Matthew Wooller's current research projects include:
Paleoclimate, Paleoenvironment and Other Potential Drivers of Extinction of Mammuthus primigenius , St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands, Alaska (National Science Foundation) This project will facilitate a better understanding of why woolly mammoths survived late into the mid-Holocene only in the environments of arctic islands of the BLB. Furthermore, this research is testing various hypotheses proposed to explain the extinction of the Holocene mammoth population on St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands, Alaska as well as establish the actual time of extinction.
Exploring intrasite variability at Upward Sun River (Xaasaa Na’), a terminal Pleistocene site in central Alaska: foraging behaviors and paleoenvironmental contexts (National Science Foundation) This project consists of exploration of Upward Sun River (USR) (Xaasaa Na’), a deeply buried multicomponent site in central Alaska, associated with the earliest human remains and residential structure in the Arctic or Subarctic of North America (~11,500 cal BP). This exploration will focus on understanding technological organization and subsistence economy (fauna and floral use) in the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene, specifically how they are conditioned by site structure and organization, social organization, seasonality, and paleoenvironmental contexts.
Identifying sources of organic matter to benthic organisms in the Beaufort and Chukchi outer continental shelves (CMI/BOEM). Benthic invertebrate communities in the Arctic are an essential ecosystem component in Arctic food webs, in terms of mineralization and energy transfer to higher trophic levels. Currently, the proportional contributions of different baseline sources of organic matter (marine, terrestrial or microbial carbon production) that sustain benthic organisms in the Arctic are unclear. This project will provide a better understanding of the organic matter sources consumed by benthic organisms, using a state-of-the-art fingerprinting approach for essential amino acids.