Dr. Ebel is a geologist specializing in meteorites: pieces of planets and "left-overs" from the formation of the solar system. The distant, resource-rich asteroid belt is his field area. He develops thermodynamic models describing the outcomes of condensation, evaporation, and crystallization processes. Dr. Ebel is a leader in combining electron beam image analysis of surface chemistry (2D) with x-ray CAT-scan 3-dimensional imaging to obtain comprehensive information about extraterrestrial samples that yield clues to the origin of the solar system. His group analyzes data from the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, comet samples from the Stardust mission, and the geochemistry of samples from the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary.