Illuminating Fossils (Daniel's Blog and webpage)
B.Sc. (Hons.) University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand (2005)
Ph.D. University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand (2009
I enjoy reconstructing the lives of extinct animals using chemical data. Many methods are used to study the chemistry of fossils, and my current work uses Raman Spectroscopy. Raman spectroscopy is non-destructive under ideal conditions and can provide information about a range of biological processes. I am using this technique to investigate pigmentation in fossil feathers, and to elucidate the diets of fossil seabirds. Reconstructing the lives of extinct animals relies on living species for guidance; I am also interested in the chemistry of modern feathers, and chemical indicators for modern seabird diet.
Fordyce, R.E. & Thomas, D.B., 2011. Kaiika maxwelli, a new Early Eocene stem-penguin (Sphenisciformes, Aves) from New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 54: 43-51.
Ksepka, D.T. & Thomas, D.B., 2011. Multiple Cenozoic invasions of Africa by penguins (Aves, Sphenisciformes). Proceedings of the Royals Society B, 279: 1027-1032.
Thomas, D.B. & Fordyce, R.E., 2011. Biological plasticity in penguin heat retention structures. The Anatomical Record, 295: 249-256.
Thomas, D.B., Ksepka, D.T. & Fordyce, R.E., 2011. Penguin heat-retention structures evolved in a greenhouse Earth. Biology Letters, 7: 461-464
Thomas, D.B., McGoverin, C.M., Fordyce, R.E., Frew, R.D. & Gordon, K.C., 2011. Raman spectroscopy of fossil bioapatite — A proxy for diagenetic alteration of the oxygen isotope composition. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 310: 62-70.