Research focus:

What are the controls, feedbacks, and consequences of trophic interactions in marine ecosystems? I use geochemical and paleontological data to reconstruct food webs prior to observational records

spelunking in O'Dea lab archives

example of a cod (Gadus morhua) otolith

Current position:

I am a postdoc in Seth Finnegan's Lab at UC Berkeley, where we are working in collaboration with Aaron O'Dea at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) to better understand the trophic dynamics of the proto-Caribbean before, during, and after the closure of the Inter-American Seaway and associated productivity collapse. I am also working in collaboration with Danny Sigman and Bess Ward in the Department of Geosciences, Princeton U.

Expertise and interests:

Stable isotope geochemistry, biological oceanography, food webs, historical ecology, otolith chemistry, biomineralization

Research overview:

I use geochemical information from fish otoliths (ear stones) and soon, shark teeth, corals, and mollusks, as time capsules of oceans' past. Through measuring the isotope compositions of trace amounts of proteins protected within robust structures of the aforementioned biominerals, I am investigating the response of historical and prehistorical marine communities to biogeochemical and ecological processes. I am particularly interested in the relationships among food web structure, predator trophic levels, and nutrient regimes over long time scales.

Jess Lueders-Dumont CV