Simon Connor

Simon Connor
Australian National University | ANU · Department of Archaeology & natural history

Doctor of Philosophy

About

103
Publications
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Introduction
Simon Connor currently works at the Australian National University in the Archaeology & Natural History Department of the School of Culture, History & Language. For more information, check out http://www.simonconnor.info

Publications

Publications (103)
Article
Full-text available
Owing to its diverse bioclimatic zones, long human history and intense anthropogenic impacts, Africa provides a model system for studying how global terrestrial ecosystems might respond to accelerated socio‐environmental stress. Africa is particularly vulnerable to climate change and human impact, and insufficient baseline data hamper current envir...
Article
Full-text available
Using a paleoecological approach, we reveal that recent human activities, rather than natural variations in climate, have caused the greatest changes to Nigerian forests in the last 7000 years. Savanna has shown an even higher climate sensitivity in the past and will likely experience significant changes based on projections of future climate chang...
Article
Rainforests are the Earth’s largest terrestrial carbon sinks and are rapidly shrinking due to unprecedented human impact, especially tropical rainforests, which host ~50% of global biodiversity. Understanding what makes rainforests resilient on a long‐term basis is key to preserving global rainforests and their ecological services. Here, using esti...
Article
We analyzed the evidence interpreted as profound changes of human origin, prior to Portuguese colonization and call into question the conclusions presented by Raposeiro et al. 2021. This analysis and reinterpretation is supported by multiple data sources, including data presented by Raposeiro et al. 2021; similar studies previously carried out on...
Article
Significance Wetland environments are increasingly threatened by climate change, population expansion, resource extraction, forest clearance, and pollution. The Ramsar Convention aims to monitor internationally important wetlands to ensure their ongoing maintenance and survival through wise use and management. However, many wetlands have undergone...
Article
Understanding long-term ecological development of wetlands is critical to effective management. The islands of Bass Strait, southeast Australia, have several biologically diverse natural wetlands, including Ramsar sites, yet little is known about their ecology. Here, through a multi-proxy palaeoecological approach, we seek to understand how wetland...
Article
The rapid increase in severe wildfires in many parts of the world, especially in temperate systems, requires urgent attention to reduce fires’ catastrophic impacts on human lives, livelihoods, health and economy. Of particular concern is southeast Australia, which harbours one of the most flammable vegetation types on Earth. While previous studies...
Article
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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
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Understanding the significance of pollen diversity is key to reconstructing plant diversity over long timescales. Here we present quantitative pollen-plant diversity comparisons for a mountainous area of the Western Mediterranean region. Samples were collected between 430–1,865 m elevation and pollen-plant diversity assessed through richness and tu...
Article
The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) remains an enigmatic period in southeast Australia due to the limited spatial and temporal resolution of its palaeoclimatic records. A major feature of the LGM landscape was the existence of the Bassian Land Bridge, joining Tasmania with the mainland of Australia during periods of low sea level, and potentially facili...
Article
Understanding long-term (centennial–millennial scale) ecosystem stability and dynamics are key to sustainable management and conservation of ecosystem processes under the currently changing climate. Fossil pollen records offer the possibility to investigate long-term changes in vegetation composition and diversity on regional and continental scales...
Article
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Aim: Temperate forests are currently facing multiple stresses due to climate change, biological invasions, habitat fragmentation and fire regime change. How these stressors interact with each other influences how, when and whether ecosystems recover, or whether they adapt or transition to a different ecological state. Because forest recovery or col...
Article
Accelerating ecosystem disruption Oceanic islands are among the most recent areas on Earth to have been colonized by humans, in many cases in just the past few thousand years. Therefore, they are important laboratories for the study of human impacts on natural vegetation and biodiversity. Nogué et al. provide a quantitative palaeoecological study o...
Article
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Indigenous land use and climate have shaped fire regimes in southeast Australia during the Holocene, although their relative influence remains unclear. The archaeologically attested mid-Holocene decline in land-use intensity on the Furneaux Group islands (FGI) relative to mainland Tasmanian and SE Australia presents a natural experiment to identify...
Article
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Aim Understanding long‐term heathland development is key in mitigating their current attrition globally. However, such knowledge is limited in Australia and the wider Southern Hemisphere. We aim to identify potential climatic and environmental drivers of Holocene heathland development in temperate‐oceanic Australia (Bass Strait), and also assess th...
Article
Knowledge of the drivers of ecosystem changes in the past is key to understanding present ecosystem responses to changes in climate, fire regimes and anthropogenic impacts. Northern Hemisphere‐focussed studies suggest that climate and human activities drove turnover during the Holocene in temperate ecosystems. Various drivers have been invoked to e...
Conference Paper
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The southeastern coast of Mozambique is a key area for the development of paleoenvironmental and human evolution studies. To understand the history of environmental evolution in this area, two cores were collected in the Muangue and Nyalonzelwe lakes. The cores were analyzed for their sediment texture, content of organic/inorganic carbon and nitrog...
