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Research interests

My research characterizes molecular and isotopic compositions of sedimentary organic matter as a tool for reconstructing ancient environmental conditions.  My current projects utilize carbon and deuterium signatures of biomarkers - the molecular remains of algae and plants - to trace hydroclimate and ecosystem fragmentation in eastern Africa during major junctures in human evolution, ca. 6-to-1 million years ago.  In tropical lake systems, deuterium composition of biomarkers reflects local water cycle dynamics, which in turn are sensitive to seasonality, precipitation intensity and monsoon circulation.  Carbon isotope compositions are also linked to hydroclimate through the influences of water on plant community composition and structure.  Recently, I have become interested in the utility of ‘landscape biomarkers’ – such as n-alkylresorcinols – preserved in ancient soils towards mapping wetland environments and spatial distributions of water.  This quantitative approach to environmental reconstruction may provide powerful insights into the immediate selective pressures experienced by early humans.

Keywords

  • QE Geology
  • Geoscience
  • Geochemistry
  • Isotopes
  • GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
  • Human evolution
  • Hominin
  • Dietary preference

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Co Author Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2005 2019

(In)coherent multiproxy signals in marine sediments: Implications for high-resolution paleoclimate reconstruction

Ausín, B., Magill, C., Haghipour, N., Fernández, Á., Wacker, L., Hodell, D., Baumann, K. H. & Eglinton, T. I., 25 Mar 2019, In : Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 515, p. 38-46 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Organic carbon
paleoclimate
alkenone
marine sediment
Sediments

Isotopic variance among plant lipid homologues correlates with biodiversity patterns of their source communities

Magill, C. R., Eglinton, G. & Eglinton, T. I., 27 Feb 2019, In : PLoS ONE. 14, 2, e0212211.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Biodiversity
Biomarkers
Lipids
Waxes
Ecosystem

Proliferation of hydrocarbon-degrading microbes at the bottom of the Mariana Trench

Liu, J., Zheng, Y., Lin, H., Wang, X., Li, M., Liu, Y., Yu, M., Zhao, M., Pedentchouk, N., Lea-Smith, D. J., Todd, J. D., Magill, C. R., Zhang, W-J., Zhou, S., Song, D., Zhong, H., Xin, Y., Yu, M., Tian, J. & Zhang, X-H., 12 Apr 2019, In : Microbiome. 7, 47.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Alkanes
Hydrocarbons
Alcanivoraceae
Bacteria
Oceans and Seas

Radiocarbon Age Offsets Between Two Surface Dwelling Planktonic Foraminifera Species During Abrupt Climate Events in the SW Iberian Margin

Ausín, B., Haghipour, N., Wacker, L., Voelker, A. H. L., Hodell, D., Magill, C., Looser, N., Bernasconi, S. M. & Eglinton, T. I., Jan 2019, In : Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology. 34, 1, p. 63-78 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
planktonic foraminifera
climate
Holocene
shell
calibration

Carbon isotopes

Wagner, T., Magill, C. R. & Herrle, J. O., 2018, Encyclopedia of Geochemistry: A Comprehensive Reference Source on the Chemistry of the Earth. Springer, p. 194-204 11 p. (Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Press / Media

Research reveals insects were major food source millions of years ago

Clayton Magill & Julie Lesnik

16/04/18

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research

From the Field

Clayton Magill & Julie Lesnik

3/04/18

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research