I am interested in the study of meteorites to better understand the formation and evolution of our Solar System. My research approach is to use multiple techniques to characterise extra-terrestrial materials either in terms of composition or in terms of chronology.
One of my main specialities is the analysis of meteorites using noble gases (He-Xe) and halogens (Cl, Br, I), and chronology studies (e.g. Ar-Ar, CRE). More recently, I have been working on overall compositional studies of meteorites at micro- and nanometer- scales.
The chronometry of planetary regoliths:
The surfaces of asteroids and rocky planets/moons represent excellent records of impact events within the Solar System. Most of our understanding of the impact flux in the inner Solar System is based off of analyses of lunar materials, and the development of the 'Lunar Model', which depicts either a major event or a change in bombardment rate at ~3.9 billion years (Ga).
My approach is to investigate the prevalence of this event by performing chronological studies of materials from the asteroid belt using multiple decay systems - Ar-Ar and U-Pb.
Additional questions to be considered on this theme include: Can we characterise and identify regolithic meteoritic materials? Can secondary processes like weathering be quantitatively constrained.
Kip Hodges (Arizona State University)
Tom Sharp (Arizona State University)
Joshua Snape (Vrije Universiteit)
Meenakshi Wadhwa (Arizona State University/Center for Meteorite Studies)
Martin Whitehouse (Swedish Museum of Natural History)
Micrometer and nanometer-scale studies of undifferentiated meteorites:
I am interested in understanding the structures and compositions of undifferentiated meteorites (chondrites) at micro- and nanometer-scales, to help determine when the first solids in the Solar System formed, and to determine what processes led to their formation.
I am approaching this by performing a combined study using different analytical techniques including SEM (and FIB-SEM), EPMA, TEM, NanoSIMS and APT to understand the textural and compositional properties of these early phases and materials.
Jan Leitner (Max Planck Institute for Chemistry)
Alberto Perez-Huerta (University of Alabama)
Christian Vollmer (Universität Münster)
In addition to the two projects described above, I am working on a number of smaller projects including:
1. Analysis of achondrites using petrography and FTIR techniques.
Brendan Ames (University of Alabama)
Adam Hauser (University of Alabama)
2. Investigation of Wetumpka Impact Crater lithologies.
David King Jr. (Auburn University)