Article
The capital of ancient Iberia, Mtskheta, has long occupied a central role in the social, religious and economic life of Western Asia (Fig. 1). The town sits at the confluence of two major rivers, the Aragvi and Mtkvari (Kura). Their valleys brought people, trade and cultural influences from surrounding lands for millennia. Mtskheta’s environs are r...
Conference Paper
Understanding the role of climate on the onset of behavioral modernity in anatomically modern humans has never been more vital in the quest to reconstruct our origins. In order to understand the role climate played in facilitating the development and expression of modern human behaviors, our interdisciplinary research team cored a series of coastal...
Poster
In order to better quantify the role of climate variability in southeastern Africa, and its impact on the evolution and spread of anatomically modern humans, our international and interdisciplinary team cored a series of coastal lakes during the summer of 2019. Here, we present data from lake Nyalonzelwe, one of many interdunal lakes present along...
Article
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Wildfire occurrence is influenced by climate, vegetation and human activities. A key challenge for understanding fire-climate-vegetation interactions is to quantify the effect vegetation has in mediating fire regime. Here, we explore the relative importance of Holocene land cover and dominant functional forest type, and climate dynamics on biomass...
Article
Wildfire occurrence is influenced by climate, vegetation and human activities. A key challenge for understanding the risk of fires is quantifying the mediating effect of vegetation on fire regimes. Here, we explore the relative importance of Holocene land cover, land use, dominant functional forest type, and climate dynamics on biomass burning in t...
Technical Report
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This Policy Brief results from a workshop held at Royal Holloway University of London and funded by PAGES, the Quaternary Research Association (QRA), and Chrono-environnement CNRS/Université de Franche-Comté. The workshop gathered 30 international participants from 15 countries to discuss ongoing challenges on biodiversity conservation and fire pol...
Poster
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Abstract: Many oceanic islands have undergone dramatic ecological changes during the last few centuries. Human activities and exotic species have so greatly modifed the landscapes of these islands that the original vegetation is difficult to imagine. Areas of remnant vegetation are therefore used as baselines for restoration. But how representative...
Presentation
Esta aula pretende apresentar o Projeto InMoz e a sua equipa. Este projeto tem como objetivo investigar as alterações ambientais ao longo do Quaternário na área Sudeste de Moçambique e os seus impactos na evolução humana. Assim, foi feita uma introdução sobre o que são paleoambientes e que fatores influenciam a sua evolução (e.g. alterações climáti...
Conference Paper
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In order to better manage climate risks and to predict environmental resilience, first it is necessary to know about climate changes through time and how different environments react to those changes. However, most paleoenvironmental studies are concentrated in middle to high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. To better understand spatial climat...
Article
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Fire regime changes are considered a major threat to future biodiversity in the Mediterranean Basin. Such predictions remain uncertain, given that fire regime changes and their ecological impacts occur over timescales that are too long for direct observation. Here we analyse centennial- and millennialscale shifts in fire regimes and compositional t...
Chapter
This Final Report is the principal outcome of Tundzha Regional Archaeology Project (TRAP) fieldwork conducted between 2009 and 2011, as well as associated studies that continued through 2015. Research focused on two study areas: the Kazanlak Valley and the Thracian Plain south of Yambol. TRAP was the first international, multidisciplinary, diachron...
Chapter
Integrated environmental research has been a key aspect of the Tundzha Regional Archaeological Project (TRAP) since its inception. To better contextualise settlement patterns within the prehistoric landscape, approaches such as palaeoecology, magnetic mineralogy, sedimentary charcoal analysis, speleothem analysis, radiometric dating, archaeobotany,...
Article
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We examine the Holocene environmental changes in a wet dune slack of the Portuguese coast, Poço do Barbarroxa de Baixo. Lithology, organic matter, biological proxies and high-resolution chronology provide estimations of sediment accumulation rates and changes in environmental conditions in relation to sea-level change and climate variability during...
Chapter
The rich agricultural and pastoral lands of the Middle Tundzha Plain have a long history of human activity. Palaeoecological data from the Straldzha Mire have provided unprecedented information about past environments of the Middle Tundzha River lowlands. This chapter describes the pollen and other environmental evidence, with the aims of contextua...
Article
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To evaluate the biomization technique for reconstructing past vegetation in the Eastern Mediterranean–Black Sea–Caspian-Corridor using an extensive modern pollen data set and comparing reconstructions to potential vegetation and observed land cover data. The region between 28–48°N and 22–62°E. We apply the biomization technique to 1,387 modern poll...
Article
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We provide the first European-scale geospatial training set relating the charcoal signal in surface lake sediments to fire parameters (number, intensity and area) recorded by satellite moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors. Our calibration is intended for quantitative reconstructions of key fire-regime parameters by using se...
Article
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Fire and livestock grazing are regarded as current threats to biodiversity and landscape integrity in Northern Australia, yet it remains unclear what biodiversity losses and habitat changes occurred in the 19–20th centuries as livestock and novel fire regimes were introduced by Europeans. What baseline is appropriate for assessing current and futur...
