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Paleo-ecosystems, climate, societies department (PAST)

The Paleo-ecosystems, climate, societies (PAST) scientific department brings together researchers from complementary disciplines: biogeosciences, ecology, evolutionary biology, archaesciences. We study interactions between climate, human societies and the structure and diversity of (anthropo-)ecosystems in the long term (from decades to millions of years) using a variety of techniques (determination and morphometry using bio-indicators of animal and plant origins, tree-ring analyses, elemental and isotopic geochemistry, environmental and palaeo-genomic, numerical modelling). By integrating these time scales, we address critical issues posed by current global changes: spatiotemporal patterns of climate change, tendencies of climate change and rapid events; response, resilience and adaptive capacity of ecosystems to environmental changes and disturbances; interactions between human societies, their environment and resource management methods, the biological, economical and technical evolution of agro-silvopastoral practices, domestication and agrobiodiversity.

Coordination :
Researcher

Teams

Dynamics of biodiversity, anthropoecology team
Ecosystem dynamics, ecology of disturbances, paleoclimates team
Extreme environments team

The Institute of Evolutionary Science of Montpellier (ISEM – University of Montpellier, CNRS, IRD, EPHE, CIRAD, INRAP) has been focusing research on biodiversity origins and dynamics and the associated evolutionary mechanisms.