The carbonaceous chondrite meteorites are among the most primitive materials in the solar system. Thus, they contain the keys to many long-standing problems in cosmochemistry regarding the origin and development of the sun and planets.
We are studying their mineralogy and geochemistry, primarily with electron-beam techniques, in an attempt to understand the early history of the solar system. Emphasis is on the very fine-grained minerals of the meteorites since these minerals have been the sources of considerable uncertainty and, in many cases, are also the most nearly primordial.
Recent studies focus on the controversy of possible former life on Mars and the mineralogical evidence. This work includes studying magnetic minerals (magnetosomes) formed within bacteria and in meteorites from Mars in an attempt to evaluate the recent evidence for former life on Mars.