My Research primarily focuses on the study of past environmental change in the arid to sub-humid environments of southern Africa. While this region is highly sensitive to cycles of regional and global environmental change, and has the potential to be a valuable indicator of past climatic variability, only a very few palaeoenvironmental archives have been recovered from the area, and its environmental history remains poorly understood. As a result, models that have been developed to elucidate the dynamics of regional ecosystems, and the environmental context for human and cultural evolution are often contentious, lacking sufficient evidence to make robust interpretations. This paucity of palaeoenvironmental information is largely a function of the region’s climate that often precludes the preservation of organic proxy data sources. My research concentrates on overcoming these obstacles by identifying and analyzing proxy archives that have either not experienced or are resistant to the effects of the region’s pronounced seasonality.
I am presently exploring several primary research themes:
The development of fossilised rock hyrax middens as new palaeoenvironmental archive.
Studies of sediment cores from coastal wetlands in South Africa.
The development of pdf-based botanical-climatological transfer functions to derive quantitative estimates of palaeoclimatic parameters from palaeobotanical datasets.
Statistical methods for time -series and spatial analyses that improve the reliability and interpretations of individual records, and the combination and comparison of records.
Methods for data-model comparison that maximise the potential to infer the dynamical processes responsible for the environmental processes observed in the fossil record.
The assessment of the impact of past climate change on the development of the Cape Floristic Region.
The assessment of the impact of past environmental change on the development of early modern humans.
Peer-reviewed journal articles:
63 . J. Tyler Faith, Brian M. Chase, D. Margaret Avery (2018). Late Quaternary micromammals and the precipitation history of the southern Cape, South Africa. Quaternary Research , 1-13.
62 . Nolan, Connor, Stephen T. Jackson, Jonathan T. Overpeck, Judy R.M. Allen, Patricia M. Anderson, Julio L. Betancourt, Heather A. Binney, Simon Brewer, Mark B. Bush, Brian M. Chase, Rachid Cheddadi, Morteza Djamali, John Dodson, Mary E. Edwards, William D. Gosling, Simon Haberle, Sara C. Hotchkiss, Brian Huntley, Sarah J. Ivory, A. Peter Kershaw, Claudio Latorre, Michelle Leydet, Anne-Marie Lézine, Kam-Biu Liu, Yao Liu, A.V. Lozhkin, Matt S. McGlone, Robert A. Marchant, Patricio I. Moreno, Stefanie Müller, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, Caiming Shen, Janelle Stevenson, Pavel E. Tarasov, John Tipton, Annie Vincens, Chengyu Weng, Qinghai Xu, & Zhuo Zheng (2018). Past and future global transformation of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change. Science 361, 920-923.
61 . Brian M. Chase and Lynne J. Quick (2018). Agulhas forcing of Holocene climate change in South Africa’s southern Cape. Quaternary Research 90, 303-309.
60 . Lynne J. Quick, Brian M. Chase, Michael Wündsch, Kelly L. Kirsten, Manuel Chevalier, Roland Mäusbacher, Michael E. Meadows, Torsten Haberzettl (2018). A high-resolution record of Holocene climate and vegetation dynamics from the southern Cape coast of South Africa: pollen and microcharcoal evidence from Eilandvlei. Journal of Quaternary Science 33, 35-44.
59 . Brian M. Chase, J. Tyler Faith, Alex Mackay, Manuel Chevalier, Andrew S. Carr, Arnoud Boom, Sophak Lim, Paula J. Reimer (2017). Climatic controls on Later Stone Age human adaptation in Africa’s southern Cape. Journal of Human Evolution 114, 35-44.
58 . Brian M. Chase, Manuel Chevalier, Arnoud Boom, Andrew S. Carr (2017). The dynamic relationship between temperate and tropical circulation systems across South Africa since the Last Glacial Maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews 174, 54-62.
57 . Carlos Cordova, Louis Scott, Brian M. Chase, Manuel Chevalier (2017). Late Pleistocene-Holocene vegetation and climate change in the Middle Kalahari, Lake Ngami, Botswana. Quaternary Science Reviews 171, 199-215.
56 . PAGES2k Consortium (2017). A global multiproxy database for temperature reconstructions of the Common Era. Scientific Data 4.
