OUR RESEARCH

To curb accelerated losses of biological diversity and interruptions in the natural state of ecological communities, scientists must understand the factors that control the behavior and distribution of species over multiple spatial and temporal scales. The Newsome Lab uses biochemical proxies to study the flow of energy within and among ecological communities to address these topics. Read more about some of our current projects below:

Grants

2020 - UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center ($98,643, pending)
“Investigating the metabolic phenotype of glioblastoma”
Co-PI with Drs. Sara Piccirillo (PI) and Graham Timmins

2020 - FONDECyT Chile ($300,000, pending)
“Ecological factors that determine the incidence and magnitude of individual diet specialization in a marine apex predator along the Chilean coast”
International Collaborator with PI Dr. Maritza Sepulveda

2020 - National Science Foundation, DEB–Population and Community Ecology ($598,995)
“LTREB: experimental determination of trophic dynamics and energy flow in a semiarid habitat in Chile"
Co-PI with Dr. Douglas Kelt (PI), Tyler Kartzinel, and Justin Yeakel

2019 - National Science Foundation, DIOS–Physiological and Structural Systems ($870,362)
“Δ17O measurements: a new method to study water balance and metabolism in wild animals”"
Co-PI with Drs. John Whiteman (PI), Zachary Sharp, and Alex Gerson

2019 - FONDECyT Chile ($300,000)
“Paying the costs of hydration: physiological and environmental determinants of producing metabolic water in passerines along an aridity gradient in a coastal desert”
International Collaborator with PI Dr. Pablo Sabat

2019 - FONDECyT Chile ($304,000)
“Ecological opportunity and individual diet specialization in a broadly distributed songbird: the role of animal personalities and physiological flexibility”
International Collaborator with PI Dr. Karin Maldonado

2019 - Western National Parks Association ($9,995)
“Understanding a decade of dietary competition in two endemic island carnivores: implications for conservation, resilience, and persistence”
Co-PI with Juliann Schamel

2019 - NOAA Sea Turtle Annual Internal Funding Allocation ($115,500)
“Establishing novel methods for determining reproductive status and age-at-maturity in sea turtles”
Co-PI with Drs. Jeffrey Seminoff (PI), Calandra Turner Tomaszewicz, Tomo Eguchi, Camryn Allen, Todd Jones

2019 - NOAA–National Marine Fisheries Science Center ($852,199)
“Prioritizing management efforts of Florida loggerhead turtles: carry-over effects and importance of foraging areas”
Co-PI with Drs. Simona Ceriani and Jeffrey Seminoff

2018 - FONDECyT Chile ($341,000)
“Using stable isotope values of marine consumers to characterize change and the role of natural and anthropogenic disturbance in coastal food webs over 13,000 years”
International Collaborator with PI Dr. Chris Harrod

2018 - National Science Foundation, ABI ($1,367,313)
“IsoBank: A centralized repository for isotopic data”
Lead PI with Co-PIs Drs. Jon Pauli, Chris Jordan, and Gabe Bowen

2018 - National Science Foundation, DIOS–Physiological and Structural Systems ($900,735)
“The role of gut microbiota in supplying amino acids to their mammalian hosts”
Lead PI with Co-PIs Drs. Cristina Takacs-Vesbach and Marilyn Fogel

2017 - FONDECyT Chile ($300,000)
“Studying the biology of a relict mammal, Dromiciops gliroides, using landscape genomics and isotopic ecology”
International Collaborator with Co-PIs Drs. Roberto Nespolo and Pablo Sabat

2016 - National Science Foundation, DEB-Population and Community Ecology ($6,400,000)
“Sevileta LTER – Climate variability and dryland ecotones”
Co-PI with Drs. Jennifer Rudgers (PI), Marcy Litvak, Yiqi Luo, and Tom Miller

2016 - National Science Foundation, Biological Oceanography ($747,825)
“The energetic assembly of biological communities: a test with deep-sea wood falls”
Co-PI with Dr. Craig McClain

2016 - NSF, DEB-Population and Community Ecology ($720,000)
“Moving beyond causation: ecological consequences of the Pleistocene extinction of megafauna”
Co-PI with Drs. Felisa Smith (PI) and Kate Lyons (Smithsonian)

