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Post-doctoral fellow

Dr Estelle Razanatsoa

Research topic: Understanding the impact of climate change on the ecosystem in southwest Madagascar

Supervisors: Prof Lindsey Gillson, Dr Malika Virah-Sawmy and Dr Stephan Woodborne
Office: Room 5.12.2, HW Pearson Building
Telephone: +27 21 650 2762




PhD, University of Cape Town, South Africa

MSc, University of Montpellier 2, France

BSc, University of Antananarivo, Madagascar

Project description
The impact of climate change on the structure and components of the vegetation on Madagascar is poorly documented. For such information, reconstructing past climate variability, specifically the rainfall, is very important.  My project will investigate the rate and the extent of climate change in southwestern Madagascar from multi-proxy analysis of the last two millennia.  Long term records from diatoms will give information about the rainfall during for every 100-200 years, and a smaller scale of rainfall variability will be obtained from isotope analysis of the baobab ring. In addition, palaeoecological proxies such as pollen, charcoal and spores will be used to reconstruct and retrace the history of the vegetation during the last 2000 years.

Furthermore, my project will seek to understand how stakeholders and NGO’s working to conserve Madagascar’s biodiversity can implement a better strategy to improve people’s way of life in the dry region of the south. 

Research interests

  • Conservation biology
  • Climate variablilty
  • Palaeoecology
  • Ethnobotany
  • Ecology
  • Palynology