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Brian Chase

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My Research primarily focuses on the study of past environmental change in the arid to sub-humid environments of southern Africa. While this region is highly sensitive to cycles of regional and global environmental change, and has the potential to be a valuable indicator of past climatic variability, only a very few palaeoenvironmental archives have been recovered from the area, and its environmental history remains poorly understood. As a result, models that have been developed to elucidate the dynamics of regional ecosystems, and the environmental context for human and cultural evolution are often contentious, lacking sufficient evidence to make robust interpretations. This paucity of palaeoenvironmental information is largely a function of the region’s climate that often precludes the preservation of organic proxy data sources. My research concentrates on overcoming these obstacles by identifying and analyzing proxy archives that have either not experienced or are resistant to the effects of the region’s pronounced seasonality. I am presently exploring several primary research themes: 1. The development of fossilised rock hyrax middens as new palaeoenvironmental archive. 2. Studies of sediment cores from coastal wetlands in South Africa. 3. The development of *pdf*-based botanical-climatological transfer functions to derive quantitative estimates of palaeoclimatic parameters from palaeobotanical datasets. 4. Statistical methods for time -series and spatial analyses that improve the reliability and interpretations of individual records, and the combination and comparison of records. 5. Methods for data-model comparison that maximise the potential to infer the dynamical processes responsible for the environmental processes observed in the fossil record. 6. The assessment of the impact of past climate change on the development of the Cape Floristic Region. 7. The assessment of the impact of past environmental change on the development of early modern humans. [Google Scholar Metrics]( "Google Scholar Citations")