2016 - National Science Foundation, Archaeology ($300,000)
“Late Pleistocene and early Holocene climate change and human ecology in the tropical Maya lowlands”
Senior Personnel with Co-PIs Drs. Keith Prufer, Yemane Asmerom, Doug Kennett, and Brendan Culleton

2016 - FONDECyT-Chile ($289,693)
“Passerine birds facing marine environments: feeding on salty prey and fighting oxidative stress”
International Collaborator with Co-PI Drs. Pablo Sabat, Francisco Bozinovic, and Roberto Nespolo

2016 - University of New Mexico Research Allocations Committee ($10,000)
“The role of gut microbiota in supplying amino acids to their mammalian hosts”

2016 - National Science Foundation, DEB-Population and Community Ecology ($720,000)
“Moving beyond causation: the ecological consequences of the Pleistocene extinction of North American megafauna”
Co-PI with Drs. Felisa Smith (PI) and Kate Lyons (Smithsonian)

2015 - North Pacific Research Board ($152,602)
“The effects of sea ice loss on protein and fat stores of food-deprived polar bears”
Co-PI with Dr. Merav Ben-David

2014 - United States Fish & Wildlife Service–King Salmon, AK ($38,000)
“Stable isotope analysis of Alaska Peninsula terrestrial carnivores”
Co-PI with Dom Watts (USFWS)

2014 - National Science Foundation: Major Research Instrumentation–Division of Biological Infrastructure ($449,021)
“Acquisition of instrumentation for compound-specific stable isotope analysis at the University of New Mexico”
Lead PI with Co-PIs Drs. Zach Sharp, Blair Wolf, Dave Hanson, and Tom Turner (UNM)

2013 - Smithsonian Institution ($100,000)
“Biodiversity, genomics, and human ecology of California’s Channel Islands”
Co-Investigator with Drs. Torben Rick, Scott Sillett, Rob Fleischer, Jesus Maldonado, and Kathy Ralls (SI)

2013 - University of New Mexico Research Allocations Committee ($8,000)
“Resource partitioning among small mammals at the Sevilleta LTER site in the northern Chihuahua Desert”

2013 - United States Fish & Wildlife Service–King Salmon, AK ($10,000)
“Marine resource use and individual diet specialization of Alaskan Peninsula wolves”
Co-PI with Dom Watts (USFWS)

2013 - United States Geological Survey & National Park Service ($8,500)
“Intertidal interactions among kelp and invertebrates in south central Alaska”
Co-Investigator with Drs. Brenda Ballachey (USGS), Jim Bodkin (USGS), and Heather Coletti (NPS)

2012 - United States Fish & Wildlife Service–King Salmon, AK ($26,000)
“Individual dietary specialization in Alaska Peninsula wolves via isotopic analysis of vibrissae”
Co-PI with Dom Watts (USFWS)

2012 - United States Fish & Wildlife Service–Anchorage, AK ($20,000)
“Determining sea otter prey in southeast Alaska via stable isotope analysis of vibrissae and invertebrates”
Co-PI with Dr. Verena Gill (USFWS)

2012 - North Pacific Research Board ($143,970)
“Retrospective study of walrus foraging and movement patterns during a major ecosystem shift in the Bering and Chukchi Seas”
Lead PI with Co-PI Dr. Patrick R. Lemons (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

2012 - National Park Service and U.S. Navy ($28,190)
“Characterizing island fox dietary preferences across habitats on San Miguel, Santa Rosa, and San Clemente Islands”
Co-PI with Drs. Katherine Ralls (Smithsonian) and Brian Cypher (CSU-Stanislaus)

2011 - FONDECyT-Chile ($92,732)
“The introduction of salmon in southern Chile and its effects on the trophic ecology of the South American sea lion”
Co-Investigator with PI Dr. Maritza Sepulveda Martinez (University of Valparaiso)

2011 - United States Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center–Anchorage, AK ($30,150)
“Coastal Ecosystem Responses to Influences from Land and Sea”
Co-Investigator with PIs Drs. Jim Bodkin and Tim Tinker (USGS)

2011 - National Science Foundation: Population and Community Ecology ($380,000)
"Extending the potential for hydrogen isotope tracers in ecology: experiments, biochemistry, and field studies ”
Lead PI with Co-PI Dr. Marilyn Fogel (Carnegie Institution of Science)

