Julia Cartwright

Julia A. Cartwright

Assistant Professor


  • PhD, Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry, The University of Manchester, 2010
  • MEarthSc, Earth Sciences, The University of Oxford, 2006
  • Postdoc, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Cosmochemistry Group, Biogeochemistry Department, 03/2010–09/2012
  • Postdoc, California Institute of Technology, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 09/2012–11/2014
  • Postdoc, Arizona State University, Center for Meteorite Studies, School of Earth and Space Exploration, 11/2014 – 12/2016

Research Areas

  • High-Temperature Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Planetary Science


Research Interests

I am interested in the study of meteorites to better understand the formation and evolution of our Solar System. My research approach is to use multiple techniques to characterise extra-terrestrial materials either in terms of composition or in terms of chronology. One of my main specialties is the analysis of meteorites using noble gases (He-Xe) and halogens (Cl, Br, I), and chronology studies (e.g. Ar-Ar, CRE). More recently, I have been working on overall compositional studies of meteorites at micro- and nanometer- scales

Current research areas include

  1. The chronometry planetary regoliths, with an aim to contribute to solving important scientific questions such as: When did planetary differentiation occur in the asteroid belt? When were the major impact events in the inner Solar System, and did all bodies experience the same history? Can we characterise and identify regolithic meteoritic materials?  Can secondary processes like weathering be quantitatively constrained?
  2. Understanding the structures and compositions of undifferentiated meteorites (chondrites) at micro- and nanometer-scales, to help determine when the first solids in the Solar System formed, and to determine what processes led to their formation.

For more information about my research, please visit my group website:

Keywords: Planetary Science, Cosmochemistry, Noble Gases, Halogens, Meteorites, Mars, Chondrites, The Asteroid Belt, Chronology.

Current Research Projects

I am looking for motivated graduate and undergraduate students with an interest in planetary science and cosmochemistry to pursue topics in noble gases and chronology, as well as compositional studies of meteorites.

Do contact me if you’re interested in pursuing an undergraduate research project, a master’s degree or PhD in my group!

Special Announcement for 2019

Funded Graduate Student Research Assistant (RA) Position in Meteorite Studies

The CCL Group at the University of Alabama Department of Geological Sciences announces the availability of a fully-funded MS or PhD position in the area of chronology studies of achondrite meteorites. The project involves the analysis of selected clasts within meteorites using multiple chronometers to improve the understanding of the impact flux in the inner Solar System.

Qualified applicants should have research experience (preferably in geochemistry) including handling of geological samples, data-handling experience, and a degree in geology, geochemistry, astrophysics or physics.

Interested candidates should email the following items to Dr. Julia Cartwright at

  • An up-to-date resume or CV;
  • A 500-word (max) research interest statement;
  • A 200-word (max) career interest statement;
  • Official/Unofficial degree transcripts.

Courses Taught

  • GEO 525 – Cosmochemistry Seminar
  • GEO 465 – Introduction to Planetary Science
  • GEO 424/525 – Planetary Geochemistry
  • GEO 101 – The Dynamic Earth

Selected Publications


  • Rampe, E.B., Cartwright, J.A., McCubbin, F.M., Osterloo, M.M. The Role of Halogens During Fluid and Magmatic Processes on Mars. (2018). The Role of Halogens in Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Geochemical Processes (Book). Springer.
  • Cartwright J.A. Noble Gas Chemistry of Planetary Materials. (2015). Planetary Mineralogy (Book); EMU Notes in Mineraology, 15:165-212.
  • Cartwright J.A., Ott U. and Mittlefehldt D.W. (2014) The quest for regolithic howardites. Part 2: Surface origins highlighted by noble gases. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 140:488-508.
  • Cartwright J.A., Ott, U., Hermann, Agee, C.B. (2014) Modern atmospheric signatures in 4.4 Ga Martian meteorite NWA 7034. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 400:77-87.
  • Mittlefehldt D.W., Herrin J.S., Quinn J.E., Mertzman S.A., Cartwright J.A., Mertzman K.R., and Peng, Z.X. (2013) Composition and petrology of HED polymict breccias: The regolith of (4) Vesta. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 48:2105-2134.
  • Farley, K.A., Hurowitz, J.A., Asimow, P.D., Jacobson, N.S., and Cartwright, J.A. (2013). A double-spike method for K–Ar measurement: A technique for high precision in situ dating on Mars and other planetary surfaces: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 110:1-12.
  • Cartwright, J.A., Ott, U., Mittlefehldt, D.W., Herrin, J.S., Hermann, S., Mertzman, S.A., Mertzman, K.R., Peng, Z.X., and Quinn, J.E. (2013) The quest for regolithic howardites. Part 1: Two trends uncovered using noble gases: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 105:395-421.
  • Cartwright, J.A., Gilmour, J.D., and Burgess, R. (2013) Martian fluid and Martian weathering signatures identified in Nakhla, NWA 998 and MIL 03346 by halogen and noble gas analysis: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 105:255-293.
  • Llorca, J., Roszjar, J., Cartwright, J.A., Bischoff, A., Ott, U., Pack, A., Merchel, S., Rugel, G., Fimiani, L., Ludwig, P., Casado, J.V., and Allepuz, D. (2013) The Ksar Ghilane 002 shergottite—The 100th registered Martian meteorite fragment: Meteoritics & Planetary Science 48:493-513.
  • Cartwright J.A., Ocker K. D., Crowther S.A., Burgess R., and Gilmour J.D. (2010) Terrestrial and Martian weathering signatures of xenon components in shergottite mineral separates. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 45:1359-1379.

Selected Recent Conference Abstracts

  • Cartwright, J. A.*, Perez-Huerta, A., Leitner, J., Vollmer C. (2018). Micro- and Nano-Scale Petrological and Compositional Analysis of Chondrule and CAI Rims. Goldschmidt 2018, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Cartwright, J. A.*, Perez-Huerta, A., Leitner, J., Vollmer C. (2017). Exploring Chondrule and CAI Rims Using Micro- and Nano-Scale Petrological and Compositional Analysis. AGU Fall Meeting, New Orleans.
  • Hodges, K.V., van Soest, M.C., Mercer, C.M., Cartwright, J.A., Horne, A.G., Brunner, A.E., McDonald, C.S. and Schoene, B. (2016) The Persistent Challenge of Accurately and Precisely Dating Impact Events. 128th Geological Society of America Meeting: (#144-6).
  • Cartwright, J.A.*, Amelin Y., Koefoed P. and Wadhwa M. (2016) U-Pb age of the Ungrouped Achondrite NWA 8486. 79th Meteoricial Society Meeting (#6231). *Oral presentation.
  • Cartwright, J.A.*, Hodges K.V., Wadhwa M. and Mittlefehldt D.W. (2016) Dating Howardite Melt Clasts: Evidence for an Extended Vestan Bombardment? 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference: (#2865). *Poster presentation.