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Emily Lindsey
Barnosky Lab

Emily Lindsey


Phone: (510) 643-6275

Web page:

Her research: "My research focuses on the causes, dynamics and ecological consequences of extinctions, particularly among large-bodied terrestrial vertebrates. As a study system I use the Late Quaternary Extinction event (LQE) in South America, which resulted in the loss of more than 80% of large mammals from the continent during a time of coinciding climate changes and rapidly increasing human population. Specific questions I am investigating include:

  • What were the chronological, taxonomic and biogeographical patterns of the LQE in the neotropics and across the South American continent?
  • How do these patterns compare with data on human populations and regional and local environmental shifts?
  • What can these data tell us about the causes and dynamics of these extinctions?
  • What effects have these extinctions, which are notable for their size-selectivity, had on ecological community composition and interactions in the Holocene?
  • How can the answers to these questions be applied to help inform conservation decisions in the face of climate changes and increasing human population pressures in the modern neotropics?"

"I am also interested in the general biology and paleoecology of South American Pleistocene mammals, especially the extinct giant ground sloth Eremotherium."

Why the UCMP?: "I grew up camping and hiking and being around animals, and early on I developed a strong curiosity about the natural world. In college I studied ecology — the study of how different organisms interact with one another and with different components of their environment. I was also fascinated by prehistory and had dabbled in archaeology, and later on I became excited by the possibility of investigating ecological questions in ancient ecosystems. I love having a career that lets me travel, work outside and investigate big questions about our world. My research on the late-Quaternary extinctions in the neotropics is exciting because very little work has been done in this area, so I really get to pioneer my own research program, and because the results may help conservation of extant taxa in this beautiful and unique region. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the UC Museum of Paleontology, which is an incredible community of scholars working on a diverse range of topics, who support and push one another to do top-notch research. When I am not working I still love hiking, camping and travel, as well as cooking, reading and spending time with friends."


Lindsey, E.L. and E.X. Lopez R. 2014. Tanque Loma, a new late-Pleistocene megafaunal tar seep locality from southwest Ecuador. Journal of South American Earth Sciences (2014). 10.1016/j.jsames.2014.11.003  Read it

Barnosky, A. D., Nicholas Matzke, Susumu Tomiya, Guin Wogan, Brian Swartz, Tiago Quental, Charles Marshall, Jenny L. McGuire, Emily L. Lindsey, Kaitlin C. Maguire, Ben Mersey, Elizabeth A. Ferrer. 2011. Has the Earth's sixth mass extinction already arrived? Nature 471:51-57  Read it

Barnosky, A.D. and E.L. Lindsey. 2010. Timing of Quaternary megafaunal extinction in South America in relation to human arrival and climate change. Quaternary International, 217:10-29.  Read it

Barnosky, A.D., N. Matzke, S. Tomiya, E. Lindsey, and G. Wogan. 2010. How present extinction rates compare with mass extinction rates: insights from mammals. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Program and Abstracts, Volume:57A.

Lindsey, E.L. 2010. Taphonomy and paleoecology of a late-Pleistocene megafaunal tar seep locality from Santa Elena, Ecuador. VII Congreso Latinoamericano de Paleontología. Notes: Conference held in La Plata, Argentina, September 2010

Lindsey, E. L. and A. D. Barnosky. 2009. Intra- and inter-continental patterns of extinction among South American Pleistocene mammals. International Biogeography Society. Merida, Mexico.

Lindsey, E. L., and A. D. Barnosky. Late-Quaternary Extinctions of South American megamammals in relation to human dispersal and climate change. 10th International Mammalogical Congress (Mendoza, Argentina), Abstracts with Program, p. 343.

Lindsey, E. and A. D. Barnosky. 2008. A database of South American Quaternary mammals for paleoecological analyses. Symposium on Mining the Fossil Record Through Geoinformatics. 33rd International Geological Congress, Oslo, Norway

Lindsey, E. and A. D. Barnosky. 2008. Timing of extinctions among late-Pleistocene megamammal taxa in South America. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 28 (Supp. 3):106A.