René Bobe
DSCN0627

Paleobiologist

Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique

 

Research Associate

Primate Models for Behavioural Evolution Lab
University of Oxford
United Kingdom

  renebobe@gmail.com

Associated Researcher

Interdisciplinary Center for Archaeology and Evolution of Human Behavior (ICArEHB)
Universidade do Algarve
Portugal

 

Research Interests

I am a biological anthropologist and paleobiologist interested in the environmental and ecological context of mammalian evolution in Africa. The conceptual focus of my research is on the links between climatic changes and evolutionary processes: How do species respond in geological time to the dynamic nature of Earth’s climate? How can we best use the fossil record to infer past environmental changes? How can the study of past ecosystem dynamics inform current conservation issues and decisions? These questions are relevant not only for understanding the past but also to provide a baseline for our understanding of on-going and future environmental change. To explore these questions I focus on the analysis of fossil and modern mammals that provide long-term records of ecological and evolutionary processes. I have been conducting fieldwork in eastern Africa for the past 25 years, first in the Afar of Ethiopia, then in the Omo-Turkana Basin of Ethiopia and Kenya, and now in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. I am currently studying the first fossil vertebrates from Gorongosa, which fill a major temporal and biogeographic gap in the African record. I am also applying paleontological methods to the analysis of modern vertebrate bone assemblages in Gorongosa with the aim of understanding on-going faunal and environmental changes in the region.

Short Bio

I obtained my PhD in biological anthropology at the University of Washington in 1997, and then held a postdoctoral research position at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. I was an Assistant Professor at the State University of New York (2004-2006) and the University of Georgia (2006-2011), and became an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the George Washington University (2011-2015) and at the University of Chile. I am a Research Associate in the Primate Models for Behavioural Evolution Lab at the University of Oxford, and the lead paleobiologist in the Paleo-Primate Project at Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique.

For my complete CV please click HERE

Key Publications

• Bobe, R. and Carvalho, S. (2019). Humans are not off the hook for extinctions of large herbivores – then or now. The Conversation. Link

• Bobe, R. and Carvalho, S. (2019). Hominin diversity and high environmental variability in the Okote Member, Koobi Fora Formation, Kenya. Journal of Human Evolution 126: 91-105. Link

• Martínez, F., Capelli, C., Ferreira da Silva, M.J., Vera Aldeias, Alemseged, Z., Archer, W., Bamford, M., Biro, D., Bobe, R., Braun, D.R., Cunha, E., Habermann, J.M., Lüdecke, T., Madiquida, H., Mathe, J., Negash, E., Paulo, L.M., Pinto, M., Stalmans, M., Tátá, F. and Carvalho, S. (2019). A missing piece of the Papio puzzle: Gorongosa baboon phenostructure and intrageneric relationships. Journal of Human Evolution 130: 1-20. Link

• Dumouchel, L. and Bobe, R. (2019). Paleoecological implications of dental mesowear and hypsodonty in fossil ungulates from Kanapoi. Journal of Human Evolution. Link

• Habermann, J., Alberti, M., Alemseged, Z., Aldeias, V., Archer, W., Bamford, M., Biro, D., Braun, D., Capelli, C., Cunha, E., Ferreira da Silva, J., Lüdecke, T., Madiquida, H., Martínez, F., Mathe, J., Negash, E.W., Paulo, L.M., Pinto, M., Stalmans, M., Tátá, F., Wynn, J., Bobe, R. and Carvalho, S. (2019). Gorongosa by the sea: first Miocene fossil sites from the Urema Rift, central Mozambique, and their coastal paleoenvironmental and paleoecological contexts. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 514: 723-738. Link

• Bobe, R. and Carvalho, S. (2018). The decline of Africa’s largest mammals: Did hominins play a role in the loss of megaherbivores? Science 362(6417): 892-893. Link

• Püschel, T.A., Marcé-Nogué, J., Gladman, J.T., Bobe, R. and Sellers, W.I. (2018). Inferring locomotor behaviours in Miocene New World monkeys using finite element analysis, geometric morphometrics and machine-learning classification techniques applied to talar morphology. Journal of The Royal Society Interface 15(146). Link

