The 2020 spring field work was a successful one. After we had to postpone the fieldwork from fall last year to spring this year due to some security issues in Ethiopia, field work was safe and successful now. All together the 7 work packages collected loads of new artifacts (P1), anthrosols (P2), Giant Mole rats (P4) in the Bale mountains, and sediment cores (P3/P5), glacial profiles (P6), and Ground beetles (P7) in the Arsi mountains.
Togehter with P1, for the first time we now collected sediments at Fincha Habera and Simbero Rock shelters for ancient environmental DNA (aeDNA) analyses. Also, hundreds of Giant Molerat jaws were retrieved from these sediments for aDNA and coalescence analyses. With this material work will be exciting in the months to come in collaboration with Eske Willerslev and his team as well as Eline Lornezen and her team from the Danish Centre for Geogenetics in Kopenhagen.
The interdisziplinary DFG Research Unit 2358 aims at i) reconstructing the natural and the anthropogenic history especially the onset of the afroalpine Anthropocene in space and time, ii) determining the drivers and processes of environmental change and to quantify their impacts from the molecular to the landscape scale including abiotic factors (climatic change, geomorphological / geological processes, fire), biotic factors (landscape engineering animals) and the human impact, and iii) determining the magnitude of human induced long-term ecological and evolutionary changes both at a landscape level and on keystone plant and animal species and associated organisms at various trophic levels.
After our successfull first phase the German research council granted a second phase until the end of 2021. My lab will lead C2 Central Scientific Services and Synthesis coordinating all genomic analyses including ancient DNA analyses as well as P3 Ecology, Paleoecology and Evolutionary Ecology.