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S. Yoshi Maezumi

S. Yoshi Maezumi
Max Planck Institute for Geoanthropology

PhD

About

47
Publications
24,240
Reads
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1,441
Citations
Citations since 2016
43 Research Items
1349 Citations
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Introduction
I am a tropical Palaeoecologist and Archaeologist specializing in the evolution of human-environment interactions. My research focuses on the legacy of Indigenous cultural burning, crop cultivation, and agroforestry in ecosystems in the Amazon Basin and the Caribbean Islands. http://yoshimaezumi.wixsite.com/paleoecology
Additional affiliations
July 2018 - present
The University of the West Indies at Mona
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • Courses Taught - Climate Change in the Tropics - Environmental Change - Earth Environments - Climate and the Biosphere
September 2015 - June 2018
University of Exeter
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • Courses Taught - Archaeology Forensic Practical - Archaeological Methods in Paleoecology - Sustainability and Collapse - Archaeobotany: Pollen Analysis, C2 - Advanced Research Methods Paleoecology
May 2015 - June 2018
University of Exeter
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Paleoecological reconstructions of pre-Columbian land use and fire management in the Amazon.
Education
August 2010 - May 2015
University of Utah
Field of study
  • Physical Geography: Paleoecology
September 2007 - May 2010
California State University
Field of study
  • Archaeology: Analytical Archaeology
September 2003 - June 2006
University of California, San Diego
Field of study
  • Religious Studies

