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).


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

Refereed publications (NASA ADS): Calendar Years 2017 through June 2020

Bernal, J. J., Haenecour, P., Howe, J., Zega, T. J., Amari, S., Ziurys, L. M. Formation of Interstellar C60 from Silicon Carbide Circumstellar Grains 2019ApJ...883L..43B

Seifert, L., Haenecour, P., Zega, T., Ramprasad, T. Coordinated Analyses of a Supernova Polycrystalline Olivine Aggregate in the CO Chondrite Dominion Range 08006 2019MiMic..25S2490S

Zega, T., Bernal, J., Howe, J., Haenecour, P., Amari, S., Ziurys, L. Putting Stars in the Gap: in situ Irradiation and Heating of Synthetic SiC and Implications for the Origins of C-rich Circumstellar Materials 2019MiMic..25S2488Z

Ramprasad, T., Haenecour, P., Seifert, L., Zega, T. J. Understanding the Origin and Evolution of Meteoritic Refractory Minerals Through Transmission Electron Microscopy 2019MiMic..25S2458R

Haenecour, P., Thompson, M. S., Zega, T. J., Howe, J. Y., Chen, W.-Y. In situ Ion Irradiation and Heating Experiments in the Transmission Electron Microscope: Simulations of Dust Processing in Circumstellar Environments 2019MiMic..25S2454H

Haenecour, P., Howe, J. Y., Zega, T. J., Amari, S., Lodders, K., José, J., Kaji, K., Sunaoshi, T., Muto, A. Laboratory evidence for co-condensed oxygen- and carbon-rich meteoritic stardust from nova outbursts 2019NatAs...3..626H

Haenecour, P., Howe, J. Y., Zega, T. J., Amari, S., Floss, C., Wallace, P., Lodders, K., Kaji, K., Sunaoshi, T., Muto, A. Low-Voltage Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy and Electron Energy-Loss Spectroscopy Analysis of Presolar Graphite Spherules 2018MiMic..24S2110H

Howe, J. Y., Haenecour, P., Thompson, M. S., Dogel, S., Sunaoshi, T., Sagar, J., Hosseinkhannazer, H., Zega, T. J. Nanoscale Investigation of Thermal Alteration of Chondritic Meteorites via Simultaneous Secondary and Transmitted Electron Imaging during In Situ Heating up to 1000 oC 2018MiMic..24S2102H

Seifert, L., Haenecour, P., Zega, T., Floss, C., Howe, J. Multi-keV Analyses of a Presolar Mg-Silicate Grain via SEM/STEM 2018MiMic..24S2098S

Haenecour, P. Low-Voltage Transmission Electron Microscopy Analysis of 15N-Rich Organic Matter: Insight into the Origins of Fine-Grained Antarctic Micrometeorites 2018MiMic..24S2076H

Haenecour, P., Floss, C., Zega, T. J., Croat, T. K., Wang, A., Jolliff, B. L., Carpenter, P. Presolar silicates in the matrix and fine-grained rims around chondrules in primitive CO3.0 chondrites: Evidence for pre-accretionary aqueous alteration of the rims in the solar nebula 2018GeCoA.221..379H

Haenecour, P., Zega, T. J., Howe, J. Y., Wallace, P., Floss, C., Yada, T. Investigation of the Nature of Capping Layer Materials for FIB-SEM Preparation: Implications for the Study of Carbonaceous Material in Extraterrestrial Samples 2017MiMic..23S1820H


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-Pierre Haenecour-Nov2019.pdf171.21 KBNovember 11, 2019
Semester Course Day/Time Location Resources
Spring 2021 PTYS/ASTR 170B2-001 TTH 11:00a.m.-12:15p.m. Kuiper 308 Syllabus
Fall 2021 PTYS 595B-001 MW 9:00-10:40a.m. Kuiper 312
Fall 2020 PTYS 416-001 TTH 11:00a.m.-12:15p.m. Kuiper 312 Syllabus
Course Page
Fall 2020 PTYS 516-001 TTH 11:00a.m.-12:15p.m. Kuiper 312 Syllabus
Course Page

Last updated on July 7, 2020