Main Navigation


University Resources


Thure Cerling

Distinguished Professor of Biology and of Geology and Geophysics

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley


Graduate Program Membership:

Office/Building: Biol 302A
Phone: 801-585-0415
Email: thure.cerling@utah.edu

Research Statement


I use stable isotopes to understand ecological questions such as soil formation, animal physiology, wildlife ecology, and climate change. I work on time scales that include current (and future) events, but also work on fossil systems up to millions of years old.

Research Interests


General Interests
Specific Interests
  • Stable isotope ecology
  • Paleontology

Selected Publications


  • Cerling, TE, G Wittemyer, HB Rasmussen, F Vollrath, CE Cerling, TJ Robinson, I Douglas-Hamilton, 2006, Stable isotopes in elephant hair documents migration patterns and diet changes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103: 371-373.
  • Passey, BH and TE Cerling, 2006, In situ stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ18O) of very small teeth using laser ablation GC/IRMS. Chemical Geology 235: 238-249.
  • Cerling, TE, LK Ayliffe, MD Dearing, JR Ehleringer, BH Passey, DW Podlesak, A-M. Torregrossa, AG West, 2007, Determining biological tissue turnover using stable isotopes: the reaction progress variable. Oecologia 151:175-189.
  • Cerling TE, P Omondi, & AN Macharia, 2007, Diets of Kenyan elephants from stable isotopes and the origin of confiscated ivory in Kenya. Journal of African Ecology 45: 614-623. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2007.00784.
  • Ehleringer, JR, GJ Bowen, LA Chesson, AG West, DW Podlesak, TE Cerling, 2008, Hydrogen and oxygen isotope ratios in human hair are related to geography. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 105: 2788-1793.
  • Cerling, TE, JA Hart, P Kaleme, H Klingel, MG Leakey, NE Levin, RL Lewison, BH Passey, & JM Harris, 2008, Stable isotope ecology of modern Hippopotamus amphibius in East Africa. Jour. Zool. 276: 204-212.

Courses Taught


  • BIOL 5470: Stable Isotope Ecology
  • GG 5660: Introduction to Geochemistry
  • GG 3300: Water Planet