Researcher Profile

Jackson School of Geosciences

Romy D Hanna

Romy D Hanna
Research Associate, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences

Work: +1 512 471 0260
Office: JGB
Mailcode: C1100

I am interested in the formation and evolution of primitive, undifferentiated material found in carbonaceous chondrites, which are commonly considered the 'building blocks' of the terrestrial planets. My PhD work focused on Murchison, a CM chondrite, detailing how fine-grained dust rims formed around chondrules in the early solar nebula and how these, along with the rest of the chondrite, were modified by secondary processes (impact deformation, aqueous alteration) after their accretion onto the CM parent body asteroid. I am currently expanding this work to other types of carbonaceous chondrites to help build a more comprehensive picture of the formation conditions of this material in the early solar nebula, how it accreted to form the chondrite parent bodies, and how it has been modified by secondary processes on their asteroids.

To address these issues I use a wide variety of analytical techniques such as electron microbeam [including electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD)], X-ray computed tomography (XCT) and visible to near infrared (VISNIR) and thermal infrared (TIR) spectroscopy. I am a Participating Scientist on the OSIRIS-REx mission to carbonaceous asteroid Bennu where I will use the VISNIR and TIR spectral instruments to assess the degree of aqueous alteration and heating its surface has undergone.

In my position with the High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility (UTCT) at the Jackson School, I develop software related to the correction and processing of XCT data from the two XCT instruments in this lab and help scientists from varying disciplines apply this novel and powerful analytical tool to their own work.

Areas of Expertise

carbonaceous chondrites, planetary geology, remote sensing, VISNIR and TIR spectroscopy, X-ray computed tomography (CT), electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), 3D image analysis and processing, scientific software development

Second Place Poster Presentation, Late Career PhD - Jackson School of Geosciences (2016)

Vargas Endowed Presidential Scholarship - Jackson School of Geosciences (2015)

Pallas-Ryder Award for Best Student Paper in Planetary Sciences - Joint Award from the Meteoritical Society and the Planetary Geology Division of GSA (2015)

Gordon A. McKay Award for Best Student Oral Presentation - Meteoritical Society (2014)

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) - NASA (2013 - 2016)

Marshall Endowed Presidential Scholarship - Jackson School of Geosiences (2013)

Jackson School First Year Graduate Fellowship - Jackson School of Geosciences (2011)

MSA American Mineralogist Undergraduate Award - Mineralogical Society of America (1997)