2011 - Montrose Settlements Restoration Program ($50,823)
“Quantifying the diets of breeding bald eagles on the Channel Islands: a multi-proxy approach”
Lead PI with Co-PIs Drs. Paul W. Collins (Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History) and Peter Sharpe (IWS)

2011 - Australian Marine Mammal Centre ($21,198)
“Southern right whales and stable isotopes: towards defining southern right whale feeding habitat and trophic ecology”
Co-Investigator with PIs Drs. Glenn Dunshea, Simon Childerhouse, and Mark Hindell (University of Tasmania)

2011 - United States Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center–Anchorage, AK ($40,000)
“Demographic parameters of walruses estimated from the analysis of stable isotopes in archived teeth”
Co-Investigator with PIs Drs. Dan Monson and Joel Garlich-Miller (USGS)

2011 - Fisheries & Oceans Canada–Winnipeg, MB ($14,000)
“Correlating isotopic, movement, and dive data to assess individuality in ringed seals in the Canadian Arctic”
Co-PI with Dr. Steve Ferguson (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

2010 - United States Fish & Wildlife Service–Homer, AK ($20,000)
“Determining sea otter forage taxa in southeast Alaska through isotope markers in vibrissae”
Co-PI with Dr. Verena Gill (USFWS)

2010 - Montrose Settlements Restoration Program ($26,203)
“Quantifying the diets of breeding bald eagles on the Channel Islands: a multi-proxy approach”
Co-PI with Dr. Paul W. Collins (Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History)

2010 - United States Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center–Anchorage, AK ($23,000)
“Coastal Ecosystem Responses to Influences from Land and Sea”
Co-Investigator with PIs Drs. Jim Bodkin and Tim Tinker (USGS)

2008 - National Science Foundation: Integrative Biology Program ($527,000)
“Isotopes, niches, and birds: the functional ecology of an adaptive radiation”
Co-PI with Dr. Carlos Martinez del Rio (University of Wyoming)

2007 - Smithsonian Walcott Fund ($35,000)
“Stable isotope analysis of great gray owl (Strix nebulosa) invasions in North America”
Co-PI with Dr. Gary R. Graves (Smithsonian Institution)

2007 - Smithsonian Endowment Fund ($30,000)
“Evaluating dietary specialization in sea otters via fatty acid and stable isotope analysis”
Co-PI with Drs. Katherine Ralls & Olav Oftedal (Smithsonian Institution)

2007 - United States Fish & Wildlife Service–Anchorage, AK ($14,500)
“Investigating dietary links to valvular endocarditis in Lower Cook Inlet, AK sea otters”
Co-PI with Drs. Angela Doroff & Verena Gill (USFWS)

2006 - National Science Foundation: Biological Oceanography Program ($235,319)
“Holocene phylochronology and ecology of the northern fur seal”
Co-written with Dr. Liz Hadly & Dr. Marcel van Tuinen (Stanford University)

2004 - National Science Foundation: Biological Oceanography Program ($147,515)
“Paleoecology of pinnipeds on the Pacific Rim”
Co-written with Dr. Paul Koch (UC-Santa Cruz)

2004 - University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States–UCMEXUS ($27,492)
“Stable isotopes in sea lion teeth: Relationships to long-term changes in feeding habits and ecosystem perturbations in the Gulf of California”
Co-written with Dr. David Aurioles-Gamboa (CICIMAR-IPN)

2004 - Mia J. Tegner Memorial Student Research Grant in Historical Ecology ($5,000)
“Historical Perspective of killer whale trophic interactions in the North Pacific”

2003 - Waters Award, Outstanding Doctoral Research Proposal; UCSC Earth Sciences Department ($5,000)
“Holocene ecological shifts on the northeast Pacific margin: insights from the isotopic analysis of archaeofauna”

2003 - PADI Graduate Student Research Grant ($1,500)
“Decline in primary productivity in the northeast Pacific? Records of a top marine consumer”

2001 - Myers Oceanographic & Marine Biology Trust Research Grant ($1,500)
“Putting human exploitation of marine resources in temporal and environmental context”

2001 - Long Marine Laboratory Graduate Student Research Grant ($1,000)
“Holocene shifts in climate and ecology on the central California coast”

2001 - Geological Society of America Graduate Student Research Grant ($1,500)
“Holocene shifts in climate and ecology on the central California coast”

Recent Publications (2020)

*Student Author

Newsome, S.D., *Hughes, K.L., Bradley, C.J., *Wolf, C., Vesbach-Takacs, C., Fogel, M.L. (2020) Isotopic and genetic methods reveal the role of the gut microbiome in mammalian host essential amino acid metabolism. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B. Newsome et al. 2020.pdf

Newsome, S.D., *Nakamoto, B., *Rodriguez Curras, M., Fogel, M.L. (In Press) Compound-specific δ2H analysis highlights the relationship between direct assimilation and de novo synthesis of amino acids from food and water in a mammalian omnivore. Oecologia.

