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Megafauna Ecosystem Ecology from the Deep Prehistory to a Human-Dominated Future

The project was funded by a Carlsberg Foundation Semper Ardens grant from 2016 – 2020

News and Publications

12.05.2020 PhD defence -  Simon Schowanek: Extinct elephants, rhinos and mammoths? Why should conservationists care about them today?

Link to news on faculty website

04.05.2020 Megafauna Symposium - Up-scaling megafauna restoration for global biodiversity and climate gains

Link to Schedule

23.03.2020 Introduced herbivores restore Late Pleistocene ecological functions

New paper in PNAS with Simon Schowanek and Jens Christian Svenning (link to paper)

Press release in danish: Forvildede dromedarer og andre fremmede dyr genskaber fortidens natur

03.03.2020 Nordic Society Oikos Meeting, 2020, Reykjavík, Iceland

Chris Gordon and Scott Jarvie recently attended the Nordic Society Oikos biennial Meeting in Reykjavík, Iceland. The theme of the fourth conference of the Nordic Society Oikos Meeting was “Ecology in the Anthropocene”. Related to this highly topical theme, both Chris and Scott gave talks from their ongoing projects and found the feedback provided by other conferences attendees inspiring, as were the other posters and talks we attended.

01.02.2020 Scott Jarvie recently contributed an online seminar for ENM 2020, a jointly-taught, open-access course designed to provide an introduction to the use of ecological niche modelling tools (also known as species distribution modelling, amongst other names) in the broader field of distribution ecology. The instructor team for the ENM 2020 course is composed of many of the leaders in the field, so Scott was humbled to be invited to contribute as well as to represent BIOCHANGE and ECOINF. 

20.01.2020 New paper in Journal of Animal Ecology led by Susanne Vogel from the MegaPast2Future project: Exploring movement decisions: Can Bayesian movement‐state models explain crop consumption behaviour in elephants (Loxodonta africana)?

17.01.2020 Paper in PNAS by Shuqing Teng et al. Long-term effects of cultural filtering on megafauna species distributions across China

15.01.2020 Paper in Global environmental change. Led by Wang Li and Robert Buitenwerf as part of our Maasai Mara Science and Development Initiative, demonstrating that accelerating savanna degradation threatens the Maasai Mara socio-ecological system - but conservation management counteracts the negative trend: 

13.12.2019 British Ecological Society Annual Meeting, 10-13 December 2019, Belfast, Ireland
MegaPast2Future group members Emilio, Julia and Scott attended the British Ecological Society (BES) Annual Meeting in Belfast, Northern Ireland, from December 10–13. The BES Annual Meeting is Europe’s largest conference dedicated to ecology, which included a packed programme of diverse topics, workshops, Conference Dinner, and networking opportunities. The research presented at the BES Meeting included a poster by Julia, and talks by Emilio and Scott. 

11.10.2019 Genskabt vildskab – Rewilding.  (In Danish)    

16.08.2019 Emilio Berti representing the MP2F project at the Ecological Society of America 2019 with the talk: "Megalinkers extinction and the decrease of ecosystem connectivity"

26.06.2019 Species on the Move conference,  22-26 July 2019, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Sophie and Scott from the MegaPast2Future group attended the Species on the Move conference at Kruger National Park, South Africa. The conference brought together scientists and natural resource managers working in the disciplines of global change, biogeography and evolution, with a particular focus on species redistribution. 

17.04.2019 New paper by Jarvie and Svenning: Using species distribution modelling to determine opportunities for trophic rewilding under future scenarios of climate change. 
Blog POST in Current Conservation by Svenning and Jarvie: Is rewilding viable under climate change?

12.01.2019 International Biogeography Society Conference, 8-12 January 2019, Malaga, Spain
MegaPast2Future group members Jens-Christian, Dennis, Rasmus and Scott attended the International Biogeography Society (IBS) biennial conference in Malaga, Spain. The conference involved biogeographers from more than 60 countries, with participants having opportunities to visit locations of biogeographic interest such as Gibraltar and North Africa, while making and maintaining connections with new and established biogeographers from all corners of the globe. The research presented at the IBS conference included talks by Jens-Christian, Rasmus and Scott. 

19.12.2018 Rasmus Ø. Pedersen PhD defence "How mammals shape the world"

01.11.2018 The Bison Returns to the Great American Plains. Article in the Smithsonian with map from the PHYLACINE project

15.10.2018 Paper in PNAS by Matt Davis: Mammal diversity will take millions of years to recover from the current biodiversity crisis 

28.09.2018 Jens-Chr Svenning features in National Geographic talking about escaped cocaine Hippos in Colombia

01.07.2018 The Phylogenetic Atlas of Mammal Macroecology ... in ECOLOGY

29.06.2018 Research article in OIKOS by Isabelle Boulangeat et al.

13.06.2018 New Publication: To adapt or go extinct

06.06.2018 Research Paper in Biological Reviews by the Ecoinformatics MegaPast2Future team

17.04.2018 New paper by Schweiger and Svenning on Dung beetles and megafauna

15.12.2017 Master's student Line Bøgelund Bang in Kenya (Article in Danish)  

01.10.2017 Article by Jens-Christian Svenning in THE CARLSBERG FOUNDATION’S ANNUAL REVIEW 

04.08.2017 The importance of National Parks. Article on Videnskab.dk

20.07.2017 Videnskab.dk interview (in Danish) w. Jens-Christian Svenning on the sixth mass extinction 

10.07.2017 "New predators in Denmark!" Interview on Videnskab.dk by Jens-Christian Svenning (in Danish)

08.06.2017 "Hvordan ville verden være uden mennesker?" Comment (in Danish) by Jens-Christian Svenning 

15.05.2017 Videnskab.dk interview w. Jens-Christian Svenning on the lack of mega fauna in Denmark (in Danish)

01.05.2017 PostDoc Matt Davis won the George Gaylord Simpson Prize at Yale University

17.03.2017 Trophic rewilding – background, South American context, and open questions (J.-C. Svenning, Conservation Land Trust–Argentina, Rincon del Socorro, Argentina, 2017) 

14.03.2017 Trophic rewilding – background, South American context, and open questions (J.-C. Svenning, IBONE, CONICET, Corrientes, Argentina, 2017)

10.03.2017 The long-term base-line for Danish nature (J.-C. Svenning, Dansk Flora & Vegetation, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, 2017)  

01.03.2017 One day symposium, Megafauna: Learning from the past to build a sustainable future. May 3, 2017

13.02.2017 Start-up of MegaPast intern Gerard Sanz Fulladosa

02.02.2017 Invited lecture: A deep-time perspective on ecosystems and rewilding in the Mediterranean region (J.-C. Svenning, XIV MEDECOS & XIII AEET meeting, Sevilla, 2017)

01.02.2017 Two new MegaPast PhD students start-up Michael Munk and Emilio Berti

26.01.2017 Hvorfor forsvandt megafaunaen? (J.-C. Svenning, Folkeuniversitetet)

25.01.2017 Videnskab.dk interview w. Jens-Christian Svenning on The Maasai Mara Science and Development Initiative (in Danish)

12.01.2017 Press release: Skeletons from the Ice Age provide knowledge about endangered species

11.01.2017 New publication: What North America's skeleton crew of megafauna tells us about community disassembly 

18.12.2016 2-yr postdoc on "Evolution of functional diversity in mammals"

26.11.2016 Release the horses. Rewilding in Denmark. Jens-Christian Svenning participates as advisory board member 

08.11.2016 iDiv Annual Conference 2016 in Leipzig. Jens-Christian Svenning participated in the sREAL working group on rewilding organised by prof. Henrique Pereira.

Large Photo

03.11.2016 Science teacher day. Jens-Christian Svenning gave a talk about the disappearing and possible return of large animals In Danish

03.11.2016 Lecture in Danish by Jens-Christian Svenning. What used to be normal - the extinction of large animals. Held at the Young Scientists association (Ungdommens Naturvidenskabelige forening - UNF)

27.06.2016 News article in Danish news paper Jyllandsposten about rewilding in Denmark

22.06.2016 Could bringing back camels ‘rewild’ the American West? Article in The Washington Post. MegaPast2Future paper being mentioned 

21.06.2016 Videnskab.dk article in Danish about Islands and body size

11.05.2016 News site on Aarhus University website mentioning MegaPast2Future as recipient of Carlsberg Grant