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DFG research unit 2358 | P7 Phylogeography of Ground Beetles as a human-independent paleoenvironmental proxy in the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia

Yeshitla Merene Abebe, Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Prof. Lars Opgenoorth

Foto: Lars Opgenoorth

One of the most challenging tasks in paleoecology is to disentangle climate signals from human disturbance signals. Ground beetles are one of a few bioindicator groups that are independent of human influence and still highly sensitive to environmental change. Using phylogeographic and phylogenetic analysis of extant primarily-wingless ground beetles in combination with subfossil beetle remains, provides a new proxy for paleoenvironments that is human-independent, spatially explicit and coherent. This method was established in the Himalayan-Tibetan Orogen and will be transferred to the African Highlands. This research is funded as WP7 in the DFG FOR 2358.