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New Paper Published

The human side of biodiversity: coevolution of the human niche, palaeo-synanthropy and ecosystem complexity in the deep human past.

Image: 23001799 on Pixabay

Human presence increases the heterogeneity and complexity of ecosystems, often enhancing biodiversity. This perspective is supported by a study led by Dr. Shumon T. Hussain and Dr. Chris Baumann, indicating that cultural diversity likely has a positive overall effect on ecosystem biodiversity. Contrary to the belief that human activities are solely detrimental, their research suggests that human interaction with ecosystems has always been complex, with both positive and negative effects on biodiversity. They emphasize that biodiversity loss in one area can be offset by gains in another due to human activity. Through archaeological case studies from the Late Pleistocene, the study also highlights how certain animals, like ravens, benefited from human-provided resources, demonstrating that human influence often promotes biodiversity. The research challenges the notion that human impact is always negative and suggests that the homogenization of human lifestyles is a key driver of biodiversity crises, underscoring the intricate relationship between humans and ecosystems.

Press release University of Cologne:
https://portal.uni-koeln.de/en/universitaet/aktuell/press-releases/single-news/humans-can-increase-biodiversity

Publication

Hussain Shumon T. and Baumann Chris 2024
The human side of biodiversity: coevolution of the human niche, palaeo-synanthropy and ecosystem complexity in the deep human past.
Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 37920230021
http://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2023.0021

Hescor is funded

Foto: © Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft, 2023

HESCOR (Cultural Evolution in Changing Climate: Human and Earth System Coupled Research) is in the new funding round for innovative research of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The state government supports ten projects of universities and research institutions. Projects such as these have been supported for years by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in the funding programme "Profilbildung". An independent jury has now selected ten new projects in the second round of funding. In a period of three years, the research teams will receive support totalling around 27 million euros from November 2023.

The funding notices presented Minister of Science Ina Brandes to the teams of universities, colleges of applied sciences and non-university research institutions in Düsseldorf on 20th October 2023. Minister Ina Brandes: “In North Rhine-Westphalia, the future is being conceived, researched and developed. With our funding programme, we are creating freedom for scientists to fill topics and network among themselves across different disciplines. This creates innovative ideas that make people's everyday lives easier.”

Press release Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia:
https://www.mkw.nrw/zukunft-made-nordrhein-westfalen-neue-foerderrunde-fuer-innovative-forschung

More Information about the funding programme "Profilbildung":
https://projekttraeger.dlr.de/de/referenzen/forschungseinrichtungen-nrw-schaerfen-profil-und-staerken-netzwerke