PTYS/LPL Faculty

Kuiper 533


Pierre Haenecour

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., 2016 Washington University in St. Louis

Years with LPL: 2017 to present

Astrobiology, Cosmochemistry, Planetary Astronomy, Small Bodies

Pierre's research interests focus on the building blocks and early history of the Solar System history, and the origin of life through the coordinated study of circumstellar and interstellar dust grains and organic molecules in unequiliberated planetary materials (e.g., meteorites, micrometeorites and interplanetary dust particles).

His background is in Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry, from terrestrial samples (e.g., Pb and Zn isotopes in Archean komatiitic lava flows) to primitive extraterrestrial samples (e.g., meteorites and micrometeorites), using multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and a variety of in situ ion- and electron-microscopy techniques (e.g., secondary ion mass spectrometry, Auger and Raman spectroscopy, focused-ion-beam scanning-electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy).

Link to Planetary Materials Research Group


Pierre grew up in Brussels (Belgium) and graduated with B.A. and M.S. degrees in Geology and Geochemistry from the Free University of Brussels. He then moved to St. Louis (Missouri) and obtained a M.A. degree and a Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis. His doctoral research work focused on the identification and coordinated micro-analytical study of and circumstellar grains (also called presolar or stardust grains) in primitive meteorites and fine-grained micrometeorites.

Current Grants

  • Acquisition of a BSE detector and MAPS software for the FIB-SEM in the Kuiper Imaging Facility - TRIF - FY20-21. Co-Investigator. Principal Investigator - T. Zega (UA).
  • Alien Earths: Which Nearby Planetary Systems Are Likely to Host Habitable Planets and Life? - NASA Astrobiology Institute ICAR - FY20-25 Co-Investigator. Principal Investigator - D. Apai (UA).

Current Spacecraft Involvement

  • Sample Science Collaborator NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission. The lead for the Sample Analysis Data Archiving Working Group, and member of the Sample Elements and Isotopes Analysis, the Sample Organics Analysis, and the Mineralogy and Petrograpgy Working Groups.

Current Graduate Students

Complete publications list available from: NASA ADS Author search: P. Haenecour

Recent refereed publications (NASA ADS): Years 2019 through January 2021

Ogliore, Ryan, Nagashima, Kazuhide, Huss, Gary, and Haenecour, Pierre (2021), Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms. A reassessment of the quasi-simultaneous arrival effect in secondary ion mass spectrometry 

Haenecour, Pierre, Floss, Christine, Brearley, Adrian J., & Zega, Thomas J. 2020, Meteoritics and Planetary Science. The effects of secondary processing in the unique carbonaceous chondrite Miller Range 07687

Zega, Thomas J., Haenecour, Pierre, & Floss, Christine 2020, Meteoritics and Planetary Science. An in situ investigation on the origins and processing of circumstellar oxide and silicate grains in carbonaceous chondrites

Leitner, Jan, Metzler, Knut, Vollmer, Christian, Floss, Christine, Haenecour, Pierre, Kodolányi, János, Harries, Dennis, & Hoppe, Peter 2020, Meteoritics and Planetary Science. The presolar grain inventory of fine-grained chondrule rims in the Mighei-type (CM) chondrites

Haenecour, Pierre & Bose, Maitrayee 2020, Meteoritics and Planetary Science. Understanding our solar system history through in situ nanoscale analysis of extraterrestrial materials: A special issue for Dr. Christine Floss

Bernal, J. J., Haenecour, P., Howe, J., Zega, T. J., Amari, S., & Ziurys, L. M. 2019, The Astrophysical Journal. Formation of Interstellar C<SUB>60</SUB> from Silicon Carbide Circumstellar Grains

Seifert, Laura, Haenecour, Pierre, Zega, Thomas, & Ramprasad, Tarunika 2019, Microscopy and Microanalysis. Coordinated Analyses of a Supernova Polycrystalline Olivine Aggregate in the CO Chondrite Dominion Range 08006

Zega, TJ, Bernal, J., Howe, JY, Haenecour, P., Amari, S., & Ziurys, LM 2019, Microscopy and Microanalysis. Putting Stars in the Gap: in situ Irradiation and Heating of Synthetic SiC and Implications for the Origins of C-rich Circumstellar Materials

Ramprasad, Tarunika, Haenecour, Pierre, Seifert, Laura, & Zega, Thomas J. 2019, Microscopy and Microanalysis. Understanding the Origin and Evolution of Meteoritic Refractory Minerals Through Transmission Electron Microscopy

Haenecour, Pierre, Thompson, Michelle S., Zega, Thomas J., Howe, Jane Y., & Chen, Wei-Ying 2019, Microscopy and Microanalysis. In situ Ion Irradiation and Heating Experiments in the Transmission Electron Microscope: Simulations of Dust Processing in Circumstellar Environments

Haenecour, Pierre, Howe, Jane Y., Zega, Thomas J., Amari, Sachiko, Lodders, Katharina, José, Jordi, Kaji, Kazutoshi, Sunaoshi, Takeshi, & Muto, Atsushi 2019, Nature Astronomy. Laboratory evidence for co-condensed oxygen- and carbon-rich meteoritic stardust from nova outbursts


January 21, 2021 - Astronomy Days at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences - "NASA OSIRIS-REx Mission: Insight into the Origin of Volatiles Through the Analysis of Samples from Asteroid 101955 Bennu" (see Youtube video)

July 05, 2019 - Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association - "From Stars to the Laboratory: Stardust in the Solar System"


Haenecour et al. (2019). Laboratory evidence for co-condensed oxygen- and carbon-rich meteoritic stardust from nova outbursts. Nature Astronomy 3, pp. 626-630 (04/29/2019)


Haenecour et al. (2013). First Laboratory observation of silica grains from core collapse supernovae. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 768: L17 (5pp) (05/01/2013)

Available filesSizeCreated
PDF icon CV-Haenecour-February2021.pdf263.5 KBFebruary 9, 2021
Semester Course Day/Time Location Resources
Spring 2021 PTYS/ASTR 170B2-001 TTH 11:00a.m.-12:15p.m. Kuiper 308 Syllabus
Course Page
Fall 2021 PTYS 595B-001 MW 9:00-10:40a.m. Kuiper 312

Last updated on February 9, 2021