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  • Writer's pictureS. Yoshi Maezumi

Project ISLANDER Funded! 2020-2021

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

ISLANDER: Island Sustainability: the Legacy of Anthropogenic and Natural Disturbance on Ecological Resources

I am delighted to announce that our new project ISLANDER was recently jointly funded by the British Ecological Society and van Eeden Fonds.

Caribbean ecosystems face social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities because they are small, isolated, and at the frontline of climate-induced sea-level rise and storm surge events. These environmental pressures are made worse by unsustainable land use strategies. The future resilience of island nations will be determined by sustainable resource management and adaptive subsistence strategies that can respond to increased frequency of climate extremes. To develop sustainable management strategies, accurate forecasting of long-term vegetation response to climate and human-caused disturbance is necessary. To date, there are few studies that integrate past resource management strategies with palaeoclimate data in the Caribbean. To address this issue, the project ISLANDER will implement an interdisciplinary approach combining palaeoecology, archaeology, palaeoclimatology, and forest management in Curaçao. Curaçao was one of the earliest islands colonized in the Caribbean around 7,000 years ago and is thus ideally suited to explore long term climate-human-environment interactions spanning indigenous, Colonial, and modern resource management strategies. As habitat destruction and fragmentation expand across the Caribbean, coupled with the intensification of climate-driven weather extremes, these integrated data will advance our understanding of the legacy of past land use which can inform sustainable resource management and adaptive subsistence strategies for Caribbean ecosystems in the 21st c.

ISLANDER is a joint research collaboration with Dr. Mark Vermeij Director at Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity (CARMABI) Research Station, Drs Erik Houtepen Director of Christoffel National Park, Drs. Claudia Kraan Director of Archaeology at the Archaeology at the National Archaeological-Anthropological Memory Management (NAAM) organization, Dr. Christina M. Giovas at Simon Fraser University, Dr. Kelsey M. Lowe at the University of Queensland, and Drs. Michiel Kappers at QLC Inc.and InTerris Registries™

Dr. S. Yoshi Maezumi is a Paleoecologist specializing in the legacy of human land use and fire management in modern ecosystems. She is currently a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Amsterdam.

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