Dr Macarena Cárdenas is a Palaeoecologist with background in Botany, Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Macarena is Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Reading for the Je Landscape project in charge of the Palaeoecology aspect where she is working closely with Professor Frank Mayle.
Macarena’s research focuses in understanding how the vegetation has changed in the past and what are the factors related to those changes. For that aim, Macarena performs modern analogues and fossil material studies from profile, bogs and lake sediments. Her studies are preferably of high resolution and multi proxy approach. This last means using several techniques to allow a more robust interpretation of past vegetational and climate change. Within the proxies she uses are pollen, spores, charcoal, wood and physical analysis from sediments.
Amongst Macarena’s previous research studies are the reconstruction of vegetational and environmental changes and quantification of human disturbance of Chilean Southern Patagonian (51ºS) vegetation over the last 17,000 years and of tropical western Amazonian (0ºS) forests over the last 500,000 years.
Within Je Landscape project, Macarena is working to determine and understand the vegetational and environmental changes that happened before, during and after the peak of Je culture. With this aim, Macarena looks at modern and fossil proxies contained in sediments that are collected within and far from key archaeological sites located in Santa Catarina area. It is also her aim to compare the changes of past vegetation among different sites which would allow to more deeply understanding of the dispersal, vegetation/landscape preference and social behavior of Je culture.
More details of Macarena’s role can be found in her webpage of the University of Reading: http://www.reading.ac.uk/ges/Aboutus/Staff/m-l-cardenas.aspx