Brian McKee Chase

Brian McKee Chase
Université de Montpellier | UM1 · Institut des Sciences de l’Évolution Montpellier (ISEM)

B.A., M.A., MSc, DPhil, HDR

About

144
Publications
48,851
Reads
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6,010
Citations
Additional affiliations
November 2015 - present
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Position
  • Managing Director
January 2011 - January 2015
University of Bergen
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Adjunct Associate Professor
November 2010 - November 2015
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Position
  • Researcher
Education
April 2012
French National Centre for Scientific Research
Field of study
  • Palaeoclimatology
January 2003 - December 2005
University of Oxford
Field of study
  • Physical Geography/Earth System Science
September 2001 - September 2002
The University of Sheffield
Field of study
  • Environmental Archaeology

Publications

Publications (144)
Article
Africa's southern Cape is a key region for the evolution of our species, with early symbolic systems, marine faunal exploitation, and episodic production of microlithic stone tools taken as evidence for the appearance of distinctively complex human behavior. However, the temporally discontinuous nature of this evidence precludes ready assumptions o...
Article
We present the stable carbon and nitrogen isotope compositions of 204 plants and 99 soils from South Africa's Fynbos and Succulent Karoo biomes, from which we assess variability in δ¹³C and δ¹⁵N within and between the biomes. Higher foliar δ¹³C in the Succulent Karoo (−22.4 ± 4.7‰) primarily reflects a greater abundance of CAM photosynthesis relati...
Article
Full-text available
Africa’s Middle Stone Age preserves sporadic evidence for novel behaviours among early modern humans, prompting a range of questions about the influence of social and environmental factors on patterns of human behavioural evolution. Here we document a suite of novel adaptations dating approximately 92–80 thousand years before the present at the arc...
Data
Interpretations of fossil pollen data are often limited to broad, qualitative assessments of past climatic and environmental conditions (e.g. colder vs. warmer, wetter vs. drier, open vs. closed landscape). These assessments can be particularly imprecise in regions such as southern Africa, where botanical biodiversity is high, and there exists an a...
Article
Southern Africa hosts regions of exceptional biodiversity and is rich with evidence for the presence and activities of early humans. However, few records exist of the concurrent changes in climate that may have shaped the region's ecological evolution and the development and dispersal of our ancestors. This lack of evidence limits our ability to dr...
Article
Full-text available
Variation in δ18O and δ13C values in a speleothem from the Cango Caves in southernmost South Africa enable the construction of coherent regional composite records spanning the past 113,500 yr. Novel for the region in terms of both their length and detail, these records indicate environmental and climatic changes that both are consistent with record...
Article
Full-text available
The southwestern Cape of South Africa is a particularly dynamic region in terms of long-term climate change. We analysed fossil pollen from a 25,000 year sediment core taken from a near-coastal wetland at Pearly Beach that revealed that distinct changes in vegetation composition occurred along the southwestern Cape coast. From these changes, consid...
Article
Full-text available
Fossil pollen records are well-established indicators of past vegetation changes. The prevalence of pollen across environmental settings including lakes, wetlands, and marine sediments, has made palynology one of the most ubiquitous and valuable tools for studying past environmental and climatic change globally for decades. A complementary research...
Article
Full-text available
Across the glacial-interglacial cycles of the late Pleistocene (~700 k.y.), temperature variability at low latitudes is often considered to have been negligible compared to changes in precipitation. However, a paucity of quantified temperature records makes this difficult to reliably assess. In this study, we used the Bayesian method CREST (Climate...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents continuous, high resolution fossil pollen and microcharcoal records from Bo Langvlei, a lake in the Wilderness Embayment on South Africa’s southern Cape coast. Spanning the past ~1300 years and encompassing the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA; c. AD 950–1250) and the Little Ice Age (LIA; c. AD 1300–1850), these records provide a r...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Late Quaternary micromammals and the precipitation history of the southern Cape, South Africa: response to comments by F. Thackeray, Quaternary Research 95, 154–156 - Volume 95 - J. Tyler Faith, Brian M. Chase, D. Margaret Avery
Article
Full-text available
A comprehensive database of paleoclimate records is needed to place recent warming into the longer-term context of natural climate variability. We present a global compilation of quality-controlled, published, temperature-sensitive proxy records extending back 12,000 years through the Holocene. Data were compiled from 679 sites where time series co...
Article
South Africa's southern Cape is a highly dynamic climatic region that is influenced by changes in both temperate and tropical atmospheric and oceanic circulation dynamics. Recent research initiatives suggest that the major elements of the regional climate system have acted both independently and in combination to establish a mosaic of distinct clim...
Article
The Cape Floristic Region (CFR) is one of the world's major biodiversity hotspots, and much work has gone into identifying the drivers of this diversity. Considered regionally in the context of Quaternary climate change, climate stability is generally accepted as being one of the major factors promoting the abundance of species now present in the C...
Presentation
Full-text available
In the 1970s and 1980s several late Pleistocene palaeo-lakes were proposed to have existed within the South African interior. In particular, the ~44 km 2 Alexandersfontein pan, south of Kimberley, in the central interior summer rainfall region, was identified as providing evidence for major lake phases at 19 and 17-13 ka. The presence of Middle Sto...
Article
Full-text available
