Alumni dedicate special journal issue to late professor

The special issue celebrates Christine Floss’s extraordinary career and her lasting importance to her former students and collaborators.


A special issue of the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science (MAPS) honors the late Professor Christine Floss (1961-2018). The journal issue highlights Floss’s ongoing impact on the study of extraterrestrial materials as well as her lasting importance to the cosmochemistry and planetary science community.

Alumni Maitrayee Bose (PhD 2011) and Pierre Haenecour (PhD 2016) are spearheading the project. Both were students of Floss’s during her time as a research professor in the Department of Physics and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences at Washington University.

“Christine was a world leader in the laboratory analysis of extraterrestrial materials, especially investigations of presolar grains and organics in meteorites,” Bose said. “Her expertise on subjects in the field of cosmochemistry motivated us to work on this special issue of MAPS. We are navigating our lives without her but her loss is deeply felt.”

In their article introducing the special edition, Bose and Haenecour describe Floss’s impressive 30-year career as diverse in research interests – including lunar samples, meteorites, presolar grains, Antarctic micrometeorites, and interplanetary dust particles – and rich in collaboration across the McDonnell Center and its affiliated departments.

“Christine was a wonderful, supportive, and attentive mentor to both undergraduate and graduate students,” Haenecour said. “She helped students grow both academically and personally, and taught us how to be independent thinkers and researchers.”

As evidenced by the many former students and collaborators who contributed to the special issue, Floss’s legacy as an outstanding colleague, mentor, and friend lives on.