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Marilyn L. Fogel

Marilyn L. Fogel's research revolves around the stable isotopic biogeochemistry of modern and fossil ecosystems. She uses stable isotopes to trace biochemical and geochemical processes. She received a Ph.D in botany from the University of Texas at Austin, Marine Science Institute in 1977 and a BSc in biology from the Pennsylvania State University in 1973. 

For two years, she worked in the laboratory of Thomas C. Hoering as a postdoctoral fellow at the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, before she was hired as a permanent staff member there. Fogel has worked on marine, estuarine, and terrestrial ecosystems both in modern and ancient settings.

She has pioneered studies of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen isotopes in organic and inorganic materials. Her work on the paleoclimate of Australia demonstrated that humans had a major impact on the continental ecology that led to the extinction of most of Australia's megafauna. Her fieldwork has taken her to diverse places such as the Sargasso Sea (the major central ocean gyre in the North Atlantic) to the Outback of the Australian continent ( Since 1997, she has been involved with the Space Science community as a member of the National Research Council's Space Studies Board, a founding member of the Committee studying the Origin and Evolution of Life, and a Co-Investigator on Jet Propulsion Laboratory's and Carnegie Institution of Washington's NASA Astrobiology teams. Her work with AMASE (Artic Mars Analogue Svalbard Expedition) started in 2003, when she performed isotopic analysis of carbonates in collaboration with Hans Amundsen and Andrew Steele. Since that time, she has participated on four AMASE trips to the high Arctic and has provided expertise in biogeochemistry, ecology, and stable isotope systematics.

Recent Publications

Fogel, M. L., and L. A. Cifuentes, Isotope fractionation during primary production, in Organic Geochemistry, M. H. Engel and S. A. Macko, eds., pp. 73-98, Plenum, New York (1993).

Fogel, M. L., and N. Tuross, Transformation of plant biochemicals to geological macromolecules during early diagenesis. Oecologia 120: 336-346, (1999).

O'Brien, D. M., M. L. Fogel, and C. L. Boggs, Renewable and nonrenewable resources: amino acid turnover and allocation to reproduction in Lepidoptera. PNAS 99: 4413-4418 (2002).

Fogel, M. L. and N. Tuross, Extending the limits of paleodietary studies of humans with compound specific carbon isotope analysis of amino acids. J. Arch. Sci. 30: 535-545 (2003).

McCarthy, M. D., R. Benner, C. Lee, J. I. Hedges, and M. L. Fogel, Amino acid carbon isotopic fractionation patterns in oceanic dissolved organic matter: an unaltered photoautotrophic source for dissolved organic nitrogen in the ocean? Mar. Chem. 92, 123-134 (2004).

Miller, G. H., M. L. Fogel, J. W. Magee, M. K. Gagan, S. J. Clarke, and B. J. Johnson, Ecosystem collapse in Pleistocene Australia and a human role in megafaunal extinction, Science 309: 287-290, (2005).

Teece, M. A. and M. L. Fogel, Isotope biogeochemistry of carbohydrates in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Organic Geochemistry, in press (2006).

Ono, S., N. Beukes, D. Rumble, and M. Fogel, Early evolution of Earth’s atmospheric oxygen from multiple-sulfur and carbon isotope records of the 2.9 Ga Pongola Supergroup, southern Africa, S. Afr. J. Geol. 109: 97 - 108, (2006).

Alexander, C.M.O’D., M. Fogel, H. Yabuta, G. D. Cody, The origin and evolution of chondrites recorded in the elemental and isotopic compositions of their macromolecular organic matter, GCA 71: 4380-4403, (2007)