Researchers

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Post-Docs

  • Ansis Blaus

 

Ansis (in front) and Julian Beltran (background) getting ready to raise a sediment core at  Lake Cube (Laguna de Cube) in the Choco biogeographical region of western  Ecuador, August 2021.

Ansis Blaus is a postdoctoral research associate in the Paleoecology lab in Florida Tech. He holds a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia. His Ph.D. research was on modern pollen-plant relationships and palaeoecological reconstructions of peatlands and calcareous spring fens with an emphasis on biodiversity and plant functional trait reconstructions.

Currently at Florida Tech, Ansis works on pollen data and other proxies from the sediment cores collected from the Amazon Basin. He investigates the tropical forest changes in relation to the global climate from a historical perspective, particularly during the warm periods of the Last Interglacial, about 129,000 to 116,000 years ago, and during the Holocene Climate Optimum roughly 9,000 to 5,000 years ago. His work will shed the light on the history of dynamics and climate tipping points in the Amazonian rainforest. This research is particularly important in the face of the current global climate crisis and could help to anticipate the tropical forest response to the changing climate in the future. Another objective of Ansis’s work is to study the pollen signature of human disturbance in the Amazon Basin as a means to model and interpret human presence and activities in the past and to understand human-nature interactions in tropical forest ecosystems in different spatial and temporal scales.

Interest in paleoecology, biodiversity, and various natural processes for Ansis derives from the concern that humans have altered tropical forests and most other ecosystems in the world to the level of the negative rebound effect. Ansis believes that to stop it we must study and understand these ecosystems from different perspectives to predict future scenarios and to develop conservation strategies for both nature and human well-being.