instrumentation is available. The current staff continues a long DTM tradition of the development of novel instrumentation and new analytical techniques to address important geochemical and cosmochemical questions.

Please check CIW/DTM Facilities for more information on our laboratories and instrumentation.

Schedule for Mass Spectrometers.