Stochasticity during formation and the variety in exoplanet compositions suggest that the majority of rocky exoplanets are covered in global water layers – ocean worlds. In this project we demonstrate that variations in short-lived radionuclides across planetary systems – such as 26Al in the early Solar system – can prohibit this fate. By dehydrating water-rich planetesimals via outgassing, short-lived radionuclides desiccate forming terrestrial worlds and can generate planetary systems with balanced volatile abundances. [Lichtenberg, Golabek, Burn, Meyer, Alibert, Gerya, Mordasini / Nat. Astron. Lett., 2019]
As a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics at the University of Oxford I study the growth and evolution of rocky planets in order to embed the birth and life cycle of worlds un/like the Earth in an integrated picture. I mostly employ theoretical and numerical techniques to quantify and predict major physical and chemical controls of planetary accretion and evolution. With my research I aim to deepen our understanding of the planetary context of the origins of life, in the solar system and elsewhere. Please find an introduction to some of my latest projects below.