Kelton McMahon, 2005 Joint Program Student
Kelton is broadly interested in ecological geochemistry and fisheries ecology. His primary research involves the use of natural stable isotopes and trace element chemistry to examine trophic interactions and migration patterns of large pelagic fish. Currently, Kelton is working with Dr. Simon Thorrold and Leah Houghton to reconstruct the natal origins, natal homing and ocean basin scale migration patterns of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) and basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) in the North Atlantic Ocean. They are developing techniques to conduct bulk and compound specific multiple stable isotope analyses of scales from tuna and vertebrae from basking sharks to compare to natural isotopic gradients in the North Atlantic. This research will provide important information regarding the breeding grounds and migration pathways of large pelagic fish, which can be used in the efforts to protect and restore these ecologically and economically important species.
Kelton is also interested in food web ecology and has been involved several studies using stable isotopes and gut content analyses to reconstruct food webs for Alaskan lagoons, New England salt marshes, and Arctic fjords. This research has branched out to include the examination of the digestibility of ice algae and phytoplankton by Arctic benthos and the impacts of ice algae on growth and reproduction of benthic macrofauna.
For more information about Kelton, go to his personal website www.whoi.edu/people/kmcmahon