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Stable isotopes also serve as important constraints on (paleo)ecological and biological systems, including (i) terrestrial and marine food-webs, both today and in the geologic past, (ii) evolution of early humans, (iii) behaviour of key nutrients in human and animals, and (iv) forensic science. Analyzing δ44Ca in various brain regions of Gottingen minipigs, I showed that there may be detectable Ca isotope shifts in the blood of patients with Alzheimer’s disease associated with the formation of amyloid plaques (Mahan, Antonelli, et al., 2020, Metallomics). I have also been involved in a project measuring H, C, N, O, S isotopes in African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) hair samples (in collaboration with A. Del-Razo & T. Dawson, UC-Berkeley), that indicate a dramatic change in the hunting strategies of these animals over the last century as a likely result of anthropogenic habitat disruption [Del-Razo, Antonelli, et al., 2015,  Ecol. Soc. Meeting (we are still awaiting permits from the Kenyan government to publish the data)]. In the future, I would be highly enthusiastic about participating in more projects exploring problems in marine & terrestrial ecology, anthropology, and biology. Please contact me if you would like to collaborate on such a project!

Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine. Photo credit: E. Nordquist.

Relevant Publications:

Mahan, B., Antonelli, M.A., Burckel, P., Turner, S., Chung, R., Habekost, M., Jørgensen, A.L., Moynier, F. (2020) “Longitudinal biometal accumulation and Ca isotope composition of the Göttingen minipig brain” (2020) Metallomics 12, 1585-159.

Arias-Del Razo, I., Antonelli, M.A., Dawson, T.E., Dirzo, R., Owlett, T., Young, H., Woodroffe, R. “Tracking the Isotopic Changes of δ13C, δ15N, δ18O, and δ2H of African Wild Dogs (Lycaon Pictus) Over a 12 Year Period in Laikipia, Kenya” Ecological Society of America Meeting, Baltimore, 2015.

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