Robert (Chris) Tacker

Research Curator, Geology

11 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601


  • Ph.D. in Geology, William Marsh Rice University, 1992
  • M.S. in Geology, U. of Maryland, College Park, 1986
  • B.S. in Geology, U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1983

Research Interests

General interests are mineralogy, geochemistry, experimental petrology and silicic volcanism. Current research emphasis lies in details of apatite geochemistry and structure, understanding FTIR spectroscopy of carbonate and OH groups in apatite, kinetics of pyrite disease in vertebrate fossils, gold in pyrite from defunct Carolina Terrane mines and petrogenesis of the Davie County Orbicular Diorite. Collaborative work within the Museum with Trish Weaver, collection manager of geology and paleontology, on Ediacaran fauna of the Neoproterozoic Carolina Terrane. Long term research focuses on analytical problems presented by the apatite group minerals, activity-composition relationships of solid solution and computer-assisted thermodynamic modeling of ternary calcium phosphate-molten calcium salt systems.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Tacker, R.C. (2010) "Real" hiddenite and real names. Rocks & Minerals, 85(3), 264-268.
  • Tacker, R.C., Martin, A.J., Weaver, P.G. and Lawver, D.R. (2010) Trace vs. body fossil: Oldhamia recta revisited. Precambrian Research, 178(1-4), p. 43-50.
  • Tacker, R.C. (2008) Carbonate in igneous and metamorphic fluorapatite: Two type A and two type B substitutions. American Mineralogist, 93, p. 168-176.
  • Tacker, R.C. (2004) Hydroxyl ordering in igneous apatite. American Mineralogist, 89. pp. 1411-1421.
  • Weaver, P.G., Doguzhaeva, L.A., Lawver, D.R., Tacker, R.C., Ciampaglio, C.N., Crate, J.M. and Zheng, W. (2011) Characterization of organics consistent with ß-chitin preserved in the Late Eocene cuttlefish Mississaepia mississippiensis. PLoS ONE 6(11):e28195.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028195.


Fields of Research