• Geraads, D. and Bobe, R. (2017). Suidae from Kanapoi. Journal of Human Evolution. Link

• Geraads, D. and Bobe, R. (2017). Ruminants (Giraffidae and Bovidae) from Kanapoi. Journal of Human Evolution. Link

• Patterson, D., Braun, D., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Lehmann, S., Merritt, S., Reeves, J. Wood, B. and Bobe, R. (2017). Landscape scale heterogeneity in the East Turkana ecosystem during the Okote Member (1.56-1.38 Ma). Journal of Human Evolution 112: 148-161. Link

• Püschel, T., Gladman, J., Bobe, R. and Sellers, W. (2017). The evolution of the platyrrhine talus: a comparative analysis of the phenetic affinities of the Miocene platyrrhines with their modern relatives. Journal of Human Evolution 111: 179-201. Link

• Patterson, D., Braun, D., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Merritt, S., Zliobaite, I., Reeves, J., Wood, B., Fortelius, M. and Bobe, R. (2017). Ecosystem evolution and hominin paleobiology at East Turkana, northern Kenya between 2.0 and 1.4 Ma. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 481: 1-13. Link

• Montoya, G., Moreno, K., Bobe, R., Carrano, M., García, M. and Corgne, A. (2017). Peltephilidae and Mesotheriidae (Mammalia) from late Miocene strata of northern Chilean Andes, Caragua. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 75: 51-65. Link

• Lanzarone, P., Garrison, E., Bobe, R. and Getahun, A. (2016). Examining fluvial stratigraphic architecture using ground-penetrating radar at the Fanta Stream fossil and archaeological site, Central Ethiopia. Geoarchaeology 31(6): 577-591. Link

• Bobe, R. (2016). Paleontology. Oxford Bibliographies in Anthropology. John L. Jackson, Editor. Oxford University Press. Link

• Fortelius, M., Zliobaite, I., Kaya, F., Bibi, F., Bobe, R., Leakey, L., Leakey, M., Patterson, D., Rannikko, J. and Werdelin, L. (2016). An ecometric analysis of the fossil mammal record of the Turkana Basin. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 371(1698): 20150232. Link

• Mbua, E., Kusaka, S., Kunimatsu, Y., Geraads, D., Sawada, Y., Brown, F.H., Sakai, T., Boisserie, J.-R., Saneyoshi, M., Omuombo, C., Muteti, S., Hirata, T., Hayashida, A., Iwano, H., Danhara, T., Bobe, R., Jicha, B. and Nakatsukasa, M. (2016). Kantis: A new Australopithecus site on the shoulders of the Rift Valley near Nairobi, Kenya. Journal of Human Evolution 94: 28-44. Link

• Reed, D., Barr, A., McPherron, S., Bobe, R., Geraads, D., Wynn, J. and Alemseged, Z. (2015). Digital data collection in paleoanthropology. Evolutionary Anthropology 24(6): 238-249. Link

• Plummer, T.W., Ferraro, J.V., Louys, J., Hertel, F., Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R. and Bishop, L.C. (2015). Bovid ecomorphology and hominin paleoenvironments of the Shungura Formation, lower Omo River Valley, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution 88: 108-126. Link

• Thompson, J., McPherron, S., Bobe, R., Reed, D., Barr, W.A., Wynn, J., Marean, C., Geraads, D. and Alemseged, Z. (2015). Taphonomy of fossils from the hominin-bearing deposits at Dikika, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution 86: 112-135. Link

• Geraads, D., Drapeau, M., Bobe, R. and Fleagle, J. (2015). Vulpes mathisoni sp. nov., a new fox from the Pliocene Mursi Formation of Southern Ethiopia, and its contribution to the origin of African foxes. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 35(4): e943765 (7 pages). Link

• Geraads, D., Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R. and Reed, D. (2015). Pliocene Carnivora (Mammalia) from the Hadar Formation at Dikika, Lower Awash Valley, Ethiopia. Journal of African Earth Sciences 107: 28-36. Link

• Hockings, K., McLennan, M., Carvalho, S., Ancrenaz, M., Bobe, R., Byrne, R., Dunbar, R., Matsuzawa, T., McGrew, W., Williamson, E., Wilson, M., Wood, B., Wrangham, R. and Hill, C. (2015). Apes in the Anthropocene: adaptation and survival. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 30(4): 215-222. Link

