Katherine joins us from the University of Maryland after spending 2 years there as a Research Scientist and prior to that, 6 years as a postdoc in the Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory group. From 2008-2011, Katherine was a Marie Curie Early Stage Research Fellow during which she received her Ph.D. in Natural Sciences (Cosmochemistry) from the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster in Germany. Katherine received her Bachelor of Science (with Honors) from the Australian National University in Australia.
Dr. Bermingham’s primary research interests are investigating the building blocks of the Solar System and terrestrial planets and tracing their evolution over ~4.6 billion years. These interests and the inherent interdisciplinary nature of planetary science lend themselves to being part of an integrated research program such as that at DEPS which strives to advance the fundamental scientific understanding of our home planet. Through a combination of astrophysical modelling and high precision isotope measurements on terrestrial and meteorite samples, we try to piece together the identity of the chemical precursors of the Solar System. Using these chemical fingerprints, we map how these materials combined and moved through the protoplanetary disk to form the planets and asteroids. These research efforts utilize the cosmochemistry, geochemistry, mineralogy, and petrology of planetary samples. These data are obtained by microanalytical techniques such as Electron Microprobe (EPMA), single and multicollector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS), and thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS).