Center for Meteorite Studies

Meenakshi Wadhwa; Photo by Andy De LisleMeenakshi Wadhwa (Director, Center for Meteorite Studies and Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration) Ph. D. Washington University (1994) – Dr. Wadhwa is broadly interested in deciphering the origin and evolution of our Solar System and planetary bodies in it through geochemical and isotopic means. She utilizes high precision mass spectrometric techniques to investigate a wide range of Solar System materials, including meteorites of asteroidal and Martian origin, Moon rocks (from the Apollo missions and lunar meteorites), and other samples returned by spacecraft missions such as Genesis and Stardust. In studying these diverse materials, her goals are to i) decipher the processes involved in their formation using trace and minor element distributions and stable isotope systematics; and ii) determine their time scales of formation using a variety of radiogenic isotope chronometers.

Dr. Devin SchraderDevin Schrader (Assistant Director, Center for Meteorite Studies and Assistant Research Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration) Ph. D. University of Arizona (2012) – Dr. Schrader is interested in researching primitive meteorites unaltered since their formation in the early Solar System, as well as meteorites that were thermally and aqueously altered on their parent asteroid. He utilizes petrographic, compositional, thermodynamic, and isotopic data to constrain the pre-accretionary formation conditions and secondary thermal and aqueous alteration processes of small bodies in the early Solar System. He also provides sample science support for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission.

Dr. Laurence GarvieLaurence A.J. Garvie (Research Professor, School of Earth & Space Exploration) Ph. D. University of Bristol (1992) – Dr. Garvie deciphers early Solar System processes through the use of innovative, high-spatial-resolution electron microscopic and spectroscopic studies of meteorites. His studies primarily focus on carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, which provide a unique record of the physical and chemical processes that shaped our Solar System. His current projects are roughly divided between mineralogical studies designed to reveal the structure and formation conditions of the abundant phyllosilicates in the CI and CM chondrites, and studies of the structure, distribution and formation conditions of organics in the carbonaceous chondrites. He also leads projects designed to understand the chemistry and mineralogy of rock surface coatings, with particular emphasis on the laminated, Mn-rich coatings of arid terrestrial environments. Dr. Garvie serves as an Associate Editor for American Mineralogist.

Amy J.G. Jurewicz (Faculty Research Associate, School of Earth & Space Exploration) Ph. D. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1986) – Dr. Jurewicz's research currently focuses on the recovery and analysis of the GENESIS solar-wind collector materials. Solar wind is a direct analog of the early solar nebula, so from its composition we will glean insight into how our Solar System formed. GENESIS is a NASA mission which collected solar-wind sample for two years, prior to a hard landing in Utah during the return to Earth. Before GENESIS, Dr. Jurewicz's research included work on a number of NASA missions, as well as the fabrication of meteorite analogs for the purpose of determining how one meteorite could be formed from another through natural, early Solar System processes.

DSCF9686Rebekah Hines (Research Professional, School of Earth & Space Exploration) M. Sc. University of Saskatchewan (2001) – Rebekah’s background in natural history collection management and conservation, educational outreach as well as isotope geochemistry enables her to serve a multi-disciplinary role in the Center. Her focus is predominantly on the ultra-clean Isotope Cosmochemistry and Geochronology Laboratory and Photon Machines Analyte 193 laser ablation system, as well as the development and improvement of clean laboratory techniques.  She also takes an active role in the Center's outreach programs and curation of the meteorite collection.
Dr. Vinai RaiVinai Rai (Associate Research Scientist, School of Earth & Space Exploration) Ph. D. Physical Research Laboratory Ahmedabad (2001) – Dr. Rai has extensive experience with a variety of mass spectrometric techniques for addressing cosmochemical and geochemical questions. He has previously worked on such diverse topics as the nitrogen and noble gas systematics in ureilites, mass independent sulfur isotope compositions of meteorites and Antarctic ice cores,  Sr-Nd isotopes in oceanic sediments, Mo isotopes in riverine systems, and Si isotopes in achondritic meteorites and water samples. The majority of his research centers around the Thermo Neptune mass spectrometer and the ultra-clean Isotope Cosmochemistry and Geochronology Laboratory.

Alice StephantAlice Stephant (Post Doctoral Research Associate, School of Earth & Space Exploration) Ph. D. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (2014) – Dr. Stephant's research focuses on the hydrogen isotopic ratio and water content of meteorites and lunar samples. The hydrogen isotopic ratio of Solar System objets is a precious tool in tracing the origin and source of water in the Solar System. She is currently interested in the analysis of achondrite meteorites via secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS).

Carleton Moore (Founding Director, Center for Meteorite Studies and Faculty Emeritus, Dept. of Geological Sciences and Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry) Ph. D. California Institute of Technology (1960) – Dr. Moore was editor of the journal Meteoritics for 20 years. He was a member of the Lunar Sample Preliminary Examination Team for the Apollo program and a principal investigator for the returned lunar sample program for all the Apollo missions. Dr. Moore’s research efforts have focused on the geochemistry of meteorites, lunar samples and analytical geochemical problems. Additional research interests have taken advantage of the great statistical depth present in the Center's collections, including statistical studies of meteorite compositions and homogeneity, the origin of the low calcium achondrites, trace elements in iron meteorites, and high- and low-temperature phases, including organic compounds, in carbonaceous chondrites.

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