Tom Zega, Assistant Professor
Tom Zega recently joined LPL/PTYS as an Assistant Professor. Prior to arriving at LPL, Tom spent seven years in the Materials Science Division at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington D.C., first as a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow, and then as staff scientist. At NRL, Tom used high-resolution electron microscopy techniques to investigate, among other things, the atomic structure and crystal chemistry of minerals within primitive meteorites to learn about the chemical evolution of the early solar system and ancient stars.
Tom was a member of the preliminary examination team for NASA's STARDUST mission, the first devoted to returning cometary material to Earth and the first to return extraterrestrial material since the Apollo missions returned lunar samples in the late sixties. A native of New Jersey, Tom earned his bachelor's degree in Geology from Rutgers University in 1996, after which he worked in the microscopy and X-ray diffraction laboratories of BASF Corporation for two years studying catalysts for environmental applications and zeolites for petrochemical refinement. Tom attended graduate school at Arizona State University where he earned his Ph.D. in 2003, also in Geology, and used transmission electron microscopy to study hydrated silicates in primitive meteorites as a means to gain insight into the aqueous chemistry that occurred on asteroids in the early solar system.
Tom's current research interests involve the study of: (1) presolar oxide grains to learn about nucleosynthesis and thermodynamics of ancient stars, (2) investigation of refractory inclusions in primitive meteorites to decipher formation of the first solids in the solar system, and (3) microstructural and molecular analysis of insoluble organic matter in primitive meteorites to gain insight into pre-biotic organic chemistry within the presolar and early solar nebula. Tom aims to build a world-class microscopy facility here at the University of Arizona that will support the wide range of research programs taking place across campus as well as the OSIRIS-REx mission when it returns the first samples from a carbonaceous asteroid in 2023.
Tom Gehrels: A Celebration of Life
New Post-doc at LPL
Spring 2011 GTA Excellence Award
Passing of Karen Swarthout
HiRISE team wins NASA Group Achievement Award
Melosh Planetary Surfaces textbook published
Fall Fieldtrip: Canyon de Chelly
Juno Launch, August 2011
Astronauts, Students Connect at LPL
Kudos to Bob Strom
Kudos to Lujendra Ojha
Tucson Post Office and UA celebrate space flight stamps
NASA Selects OSIRIS-REx
Mars and Beyond: LPL research featured at Science Downtown
Celebration of a Life Well Lived: Michael J. Drake
Tom Zega, Assistant Professor
Charles P. Sonett: 1924-2011
Jon Pelletier named Galileo Circle Fellow
Congratulations, Joe Giacalone!
Kortenkamp receives teaching award
Michael J. Drake, A Life Well Lived
Regents' Professor Michael J. Drake, 1946-2011
Alfred McEwen awarded NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal
Death of Richard Kozlowski
Astronomer Tom Gehrels, 1925-2011
Recent PTYS/LPL Graduates
Tiffany Kataria awarded Jenkins Fellowship
Welcome new PtyS/LPL Graduate Students
Congratulations to David and Kelley Choi!
Elisabetta Pierazzo, 1963-2011
Update from Eugene Levy
Astronomers Plan Last Look at Asteroid Before OSIRIS-REx Launch
Hubble to Target "Hot Jupiters"
Briny Water May be at work in Seasonal Flows on Mars
Biosphere 2 Dedicates Lectures to Memory of Michael J. Drake
Clocking the Spin of Neptune
UA is Top University Contributing to Global Planetary Exploration Research
How OSIRIS-REx Got Its Name
Mission Possible or Impossible?
Close Encounter of the Rocky Kind