I am proud to announce that a paper on which I am co-author, “A review and synthesis of late Pleistocene extinction modeling: Progress delayed by mismatches between ecological realism, interpretation, and methodological transparency“, has been published in the June 2014 issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology.
The paper looks at the history of modeling aimed at exploring the causes of late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions. For years, paleontologists have debated whether the extinction of North American megafaunal species was caused by human predation (the so-called “overkill hypothesis”) or by changes in climate. Modeling has been used to explore whether human predation can feasibly account for the patterns of extinction that have been observed in the fossil record. We review these models and point out that their historical development makes them hard to assess, compare, and build off of. Our hope is that future late Pleistocene modeling efforts can harmonize what has already been learned and present new — perhaps more valuable — models that are fully transparent.
Thanks so much to the lead author on this paper, Jeffrey Yule, for coordinating its conception, writing, and revision.A Major Post, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Community Ecology, Ecological Modeling, Extinction, Modeling (General), My publications, Predation