Barton, L., Eerkens, J.W., Talcott, S.D., Kennedy, M., Newsome, S.D. (2020) Stable isotopic evidence of a terrestrially-based diet for humans in the Late Holocene of Central California. UC Davis Center for Archaeological Research Archives. Barton et al. 2020.pdf

Busquets-Vass, G., Newsome, S.D., Pardo, M., Calambokidis, J., Serra-Valente, G., Jacobsen, J.K., Aguiniga-Garcia, S., Paez-Rosas, D., Gomez-Gutierrez, J., Gendron, D. (Accepted Pending Revision) Isotope-based inferences of seasonal foraging and migratory strategies of blue whales in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Marine Environmental Research.

*Duclos, M., Sabat, P., Newsome, S.D., Galban, C., Pavez, E.F., Jaksic, F.R., Quirici, V. (2020) Latitudinal patterns in the diet of the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) in Chile: contrasting environments influence foraging behavior. Science of the Total Environment. Duclos et al. 2020.pdf

*Dombrosky, J., *Besser, A.C., *Elliott Smith, E.A., Newsome, S.D. (Accepted Pending Revision) Resource risk and stability in the zooarchaeological record: the case of ancestral Pueblo fishing in the Middle Rio Grande. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences.

*Elliott Smith, E.A., Tinker, M.T., *Whistler, E.L., Kennett D.J., Vellanoweth, R.L., Gifford-Gonzalez, D., Hylkema, M.G., Newsome, S.D. (2020) Reductions in the dietary niche of the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) from the Holocene to the Anthropocene. Ecology and Evolution. Elliott Smith et al. 2020.pdf

*Elliott Smith, E.A., Harrod, C., Docmac, F., Newsome, S.D. (In Press) Dietary individuality and energy channel coupling within a Chilean kelp forest. Ecology.

*Lubcker, N., Whiteman, J.P., Millar, R., de Bruyn N., Newsome, S.D. (2020) Fasting affects amino acid nitrogen isotope values in southern elephant seals: a new tool for identifying nitrogen balance in free-ranging animals. Oecologia. Lubcker et al. 2020a.pdf

*Lubcker, N., Whiteman, J.P., Newsome, S.D., Millar, R.P., de Bruyn, P.J.N. (2020) Can the isotopic composition of offspring be used as a proxy for their mother's diet? Insights into fetal amino acid metabolism from amino acid δ15N analysis. Conservation Physiology. Lubcker et al. 2020b.pdf

Manlick, P.H., Newsome, S.D. (Accepted Pending Revision) Can individual specialization compensate for biotic homogenization? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

*Phillips, N.D., *Elliott Smith E.A., Newsome, S.D., Houghton, J.D.R., Carson, C., Alfaro Shigueto, J., Mangel, J., Eagling, L.E., Harrod, C. (2020) Bulk tissue and amino acid stable isotope analysis reveal global ontogenetic patterns in ocean sunfish diet and habitat use. Marine Ecology Progress Series. Phillips et al. 2020.pdf

*Teixeira, C.R., Botta, S., Daura Jorge, F.G., Becker Pereira, L., Newsome, S.D., Simoes Lopes, P.C. (In Press) Niche overlap and diet composition of three sympatric coastal dolphin species in the southwest Atlantic Ocean. Marine Mammal Science. Teixeira et al. 2020.pdf

Whiteman, J.P., Newsome, S.D., Bustamante, P., Cherel, Y., Hobson, K.A. (Accepted Pending Revision) Toward a quantitative measure of capital versus income breeding: new promise with stable isotope measurements of individual amino acids. Journal of Animal Ecology.

Yeakel, J.D., Bhat, U., Newsome, S.D. (2020) Caching in or falling back at the Sevilleta: the effects of body size and seasonal uncertainty on desert rodent foraging. American Naturalist. Yeakel et al. 2020.pdf