We’ve really dropped the ball on the news here, so I’ll attempt a bit of a wrap up:
- Tamara Eschenbacher, Nicole Sander, Maria Handke and Sophia Spielmannleitner have completed their final thesis for their food chemistry and Molecular Sciences degrees.
- Lisa Hotz, Carolin Berrevoets and Alexander Speck (Molecular Sciences) completed their Bachelor thesis in the group. Lisa even stayed for another few months as a research assistant.
- Anne published her first paper: Quantitative analysis of fatty acids and vitamin E and total lipid profiling of dietary supplements from the German market. Anne also won the best poster award at the EpiLipidNet meeting in Toulouse!
- With collaborators we published another three papers in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Scientific Reports and Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety – see here for an overview of the group’s publications.
- At the latest German Food Chemistry annual meeting (Lebensmittelchemietage) Simon was awarded the Werner-Baltes-Preis, an award for exceptional achievements of Early Career Scientists. Anne also presented a Poster at the conference.
- Rachel gave a presentation on our cooking experiments at the International Symposium for Biomolecular Archaeology (ISBA) in Tartu.
- With support from Universitätsbund Erlangen we acquired a new Agilent GC-MS nicknamed Malificient (see instruments here)
Tamara Eschenbacher has started the final thesis as part of her food chemistry degree with the group. Welcome Tamara!
New paper out this week in Nature Communications with colleagues from across the UK and Norway: Neolithic culinary traditions revealed by cereal, milk and meat lipids in pottery from Scottish crannogs https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-32286-0
In this paper we analysed lipids preserved in pottery found in the waters surrounding four Neolithic crannogs (artificial islands) on the isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Besides evidence for processing of ruminant animal products, particularly milk, cereal biomarkers were found in roughly one third of the samples. This work suggests that specific vessels may have been used for the cooking of cereals and milk, potentially as a mixture, and sheds new light on the lives of the early farmers frequenting the still enigmatic crannog sites.
More info can be found in this press release.
Following a competitive three stage selection procedure Anne Zartmann was recently awarded a PhD scholarship by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung (https://www.boell.de/en), supporting her research on analysis of fatty acid oxidation products in foods. Congratulations Anne!
The Office of Equality and Diversity and the GRK 2423 FRASCAL put together a fantastic brochure on women in MINT at FAU, including our very own Anne Zartmann! Download and read the whole publication here:
Dr. Rachel Vykukal has joined a group as Postdoctoral Researcher on the “Roman Melting Pots” project. Rachel is an Anthropologist by training and is very experienced in the analysis of archaeological lipids through her PhD research at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville/TN. Welcome, Rachel!!
In the last two weeks Anastasia Gabiger and Sophia Spielmannleitner have started as PhD and Master student in the lab welcome Anastasia and Sophia!
Anastasia, with a background in food chemistry, is part of the “Roman melting pots” team and will use GC and LC coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry for in-depth analysis of archaeological lipid residues.
In her Master thesis as part of her Molecular Life Sciences, Sophia will be working on profiling of oxidised lipid species.
Our grant proposal submitted to DFG and AHRC’s joint call entitled “Roman melting pots: Tracing food residues and cultural diversity in a frontier zone” was funded! In this project together with Lucy Cramp from the University of Bristol and Martin Pitts from the University of Exeter we will investigate how migrants to Roman Britain adapted to their new lives. For this we will classify a large set of pottery from different sites by typology combined with detailed molecular analysis of lipid residues by high resolution mass spectrometry coupled to gas and liquid chromatography and as well as compound-specific isotope analysis.
New paper published today in Journal of Archaeological Science with colleagues from the University of Bristol: A call for caution in the analysis of lipids and other small biomolecules from archaeological contexts https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2021.105397
In this paper we look at the major pitfalls and misconceptions around organic residue analysis of archaeological lipids from published literature and papers received as reviewers, discuss the specific issues and provide guidance to novices to the field.
Dr. Emma Loftus (LMU Munich) is visiting the lab this week to learn the ropes of lipid analysis. Great having you with us. You can read all about her fantastic MSCA research project here: https://www.ramekin.de/
Pamela Thales (Molecular Science) has started her Master thesis. Welcome Pamela!
Maria Luiza Molin has joined the group as a student research assistant at the beginning of the month. Welcome Malu!
Anne Zartmann and Evi Kämpfle have started their final theses (Wissenschaftliche Abschlussarbeit) to complete their food chemistry degrees. Welcome Anne and Evi!
New co-authored paper led by Dr. Melanie Miller (University of Otago, NZ/University of Berkeley, USA), Dr. Helen Whelton (University of Bristol, UK) and Dr. Jillian Switft (Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, USA) has been just been published in Scientific Reports: Interpreting ancient food practices: stable isotope and molecular analyses of visible and absorbed residues from a year-long cooking experiment.
In this paper, the results from a year-long cooking experiment are reported: Seven researchers cooked mixtures of wheat, maize and venison once a week in unglazed pottery and collected three different types of residues with archaeological significance along the way: Burnt-on crusts, the thin patina and ceramic powder for absorbed residue. At the end of the year the recipes were changed and final samples were collected. By molecular and isotopic (δ13C, δ15N) profiling we could show how the different residues track the chemical signals of the cooking ingredients differently and with different time lag.
More info can be found in this press release.
New paper led by colleagues from Sheffield and Cardiff has been published in PLOS ONE: “The dietary impact of the Norman Conquest: A multiproxy archaeological investigation of Oxford, UK”
Here, isotopic analysis (δ13C, δ15N), of human and animal remains, palaeopathological analysis of human skeletal remains and the analysis of preserved lipid residues in ceramic sherds were combined to paint a picture about the wider impact of the 11th century Norman Invasion on people’s lives and diets.
More info can also be found in this press release by Cardiff University
New paper published in PNAS: “Mechanisms of lipid preservation in archaeological clay ceramics revealed by mass spectrometry imaging”
In this paper we used Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) for the direct analysis of lipid residues in archaeological ceramics to understand how lipids are taken up into these ceramics and how they can be preserved over millennia.
More background on the paper can be found in this “Behind the paper” blog piece: https://www.chemistry.nat.fau.eu/foodsafetyquality/news/behind-the-papers