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DFG research unit 2358 | The Mountain Exile Hypothesis: How humans benefited from and re-shaped African high altitude ecosystems during Quaternary climate changes - C1/C2 Core project, scientific services and synthesis

Prof. Georg Miehe, Prof. Thomas Nauss, Prof. Lars Opgenoorth

Foto: Lars Opgenoorth

The main objectives are (i) the provisioning of scientific data management services and the production of remote sensing and model-based master data sets requested by the subprojects, (ii) the linking of ancient DNA analyses with other environmental history proxies, (iii) the support of genetic and genomic investigations including bioinformatics for subprojects P1-P4, P7, and (iv) the overall synthesis of the research results of the research group. The scientific data services will be extended by the extensive entomological data and recordings collected in P7, including digital 3D models of the species. Ground radar observations are used to map the structure of the Giant Molerats (link to P4). Machine learning techniques are used to provide area-related data sets. All data sets will be transferred to long-term databases to ensure data availability after the end of the research group. The world’s earliest evidence of human alpine colonisation in cave geo-archives in Phase 1 opens an enormous potential for further genome analysis of ancient and environmental DNA, for (i) direct evidence of Mesolithic hunters, (ii) contributions to human migration history and adaptation in Northeast Africa, (iii) higher taxonomic resolution for the analysis of plant and animal remains, and (iv) insights into the population genetic history of Giant Molerats as a landscape engineer and thus key species in the Bale Mountain ecosystem and as an important food resource for MSA hunters. Finally, C2 will lead the cross-research group synthesis.