Blas Benito: New postdoc at the Centre for Biocultural History

Blas Benito, ecologist and modeler, has joined the Neanderthal project. He will be working to unveil the ecological niche and distribution of Neanderthals and improve the current knowledge on the habitat and climate requirements of this hominin species.

2014.06.12 | Blas Benito

The last May we received a new postdoctoral researcher, Blas Benito (from Spain), who is going develop in our project to unveil the ecological niche and distribution of Neanderthals and improve the current knowledge on the habitat and climate requirements of this hominin species.

Blas Benito is an ecologist with experience in the applications of static and dynamic geographic modeling methods to answer ecological questions at different spatial and temporal scales. During his PhD at the Botany Department of the University of Granada, and his first postdoc at CEAMA, Blas applied Species Distribution Models to study the conservation issues of Mediterranean plants under Global Change. This research has been focused both on the effects of human development on habitat fragmentation and loss, and in the prediction of the potential effects of future climate warming on the distribution of plants. During his postdoc fellowship within the MIGRAME project (Global Change, altitudinal range shift and colonization of degraded habitats in Mediterranean mountains) at the Group of Terrestrial Ecology (University of Granada) Blas designed an Agent-Based Model (coded with NetLogo) to simulate realistic tree range shift in mountain habitats. He will apply this methodology to model the niche and distribution of Neanderthals.

Blas is also collaborating with the Palaeoecology Group of the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology in the application of mechanistic modeling methods to test palaeoecological hypotheses related with the postglacial expansion of tree species, and fire-vegetation dynamics during the Holocene.

If you want to know more about his research, you can visit his website.

During his postdoc appointment, Blas will be working with Brody Sandel, Jens C. Svenning (ecologists), Felix Riede, Trine Kellberg Nielsen (archaeologists), Mikkel Schierup, Thomas Mailund (bioinformaticians) and Peter C. Jkaergaard (director of the Centre for Biocultural History).

People , Neanderthal heritage