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Naomi Levin

Assistant Professor

123 Olin Hall
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  • Naomi Levin is a geologist whose research centers on understanding how landscapes and terrestrial organisms respond to past climate change. She primarily uses stable isotopic records to study interactions between mammals, vegetation, and climate in past ecosystems. Her research involves a combination of geologic field work and stable isotope laboratory work. Active projects include reconstructing Plio-Pleistocene environments from sedimentary and isotopic records preserved in the East African rift, isotope hydrology in Ethiopia, paleoecological and sedimentology of mid-Pleistocene sites in South Africa, and mass-dependent Δ17O variation in the sedimentary record and the hydrosphere.  

  • Levin NE, Raub TD, Dauphas N, Eiler JM. Triple Oxygen Isotope Variations in Sedimentary Rocks.Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, accepted April 2014.

    Eiler JM, Bergquist B, Bourg I, Cartigny P, Farquhar J, Gagnon A, Guo W, Halevy I, Hofmann A, Levin N, Schauble E, Stolper D. 2014. Frontiers of stable isotope geoscience. Chemical Geology 372: 119-143. 

    Simpson SW, Quade J, Levin NE, Semaw S. 2014. The female Homo erectus pelvis from Gona: Response to Ruff. 2010. Journal of Human Evolution 68: 32-35. 

    Braun DR, Levin NE, Stynder D, Herries AIR, Archer W, Forrest F, Roberts DL, Bishop LC, Matthews T,Lehmann SB, Pickering R, Fitzsimmons K. 2013. Mid-Pleistocene Hominin Occupation at Elandsfontein,Western Cape, South Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews 82: 145-166. doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.09.027

    Berman ESF, Levin NE, Landais A, Li S, Owano T. 2013. Measurement of δ18O, δ17O, and 17O-excess in water by off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy and isotope ratios mass spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry, 85(21): 10392-10398. doi: 10.1021/ac402366t. 

    Braun DR, Levin NE , Roberts D, Stynder D, Forrest FF, Herries AI, Matthews T, Bishop L, Archer W, Pickering R. 2013. Initial investigations of Acheulean hominin behaviour at Elandsfontein. In: The Archaeology of the West Coast of South Africa (eds. A Jerardino, A Malan, D Braun). Archaeopress, Oxford, pp. 10-23. 

    Feakins, SJ, Levin NE, Liddy HM, Sieracki A, Eglinton TI, and Bonnefille R. 2013. Northeast African vegetation change over 12 m.y. Geology 41: 295-298, doi:10.1130/G33845.1.  

    Quade J and Levin NE. 2013. East African hominid paleoecology: isotopic evidence from paleosols.  In: Early Hominin Paleoecology (eds. M Sponheimer, J Lee-Thorp, K Reed, P Ungar). University of Colorado Press, pp. 59-102, doi: 10.5876/9781607322252:C03.

    Zaitchik BF and Levin NE. 2013. Understanding the Dynamics of the Tropical African Climate. Eos 94 (23): 209.

    Haile-Selassie Y, Saylor BZ, Deino A, Levin NE, Alene M, and Latimer BM. 2012. A new hominin foot from Ethiopia shows multiple Pliocene bipedal adaptations, Nature483, 565-569, doi:10.1038/nature10922. 

    Cerling, TE, Levin NE, and Passey BH. 2011. Stable Isotope Ecology in the Omo-Turkana Basin,Evolutionary Anthropology20(6), 228-237, doi: 10.1002/evan.20326. 

    Cerling TE, Wynn JG, Andanje SA, Bird MI, Korir DK, Levin NE, Mace W, Macharia AN, Quade J, and Remien CH. 2011. Woody cover and hominin environments in the past 6million years, Nature476, 51-56, doi:10.1038/nature10306.

    Levin NE, Brown FH, Behrensmeyer AK, Bobe R, and Cerling TE. 2011. Paleosol carbonates from the Omo Group: isotopic records of local and regional environmental change in East Africa. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 307:75-89, doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2011.04.026. 

    Passey BH, Levin NE, Cerling TE, Brown FH, and Eiler JM. 2010. High-temperature environments of human evolution in East Africa based on bond ordering in paleosol carbonates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 107: 11245-11249, doi:10.1073/pnas.1001824107.

