Patrick H. Donohue

Pat at Meteor Crater

University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa
Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology
1680 East-West Road, POST 602
Honolulu, HI 96822 USA

Semarkona BSE



I am a geochemist with extensive experience in planetary science and in-situ sample analysis. These methods give ground truth for investigations of planetary and solar system evolution.

At UH, one of my projects has been an investigation of the behavior of transition metals (e.g., Fe, Co, Ni) in pallasite analogues to constrain thermal evolution models of their environment of formation.

I am currently investigating the isotope systematics of the short-lived radionuclides Iron-60 (half-life of ~2.6 million years) and Manganese-53 (half-life of 3.7 Myr). These isotopes were created during solar system formation, but are now extinct due to their short half lives. "Fossil" evidence for their presence (from daughter isotopes) in meteorites provides information about the early evolution of the solar system.

As part of the Manganese-53 work, I am developing synthetic carbonate standards for ion probe measurements of the Mn-Cr system. Ensuring standards are of the same matrix as meteoritic minerals (e.g., using calcite standards when measuring isotopes in calcite) allows us to account/correct for variations in the way minerals are ablated by ions during analysis.


Cosmochemistry Postdoctoral Researcher, May 2015–present
Advisor: Dr. Gary R. Huss, Honolulu, HI

Nuclear Forensics Postdoctoral Appointee, January–December 2014
Advisor: Dr. Antonio Simonetti, Notre Dame, IN

Field Training and Research Program at Meteor Crater, October 2010
Week long field class and research project at Barringer Meteorite Crater, Arizona, covering impact cratering processes and terrains. Click here to read about the experience.
Led by Dr. David A. Kring and Dr. Axel Wittmann from the Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX

LPI Lunar Exploration Internship, June–August 2010
The Moon is an Accessible Laboratory for Studying the Impact Process on Planetary Scales: Assessing Concept 6 of the NRC Report on the Scientific Context for the Exploration of the Moon
The full report is freely available from the Lunar and Planetary Institute
Team Members: Z. Gallegos, N. Hammond, and R. W. K. Potter
Advisor: Dr. David A. Kring, University Space Research Association – Lunar and Planetary Institute

Laboratory Teaching Assistant, 2006–2010
SUNY Geneseo (2006-2008) and University of Notre Dame (2008-2010)
Introductory Geology Lab for Undergraduates

Paleontology Research Internship, May–August 2007
Eifelian-Givetian Stage Boundary (Middle Devonian) in the Appalachian and Michigan Basins
Advisor: Dr. Jeff Over, Department of Geological Sciences, SUNY Geneseo, NY

Environmental Science Intern, May-August, 2006
Groundwater sampling and gas monitoring of landfills. Data preparation for reporting to environmental agencies.
Barton & Loguidice, D.P.C., Syracuse, NY


Ph.D., Geology, University of Notre Dame, 2014
Advisor: Dr. Clive R. Neal, Notre Dame, IN

B.A., Geology, State University of New York at Geneseo, 2008; Geneseo, NY.


   - Dwornik Award judge, 2016-2019, Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC).
   - Microblogger, 2014, 2016-2019, LPSC.
   - McKay Award Judge, 2017, Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting.
   - Session convener - 2014 Geological Society of America annual meeting.

   - 2019: Proposal Review panelist.
   - 2018: External Reviewer for two programs; Executive Secretary for one panel.

Reviewer for Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Chemical Geology, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets; see my peer review record on Publons

   - Presenter at lunar disk and thin section display, SOEST science open house, 2015 & 2017.
      Created SOESTopen twitter account to further share exhibits from the open house.
   - Published 45+ science blog posts (personal site) on a variety of topics since 2012.
   - Hosted the rocur twitter account GeoSciTweeps Jan 9-15, 2017.



P. H. Donohue, E. Hill, and G. R. Huss (2018) Experimentally determined subsolidus metal-olivine element partitioning with applications to pallasites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 222, 305-318.

M. Schurr, P. H. Donohue, A. Simonetti, and E. L. Dawson (2018) Multi-element and lead isotope characterization of early nineteenth century pottery sherds from native American and Euro-American sites. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 20, 390-399.

P. H. Donohue and C. R. Neal (2018) Textural and mineral chemical evidence for the cumulate origin and evolution of high-titanium basalt fragment 71597. American Mineralogist. doi:10.2138/am-2018-6173.
     If you are not an MSA member and do not have GeoScienceWorld access, you can view the full preprint online here.

P. H. Donohue and A. Simonetti (2016) Vesicle size distribution as a novel nuclear forensics tool. PLOS ONE 11(9): e0163516. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163516 Open Access

P. H. Donohue, A. Simonetti, E. C. Koeman, S. Mana, and P. C. Burns (2015) Nuclear forensic applications involving high spatial resolution analysis of Trinitite cross-sections. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 306(2), 457-467. Download PDFPDF

P. H. Donohue and C. R. Neal (2015) Quantitative textural analysis of ilmenite in Apollo 17 high-titanium mare basalts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 149, 115-130. Download PDFPDF

C. R. Neal, P. H. Donohue, A. L. Fagan, K. M. O'Sullivan, J. Oshrin, and S. Roberts (2015) Distinguishing between basalts produced by endogenic volcanism and impact processes: A non-destructive method using quantitative petrography of lunar basaltic samples. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 148, 62-80. Download PDFPDF

A. L. Fagan, C. R. Neal, A. Simonetti, P. H. Donohue, and K. M. O'Sullivan (2013) Distinguishing between Apollo 14 impact melt and pristine mare basalt samples by geochemical and textural analyses of olivine. Geochimica et Cosmochimica acta 106, 429-445. Download PDFPDF

P. H. Donohue, A. Simonetti and C. R. Neal (2012) Chemical characterisation of natural ilmenite: a possible new reference material. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research 36, 61-73. Download PDFPDF


P. Donohue (2016) Lunar magma ocean, pre-Apollo, Apollo, and Post-Apollo Views. In Encyclopedia of Lunar Science, B. Cudnik (ed.), Springer, 6 pp.

P. H. Donohue, Z. Gallegos, N. Hammond, and R. Potter (2012) Science concept 6: The Moon is an accessible laboratory for studying the impact processes on planetary scales. In A Global Lunar Landing Site Study to Provide the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon, D. A. Kring and D. D. Durda (eds.), LPI Contribution No. 1694, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX, pp. 333-412.










‹Updated May 2019›