In 2020, the core group of Conservation Paleobiology in Africa program collaborated remotely to write a research grant to be submitted to the NSF-NERC program that will amplify the outreach and research of the CPiA program. If successful, this grant will allow many dozens of students from throughout Africa to be fully funded to participate in workshops. CPiA co-PIs McGuire and Manthi are also co-PIs on the NSF-NERC grant, along with Executive Steering members Head and Lawing. CPiA co-PI Müller is senior personnel on the grant application.

Also this year, co-PI McGuire received a prestigious NSF-CAREER award. As a part of this award, she had attained funding for a Summer-long research experience for one undergraduate CPiA workshop participant. Finally, several CPiA members have been remotely collaborating on a research paper (still in preparation) that will provide the conceptual framework of the research outlined in the NSF-NERC grant and frame the data collection and analyses that will be integrated into CPiA workshops and collaborations.


Meetings/conferences/ workshops organized by the programme

Planning meetings will be arranged this year for workshops beginning in 2022.


Project related articles published

  • Bakker FT, Antonelli A, Clarke JA, Cook JA, Edwards SV, Ericson PGP, Faurby S, Ferrand N, Gelang M, Gillespie RG, Irestedt M, Lundin K, Larsson E, Matos-Maraví P, Müller J,von Proschwitz T, Roderick GK, Schliep A, Wahlberg N, Wiedenhoeft J, Källersjö M. 2020. The Global Museum: natural history collections and the future of evolutionary science and public education. PeerJ 8:e8225
  • Head JJ, Müller press Late Miocene amphibians and squamates from the United Arab Emirates: Dispersal timing and paleoenvironments in the Arabian Peninsula. In: Sands of Time: Late Miocene Fossils from the Baynunah Formation, U.A.E., edited by Faysal Bibi, Brian Kraatz, Mark Beech, and Andrew Hill. Springer.
  • Lawing AM, Blois J, Maguire K, Goring S, Wang Y, McGuire JL .¶ 2021. Occupancy models reveal regional differences in detectability and improve relative abundance estimations in fossil pollen assemblages. Quaternary Science Reviews. 253:106747.
  • Shorf RA, Pinson K, Lawing AM. 2021. Comparison of environmental inference approaches for ecometric analyses: Using hypsodonty to estimate precipitation. Ecology and Evolution, 11: 587-598.


Action plan for 2021 

Given COVID travel restrictions, we are limiting our activity to remote interactions until 2022. In Spring 2021, we will arrange an all-hands meeting to begin planning for FY2022. This will allow us to advertise our workshop well over a year in advance to attain the participation of excellent instructors and as many students as possible. At our Spring 2021 meeting, we will assign leaders of various components of the workshop (practical curriculum; instruction; recruitment; venue organization).

We will arrange a second all-hands meeting Summer 2021 to report back and finalize plans with smaller groups meeting in the interim. We also plan to complete and submit the paper outlining our research framework in Spring 2021.