Broadly, I am interested in studying the behavior and distribution of elements in the Solar System, the chemical evolution of terrestrial planets, and instrumentation and analytical method development. I use isotope geochemistry, major and trace element systematics, petrologic modeling, and any other tools that can help provide insight into the formation and differentiation of planetary bodies. Check out my projects page for specific research topics.


I'm also very interested in creating a positive geoscience culture through mental health awareness, diversity and inclusivity, and science outreach. I have a blog called Rocks and Roxanne where I touch on all of these topics as well as life as a geologist, PhD student, and dog mom to my rescue, Roxy. Currently, I work in the MCLASS (Measurement of Composition via Laser Ablation Sampling and Spectrometry) lab, a joint University of Maryland and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center facility. Check out the MCLASS lab site for more about what we do! I also serve as a student representative for the Geological Society of America Planetary Geology Division, so ask me about student opportunities and/or resources!

Testing the Recycled Gabbro Hypothesis for the Origin of "Ghost Plagioclase" Melt Signatures Using 87Sr/86Sr of Individual Olivine‐Hosted Melt Inclusions from Hawai'i
22 February 2021
This paper is led by former my lab mate and good friend, Olivia Anderson. Very cool methods and figures!
Extreme isotopic heterogeneity in Samoan clinopyroxenes constrains sediment recycling
23 Februaru 2021
This paper is led by Jenna Adams, my first ever Earth Science TA, who became a role model and friend. 

Science news and recent articles that I find

interesting and important!

K/U of the MORB Source and Silicate Earth
17 November 2020
Led by my lab mate, academic older brother, and friend, Ben Farcy. Check it out!!


Willhite, L. N., Jackson, M. G., Blichert‐Toft, J., Bindeman, I., Kurz, M. D., Halldórsson, S. A., et al. ( 2019). Hot and heterogenous high‐3He/4He components: New constraints from proto‐Iceland plume lavas from Baffin Island. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 20. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GC008654

M.G. Jackson, J. Blichert-Toft, S.A. Halldórsson, A. Mundl-Petermeier, M. Bizimis, M.D. Kurz, A.A. Price , S. Harðardóttir, L.N. Willhite, K. Breddam, T.W. Becker, R.A. Fischer (2020). Ancient helium and tungsten isotopes preserved in mantle domains least modified by crustal recycling. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 117 (49), 30993-31001. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2009663117

Willhite, L. N., Ni, Z., Arevalo Jr., R. D., Southard, A., Bardyn, A., Danell, R., Grubisic, A., Gundersen, C., Minasola, N., Fahey, M., Yu, A., Briois, C., Thirkell, L., Colin, F., Hernandez, E., Ersahin, A., and Makarov, A. (2021). CORALS: A Laser Desorption/Ablation Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer for In Situ Exploration of Europa. 2021 IEEE Aerospace Conference. (in press)