Dr. Kathryn A. Hoppe
Acting Assistant Professor
Classes: ESS 313-Geobiology (co-taught w. R. Buick)
ESS-490: Isotope Paleoecology
Research: I use isotopic analyses (C, O, Sr & N) of bones and teeth to reconstruct the paleobiology of ancient animals and paleoenvironmental conditions.
Dept. of Earth & Space Sci.
Univ. of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-1310
I spent most of my early years in Los Angeles, California, and then moved to Missouri to attended Washington University in St. Louis. After graduating with a B.A. in Earth and Planetary Sciences, I migrated to Seattle to I study Cretaceous bivalves (Inoceramidae) at the University of Washington (M.S. - 1992). From 1992 to 1994 I taught at Bellevue and North Seattle Community Colleges. Then I went back to graduate school at Princeton University, where I worked with Dr. Paul Koch and studied the paleobiology of mammoths and mastodons. When Paul moved to Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, I went along to work as a postgraduate researcher and finish my dissertation: "Biogeochemistry and Paleoecology of Late Pleistocene Proboscideans from the Southern United States." In 1999 I moved on to the Univ. of California, Berkeley as a postdoc and studied isotopic variations in modern horses. In 2002 I moved across the bay to Stanford University, where I had funding from an NSF ADVANCE Fellowship to work on isotopic patterns in modern bison. I have been at the University of Washington since September of 2004.
*Curriculum Vita with links to reprint PDFs (last updated June 2004)*
Recent Publications (PDF files available upon request):
Hoppe, K.A., Stuska, S., & Amundson, R., 2005. Isotopic patterns in the bones and teeth of modern feral equids from North
Carolina, USA: implications for paleoclimatic reconstructions. Quaternary Research. v.64, no. 2:138-146.
Hoppe, K.A. & Koch, P.L., 2006. The Biogeochemistry of the Aucilla River Fauna. In: The First Floridians and the
Last Mastodons: The Page-Ladson Site on the Aucilla River. Topic in Geobiology. (S.D. Webb, Ed.) Springer-Verlag,
London, p. 379-401.
Hoppe, K.A., 2006. Correlation between the oxygen isotope ratio of North American bison teeth and local waters: implication
for paleoclimatic reconstructions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 244: 408-417.
Hoppe, K.A., Paytan, A., Chamberlain, P. Reconstructing grassland vegetation and paleotemperatures using carbon
isotope ratios of bison tooth enamel. Geology, v. 34, no. 8: 649-652.
Manuscripts in Review and in Prep.:
Hoppe, K.A. and Koch, P.L., Strontium isotopic evidence for changes in the movement patterns of Late Pleistocene mammals
from northern Florida, USA. (in review. for Quaternary Research).
Hoppe, K.A., Paytan, A., Chamberlain, P., The potential for using carbon isotopic analyses of bison bone collagen as a proxy for
reconstructing grassland vegetation (C3/C4 ratios) (in prep. for Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology).
Hoppe, K.A. and MacLeod, K.G., Using the oxygen isotope ratios of bone phosphate as a paleoclimatic proxy (in prep for Journal of Archaeological Science).
Abstracts for Poster to be Presented:
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting October 2006: Hoppe, K.A., 2006. Nitrogen isotopes of bison bone collagen: teasing apart the influence of biology versus environmental change. J. of Vert. Paleo, v. 26.
Geological Society of America Annual Meeting October 2006: Hoppe, Kathryn A., Paytan, A., Chamberlain, C. P., and Nelson, B.K., 2006. Reconstructing the migration patterns of prehistoric bison using analyses of tooth enamel carbon, oxygen, and strontium isotope ratios: implications for paleoenvironmental reconstructions.
As interest grows in deciphering the factors that influence the Earth's climate, researchers have developed several proxies useful for reconstructing ancient environmental conditions. One of the most promising tools for reconstructing short-term (seasonal to annual) environmental fluctuations is isotopic analysis of vertebrate fossils. Analyses of fossil and subfossil bison (Bison bison) hold particular promise for such research since they had a wide geographic range (from Alaska to Mexico) and their remains are abundant in Holocene and Pleistocene deposits. However, the precision of paleoenvironmental reconstructions based on analyses of fossil bison is currently limited because: (1) the rate of enamel biomineralization within bison teeth has not been studied in detail, and (2) the precise relationship between the d18O and d13C values of modern bison and local environmental conditions has not been precisely quantified.
The purpose of this project is to quantify how precisely isotopic analyses of bison can be used to reconstruct paleoenvironmental conditions. The first part of this study will document the patterns of biomineralization and isotope variations preserved within bison tooth enamel in order to develop an optimal sampling strategy. The second part of this study will quantify how well the d18O and d13C values of modern Great Plains bison correlate with environmental changes including: average temperature, seasonal temperature range, precipitation, relative humidity, and grassland composition (i.e., C3/C4 ratio). This study will thus quantify how precisely analyses of the d18O and d13C values of bison can be used to reconstruct annual and seasonal variations in local environments. It will produce a map of the isotope gradients in modern bison, which will serve as a baseline for interpreting the isotope signals preserved in fossil bison as well as other herbivores. This study will thus greatly increase the precision and accuracy of paleoclimatic and paleovegetation reconstruction based on isotope analyses of fossil herbivores.
As of the Summer of 2006, I have collected and conducted measurements on bison bones and tooth enamel from 12 localities across the United States (including Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota; Wind Cave National Park, Badlands National Park, and Samuel H. Ordway, Jr. Memorial Preserve in South Dakota; the National Bison Range in Montana, Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska; Konza Prairie Preserve in Kansas, Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma; the Henry Mountain in Utah, and Catalina Island, California). I have also conducted a preliminary study of the carbon, oxygen, and strontium isotope ratios of bison from Late Prehistoric archaeological bison jumps in order to reconstruct the migration patterns of prehistoric bison. Results have been presented at meetings of the American Geophysical Union (2005), Society of American Archaeologists (2005) Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Meeting (2003, 2004), and the Geological Society of America Meeting (2003-2005). Additional results will be presented at SVP and GSA in October of 2006.
Field area at Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
more field area... with lone bison.