Naomi Levin

Assistant Research Professor
Curriculum Vitae
Group/Lab Website


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. 2015. Environment and climate of early human evolution. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 43: 405-429.

Li S, Levin NE, and Chesson LA. 2015. Continental scale variation in 17O-excess of meteoric waters in the United States. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 164: 110-126.

Haile-Selassie Y, Gibert L., Melillo SM, Ryan TM, Alene, M, Deino A, Levin NE, Scott, G and Saylor BZ. 2015. New species from Ethiopia further expands Middle Pliocene hominin diversity. Nature, 521: 483-488.

Simpson SW, Kleinsasser L, Quade J, Levin NE, McIntosh WC, Dunbar N, Semaw S, Rogers M. 2015. Late Miocene hominin teeth from the Gona Paleoanthropological Research Project area, Afar, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution, 81: 68-82.

Passey BH, Hu H, Ji H, Montanari S, Li S, Henkes GA, Levin NE. 2014. Triple oxygen isotopes in biogenic and sedimentary carbonates. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 141: 1-25.

Levin NE, Raub TD, Dauphas N, Eiler JM. 2014. Triple oxygen isotope variations in sedimentary rocks.Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 139: 173-189. 

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. 

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. 

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, Nature, 483: 565-569, doi:10.1038/nature10922. 

Cerling, TE, Levin NE, and Passey BH. 2011. Stable Isotope Ecology in the Omo-Turkana Basin,Evolutionary Anthropology, 20(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, Nature, 476: 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. P

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.

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. 


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