Publications

Publications (47)
Article
Full-text available
Protecting “wilderness” and removing human involvement in “nature” was a core pillar of the modern conservation movement through the 20th century. Conservation approaches and legislation informed by this narrative fail to recognise that Aboriginal people have long valued, used, and shaped most landscapes on Earth. Aboriginal people curated open and...
Article
Full-text available
Human beings are an active component of every terrestrial ecosystem on Earth. Although our local impact on the evolution of these ecosystems has been undeniable and extensively documented, it remains unclear precisely how our activities are altering them, in part because ecosystems are dynamic systems structured by complex, non-linear feedback proc...
Article
Full-text available
Despite decades of archaeological research on Jamaica, little is known about how settlers influenced landscape change on the island over time. Here, we examine the impact of human occupation through a multi-proxy approach using phytolith, charcoal, and stratigraphic analyses. White Marl was a continuously inhabited village settlement (ca. 1050–450...
Article
Full-text available
Humans have influenced global fire activity for millennia and will continue to do so into the future. Given the long-term interaction between humans and fire, we propose a collaborative research agenda linking archaeology and fire science that emphasizes the socioecological histories and consequences of anthropogenic fire in the development of fire...
Article
Full-text available
Since Darwin, studies of human evolution have tended to give primacy to open ‘savannah’ environments as the ecological cradle of our lineage, with dense tropical forests cast as hostile, unfavourable frontiers. These perceptions continue to shape both the geographical context of fieldwork as well as dominant narratives concerning hominin evolution....
Article
The southwestern Amazon Rainforest Ecotone (ARE) is the transitional landscape between the tropical forest and seasonally flooded savannahs of the Bolivian Llanos de Moxos. These heterogeneous landscapes harbour high levels of biodiversity and some of the earliest records of human occupation and plant domestication in Amazonia. While persistent Ind...
Article
The paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental history of the Amazon basin over the last millennia and the behavior of the South American Monsoon System (SAMS) throughout the lowlands have not yet been thoroughly examined due to a lack of records from more central portions of the basin. Here we discuss these past changes based on new high-resolution d 18...
Article
Full-text available
Background Fire is known to affect forest biodiversity, carbon storage, and public health today; however, comparable fire histories from across forest regions in the Amazon basin are lacking. Consequently, the degree to which past fires could have preconditioned modern forest resilience to fire remains unknown. Aim We characterised the long-term (...
Article
Full-text available
The catastrophic 2019/2020 Black Summer bushfires were the worst fire season in the recorded history of Southeast Australia. These bushfires were one of several recent global conflagrations across landscapes that are homelands of Indigenous peoples, homelands that were invaded and colonised by European nations over recent centuries. The subsequent...
Article
Full-text available
Charcoal identification and the quantification of its abundance in sedimentary archives is commonly used to reconstruct fire frequency and the amounts of biomass burning. There are, however, limited metrics to measure past fire temperature and fuel type (i.e. the types of plants that comprise the fuel load), which are important for fully understand...
Article
Full-text available
The Amazon forest is increasingly vulnerable to dieback and encroachment of grasslands and agricultural fields. Threats to these forested ecosystems include drying, deforestation, and fire, but feedbacks among these make it difficult to determine their relative importance. Here, we reconstruct the central and western Amazon tree cover response to a...
Article
Full-text available
Pre-Columbian reforestation in Amazonia An early 17th-century temporary reduction in global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) levels was previously attributed to reforestation in Amazonia after the catastrophic loss of life of the indigenous population caused by diseases brought by European invaders. Using fossil pollen data from Amazonian lake se...
Article
Full-text available
Climatic conditions exert an important influence on wildfire activity in the western United States; however, Indigenous farming activity may have also shaped the local fire regimes for millennia. The Fish Lake Plateau is located on the Great Basin–Colorado Plateau boundary, the only region in western North America where maize farming was adopted th...
Preprint
Full-text available
First described over 120 years ago in Brazil, Amazonian Dark Earths (ADEs) are expanses of dark soil that are exceptionally fertile and contain large quantities of archaeological artefacts. The elevated fertility of the dark and often deep A horizon of ADEs is widely regarded as an outcome of pre-Columbian human influence. Controversially, in their...
Preprint
Full-text available
Archaeological research provides clear evidence that the widespread formation of Amazonian Dark Earths (ADEs) in tropical lowland South America was concentrated in the Late Holocene, an outcome of sharp demographic growth that peaked towards 1000 BP. In their recent paper, however, Silva et al. propose that the high fertility of ADE is not of anthr...
Article
During the last two decades, new archaeological projects which systematically integrate a variety of plant recovery techniques, along with palaeoecology, palaeoclimate, soil science and floristic inventories, have started to transform our understanding of plant exploitation, cultivation and domestication in tropical South America. Archaeobotanical...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic soils known as Amazonian Dark Earths (ADEs) have long been known as a key component of subsistence systems for various pre‐Columbian Amazonian populations. Often treated as a single category, ADE systems consist of two broad anthrosols (human‐modified soils): the darker ADE (traditionally known as terra preta) and a lighter brown Amaz...
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
Rising sea levels have been associated with human migration and behavioral shifts throughout prehistory, often with an emphasis on landscape submergence and consequent societal collapse. However, the assumption that future sea-level rise will drive similar adaptive responses is overly simplistic. While the change from land to sea represents a drama...
Article
During the last two decades, new archaeological projects which systematically integrate a variety of plant recovery techniques, along with palaeoecology, palaeoclimate, soil science and floristic inventories, have started to transform our understanding of plant exploitation, cultivation and domestication in tropical South America. Archaeobotanical...
Article
