Daniel Dunlap

Graduate Associate
Graduate Assistant/Associate

Student Information

Graduate Student
Geological Sciences
The College of Lib Arts & Sci


2013 BSc in Geology from The University of Tennessee

Research Interests

My research focuses on the evolutionary timescales of rocky bodies in the early Solar System history. I study achondrites, a type of stony meteorite, which are the survivors of processes that built the rocky planets. I am interested in understanding how these achondrites formed? What the petrologic diversity among achondrites tells us about their formation? What are the timescales of formation? These questions are critical in attempting to understand how the early Solar System evolved, how rocky bodies formed, and ultimately how we end up with the planets we know today.

            To address these questions, I use short-lived radioisotope systems (ex. 26Al-26Mg and 53Mn-53Cr) to date the formation of achondrites. These chronometers are ideally suited to investigate formation timescales with sub-Ma precision.  Additionally, both these isotope systems are important in there utility as a heat source in the early Solar System (26Al) and as a tracer of genetic relationships between objects (54Cr). The isotope analyses are performed on the Center for Meteorite Studies Neptune multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer.