Brown University - Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences


Research Scientist /
Electron Microprobe Manager

Contact Information:
Earth, Environmental & Planetary Sciences
Brown University
324 Brook Street
Box 1846
Providence, Rhode Island 02912

Ph.D., 2007, Rutgers University

- Research Associate, American Museum of Natural History
- Associate Graduate Faculty, College of Science and Engineering, School of Geology, Energy and the Environment, Texas Christian University

Joseph Boesenberg reading a book

Joe joined the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences at Brown University as a Research Scientist and Manager of Electron Microprobe Facility in April 2012. Previously, he worked at the American Museum of Natural History as Senior Scientific Assistant for the Meteorite Collection.

Joe recieved his masters degree in 1994, at Rutgers University where he worked with Dr. Jeremy Delaney and conducted one atmosphere partial melting experiments on different types of chondritic precursors to investigate the origins of eucrites and their differentiated parent body (presumably the asteroid, 4Vesta).

In 2000, Joe was invited back to Rutgers do a part-time Ph.D. His dissertation centered on examining the exchange of oxygen isotopes between gas, silicate melt and solid olivine at very low pressures utilizing a high temperature vacuum furnace. These experiments simulated reactions experienced by chondrules (crystalline spherules found in most meteorites) during their formation in the first few million years of the early solar system. A second project experimentally investigated the origin and formation of phosphoran olivine in the pallasites, a type of stony-iron meteorite. His dissertation advisor was Dr. Roger Hewins.

These days his scientific research interests are diverse. They include metal-silicate interactions; asteroidal and planetary differentiation; the HED meteorites (howardites, eucrites, diogenites) and their association to asteroid 4Vesta; pallasites; mesosiderites; lunar and Martian rocks; oxygen isotopes; experimental petrology and stable isotope reactions; chondrule formation in the early solar system; volatiles in meteorites; terrestrial and extraterrestrial volcanism; and archeometallurgy (Civil and Revolutionary War metallurgy).

Recent trips:

ANSMET 2006 field party

Joe Boesenberg in Antarctica with the ANSMET (The Search for Antarctic Meteorites) collection team on New Years Day, 2006. From left to right: Jani Radebaugh, Gordon Ozinski, Mike Rampey, Ben Bussey, Shaun Norman, Joe Boesenberg, Marie Keiding and Mike Kelley.

In January 2010, Rutgers Magazine published an article and a website on Rutgers Alumni now working at the American Museum of Natural History. Joe was one of the people interviewed. Here is the story: Knights at the Museum.

Published Journal Articles:

Taran M. N., Dyar M. D., Khomenko V. M. and Boesenberg J. S. (2017) Optical absorption, Mössbauer and FTIR spectroscopic studies of two blue bazzites. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 44, 497-507. [download]

Barrat J. A., Greenwood R. C., Keil K., Rouget M. L., Boesenberg J. S., Zanda B. and Franchi, I. A. (2016) The origin of aubrites: Evidence from lithophile trace element abundances and oxygen isotope compositions. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 192, 29-48. [download]

Boesenberg J. S., Delaney J. S. and Hewins R. H. (2012) A petrological and chemical reexamination of Main Group pallasite formation. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 89, 134-158. [download]

Yan L., Zhao J., Divan R., Xu S., Cai Z., Boesenberg J. S., Friedrich J. M., Cramer S. P. and Alp E. E. (2012) Synchrotron Mössbauer microscopy: A new x-ray imaging modality development. Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 19, 814-820. [download]

Boesenberg J. S. and Hewins R. H. (2010) An experimental investigation into the metastable formation of phosphoran olivine and pyroxene. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74, 1923-1941. [download]

Brusentsova T. N., Peale R. E., Maukonen D., Harlow G. E., Boesenberg J. S. and Ebel D. S. (2010) Far infrared spectroscopy of the carbonate minerals. American Mineralogist 95, 1515-1522. [download]

Sasso M. R., Macke R. J., Boesenberg J. S., Britt D. T., Rivers M. L., Ebel D. S. and Friedrich J. M. (2009) Physical properties of incompletely compacted ordinary chondrites. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 44, 1743-1753. [download]

Boesenberg J. S. (2006) Wrought iron from the U.S.S. Monitor: Mineralogy, petrology and metallography. Archaeometry 48, 613-631. [download]

Ebel D. S. and Boesenberg J. S. (2004) The new Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites at the American Museum of Natural History. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 39, 1761-1762. [download]

Boesenberg J. S., Prinz M., Weisberg M. K., Davis A. M., Clayton R. N. and Mayeda T. K. (2000) The pyroxene pallasites, Vermillion and Yamato 8451: Not quite a couple. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 35, 757-769. [download]

Boesenberg J. S. and Delaney J. S. (1997) A model composition of the basaltic achondrite planetoid. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 61, 3205-3225. [download]

Professional Society memberships:

  • American Geophysical Union
  • Meteoritical Society
  • Mineralogical Society of America