In contrast to temperate regions, relationships between basin characteristics (e.g., type/size) and fossil pollen archives have received little attention in Amazonia. Here, we compare fossil pollen records of a small palm swamp (Cuatro Vientos; CV) and a nearby large lake (Laguna Chaplin, LCH) in Bolivian Amazonia, demonstrating that palm swamps ca...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Amazonian forests predominantly grow on highly weathered and nutrient poor soils. Anthropogenically enriched Amazonian Dark Earths (ADE), traditionally known as Terra Preta de Índio , were formed by pre‐Columbian populations. ADE soils are characterized by increased fertility and have continued to be exploited following European colonization. H...
Article
Full-text available
1.Fire is a powerful ecological and evolutionary force that regulates organismal traits, population sizes, species interactions, community composition, carbon and nutrient cycling, and ecosystem function. It also presents a rapidly growing societal challenge, due to both increasingly destructive wildfires and fire exclusion in fire‐dependent ecosys...
Article
The long-term response of ancient societies to climate change has been a matter of global debate. Until recently, the lack of integrative studies using archaeological, palaeoecological and palaeoclimatological data prevented an evaluation of the relationship between climate change, distinct subsistence strategies and cultural transformations across...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic climate change—combined with increased human-caused ignitions—is leading to increased wildfire frequency, carbon dioxide emissions, and refractory black carbon (rBC) aerosol emissions. This is particularly evident in the Amazon rainforest, where fire activity has been complicated by the synchronicity of natural and anthropogenic drive...
Article
The complexity of maize domestication Maize originated in what is now central Mexico about 9000 years ago and spread throughout the Americas before European contact. Kistler et al. applied genomic analysis to ancient and extant South American maize lineages to investigate the genetic changes that accompanied domestication (see the Perspective by Ze...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic climate change driven by increased carbon emissions is leading to more severe fire seasons and increasing the frequency of mega-fires in the Amazon. This has the potential to convert Amazon forests from net carbon sinks to net carbon sources. Although modern human influence over the Earth is substantial, debate remains over when human...
Article
Full-text available
The legacy of pre-Columbian land use on modern Amazonian forests has stimulated considerable debate which, until now, has not been satisfactorily resolved due to the absence of integrated studies between pre-Columbian and modern land use. Here we show an abrupt enrichment of edible forest species combined with the cultivation of multiple annual cro...
Article
Full-text available
In the highlands of southern Brazil an anthropogenitcally driven expansion of forest occurred at the expense of grasslands between 1410 and 900 cal BP, coincident with a period of demographic and cultural change in the region. Previous studies have debated the relative contributions of increasing wetter and warmer climate conditions and human lands...
Article
Full-text available
A 50,000-year-old sediment core record from Laguna Chaplin is reanalyzed to explore potential paleoecological methods to detect the extent of pre-Columbian disturbance in the Bolivian Amazon. High-resolution (sub-centennial) macrocharcoal data are analyzed using statistical algorithm software including Regime Shift Detection and CHAR Analysis to de...
Article
Full-text available
3rd PAGES Young Scientists Meeting; Morillo de Tou, Spain, 7–9 May 2017
Article
Full-text available
The location, timing, spatial extent, and frequency of wildfires are changing rapidly in many parts of the world, producing substantial impacts on ecosystems, people, and potentially climate. Paleofire records based on charcoal accumulation in sediments enable modern changes in biomass burning to be considered in their long-term context. Paleofire...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Araucaria Moist Forest of southern Brazil is a unique ecological mosaic, dominated by the 'Parana pine' (Araucaria angustifolia), an iconic 'living fossil', dating back to the Mesozoic era. This forest comprises part of the Atlantic Forest, a global biodiversity hotspot with exceptionally high levels of endemism. Unfortunately, after centuries...
Article
Full-text available
The location, timing, spatial extent, and frequency of wildfires are changing rapidly in many parts of the world, producing substantial impacts on ecosystems, people, and potentially climate. Paleofire records based on charcoal accumulation in sediments enable modern changes in biomass burning to be considered in their long-term context. Paleofire...
Article
Full-text available
Cerrãdo savannas have the greatest fire activity of all major global land-cover types and play a significant role in the global carbon cycle. During the 21st century, temperatures are projected to increase by ~ 3 °C coupled with a precipitation decrease of ~ 20%. Although these conditions could potentially intensify drought stress, it is unknown ho...
Article
Full-text available
Cerrãdo savannas have the greatest fire activity of all major global land-cover types and play a significant role in the global carbon cycle. During the 21st century, temperatures are predicted to increase by ~ 3 °C coupled with a precipitation decrease of ~ 20%. Although these conditions could potentially intensify drought stress, it is unknown ho...
Article
Full-text available
We synthesize existing sedimentary charcoal records to reconstruct Holocene fire history at regional, continental and global scales. The reconstructions are compared with the two potential controls of burning at these broad scales – changes in climate and human activities – to assess their relative importance on trends in biomass burning. Here we c...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
1. Understand pre-industrial conditions of the basin prior to urbanization. 2. Understand the impacts of urbanization on the environmental dynamics of the Kingston Harbour. 3. Identify the principal abiotic drivers of change to better guide environmental management, conservation and protection efforts of the harbour.
Project
The Early-Career Network (ECN) of Past Environmental Global Changes (PAGES) aims to facilitate the exchange of ideas and skill sets in order to give early-career researchers the tools to excel in their research fields. The PAGES ECN will aid in the dissemination of information, establish vital scientific networks, and foster the development of ideas that can lead to future research collaborations and improved job prospects.
Project
Applying a combination of archaeobotany, botany, palaeoecology, remote sensing -including the novel application of LIDAR survey – and soil science we investigate the influence of late pre-Columbian (AD 1000-1492) people on Amazonian ecosystems, and the impact of the 1492 Columbian Encounter (CE) and its modern legacy.