Revealing the Forces That Shaped Our Planet
Advances in everything from space observation to meteorite recovery programs and better analytical techniques have created remarkable opportunities to learn about the processes that have shaped both Earth and our solar system.
Dr. Audrey Bouvier, Canada Research Chair in Planetary Materials, is using these advances to answer such fundamental questions as how habitable worlds form and evolve over time.
Dr. Bouvier uses a number of modern analytical methods to conduct detailed studies of geological and extraterrestrial materials. Her techniques include petrology—the study of minerals and their assemblages in rocks—and geochemistry—the measurement and interpretation of the chemical and isotopic compositions of planetary materials to understand their formation.
In particular, Dr. Bouvier is deciphering the chronology of planetary formation and evolution; this includes exploring the mechanisms responsible for chemical changes to trace metals found in planetary materials. To make such difficult isotopic measurements of trace metals in meteorites and samples returned from space missions, she and her students currently use state-of-the-art mass spectrometric facilities available in France and China.
Dr. Bouvier’s research will offer better insight into the formation of our solar system, the evolution of our planet, the history and consequences of major meteor impact events and other topics crucial to Earth Sciences.