Paleoecology of Mammals

This line of research the relations between the species that coexisted in the past, including humans, and their interactions with the environment in which they lived. It includes predator-prey relationships, ecological competition, and the factors that influenced the past distribution of mammals and how this evolved.

Currently, this line of research is pursued under the auspices of the project TROPHIc, funded by the MICINN. TROPHIc studies the subsistence strategies of Pleistocene humans within the theoretical framework of behavioral ecology. A fundamental part of the project is studying the limitations the environment imposed on Paleolithic hunter-gatherers.

A paper was published in the journal Scientific Reports using this approach, which estimated the maximum human population density the Middle Pleistocene ecosystems of western Europe could have sustained during different climatic phases: specifically, those prevailing between 360,000 and 560,000 years ago.

TROPHIc considers mathematical modeling and computer simulations to be basic tools for studying Paleolithic populations. Indeed, in other work published in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, an agent-based model was used to assess the probability that modern humans crossed different sea straits during their dispersion out of Africa.


Last updated: 04/04/2023