Daniel Dunlap (Ph.D. Candidate, School of Earth and Space Exploration) B.S., University of Tennessee (2013) – Daniel's current research involves the use of short-lived radionuclides such as Al/Mg and Mn/Cr to investigate the timing of melting and differentiation on early forming asteroids and planetesimals. Many of these bodies began forming very early in the Solar System’s history, and were host to igneous processing within as little as a million years or so of Solar System formation. By placing time constraints on these events, Daniel hopes to better comprehend the formational timeline of the rocky bodies in our Solar System.
Emilie Dunham (Ph.D. Candidate, School of Earth and Space Exploration) B.S., Case Western Reserve University (2014) – Emilie's research focuses on measuring the rare earth element (REE) abundances of Martian basaltic meteorites to determine their formation history and composition of the parent magma. She is also analyzing beryllium and boron isotopes in refractory materials from primitive meteorites in order to better constrain the processes that occurred in the extreme environment predating planetary formation in the early Solar System.
Prajkta Mane (Ph.D. Candidate, School of Earth and Space Exploration) M.Sc., Indian Institute of Technology (2010) – Prajkta studies the hydrogen isotope composition of martian meteorites to acquire insight into martian water reservoirs. She also analyzes refractory inclusions found in primitive meteorites, considered to be the first solids to condense in our Solar System. The isotopic analysis of these inclusions can provide a window into Solar System formation, in particular the triggers and mechanisms of early Solar System processes.
Zachary Torrano (Ph. D. Student, School of Earth and Space Exploration) B.S. University of Notre Dame (2015) – Zack measures the isotopic composition of calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs), which were the first solids formed in the early Solar System and therefore preserve a record of the earliest epoch in the evolution of the solar protoplanetary disk. His work includes Cr, Ti, and Mg stable isotope analyses to investigate the heterogeneity of the CAI-forming region. Future Pb-Pb and Al-Mg analyses will provide high-resolution constraints on formation timescales for these solids.