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Dr. Gwyneth Gordon

Research Scientist

I work on a variety of projects, involving analysis of radiogenic and mass-dependent isotopes. I have been a pioneer in developing the Mo and U isotope proxies for oxygenation levels in marine sediments in the early Earth.



Another central theme of my research is developing and applying geochemical techniques to problems relevant to modern society, and to humans in particular. Current projects funded or in active development include:

  • Cancer: analysis of Ca isotopes in serum and urine to predict progression of multiple myeloma from changes in bone mineral balance

  • Astronauts: analysis of Ca isotopes in urine of astronauts from the International Space Station to determine the efficacy of exercise and anti-osteoporosis drugs in protecting astronauts from bone loss during space flight

  • Obesity and diabetes: Use of C and N isotopes to record dietary patterns independent of self-report, and their value in monitoring the impact of exercise on metabolism by comparing indirect calorimetry using mobile smartphone technology and analysis of carbon in breath and carbon and nitrogen in hair.

  • Isotopic taphonomy: examining the preservation of H, C, N, O, Sr and Pb in human tissues to predict the geographic origin of unknown decedents

If you’d like to hear more about my forensics research, you can listen to my podcast, “Just Hairy Isotopes”, produced by the Forensic Center of Excellence, and watch a webinar I presented about my research at the National Institute of Justice’s grantee’s symposium at the American Academy of Forensic Science conference in February 2017 here.

Finally, I’ve been working to make ASU a cutting-edge institution for forensic science research. In collaboration with colleagues in multiple disciplines and several ASU campuses, we’ve organized the Forensic Science Initiative to foster interactions between academic researchers and working forensic practitioners. The goal is to develop use-directed research that is driven by societal needs and guided by ASU’s deep expertise in science, technology, law and social science. We welcome contact by industry, working forensic practitioners and researchers.

Gwyneth Gordon’s CV

Contact Info:
(480) 727-8837 office
(480) 993-6600 cell