Dr. Thomas Larsen

Research Group Leader
Department of Archaeology
+49 3641 686-773

Main Focus

Dr. Thomas Larsen leads the Anthropogenic Ecology group at the Max Planck Institute of Geoanthropology, focusing on the impact of environmental changes and human exploitation on marine food webs. His research aims to understand the trophic transfer of biomolecular building blocks and anthropogenic contaminants, informing environmental policy and conservation strategies.

Employing stable isotope techniques and other biomolecular methods, Dr. Larsen's group examines past and present resource use, comparing modern and historical biological records. Notably, he pioneered the development of stable isotope fingerprinting of amino acids, an innovative method for tracing the biosynthetic origins of essential amino acids. This technique enables comprehensive diet investigations and primary producer studies across various temporal and spatial contexts.

Curriculum Vitae

I earned my M.Sc. in Biology from the Department of Zoology at Aarhus University and completed my Ph.D. in Ecology at the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen. My research career has taken me to diverse institutions across the globe, including the University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of California Santa Cruz, University of Aarhus, CEAB-CSIC Spain, and the University of Kiel. Currently, I am leading the Anthropogenic Ecology group at the Max Planck Institute of Geoanthropology.

Publications: See my Research Gate and Google Scholar profiles.

Research Projects

  • I am a co-lead investigator of a UK-German funded research project LOMVIA that examines the competitive interactions and foraging ecology between two closely related species of seabirds in the North Atlantic. We use a mix of location trackers and isotope biomarkers to investigate how northward shift in lipid-rich forage fish create ecosystem-wide cascade effects.
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