Tasha L. Dunn

Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Geology

Office: S G Mudd 211 [ campus map ]
Phone: 207-859-5808
Fax: 207-859-5868
Office Hours:
M: 10am-12pm, Tu: 1-3pm
Dunn, Tasha L.


PhD. - University of Tennessee, 2008
M.S.in Geology - University of Tennessee, 2005
B.S. in Geology - Tulane University, 2000

Areas of Expertise

  • meteorites
  • asteroids
  • solar system
  • minerals
  • rocks

Courses Currently Teaching

CourseCourse Title
GE141 AEarth and Environment
GE225 AMineralogy
GE494 ATopics in Extraterrestrial Geology

Other Courses Taught

CourseCourse Title
GE332Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
GE141Earth and Environment

Professional Information

Though most Geologists study the Earth, my interests lie elsewhere. Growing up I was fascinated by the outer space. As an undergraduate student at Tulane University I discovered Geology – the best discipline of all sciences! After working for a few years in environmental consulting , I returned to graduate school at the University of Tennessee. There I combined my interests in the solar system and geology to study planetary geology. My research focuses on the mineralogy and chemistry of primitive meteorites and asteroids. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, I worked as an Assistant Professor at Illinois State University for almost six years. I’ve been at Colby College since January of 2014. My biggest claim to fame is that I have an asteroid named after me. You can search for asteroid (8999) tashadunn on the Minor Planet Center website.

Current Research

My research focuses on understanding the petrogenesis of primitive meteorites and their asteroidal parent bodies. I combine traditional analytical techniques, such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and eleectron microprobe chemical analyses, with remote sensing investigation of asteroids to address questions regarding the composition and petrogenesis of solar system material. My current research has two main directions, the first of which is to understand the geochemical and mineralogical changes that occur during thermal metamorphism of primitive asteroids, and the second is to characterize the compositional distribution of material in the asteroid belt. I believe that both of these aspects are equally important, and I try to divide my time evenly between the two.


Dunn T.L., Gross J., Ivanova M.A., Runyon S.E, and Bruck A.M. (2016) Magnetite in the unequilibrated CK Chondrites: Implications for metamorphism and new insights into the relationship between the CV and CK chondrites, doi:10.1111/maps.12691
Lindsay S.S, T.L Dunn, J.P Emery, N.E. Bowles. (2016) The Red Edge Problem in asteroid band parameter analysis. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 51, 806-817.
Bhatt, M., Reddy V., Le Corre, L., Sanchez, J.A., Dunn T.L., Li, J-Y., Becker, K. Weller, L. (2015) Spectral calibration for deriving surface mineralogy of asteroid (25143) Itokawa from Hayabusa NIRS spectrometer data, Icarus, 262, 124- 130.
Le Corre L., Reddy, V., Sanchez J.A., Dunn, T.L., Cloutis, E.A., Izawa, M., Mann, P., and Nathues. A. (2015) Exploring exogenic sources for the olivine on asteroid (4) Vesta. Icarus, 258, 483-499.
Dunn T.L., T.H. Burbine, W.F. Bottke, and J.P. Clark (2013) Mineralogies and source regions of Near-Earth asteroids, Icarus, 222, 273-282.
Dunn T.L., G. Cressey, H.Y. McSween Jr., T.J. McCoy, and P.A. Bland (2010), Analysis of ordinary chondrites using position sensitive X-Ray diffraction: 1. Modal mineral abundances, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 45, 123-134.
Dunn T.L., H.Y. McSween Jr., T.J. McCoy, and G. Cressey (2010), Analysis of ordinary chondrites using position sensitive X-Ray diffraction: 2. Applications to parent body processes, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 45, 135-156.
Dunn T.L., T.J. McCoy, J.M. Sunshine, H.Y McSween Jr. (2010) A Coordinated Spectral, Mineralogical, and Compositional Study of Ordinary Chondrites, Icarus, 208, 789-797.
Dunn T. L., H. Y. McSween Jr., and P. R. Christensen (2007), Thermal emission spectra of terrestrial alkaline volcanic rocks: Applications to Martian remote sensing, Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, E05001, doi:10.1029/2006JE002766.

Reddy V., Dunn T.L, Thomas C., Moskovitz N., and Burbine T. (2015) Mineralogy and Surface Composition of Asteroids. In Asteroids IV (Binzel R., Patrick M. DeMeo F., eds) The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona, pp. 43-63.
Binzel R., Reddy V., and Dunn T.L. (2015) The Near-Earth Asteroid Population: From Main Belt to Meteorites. In Asteroids IV (Binzel R., Patrick M. DeMeo F., eds) The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona, pp. 243-256.
Dunn. T.L. (2012) Meteorites and the Asteroidal Parent Bodies. In Meteorites and Asteroids: Characteristics, Geology and Exploration, edited by A. Dementieva & D. Ostrogorsky. NOVA Science Publishing, New York, pp. 1-38.
Dunn T.L. (2011) Olivine in Primitive Meteorites: A Record of Asteroidal Thermal Metamorphism. In Horizons in Earth Science Research, Vol 5, edited by B. Veress and J. Szigethy. NOVA Science Publishing, New York, pp. 457-490.

My Webpage


The directory information is for individual use only, it may not be retransmitted or published for any reason. It is not to be used for mass solicitations by email, mail, phone, or other means. Sale or other distribution of this document is prohibited by College policy.