    Braun DR, Harris JWK, Levin NE, McCoy JT, Herries AIR, Bamford MK, Bishop LC, Richmond BG, Kibunjia M. 2010. Early hominin diet included diverse terrestrial and aquatic animals 1.95 Ma in East Turkana, Kenya. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 107: 10002-10007,doi:10.1073/pnas.1002181107. PDF

    Cerling TE, Levin, NE, Quade J, Wynn JG, Fox DL, Kingston JD, Klein RG, and Brown FH. 2010. Comment on the Paleoenvironment of Ardipithecus ramidus: Science, 328: 1105-d.  

    Levin NE, Zipser EJ, and Cerling TE, 2009, Isotopic composition of waters from Ethiopia and Kenya: Insights into moisture sources for eastern Africa. J. Geophys. Res. D23306; doi: 10.1029/2009JD012166. 

    Levin NE, Simpson SW, Quade J, Cerling TE, and Frost SR, 2008, Herbivore enamel carbon isotopic composition and the environmental context of Ardipithecus at Gona, Ethiopia, in Quade J, and Wynn JG, eds., The Geology of Early Humans in the Horn of Africa: Geological Society of America Special Paper 446, p. 215–234, doi: 10.1130/2008.2446(10). 

    Quade J, Levin NE, Simpson SW, Butler R, McIntosh WC, Semaw S, Kleinsasser L, Dupont-Nivet G, Renne P, Dunbar N, 2008, The Geology of Gona, Ethiopia, in Quade J, and Wynn JG, eds., The Geology of Early Humans in the Horn of Africa: Geological Society of America Special Paper 446, p. 1-31, doi: 10.1130/2008.2446(01). 

    Kleinsasser LL, Quade J, McIntosh WC, Levin NE, Simpson SW, Semaw S. Stratigraphy and geochronology of the late Miocene Adu-Asa Formation at Gona, Ethiopia, in Quade J, and Wynn JG, eds., The Geology of Early Humans in the Horn of Africa: Geological Society of America Special Paper 446, p.33-65, doi: 10.1130/2008.2446(02). 

    Simpson SW, Quade J, Levin NE, Butler R, Dupont-Nivet G, Everett M, Semaw S. 2008. A Female Homo erectus Pelvis from Gona, Ethiopia. Science 322: 1089-1092. 

    Cerling TE, Harris JM, Hart JA, Kaleme P, Klingel H, Leakey MG, Levin NE, Lewison RI, Passey BH. 2008. Stable Isotope Ecology of Hippopotamus amphibius in East Africa.  Journal of Zoology, 276: 204-212, doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2008.00450.x

    Passey BH, Cerling TE, Levin NE. 2007. Temperature dependence of oxygen isotope acid fractionation in modern and fossil tooth enamels.  Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 21: 2853-2859. 

    Levin NE, Cerling TE, Passey BH, Harris JM, Ehleringer JR. 2006. A stable isotope aridity index for terrestrial environments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 103: 11201-11205. 

    Stout D, Quade J, Semaw S, Rogers MJ, Levin NE. 2005. Raw Material selectivity of the earliest stone toolmakers at Gona, Afar, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution 48: 365-380. 

    Semaw S, Simpson SW, Quade J, Renne PR, Butler RF, McIntosh WC, Levin N, Dominguez-Rodrigo M, Rogers MJ. 2005. Early Pliocene hominids from Gona, Ethiopia. Nature 433: 301-305. 

    Levin NE, Quade J, Simpson SW, Semaw S, Rogers MJ. 2004. Isotopic evidence for Plio-Pleistocene environmental change at Gona, Ethiopia. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 219: 93-110. 

    Quade J, Levin N, Semaw S, Stout D, Renne PR, Rogers MJ, Simpson SW. 2004. Paleoenvironments of the earliest stone toolmakers, Gona, Ethiopia. Geological Society of America Bulletin 116 (11-12): 1529-1544. 

    Data Compilations

    Levin NE. 2013. Compilation of East Africa Soil Carbonate Stable Isotope Data. Integrated Earth Data Applications. doi: 10.1594/IEDA/100231.

    Conference Presentations

    Levin NE, Haile-Selassie Y, Frost SR. 2014. Hominin and cercopithecid diet and niche partitioning at 3.8-3.2 Ma: new insights from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia. American Association of Physical Anthropologists Annual Meeting, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 8-12 April 2014.

    *Levin NE Early human landscapes in eastern Africa amidst regional and global change. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, USA, 27 - 30 October 2013.

    *Levin NE, Bedaso ZK, Passey BH, Quade J Pliocene warmth and ecosystem change in Eastern Africa.Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, USA, 27 - 30 October 2013.

