Astrid Holzheid joins Washington University as Clark Way Harrison Visiting Professor

Professor Astrid Holzheid joins the WashU faculty for the 2019-2020 school year as the Clark Way Harrison Visiting Professor in Earth and Planetary Sciences and Visiting Scientist with the McDonnell Center for Space Sciences.

Astrid Holzheid comes to Washington University from the Institute of Geosciences at Kiel University in Germany. Holzheid has been a regular annual visitor to the Planetary Chemistry Laboratory run by Professors Bruce Fegley, Jr. and Katharina Lodders for more than a decade. She visited the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at WashU for the first time in 1995 as visiting PhD student.

Holzheid's previous work includes partitioning moderately siderophile elements between coexisting silicate, sulfide, and metal phases to shed light on differentiation processes of the early Earth. Together with Lodders, Holzheid derived activity coefficients of Cu in silicate melts as function of temperature, oxygen, and sulfur fugacities to add knowledge on core formation on rocky planets. They also developed a sulfur fugacity barometer by using iron sulfide stoichiometry to calculate sulfur fugacity during experiments. 

Holzheid's ongoing research examines K and Cu isotopic fractionation during vaporization to understand how vaporization from a magma ocean can affect isotopic fractionation. This research is carried out in conjunction with Professors Bruce Fegley, Jr., Katharina Lodders, and Kun Wang, as well as Wang's group in the Isotope Cosmochemistry Laboratory.

As Clark Way Harrison Visiting Professor, Holzheid will be teaching EPSc 430 Environmental Mineralogy this fall.