Department of Biology
150 West University Blvd.
Melbourne, FL 32901
Ph: +1 (321) 674-7283
Fx: +1 (321) 674-7238
Pre-Columbian human occupation in the Amazon Basin
My Ph.D. work involves the reconstruction of historical fire and vegetation changes in western Amazonian rainforests that resulted from pre-Columbian anthropogenic impacts. I have collected soil samples from across the rainforests of Peru, Brazil, and Ecuador, and analyze them for charcoal (a proxy for fire) and phytoliths, which are the fragments of silica left behind after vegetation decays. More specifically, I am interested in constructing spatial and temporal models to predict the overall distribution of pre-Columbian impacts across the Amazon Basin, and the extent of forest modification before European arrival to the Americas.
McMichael, C.H., Bush, M.B., Silman, M.R., Piperno, D.R., Raczka, M., Lobato, L.C., Zimmerman, M., Hagen, S. & Palace, M. (2013) Historical fire and bamboo dynamics in western Amazonia. Journal of Biogeography, 40, 299-309.
McMichael, C., Piperno, D.R., Bush, M.B., Silman, M.R., Zimmerman, A.R., Raczka, M.F. & Lobato, L.C. (2012) Sparse pre-Columbian human habitation in western Amazonia. Science, 336, 1429-1431. Get a copy
McMichael, C.H., Correa Metrio, A. & Bush, M.B. (2012) Pre-Columbian fire regimes in lowland tropical rainforests of southeastern Peru. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 342-343, 73-83. Get a copy
McMichael, C., M. B. Bush, et al. (2012). "Scales of pre-Columbian disturbance associated with western Amazonian lakes." The Holocene 22(2): 131-141. Get a copy
Bush, M.B., M. R. Silman, C. McMichael, et at. (2008). "Fire, climate change and biodiversity in Amazonia: a Late-Holocene perspective". Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 363: 1795-1802. B. Get a copy
McMichael, C.H., Bush, M.B., Silman, M.R., Piperno, D.R., Raczka, M., Lobato, L.C., Zimmerman, M., Hagen, S. & Palace, M. (2012) Historical fire and bamboo dynamics in western Amazonia. Journal of Biogeography DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12002
Urrego, D.H., Bush, M.B., Silman, M.R., Niccum, B.A., De La Rosa, P., McMichael, C.H., Hagen, S. & Palace, M. (2012) Holocene fires, forest stability and human occupation in south-western Amazonia. Journal of Biogeography DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12016
Raczka, M.F., Oliveira, P., Bush, M.B. & McMichael, C.H. (in press) Two paleoecological histories spanning the period of human settlement in southeastern Brazil. Journal of Quaternary Science
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