Pahoehoe in the East Rift Zone of Kilauea, Big Island, Hawaii


We make high-precision measurements of isotopes in rocks to better understand the formation and evolution of planetary bodies.

Check out our new PHOTOS page with images from recent field work, the lab build, and other fun efforts from our group!

  • Parai and colleagues extracting gas from the Apollo 73001 lunar sample
  • WUSTL Noble Gas Laboratory
  • Our group performing preliminary analyses of gas extracted from a sealed Apollo 17 lunar sample
  • A compact configuration of valves with pneumatic actuators allows for low system blanks and automated control of the gas preparation line
Rita Parai

Dr. Rita Parai

I am a high-temperature isotope geochemist who primarily uses noble gases to address questions about how planetary bodies form and evolve over time. Explore these pages to learn more about my research group, our laboratory facilities and the research we pursue.

Parai Lab Research

Our Research

We pursue topics related to the early Earth, the nature of mantle heterogeneities, chemical constraints on geodynamics, volatile origins and transport on Earth and other planetary bodies, and planetary atmospheres.

Latest News

Three posters from our group at AGU FM21!

Check out our group’s posters at the 2021 AGU Fall Meeting! All posters are in the DI25C session. Authors will be available during an online summary session from 2:00-3:00pm CT on Tuesday using this link. They will also be available for further discussion via zoom — links can be found by navigating to the pages linked below […]

New paper on Moon’s origins and ancient terrestrial heterogeneity

A new collaborative paper is out in Space Science Reviews! This was the result of the ISSI Europlanet Workshop “Reading Terrestrial Planet Evolution in Isotopes and Element Measurements” held in October 2018 in Bern, Switzerland. The paper discusses geodynamical models of lunar origin in light of geochemical constraints from lunar and terrestrial rocks. For more about lunar […]
Graduate study at WashU

Individuals interested in graduate or postdoctoral research should contact Professor Parai.