55 . Nicole Herrmann, Arnoud Boom, Andrew S. Carr, Brian M. Chase, Adam G. West, Matthias Zabel, Enno Schefuß (2017). Hydrogen isotopic fractionation of leaf wax n-alkanes in soils from southern African ecosystems. Organic Geochemistry 109, 1-13.
54 . Manuel Chevalier, Simon Brewer and Brian M. Chase (2017). Qualitative assessment of PMIP3 rainfall simulations across the southeast African monsoon domain during the mid-Holocene and the Last Glacial Maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews 156, 107-120.
53 . David J. Nash, Gijs De Cort, Brian M. Chase, Dirk Verschuren, Sharon E. Nicholson, Timothy M. Shanahan, Asfawossen Asrat, Anne-Marie Lézine, Stefan W. Grab (2016). African hydroclimatic variability during the last 2000 years. Quaternary Science Reviews 154, 1-22.
52 . Nicole Herrmann, Arnoud Boom, Andrew S. Carr, Brian M. Chase, Robyn Granger, Annette Hahn, Matthias Zabel, Enno Schefuß (2016). Sources, transport and deposition of terrestrial organic material in southwestern Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews 149, 215-229.
51 . Andrew S. Carr, Brian M. Chase, Arnoud Boom, Javier Medina-Sanchez (2016). Stable isotope analyses of rock hyrax faecal pellets, hyraceum and associated vegetation in southern Africa: implications for dietary ecology and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions. Journal of Arid Environments 134, 33-48.
50 . Lynne J. Quick, Michael E. Meadows, Mark D. Bateman, Kelly L. Kirsten, Roland Mäusbacher, Torsten Haberzettl, Brian M. Chase (2016). Vegetation and climate dynamics during the last glacial period in the fynbos-afrotemperate forest ecotone, southern Cape, South Africa. Quaternary International 404, 136-149.
49 . Manuel Chevalier and Brian M. Chase (2016). Determining the drivers of long-term aridity variability: a southern African case study. Journal of Quaternary Science 31, 143-151
48 . Sophak Lim, Brian M. Chase, Manuel Chevalier, Paula J. Reimer (2016). 50,000-years of vegetation and climate change in the southern Namib Desert, Pella, South Africa. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 451, 197–209.
47 . Matthieu Carré, Julian Sachs, Antonio Maldonado, Donald Jackson, Brian M. Chase (2016). Variability of the 14C activity and ocean-atmosphere flux of CO2 in the Peru-Chile upwelling region during the past 12,000 years. Quaternary Research 85, 87-93.
46 . Joel B. Pedro, Helen C. Bostock, Cecilia M. Bitz, Feng He, Marcus J. Vandergoes, Eric J. Steig, Brian M. Chase, Claire E. Krause, Sune O. Rasmussen, Giuseppe Cortese (2016). The spatial extent and dynamics of the Antarctic Cold Reversal. Nature Geoscience 9, 51-55
45 . Lynne J. Quick, Andrew S. Carr, Michael E. Meadows, Arnoud Boom, Mark D. Bateman, David L Roberts, Paula J. Reimer, Brian M. Chase (2015). A late Pleistocene-Holocene multi-proxy record of palaeoenvironmental change from Still Bay, southern Cape coast, South Africa. Journal of Quaternary Science 30 (8), 870-885.
44 . Manuel Chevalier and Brian M. Chase (2015). Southeast African records reveal a coherent shift from high- to low-latitude forcing mechanisms along the east African margin across last glacial–interglacial transition. Quaternary Science Reviews 125, 117-130.
43 . Brian M. Chase, Arnoud Boom, Andrew S. Carr, Matthieu Carré, Manuel Chevalier, Michael E. Meadows, Joel B. Pedro, J. Curt Stager, Paula J. Reimer (2015). Evolving Southern Hemisphere response to abrupt deglacial North Atlantic climate change events. Quaternary Science Reviews 121, 132-136.
42 . Andrew S Carr, Arnoud Boom, Brian M Chase, Michael E Meadows, Hannah L Grimes (2015). Holocene sea level and environmental change on the west coast of South Africa: evidence from plant biomarkers, stable isotopes and pollen. Journal of Paleolimnology 53, 415-432.
41 . Brian M. Chase, Sophak Lim, Manuel Chevalier, Arnoud Boom, Andrew S. Carr, Michael E. Meadows, Paula J. Reimer (2015). Influence of tropical easterlies in southern Africa’s winter rainfall zone during the Holocene. Quaternary Science Reviews 107, 138-148.
40 . Manuel Chevalier, Rachid Cheddadi, and Brian M. Chase (2014). CREST (Climate REconstruction SofTware): a probability density function (PDF)-based quantitative climate reconstruction method. Climate of the Past.
39 . Lucinda R. Backwell, Terence S. McCarthy, Lyn Wadley, Zoë Henderson, Christine M. Steininger, Bonita deKlerk, Magali Barré, Michel Lamothe, Brian M. Chase, Stephan Woodborne, George J. Susino, Marion K. Bamford, Christine Sievers, James S. Brink, Lloyd Rossouw, Luca Pollarolo, Gary Trower, Louis Scott, Francesco d’Errico (2014). Multiproxy record of late Quaternary climate change and Middle Stone Age human occupation at Wonderkrater, South Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews 99, 42-59.
38 . Alex Mackay, Brian M. Chase, Brian A. Stewart (2014). Coalescence and fragmentation in the late Pleistocene archaeology of southernmost Africa. Journal of Human Evolution 72, 26-51.
37 . Boom, A., Carr, A. S., Chase, B. M., Grimes, H. L., Meadows, M. E. **(2014). **Leaf wax n-alkanes and δ13C values of CAM plants from arid southwest Africa flora. Organic Geochemistry 67, 99-102.
36 . Carr, A. S., Boom, A., Chase, B. M., Britton, M. N., Meadows, M. E. (2014). Leaf wax n-alkane distributions in arid zone South African flora: environmental controls, chemotaxonomy and palaeoecological implications. Organic Geochemistry 67, 72-84.
35 . Brian M. Chase, Arnoud Boom, Andrew S. Carr, Michael E. Meadows, Paula J. Reimer (2013). Holocene climate change in southernmost South Africa: rock hyrax middens record shifts in the southern westerlies. **Quaternary Science Reviews 82, **199-205.
34 . Li, J., Zheng, Z., Huang, K., Yang, S., Chase, B. M., Valsecchi, V., Cheddadi, R., (2013). Vegetation changes during the past 40,000 years in Central China from a long fossil record. Quaternary International** 310**, 221-226.
33 . Verushka Valsecchi,** Brian M Chase**, Jasper Slingsby, Andrew S Carr, Lynne J Quick, Michael E Meadows, Rachid Cheddadi, Paula J Reimer (2013). A high resolution 15,600-year pollen and microcharcoal record from the Cederberg Mountains, South Africa. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 387, 6-16.
32 . Loïc Truc, Manuel Chevalier, Charly Favier, Rachid Cheddadi, Michael E. Meadows, Louis Scott, Andrew S. Carr, Gideon F. Smith., Brian M. Chase (2013). Quantification of climate change for the last 20,000 years from Wonderkrater, South Africa: implications for the long-term dynamics of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 386, 575-587.
31 . Carr, A.S., Boom, A., Chase, B.M., Meadows, M.E., Roberts, Z.E., Britton, M.N., Cumming, A.M.J., (2013). Biome-scale characterisation and differentiation of semi-arid and arid zone soil organic matter compositions using pyrolysis–GC/MS analysis. Geoderma 200–201, 189-201.
30 . Nicholson, S.E., Nash, D.J., Chase, B.M., Grab, S.W., Asrat, A., Lézine, A.-M., Shanahan, T.M., Verschuren, D., Umer, M., (2013). Temperature variability over Africa during the last 2000 years. The Holocene 23(8) 1085–1094.
29 . PAGES 2k Consortium., (2013). Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia. Nature Geoscience 6, 339-346.
28 . Carlos Cordova, Brian M. Chase, Gideon F. Smith., (2013). Comment on “Burrough, S.E., Breman, E., and Dodd, C. Can Phytoliths provide an insight into past vegetation of the Middle Kalahari Paleolakes during the Quaternary? doi:10.1016/j.jaridenv.2012.01.018”. Journal of Arid Environments*92**, 113-116.
27 . Xu, J. X., Zheng, Z., Huang, K., Yue, Y. F., Li, J., Chase, B. M., Ledru, M -P., Carré, M., Cheddadi, R., (2013). Impacts of human activities on ecosystems during the past 1300 years in Pingnan area of Fujian Province, China. Quaternary International 286, 29-35.
