Joseph S. Boesenberg

Joseph S. Boesenberg

AMNH Research Associate, Meteorites
(former Senior Scientific Asst III, Meteorites)

Research Scientist/Electron Microprobe Manager
Geological Sciences, Brown University

B.A., 1992, M.S.1995, Rutgers University
Ph.D., 2007, Rutgers University

Contact Information:
Geological Sciences
Brown University
324 Brook Street
Box 1846
Providence, Rhode Island 02912


Joe joined the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History, shortly before finishing his masters degree in 1994. For his masters, he worked with Dr. Jeremy Delaney and conducted one atmosphere partial melting experiments on different types of chondritic precursors in order to investigate the origins of eucrites and their differentiated parent body (presumably the asteroid, 4Vesta).

In 2000, after having been away from Rutgers for 5 years, Joe was invited back to 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 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.

In April 2012, Joe joined the Geological Sciences dept at Brown University as a Research Scientist and manager of the department's electron microprobe facility. However, he still maintains his ties with the Museum as a Resarch Associate.

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:


Joe Boesenberg in Antarctica with the ANSMET (The Search for Antarctic Meteorites) collection team on New Years, 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:

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 (revision submitted March 26, 2012).

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

Professional Societies:

Earth and Planetary Sciences Home
Earth and Planetary Sciences Staff
AMNH Research