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PhD Defense

Noémie Hamon (LSCE)

Title : Climatic changes and hominoids evolution during the Miocene

Date and time : The 26-10-2012 at 14h00

Type : thèse

Université qui délivre le diplôme : UVSQ

Location : Amphithéâtre Claude Bloch, à l'Orme de Merisiers (Gif-sur-Yvette)
Members of jury :

Pr. Michel Brunet (IPHEP, Poitiers & Collège de France, Paris) - Examiner
Pr. Jean-Jacques Jaeger (IPHEP, Poitiers) - Supervisor
Pr. Louis François (LPAP, Liège, Belgium) - Reviewer
Pr. Salvador Moyà-Solà (ICP, Barcelona, Spain) - Reviewer
Dr. Pierre Sepulchre (LSCE, Gif-sur-Yvette) - Examiner
Dr. William Banks (PACEA, Bordeaux) - Examiner
Pr. Louis De Bonis (IPHEP, Poitiers) - Guest Member

Summary :

Hominoids (apes) are the modern humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and gibbons. They arose in Africa approximately 25 million years ago (Ma). Hominoids' evolution was punctuated by diverse dispersals between the African, European and Asian continents, which were made possible by the expansion of their habitat: subtropical to tropical forests. The aim of the present study is to understand the climatic changes that occurred during the Miocene (ca. 23 to 5 Ma) and to study their impact on hominoids' evolution.

First, we focused on the middle Miocene climatic optimum (ca. 17-15 Ma), which coincides with the first hominoids' dispersal out of Africa, in particular the first occurrence of hominoids in the European fossil record. We then studied the impact of the Paratethys Sea retreat on regional climate and vegetation using an atmospheric zoome model. Thirdly, we studied the middle Miocene climatic transition (ca. 14 Ma), which corresponds to a global cooling and East Antarctica ice sheet growth. We particularly focused on the impact of the East-Tethys seaway closure on oceanic circulation and climate. Then we ran a Tortonian (late Miocene, ca. 11 to 7 Ma) experiment to obtain a series of simulations representing the evolution of climate and vegetation during the Miocene. Finally, we used these simulations to force two ecological niche models in order to study the evolution of hominoids' potential distribution during the Miocene.


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