Palaeoecology (Ecology of the past) is the study of the natural environment from the fossil record. Researchers involved with this blog are interested in understanding how modern environment came to be. We are therefore interested in any evidence we can get from old (palaeo) time periods. Some of the terms that you may also see with the “palaeo” prefix include: palaeogeography (geography of the past), palaeolimnology (lakes of the past), palaeoclimate (climate of the past), and palaeoenvironments (environments of the past).
We are particularly focused on addressing questions in four areas:
- Present is the key to the past: How we can better use modern environments to understand the fossil record.
- Human impacts on the environment: How and when people started to change environments.
- Long term (>50 year) ecology: How we can understand ecosystem function on timescales beyond observations and experiments.
- Glacial-Interglacial cycles in the tropics: How the waxing and waining of ice sheets during the Quaternary impacted the tropics.
The main ways in which we communicate our research through: