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The impact of habitat suitability on the structure of human populations during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in Western Europe

BIOCHANGE seminar series: Prof. Ariane Burke, Universite de Montreal, Canada

2020.10.06 | Anne Kirstine Mehlsen

Date Wed 28 Oct
Time 15:00 16:00
Location Online via Zoom

Speaker: Prof. Ariane Burke, Universite de Montreal, Canada


In this research, we used archaeological data and paleoclimate simulations to build a habitat suitability model (HS) for the Last Glacial Maximum. The HS model was then input into an agent-based model (ABM) to explore the impact of ecological risk on human population structure. The coupled HS/ABM model allowed us to identify potential core areas for sub-populations occupying glacial refugia in Western Europe. We then modelled interactions between these hypothetical sub-populations as gene flow and calculated the degree of genetic relatedness between these areas. In this application, the HS model acts as a proxy for carrying capacity, affecting the probability of survival (initially estimated from ethnographic data) and the ABM tracks long-term trends of inter-regional interaction and mobility. The results are then compared with previous archaeological studies of glacial refugia. The results concur with material culture data from known archaeological sites dating to the Last Glacial Maximum and make predictions for future ancient DNA studies.

Host: Prof. MSO Felix Riede, School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University.

Sign up by contacting Anne Blach Overgaard: anne.overgaard[@]bio.au.dk

Department of Biology, Public / media, Staff, Biochange