• Caruana, M., Carvalho, S., Braun, D., Presnyakova, D., Haslam, M., Archer, W., Bobe, R. and Harris, J. (2014). Quantifying traces of tool use: a novel morphometric analysis of damage patterns on percussive tools. PLoS ONE 9(11): e113856. Link

• Drapeau, M., Bobe, R., Wynn, J., Campisano, C., Geraads, D. and Dumouchel, L. (2014). The Omo Mursi Formation: A window into the East African Pliocene. Journal of Human Evolution 75: 64-79. Link

• Patterson, D., Faith, T., Bobe, R. and Wood, B. (2014). Regional diversity patterns in African bovids, hyaenids, and felids during the past 3 million years: the role of taphonomic bias and implications for the evolution of Paranthropus. Quaternary Science Reviews 96: 9-22. Link

• Geraads, D., Bobe, R. and Manthi, F.K. (2013). New ruminants (Mammalia) from the Pliocene of Kanapoi, Kenya, and a revision of previous collections, with a note on the Suidae. Journal of African Earth Sciences 85: 53-61. Link

• Geraads, D., Reed, K. and Bobe, R. (2013). Pliocene Giraffidae (Mammalia) from the Hadar Formation of Hadar and Ledi-Geraru, Lower Awash, Ethiopia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33(2): 470-481. Link

• Geraads, D., Bobe, R. and Reed, K. (2012). Pliocene Bovidae (Mammalia) from the Hadar Formation of Hadar and Ledi-Geraru, Lower Awash, Ethiopia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 32(1): 180-197. Link

• Bobe, R. (2011). Fossil mammals and paleoenvironments in the Omo-Turkana Basin. Evolutionary Anthropology 20(6): 254-263. Link

• Bobe, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Leakey, M. and Mbua, E. (2011). The Turkana Database: An archive of vertebrate evolution in East Africa. Evolutionary Anthropology 20(6): 256.

• Levin, N., Brown, F., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Bobe, R. and Cerling, T. (2011). Paleosol carbonates from the Omo Group: isotopic records of local and regional environmental change in East Africa. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 307(1-4): 75-89. Link

• McPherron, S., Alemseged, Z., Marean, C., Wynn, J.G., Reed, D., Geraads, D., Bobe, R. and Béarat, H. (2011). Tool-marked bones from before the Oldowan change the paradigm. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108(21): E116. Link

• Geraads, D., Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R. and Reed, D. (2011). Enhydriodon dikikae, sp. nov. (Carnivora: Mammalia), a gigantic otter from the Pliocene of Dikika, Lower Awash, Ethiopia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31(2): 447-453. (March) Link

• McPherron, S., Alemseged, Z., Marean, C., Wynn, J.G., Reed, D., Geraads, D., Bobe, R. and Béarat, H. (2010). Evidence for stone-tool-assisted consumption of animal tissues before 3.39 million years ago at Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature 466: 857-860. Link

• Geraads, D., Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R. and Reed, D. (2010). Nyctereutes lockwoodi, n. sp., a new canid (Carnivora: Mammalia) from the middle Pliocene of Dikika, Lower Awash, Ethiopia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30(3): 981-987. Link

• Bobe, R. and Leakey, M.G. (2009). Ecology of Plio-Pleistocene mammals in the Omo-Turkana Basin and the emergence of Homo. In Grine, F.E., Fleagle, J.G., Leakey, R.E. (Editors), The first humans: origins of the genus Homo. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 173-184.

• Alemseged, Z. and Bobe, R. (2009). Diet in early hominin species: a paleoenvironmental perspective. In Hublin, J.J., Richards, M.P. (Editors), The evolution of hominid diets: integrating approaches to the study of Paleolithic subsistence. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 181-188.