Article
Population dynamics is a field rich in theory and poor in long-term observational data. Finding sources of long-term data is critical as ecosystems around the globe continue to change in ways that current theories and models have failed to predict. Here we show how long-term ecological data can improve our understanding about palaeo-population chan...
Article
This paper discusses the concept of potential natural vegetation (PNV) in light of the pollen records available to date for the Macaronesian biogeographical region, with emphasis on the Azores Islands. The classical debate on the convenience or not of the PNV concept has been recently revived in the Canary Islands, where pollen records of pre-anthr...
Article
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Aim: To test competing hypotheses about the timing and extent of Holocene landscape opening using pollen-based quantitative land-cover estimates. Location: Dove Lake, Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Australia. Methods: Fossil pollen data were incorporated into pollen dispersal models and corrected for differences in pollen productivity...
Poster
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Diatoms are unicellular algae that live in saline, brackish and freshwater environments, either floating in the water column or associated with various substrates (e.g., muddy and sandy sediments). Diatoms are sensitive to changes in environmental variables such as salinity, sediment texture, nutrient availability, light and temperature. This chara...
Article
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Past climate dynamics have helped shape the endemic ecosystems of Macaronesia. However, these insular ecosystems have since been modified following the arrival of human settlers, who had to adapt to the new environments and resources.
Article
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In this paper, we reconstruct the Holocene paleoenvironmental evolution of the Guadiana Estuary, southwestern Iberian Peninsula. Two previously studied boreholes (CM3 and CM5) were revisited and analyzed in the light of a foraminifera modern analog approach. Cluster analyses define four assemblages with different biocenotic, taphonomic, elevation a...
Conference Paper
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As with many oceanic archipelagos, Azorean ecosystems were subject to intense anthropogenic impacts following the islands’ colonisation in the 15th century. The degree of habitat modification on some islands has been so great that it is difficult to imagine the pre-colonial biota, let alone understand its ecology. On the Azores, historical descript...
Poster
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As diatomáceas são algas microscópicas que vivem na coluna de água e associadas aos sedimentos dos rios, bem como dos lagos e oceanos. Por serem capazes de viver numa diversidade tão grande de ambientes elas são excelentes indicadores ambientais. Contudo, as diatomáceas têm sido pouco estudadas nos ambientes estuarinos. Sendo o Rio Arade o segundo...
Article
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This study analyses the taxonomy, ecology and biogeography of the species of benthic foraminifera living on the intertidal margins of the Guadiana Estuary (SE Portugal, SW Spain). Of the 54 taxa identified during sampling campaigns in winter and summer, 49 are systematically listed and illustrated by scanning electron microscope (SEM) photographs....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Poço do Barbaroxa de Baixo (BB)is a shallow (<1m depth) and small (surface <0.4km2) open water dune slack of the SW Portuguese coast, which occasionally dries out in summer. A sediment core (330 cm) was analyzed for diatom content, TOC, TN, TS, 13C, and 15N, and an age model was constructed using AMS 14C dates. The core consists of peat and peaty...
Article
The present study analyzes the spatial distribution and seasonal distribution of live benthic foraminiferal communities in the estuary of Guadiana, the fourth largest river on the Iberian Peninsula, and establishes, through statistical analysis, their relationships with a series of environmental parameters. Forty-four superficial sediment samples w...
Article
Records of past climate variability and associated vegetation response exist in various regions throughout Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). To date, there has been no coherent synthesis of the existing palaeorecords. During an INTIMATE meeting (Cluj Napoca, Romania) focused on identifying CEE paleo-records, it was decided to address this gap by pr...
Article
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452_Camacho.pdf | DOI:10.5894/rgci452 Geochemical characteristics of sediments along the margins of an atlantic-mediterranean estuary (the Guadiana, Southeast Portugal): spatial and seasonal variations * Características geoquímicas das margens dum estuário Atlanto-Mediterrânico (o Guadiana, Sudeste de Portugal): variação espacial e sazonal AbstrAct...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The understanding of the sedimentological and physico-chemical characteristics of intertidal zones is important for defining baselines for studies focused on (i) the ecological distribution of estuarine benthic communities, (ii) estuarine environmental status, and (iii) improvement of paleoenvironmental reconstructions in estuarine systems through...
Article
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[English] The Kura-Araxes culture flourished in the South Caucasus and neighbouring regions during the 4th–3rd millennia BC. More than in previous periods, this period saw a greater concentration of populations in the vast volcanic highlands of this region. Palaeoecological records suggest that deciduous forests reached their maximum extent at the...
Article
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Modern pollen samples provide an invaluable research tool for helping to interpret the Quaternary fossil pollen record, allowing investigation of the relationship between pollen as the proxy and the environmental parameters such as vegetation, land-use, and climate that the pollen proxy represents. The European Modern Pollen Database (EMPD) is a ne...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The fossil foraminifera assemblages of the Ria Formosa Lagoon has been studied