Emma Loftus

firstname.lastname@rlaha.ox.ac.uk

About Me

I am a graduate student in Archaeological Science at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford. I am supervised by Prof. Julia Lee-Thorp and Prof. Judy Sealy (University of Cape Town). My research interests are in understanding climate and environmental change during the late Pleistocene and Holocene, an exciting period for modern human evolution. I analyse the stable isotope ratios of materials found in archaeological sites to explore past environments. My doctoral thesis aims to reconstruct Pleistocene and Holocene sea surface temperatures off the south coast of South Africa, from the oxygen isotope ratios of marine shells preserved in archaeological shell middens.

I completed my Masters degree (2013) at the University of Oxford, researching environments around the Middle and Later Stone Age site Sehonghong, in the Lesotho highlands. For this project I analysed the carbon and oxygen stable isotope ratios in sediments and faunal enamel to reconstruct shifting altitudinal vegetation zones during the Pleistocene and Holocene.
As part of my Honours degree at the University of Cape Town, I researched the variability in carbon isotope ratios between different tissues of Later Stone Age hunter-gatherer skeletons from the Western Cape, South Africa.



Publication

Loftus E, Sealy JC. 2012. Interpreting stable carbon isotopes in human tooth enamel: an examination of tissue spacings from South Africa. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 147 (3): 499 - 507.


Conference presentations

Turbo sarmaticus stable isotope sampling strategies. Joint PAA/SAfA conference, Johannesburg (July 2014). Winner of the student poster prize.

Stable isotope evidence for Late Pleistocene environmental conditions at Sehonghong, Lesotho. ASAPA Conference, Gaborone. Poster (July 2013).

Dietary analysis of Holocene individuals from the Cape coast of South Africa -- bone collagen and enamel apatite isotope values compared.Langebaanweg Conference, Cape Town. Poster (November 2010).


CV

You can download my CV here.


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