• Benington, J.B., DiMichele, W., Badgley, C., Bambach, R., Barrett, P., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Bobe, R., Burnham, R., Daeschler, E., Van Dam, J., Eronen, J., Erwin, D., Finnegan, S., Holland, S., Hunt, G., Jablonski, D., Jackson, S., Jacobs, B., Kidwell, S., Koch, P., Kowalewski, M., Labandeira, C., Looy, C., Lyons, K., Novack-Gottshall, P., Potts, R., Roopnarine, P., Strömberg, C., Sues, H.-D., Wagner, P., Wilf, P. and Wing, S. (2009). Critical issues of scale in paleoecology. Palaios 24(1): 1-4. Link

• Mbua, E., Alemseged, Z. and Bobe, R. (2008). A new association for East African paleoanthropology and paleontology. Evolutionary Anthropology 17: 123-124. Link

• Bobe, R., Alemseged, Z. and Behrensmeyer, A.K. (Editors) (2007). Hominin Environments in the East African Pliocene: An Assessment of the Faunal Evidence. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Springer, Dordrecht. 354 pp.

• Bobe, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Eck, G.G. and Harris, J.M. (2007). Patterns of abundance and diversity in late Cenozoic bovids from the Turkana and Hadar Basins, Kenya and Ethiopia. In: Bobe, R., Alemseged, Z., Behrensmeyer, A.K. (Eds.), Hominin Environments in the East African Pliocene: An Assessment of the Faunal Evidence. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 129-157.

• Bobe, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Eck, G.G. and Harris, J.M. (2007). Patterns of abundance and diversity in late Cenozoic bovids from the Turkana and Hadar Basins, Kenya and Ethiopia. In: Bobe, R., Alemseged, Z., Behrensmeyer, A.K. (Eds.), Hominin Environments in the East African Pliocene: An Assessment of the Faunal Evidence. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 129-157.

• Alemseged, Z., Spoor, F., Kimbel, W.H., Bobe, R., Geraads, D., Reed, D. and Wynn, J.G. (2006). A juvenile early hominin skeleton from Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature 443: 296-301. Link

• Wynn, J., Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R., Geraads, D., Reed, D. and Roman, D. (2006). Geological and palaeontological context of a Pliocene juvenile hominin at Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature 443: 332-336. Link

• Bobe, R. (2006). The evolution of arid ecosystems in eastern Africa. Journal of Arid Environments 66(3): 564-584. Link

• Alemseged, Z., Wynn, J., Kimbel, W., Reed, D., Geraads, D. and Bobe, R. (2005). A new hominin from the Basal Member of the Hadar Formation, Dikika, Ethiopia, and its geological context. Journal of Human Evolution 49: 499-514. Link

• Bobe, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K. and Carrasco, G. (2004). Paleoclima y evolución faunística en el Plio-Pleistoceno de África y América del Sur. Ameghiniana 41(4): 641-649.

• DiMichele, W., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Olszewski, T., Labandeira, C., Pandolfi, J., Wing, S. and Bobe, R. (2004). Long-term stasis in ecological assemblages: evidence from the fossil record. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 35: 285-322.

• Bobe, R. and Behrensmeyer, A.K. (2004). The expansion of grassland ecosystems in Africa in relation to mammalian evolution and the origin of the genus Homo. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 207: 399-420. [Most requested article from Palaeo3 for the year 4/2004-3/2005

• Bobe, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Chapman, R.E. and Eck, G.G. (2004). Evolución humana en valle del Omo (Etiopía): relación con cambios faunísticos y variaciones ambientales en el Plioceno terminal. Fundamental 3: 1-59.

• Bobe, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K. and Chapman, R.E. (2002). Faunal change, environmental variability and late Pliocene hominin evolution. Journal of Human Evolution 42(4): 475-497. [Winner of the First Prize for Excellence in Paleontological Research, Teruel, Spain] Link

• Bobe, R. and Eck, G.G. (2001). Responses of African bovids to Pliocene climatic change. Paleobiology 27 supplement to No. 2. Paleobiology Memoirs 2: 1-47. [Featured full-page in Science 293, 2377]

• Kimbel, W., Walter, R., Johanson, D., Reed, K., Aronson, J., Assefa, Z., Marean, C., Eck, G., Bobe, R., Hovers, E., Rak, Y., Vondra, C., Yemane, T., York, D., Chen, Y., Evensen, N. and Smith, P. (1996). Late Pliocene Homo and Oldowan tools from the Hadar Formation (Kada Hadar Member), Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution 31: 549-561.