I use techniques of stable isotope geochemistry for applications in paleoenvironmental, paleoecological, and archaeological research.
I am particularly interested in understanding hydrogen and oxygen isotope ratios in fossil proteins, such as from bones from archaeological sites. Bone and other calcified tissues are influenced by an individual's diet and environment, and measurement of their stable isotope ratios can help understand life in the past.
I am studying the extent that hydrogen isotopes in bone collagen inform about trophic levels of humans. In addition, part of my current work focuses on hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in collagen and their potential as recorders of the past environment, including precipitation isotope ratios. An additional application of this work is understanding past migrations of humans and animals.
Persistent and important archaeological questions, such as the extent of meat eating and dairy consumption have not been answered adequately with current techniques. New method developments are key to answering these questions, as well as a more thorough understanding of current techniques. I have an interest in stable isotope ratios as markers of the weaning process. I am also working on integrating multiple isotope measurements to better constrain diets, and to understand dietary breadth in the past.
I have worked on chemical preparation techniques for radiocarbon dating of bones and tree rings, as well as on calcium isotope ratios for applications in low-temperature geochemistry and past diet.