Dr. Marilyn Fogel uses a wide range of expertise-including biology, chemistry, geology and astrobiology-to study distinctive isotopes of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen to trace various phenomena tied to modern and fossilized ecosystems. She received her B. S. in Biology from Penn State and a Ph.D. in Botany and Marine Science from the University of Texas at Austin’s Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas. Fogel joined the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory as a Carnegie Corporation Fellow in 1977. In 1979, she became a Senior Scientist and Staff Member at the Carnegie’s Geophysical Laboratory where she mentored postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduates, who became Professors, Deans, and Department Chairs. Since 1998, Fogel has worked on astrobiology as a Member of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute including studies to examining the isotopic patterns in meteorites. In 2013, Marilyn joined the Life and Environmental Sciences faculty at the University of California’s newest campus in Merced and served as Chair, established a state of the art stable isotope laboratory, and increased faculty with interdisciplinary hires. Fogel joined UC Riverside in Earth Sciences and Environmental Sciences departments in Fall 2016 and is creating activities and ideas for the EDGE (Environmental Dynamics and Geo-Ecology) Institute, including building of the EDGE Institute laboratory working with colleagues to support Geobiology and biogeochemistry research. Fogel holds the inaugural Endowed Wilbur W. Mayhew Chair of Geoecology and is a Distinguished Professor of Geoecology.

Research Interests

Marilyn Fogel's group is interested in stable isotope biogeochemistry and ecology and has studied how carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen isotopes can be used as tracers for chemical and biological processes. The laboratory analyzes both modern and fossil materials to understand how biogeochemical cycles have changed over time, in particular how humans might be shaping ecosystems around the globe. Fogel's laboratory also specializes in measuring stable isotopes in specific compounds, mostly amino acids, to figure out important reactions for maintaining energy and protein balance in organisms. Her current work is on the gut microbiome and quantifying its importance for protein homeostasis in herbivorous and omnivorous animals. The group is also involved in studying ecosystem changes in California that are related to water availability in the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta and the Salton Sea. Stable isotopes at the natural abundance level are helping determine whether restoration projects are effective at fundamental geochemical scales.

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Primary Section

Section 62: Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 25: Plant Biology