    Levin NE, Li S, Brooks JR, Welker JM. Variations in triple oxygen isotopes in precipitation and river waters in the continental U.S. The 23rd V.M. Goldschmidt Conference, Florence, Italy, August 25-30, 2013.

    Levin NE. Mosaics of hominid habitat in East Africa: perspectives from stable isotopes in fossil teeth.Climate Change and Human Evolution Workshop, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, New York, April 2012.

    Levin NE, Raub TD, Dauphas N, Eiler JM. 2010. 17O anomalies in sedimentary silica and oxides.Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74 (12): Supplement 1, A585.

    *Levin NE, Cerling TEC, Harris JM. 2009. Isotopic patterns in extant mammalian herbivore teeth from eastern Africa. Geol. Soc. Amer. Abstracts with Programs 41: 66.

    *Levin NE, Simpson SW, Quade J, Cerling TE, Frost SR. Carbon isotope evidence for Ardipithecus habitat at Gona, Ethiopia. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting, 2008.

    Levin NE, Manthi FM, Kaleme PK, Cerling TE. 2008. Tiny Teeth and the Big Picture: Carbon and Oxygen Isotope Ratios of Micromammal Teeth from Eastern Africa. 6th International Conference on Applications of Stable Isotope Techniques to Ecological Studies.

    Levin NE and Cerling TE. 2007. Getting to the Source of the High Isotopic Values of Ethiopian Precipitation.  Eos Trans. AGU, 88(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., B13B-1204. 

    *Levin NE, Cerling TE, Brown FH, Quade J. 2005. The Shungura Formation Soil Carbonate Record: Evidence for an Ecosystem Buffered from Regional Environmental Change. NSF Paleoclimate and Human Evolution Workshop.

    Levin NE, Cerling TE, Brown FH. 2005. A paleosol carbonate isotope record from the Shungura Formation, Ethiopia. Geol. Soc. Amer. Abstracts with Programs 37(7): 363.

    Levin N, Quade J, Simpson S, Semaw S. 2004. Early Pliocene Environments at Gona, Ethiopia. Geol. Soc. Amer. Abstracts with Programs 36(5): 486.

    Levin NE, Quade J, Semaw S, Simpson SW, Schick K, Toth N. 2001. Plio-Pleistocene environments of Gona Ethiopia: the isotopic record of pedogenic carbonate and fossil teeth.  Geol. Soc. Amer. Abstracts with Programs 33 (6): 387.


    Student and Post-Doc Conference Presentations

    Bedaso ZK, Levin NE, Zaitchik BF, Shanko D. Temporal and spatial variability of water isotopes in Ethiopian rainfall and its implication for moisture sources. AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA. December 2013.

    Li S, Levin N, Soderberg K, Dennis KJ, Caylor KK. The triple oxygen isotope compositions of leaf waters in Mpala, central Kenya. AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA. December 2013.

    Lehmann SB, Patterson DB, Braun DR, Matthews T, Levin NE. Regional and landscape-scale Pleistocene paleoecology using carbon and oxygen isotopes from in situ macro- and micromammal tooth enamel at Elandsfontein, Western Cape, South Africa. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, USA, Oct 30 - Nov 2, 2013. 

    Lehmann SB, Levin NE, Dennis KJ, Bishop LC, Stynder DD, Braun DR. Trends in climate and vegetation of Plio-Pleistocene South Africa: Using fossil enamel isotopic data to address questions of regional environmental change. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, USA, 27 - 30 October 2013. 

    Lehmann SB, Levin NE, Stynder DD, Bishop LC, Forrest F, and Braun DR. New Tooth Enamel Isotopic Data from the West Coast of South Africa and a Comparison of Terrestrial and Marine Records of Plio-Pleistocene Climate Change. AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California, USA, December 2012. 

    Li S, Levin NE, Chesson LA. Spatial distribution of 17O-excess of tap waters in the conterminous United States. AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California, USA. December 2011. 

    Kraft RA, Levin NE, Passey BH, Rose KD, Chew AE.  Early Eocene paleoenvironments in Wyoming based on stable isotope ecology of fossil mammals. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. October 2011.

    Li S, Levin NE, Chesson LA.  Triple oxygen isotope composition of tap waters from the conterminous United States. Isoscapes Meeting, West Lafayette, Indiana (Purdue University), USA. September 2011.

    Kraft RA, Levin NE, Mueller RG, Passey BH, Joyce A.  Isotopic record of Holocene paleoclimate from paleosols in Nochixtlan Valley, Oaxaca, Mexico. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, USA. October 2010.