Categories
Archaeology

Neanderthal mobility and resource exploration

Human mobility in recent history is well documented and often related to drastic external changes, including war, famine, and the discovery and exploration of new geographic regions and resources. Reconstruction of mobility patterns in prehistory is thus a crucial part of understanding the forces that drove our ancestors, but it is complicated by the fact…

Categories
Fish Ecology

Delta Smelt life history

Delta Smelt on the brink of extinction California’s endemic Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) is rapidly approaching extinction in the San Francisco Estuary, placing it in the crossfire between human and environmental uses of limited freshwater resources. Though managed as an anadromous species, recent studies have challenged this simple life-cycle model for Delta Smelt, suggesting the…

Categories
Geochemistry

Strontium isotope baseline mapping

The IRHUM (Isotopic Reconstruction of Human Migration) database is a web platform to access, explore and map isotope data to investigate migration. It is maintained at the Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU. Citation: M. Willmes, L. McMorrow, L. Kinsley, R. Armstrong, M. Aubert, S. Eggins, C. Falguères, B. Maureille, I. Moffat, R. Grün (2014), The IRHUM…

Categories
Archaeology

A new chronology for the Neanderthals of Moula-Guercy, France

The Baume (cave) Moula-Guercy, in southeast France, contains an important sedimentary sequence, which includes the remains of a cannibalised group of Neanderthals. For the upper layers of the cave a tephra deposit (layer VI) has been dated to 72±12 ka using thermoluminescence. The middle and lower layers of the cave have been constrained by biostratigraphy,…

Categories
Geochemistry

Advances in laser ablation analysis of fish hardparts

Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) in otoliths are a well-established tool to determine origins and movement patterns of fish. However, otolith extraction requires sacrificing fish, and when working with protected or endangered species the use non-lethal samples such as scales, spines, and fin rays, is preferred. Unlike otoliths that are predominantly aragonite, these tissues are comprised…

Categories
Fish Ecology

Aggie Chinooks: Salmon returning to the UC Davis watershed

Putah Creek is a small river running from Lake Berryessa through the town of Winters, along the UC Davis campus into the Yolo Bypass. Salmon were once abundant here but became extirpated due to habitat alteration and water diversions. Following on-going restoration efforts Chinook salmon have returned to Putah Creek for the third year in…

Categories
Fish Ecology

Chinook Salmon in the Feather River, California

Fall-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River system form the backbone of California’s salmon fishery and are heavily subsidized through hatchery production. Identifying temporal trends in the relative contribution of hatchery- versus wild-spawned salmon is vital for assessing the status and resiliency of wild salmon populations. Here, we reconstructed the proportion of…