Matthew Wooller, Ph.D.

Mat Wooller is a paleoecologist who specializes in isotopic analyses of modern and past organisms, including the tusks and bones of mammoths. His studies of modern organisms have ranged widely to include analyses of whales, seals, bison, salmon and humans. He is a Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he has directed the Alaska Stable Isotope Facility for about 20 years. Primarily focusing on the Arctic, Mat has used cutting edge isotopic techniques to reconstruct past climates, ecosystems and the diets of some of the earliest people in Alaska. His lab’s isotopic analyses of a mammoth tusk were used to provide an unprecedent and detailed perspective on the movement ecology of a male, adult mammoth that was alive in Alaska at the height of the last ice age. Mat is the founder and lead of the “Adopt a Mammoth” project that is coupling crowd-sourcing, radiocarbon dating and ancient DNA techniques to study the University of Alaska Museum of the North’s large collection of mammoth fossils in a hunt for the most recent mammoth that existed in mainland Alaska. As an open and collaborative paleo-ecological researcher, Mat integrates isotope techniques amongst a wide range of other approaches for studying the past, including analyses of pollen, plant macrofossils, insect remains and his newly found interest in paleo-proteomics.