EAG ambassador Ke Zhu attends The Meteoritical Society 86th annual meeting

UCLA campus

I recently had the great opportunity to be an EAG ambassador at the 86th annual meeting of The Meteoritical Society. This conference took place on the campus of the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), from August 13 to August 18, 2023. Currently, I am Marie Curie postdoc fellow at University of Bristol and I gave two first-author presentations during the meeting.

My first presentation “A sub-chondritic nickel stable isotope composition of Mars” involves my host Prof. Tim Elliott; and the other is an independent project on Ca isotopes: “Ureilites and Erg Chech 002 represent the heaviest and lightest Ca isotope reservoirs in the inner solar system”. Perhaps due to the cost of travel from Europe to California, there were not many colleagues from European Countries. Hence, it was important for me to attend this conference to potentially represent and speak for geochemistry in US. I really appreciate the EAG ambassador program that made my travel and attendance possible.

Ke Zhu oral presentation
The Sapphire CC-MC-ICP-MS at UCLA

In addition to lots of academic seminars, the conference also organized several social events where I met old friends, and made some new friends. I chatted with previous collaborators about some on-going projects. I also ran some isotope measurements on the brand-new Sapphire CC-MC-ICP-MS (collision cell – multicollector – inductively coupled – mass spectrometer) at UCLA and visited the meteorite collections at UCLA. I also obtained more meteorite samples from collaborators through this conference.

Expanding my academic-social circle greatly benefits me for my future independent research. For example, I also built new collaborations with scientists who undertake Fe isotope measurements. Some colleagues also gave me useful advice on hunting for faculty positions. All-in-all I must say this conference was fruitful and successful for me.

JPL visit

During the meeting we also had the chance to visit the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This was super exciting. We saw many space mission crafts, and learned how these crafts were built guided by two instructors who answered all of our questions. LA is a fantastic city with a comfortable climate. In my spare time, I also enjoyed the St Monica beach, the food at authentic Asian restaurants, and rides at Universal Studios.