The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) as seen above Great
Slave Lake, NWT, Canada. Photo Credit: M. Antonelli
Although much of my work is concentrated on high-T environments, the same fundamental isotopic fractionation principles hold across all natural systems and can be applied to problems in cosmochemistry, (paleo)ecology, and biology. The evolution of the Earth, terrestrial planets, and early solar system are important to understand the nebular conditions conducive to formation of oxygen-rich planets and life in the cosmos. Analyzing multiple sulfur isotopes in iron meteorites, I showed that small anomalous Δ33S and Δ36S were the result of photochemical processes in the early solar nebula I showed that differentiated protoplanets (achondrites) incorporated components that were photochemically processed in the early inner solar system, suggesting that they formed closer to the sun (e.g. Earth-forming region) than non-differentiated protoplanets (e.g. chondrites) and serving as an early demonstration of the CC-NC dichotomy in the evolving solar system (Antonelli et al., 2014, PNAS). I am currently working on using stable copper isotopes to investigate the origins of various meteorite planet bodies (with F. Moynier, IPGP).
Antonelli, M.A., Kim, S-.T., Peters, M., Labidi, J., Cartigny, P., Walker, R.J., Lyons, J.R., Hoek, J., Farquhar, J. (2014) “Early Inner Solar System Origin for Anomalous Sulfur Isotopes in Differentiated Protoplanets” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 111(50).