While there is extensive evidence for the Late Devensian, less is known about Early and Middle Devensian (approx. 110-30 ka) climates and environments in the UK. The Greenland ice-core record suggests the UK should have endured multiple changes, but the terrestrial palaeo-record lacks sufficient detail for confirmation from sites in the British Isl...
Article
Full-text available
Despite being one of the world’s oldest deserts, and the subject of decades of research, evidence of past climate change in the Namib Desert is extremely limited. As such, there is significant debate regarding the nature and drivers of climate change in the low-latitude drylands of southwestern Africa. Here we present data from stratified accumulat...
Article
The southern Cape of South Africa is important to understanding regional climate because it straddles the transition between the winter and summer rainfall zones. We examine late Quaternary changes in rainfall seasonality and aridity through analysis of micromammal assemblages from three sites: Boomplaas Cave and Nelson Bay Cave in the aseasonal ra...
Article
Full-text available
Impacts of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems are imperfectly constrained by ecosystem models and direct observations. Pervasive ecosystem transformations occurred in response to warming and associated climatic changes during the last glacial-to-interglacial transition, which was comparable in magnitude to warming projected for the nex...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyses a series of high-quality continuous records from southeastern Africa to study the spatiotemporal pat-terning of Holocene hydroclimatic anomalies in the region. Results indicate dominant frequencies of variability at millen-nial time scales, and a series of anomalies broadly common to all records. Of particular interest, data fro...
Article
Full-text available
The southern Cape is a particularly dynamic region of South Africa in terms of climate change as it is influenced by both temperate and tropical circulation systems. This paper presents pollen and microcharcoal data generated from a sediment core extracted from the coastal lake Eilandvlei spanning the last $8900 years. With an average sample resolu...
Article
Pollen, spores, and microscopic charcoal from a sediment core from Lake Ngami, in the Middle Kalahari, reflect paleovegetation and paleoclimatic conditions over the last 16,600 cal years BP. The location of Lake Ngami allows for the receipt of moisture sourced from the Indian and/or Atlantic oceans, which may have influenced local rainfall or long...
Article
Full-text available
Reproducible climate reconstructions of the Common Era (1 CE to present) are key to placing industrial-era warming into the context of natural climatic variability. Here we present a community-sourced database of temperature-sensitive proxy records from the PAGES2k initiative. The database gathers 692 records from 648 locations, including all conti...
Article
The hydrogen isotope composition of plant leaf wax (δDwax) has been found to record the isotope composition of precipitation (δDp). Hence, δDwax is increasingly used for palaeohydrological reconstruction. δDwax is, however, also affected by secondary factors, such as vegetation type, evapotranspiration and environmental conditions, complicating its...
Article
This paper presents the first continuous pollen record from the southern Namib Desert spanning the last 50,000 years. Obtained from rock hyrax middens found near the town of Pella, South Africa, these data are used to reconstruct vegetation change and quantitative estimates of temperature and aridity. Results indicate that the last glacial period w...
Chapter
The southern Cape of South Africa hosts a remarkably rich Middle Stone Age (MSA) archaeological record. Many of the associated caves and rock shelters are coastal sites, which contain evidence for varied occupational intensity and marine resource use, along with signs of notable landscape, environmental, and ecological change. Here, we review and s...
Article
This paper highlights the importance of differentiating between precipitation amount and moisture availability (‘humidity’/‘aridity’) when considering proxy records of climate change. While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, moisture availability is determined by both (i) precipitation amount and (ii) temperature, through its influence o...
Article
The variability of radiocarbon marine reservoir age through time and space limits the accuracy of chronologies in marine paleo-environmental archives. We report here new radiocarbon reservoir ages (ΔR) from the central coast of Chile (~ 32°S) for the Holocene period and compare these values to existing reservoir age reconstructions from southern Pe...
Article
Full-text available
The southern Cape is a key focus for southern African palaeoenvironmental research as it represents the transitional region between temperate westerlies and sub-tropical rainfall sources. This study presents pollen, plant biomarker, geochemical and charcoal data preserved in the Rietvlei wetland. The bulk of the record spans the last 16 ka, but it...
Article
Antarctic ice cores show that a millennial-scale cooling event, the Antarctic Cold Reversal (14,700 to 13,000 years ago), interrupted the last deglaciation(1-3). The Antarctic Cold Reversal coincides with the Bolling-Allerod warm stage in the North Atlantic, providing an example of the inter-hemispheric coupling of abrupt climate change generally r...
Article
Despite the southern Cape's great climatic and botanical significance (occupying the transition between the temperate and subtropical circulation systems and forming part of a global biodiversity hotspot), palaeoenvironmental data for this region of southern Africa is limited. This study presents pollen, charcoal and sedimentological data preserved...
Article
Full-text available
We present an 8000-year biomarker and stable carbon isotope record from the Verlorenvlei Estuary, South Africa. We assessed how leaf wax lipids, insoluble macromolecular organic matter, bulk C/N data and compound-specific stable carbon isotopes were linked to the site’s palynological record and to evidence for regional sea level and environmental c...
Article
Full-text available
SOFTWARE DOWNLOAD AT: www.hyrax.univ-montp2.fr Several methods currently exist to quantitatively reconstruct palaeoclimatic variables from fossil botanical data. Of these, probability density function (PDF)-based methods have proven valuable as they can be applied to a wide range of plant assemblages. Most commonly applied to fossil pollen data, t...