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Affiliates

Ariel Anbar (Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration) Dr. Anbar, the Principal Investigator of ASU's NASA Astrobiology Institute team, is a biogeochemist interested in the past and future evolution of the Earth as a habitable planet and how this knowledge informs the search for inhabited worlds beyond Earth. His current research focuses on the chemical evolution of the environment, especially changes in ocean oxygenation through time, and its consequences for life.

David Bell (Associate Research Scientist, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry)

Maitrayee Bose (Assistant Research Professor, School of Molecular Sciences and School of Earth & Space Exploration) Dr. Bose's primary research interests include identification of presolar silicate and oxide grains to understand the conditions of formation in their stellar sources, chemical and isotopic studies of insoluble organic matter in primitive chondritic meteorites to understand the origin of isotopic anomalies observed in these materials, and the application of complementary micro-analytical approaches (SEM, AES, XANES, micro-XRF) to cosmochemical studies.

Peter Buseck (Regents Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration) Dr. Buseck's research includes solid state geochemistry/mineralogy – the study of crystal defects in minerals at the atomic level using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, geochemistry/cosmochemistry – the origin and character of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites and interplanetary (interstellar?) dust particles, and analytical and environmental geochemistry – the development and application of electron-beam instruments to the analysis of small particles, with emphasis on problems of atmospheric geochemistry and air pollution.

Phil Christensen (Regents Professor and Korrick Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration) Dr. Christensen’s research interests include studying the geologic history and evolution of Earth and Mars. He led the team responsible for the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument on board the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, and is leading the operation of the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS), which is on the Mars Odyssey spacecraft currently orbiting Mars. Dr. Christensen's Mars Space Flight Facility at ASU directly controls THEMIS. A third instrument, Mini-TES, is on board the two Mars Exploration Rovers, Opportunity and Spirit, that landed in January 2004 and are still operating.

Steve Desch (Associate Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration) Dr. Desch studies star and planet formation by combining astrophysical models and numerical simulations with meteoritic data.

Richard Hervig (Professor, School of Earth & Space Exploration). Dr. Hervig uses the chemistry of Earth and extraterrestrial materials to determine their origin and evolution. These materials include samples from volcanic eruptions, igneous intrusions, low to medium temperature metamorphic rocks, sediments, and the solid run products from experiments. The primary tool used to explore these samples is the secondary ion mass spectrometer (SIMS, or ion microprobe). SIMS is a microanalytical technique with applications to geochemistry, cosmochemistry, and materials science.

Sandra Pizzarello (Research Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry) Dr. Pizzarello's research focuses on the study of organic components of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, and has lead to the recognition, molecular identification, and isotopic characterization of their main extractable organic constituents. Her work involves the analyses of several meteorites of the three chondrites subgroups and the development of new analytical methods. The finding of L-enantiomeric excesses in some meteoritic amino acids has suggested a possible link between chemical evolution and planetary homochirality, leading to the current investigation of the possible source of their asymmetry as well as of model syntheses that would mimic their prebiotic catalytic activity and reactions.

Stephen Romaniello   (Research Administrator, School of Earth & Space Exploration) Dr. Romaniello's research involves new approaches to global-scale sustainability challenges to managing atmospheric CO2, nutrients, and water in the Anthropocene.

Tom Sharp (Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration; Director, LeRoy Eyring School of Solid State Science) Dr. Sharp's current research areas include the effect of water on high pressure phase transitions and deformation, high-pressure partitioning of highly siderophile elements and core formation, shock metamorphism and impacts on planetary bodies, chemical weathering on Mars and the structure and distribution of carbon in Earth's earliest microfossils.

Everett Shock (Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry) Dr. Shock and members of his research group divide their time among building algorithms to estimate thermodynamic data; analyzing water, sediment, rock and biological samples; integrating analytical and thermodynamic data in models of geochemical and microbial processes; and testing ideas about the transport of water and solutes through the environment, the biogeochemical processes of the subsurface biosphere, and the potential for life on other planets.

Axel Wittmann (Assistant Research Scientist, LeRoy Eyring School for Solid State Science)

Mikhail Zolotov (Associate Research Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration) Dr. Zolotov uses physical-chemical modeling to explore behavior of volatiles, mineralogical transformations and redox processes in aqueously processed parent bodies of chondrites, in the solar nebula, icy satellites, and in lithospheres of Mars and Venus.