Every year several thousand tons of cosmic dust fall to Earth, forming metallic ion layers in the Earth's atmosphere, adding geochemically "exotic" elements to the Earth's surface (e.g. iridium) and potentially affecting the Earth's climate and biosphere. The study of micrometeorites is therefore concerned with the early Solar System and the interaction between Earth and interplanetary space.
Whilst at Pisa I have been employed as a post-doc researcher with the research title: "The cosmochemical study of Antarctic micrometeorites". I am interested in the interaction between water-ice and silicate rock, a process termed aqueous alteration and considered the defining geological activity on comets and water-rich asteroids. During this lecture I will provide an overview of my work whilst at Pisa, explain the importance of the world-class TAM micrometeorite collection and outline areas of active research in Planetary Science currently investigated in our department."