Christopher D Herd

Associate Professor
ESB 1-017
Web Site

  • Herd, C.D.K., A. Blinova, D.N. Simkus, Y. Huang, R. Tarozo, C.M.O’D. Alexander, F. Gyngard, L.R. Nittler, G.D. Cody, M.L. Fogel, Y. Kebukawa, A.L.D. Kilcoyne, R.W. Hilts, G.F. Slater, D.P. Glavin, J.P. Dworkin, M.P. Callahan, J.E. Elsila, B.T. De Gregorio, and R.M. Stroud (2011). Origin and Evolution of Prebiotic Organic Matter as Inferred from the Tagish Lake Meteorite.  Science, v. 332, 1304-1307. DOI: 10.1126/science.1203290.
  • Gross, J., A.H. Treiman, J. Filiberto and C.D.K. Herd (2011) Primitive Olivine-Phyric Shergottite NWA 5789: Petrography, mineral chemistry, and cooling history imply a magma similar to Yamato-980459. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, v. 46, 116-133.
  • Kofman, R.S., C.D.K. Herd and D.G. Froese (2010). The Whitecourt Meteorite Impact Crater, Alberta, Canada. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, v. 45, 1429-1445.
  • Weisberg, M.K., C. Smith, G. Benedix, C.D.K. Herd, K. Righter, H. Haack, A. Yamaguchi, H. Chennaoui Aoudjehane, and J.N. Grossman (2010). The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 97, March 2010. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, v. 45, 449-493
  • Peslier, A.H., D. Hnatyshin, C.D.K. Herd, E.L. Walton, A.D. Brandon, T.J. Lapen and J. Shafer (2010). Crystallization, melt inclusion, and redox history of a Martian meteorite: Olivine-phyric shergottite Larkman Nunatak 06319. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 74, 4543-4576.  (doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2010.05.002)
  • Walton, E.L., P.J. Jugo, C.D.K. Herd and M. Wilke (2010). Martian Regolith in Elephant Moraine 79001 Shock Melts? Evidence from Major Element Composition and Sulfur Speciation. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 74, 4829-4843. (doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2010.04/065)
  • Blinova, A. and C.D.K. Herd (2009). Experimental study of polybaric REE partitioning between olivine, pyroxene and melt of the Yamato 980459 composition: insights into the petrogenesis of depleted shergottites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 73, 3471-3492.
  • Herd, C.D.K., R.E. Dwarzskik and C.K. Shearer (2009). The behavior of Co and Ni in olivine in planetary basalts: An experimental investigation. American Mineralogist, v. 94, 244-255.
  • Walton, E.L., S.P. Kelley and C.D.K. Herd (2008) Isotopic and petrographic evidence for young Martian basalts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 72, 5819-5837.
  • Herd, C.D.K., Froese, D.G., Walton, E.L., Kofman, R.S., Herd, E.P.K. and Duke, M.J.M. (2008). Anatomy of a young impact event in central Alberta, Canada: Prospects for the missing Holocene impact record. Geology, v. 36, 955-958, doi: 10. 1130/G25236A.1.
  • Herd, C.D.K. (2008) Basalts as Probes of Planetary Interior Redox State, in Vol. 68, Oxygen in the Solar System, Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, Mineralogical Society of America, Chantilly, Virginia.

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Research area

Mineralogy and Petrology of meteorites from Mars and analogous rocks from the Earth, Moon and asteroids; geochemistry and organic chemistry of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites.

Research interest

Comparative Planetology is the comparison of samples from the Earth with those from Mars, the Moon and asteroids, and is the guiding principle of Dr. Herd's research. This principle can lead to significant insights into the processes of planetary formation and differentiation, and can tell us more about the geologic histories of the terrestrial planets than if we had samples exclusively from only one of them. Dr. Herd is a specialist in the petrogenesis of martian meteorites, with a particular focus on their redox conditions of formation, the involvement of water in their petrogeneses, and the nature of the mantle sources from which they are ultimately derived. His approach is to investigate these aspects through the microbeam analysis of martian meteorite samples, complemented by low- and high-pressure experimental petrology studies of synthetic martian magma compositions and investigations of similar and analogous rocks from other planetary bodies including the Earth.

Dr. Herd is the curator of the University of Alberta Meteorite Collection, the largest University-based meteorite collection in Canada. The collection provides significant opportunities for research on a wide variety of samples from other planetary bodies in the Solar System, including pristine, frozen samples of the Tagish Lake (B.C.) meteorite, and the iron meteorites found associated with the Whitecourt impact crater.

For information on meteorite identification, please click here (pdf).


Research opportunity

I am currently looking for graduate students for the following projects:

  • Identification of mantle and crustal components in martian meteorites through microbeam analyses
  • U-Pb geochronology of baddeleyite in martian meteorites
  • The effect of redox conditions and bulk composition on the "spinel gap" in martian magmas
  • The partitioning of Co during planetary basalt crystallization
  • Mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry and organic chemistry of the Tagish Lake meteorite
  • Experimental petrology of chondrules using unique apparatus
  • Field and laboratory studies of the Whitecourt meteorite impact crater

University of New Mexico