Stable Isotopes, Tissue Assimilation, Enrichment Values
Collaborators: David L. Fox (University of Minnesota) and Kena Fox-Dobbs (University of Puget Sound)
The isotopic signatures of a consumer’s tissues are derived from isotopic signatures of the consumer’s diet. However, not all tissues record diet over the sample time span nor the same aspect of an individual’s diet. For example, dietary proteins are directly routed towards synthesizing a consumer’s proteins such as hair and collagen. Alternatively, carbonate within bioapatite (teeth and bones) records diet over the growth of a tooth and provides a more integrated indication of an individual’s overall bulk diet. My research has begun to address these differences by analyzing tissues from the same individual in order to calculate stable isotope enrichment factors between tissues. Determining the relationship between tissues will provide a complete analysis of diet, but also provide a transfer function between tissues in order to compare studies using differing tissues. Furthermore, these paired analyses will provide insight into metabolic processes and nutritional needs for organisms.