After a 2+ month hiatus sheltering at home with Dr. Amy Williams and Mr. Baby, I'm back in the Experimental Geochemistry Lab working hard on getting the instruments up and running! I tested negative for COVID-19 and UF has strict social distancing and other safety measures in place, so given that, it's as safe as it can be to be back. It's great to see researchers getting back on campus with the appropriate amount of caution. I'm looking forward to running some experiments and having more than just me in the lab!
The renovation and instrument installation in the Experimental Geochemistry Lab is finally complete! Now it's time to get the two Rockland piston cylinders and the Deltech gas mixing furnace up and running. There's a lot of really cool experiments to be done and I'm really looking forward to actually doing some science with these toys. But at the end of a long renovation process, I'm happy to just see the room done!
The UF Experimental Geochemistry Lab is almost ready! The contractors are hard at work and moving quickly. The cabinets and temperature controllers for the two piston cylinders are installed, the new floor is going in this week, and the instruments themselves (two piston cylinders and a Deltech furnace) will be installed soon. We expect the lab to be done and ready for setup by the end of November. I'm very much looking forward to getting to work and if you're a potential graduate student interested in joining the group, be sure to get into contact with me!
With the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 is July, The University of Florida highlighted our work on Apollo samples and all of the interesting things we are still learning from these rocks half a century later. The article, which you can read here, also highlights the NASA mission proposal which I am a co-investigator on. We are proposing to bring new samples of the Moon back from what we believe are the youngest flood basalts on the Moon. If you want to know more about our mission proposal, we which hope is selected for flight, you can check our more details in this great article from Space.com!
My new paper in Earth and Planetary Science Letters is out and available online. This paper on how iron isotopes fractionate during core formation follows up my first paper on the topic in Nature Geoscience by provided some additional experiments and also offer a model for why we see the isotopic behavior that we observe. In the paper, my co-authors and I propose that the shortening and stiffening of Fe bonds in Fe-rich core-like alloys causes an increase in the alloys preference for heavy Fe isotopes relative to molten silicate during core formation, which is what we observe in our experiments. We also model the fractionation behavior of Fe isotopes during planetary differentiation and conclude we do not see a clear signature of isotope fractionation by vaporization or volatile depletion.