26 . Dáithí C. Murray, Stuart G. Pearson, Richard Fullagar, Brian M. Chase, Jayne Houston, Jenny Atchison, Nicole E. White, Matthew I. Bellgard, Ed Clarke, Mike Macphail, M. Thomas P. Gilbert, James Haile, Michael Bunce., (2012). High-throughput sequencing of ancient plant and mammal DNA preserved in herbivore middens. Quaternary Science Reviews 58, 135-154.
25 . Yue, Y. Zheng, Z., Huang, K., Chevalier, M., Chase, B. M., Carré, M., Ledru, M -P., Cheddadi, R., (2012). A continuous record of vegetation and climate change over the past 50,000 years in the Fujian Province of eastern subtropical China. **Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 365-366, **115-123.
24 . Brian M. Chase, Louis Scott, Michael E. Meadows, Graciela Gil-Romera, Arnoud Boom, Andrew S. Carr, Paula J. Reimer, Loïc Truc, Verushka Valsecchi, Lynne J. Quick (2012). Rock hyrax middens: a palaeoenvironmental archive for southern African drylands. Quaternary Science Reviews 56, 1-19.
23 . Azzoug, M., Carré, M., Chase, B. M., Deme, A., Lazar, A., Lazareth, C. E., Schauer, A. J., Mandeng-Yogo, M., Simier, M., Thierno-Gaye, A., Tito de Morais, L. (2012). Positive Precipitation-Evaporation budget from AD 460 to 1090 in the Saloum Delta (Senegal) indicated by mollusk oxygen isotopes. Global and Planetary Change 98-99, 54-62.
22 . Gouramanis, C., Dodson, J., Wilkins, D., Chase, B. M., De Deckker, P. (2012). Holocene palaeoclimate and sea level fluctuation recorded in the coastal Barker Swamp, Rottnest Island, south-western Western Australia. Quaternary Science Reviews 54, 40-57.
21 . Stager, J. C., Mayewski, P. A., White, J., Chase, B. M., Neumann, F. H., Meadows, M. E., King, C. D., and Dixon, D. A. (2012). Precipitation variability in the winter rainfall zone of South Africa during the last 1400 yr linked to the austral westerlies. Climates of the Past 8, 877-887.
20 . Carré, M., Azzoug, M., Bentaleb, I., Chase, B. M., Fontugne, M., Jackson, , Ledru, M.-P., Maldonado, A., Sachs, J. P. (2012). Mid-Holocene background climate in the south-eastern Pacific and its influence on South America.** Quaternary International 253**, 55-66.
19 . Sadler, J., Carré, M., Azzoug, M., Schauer, A.J., Ledesma, J., Fredy Cardenas, F., Chase, B.M., Bentaleb, I., Müller, S., Mandeng, M., Rohling, E.J. and Sachs, J.P. (2012). Reconstructing past upwelling intensity and the seasonal dynamics of primary productivity along the Peruvian coastline from mollusk shell stable isotopes. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 13, Q01015.
18 . Quick, L. J., Chase, B. M., Meadows, M. E., Scott, L., and Reimer, P. J.** (2011)**. A 19.5 kyr vegetation history from the central Cederberg Mountains, South Africa: palynological evidence from rock hyrax middens. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 309, 253-270.
17 . Stager, J. C., Ryves, D. B., Chase, B. M., and Pausata, F. S. R. (2011). Catastrophic drought in the Afro-Asian monsoon region during Heinrich event 1. Science 331, 1299-1302.
16 . Chase, B. M., Quick, L., Meadows, M. E., Scott, L., Thomas, D. S. G., and Reimer, P. J.** (2011)**. Late-glacial interhemispheric climate dynamics revealed in South African hyrax middens. Geology 39, 19-22.
15 . Chase, B. M., Meadows, M. E., Carr, A.S., and Reimer, P. J., (2010). Evidence for Holocene aridification in southern Africa recorded in Namibian hyrax middens: implications for African Monsoon dynamics and the ‘African Humid Period’. Quaternary Research 74, 36-45.
14 . Chase, B. M., (2010). South African palaeoenvironments during marine oxygen isotope stage 4: a context for the Howiesons Poort and Still Bay industries. Journal of Archaeological Science 37, 1359-1366.
13 . Carr, A. S., Boom, A., Chase, B. M., Roberts, D.L., Roberts, Z.E., (2010). Molecular fingerprinting of lake sediment organic matter: an example from the southern Cape coastline of South Africa. Journal of Paleolimnology 44, 947-961.
12 . Meadows, M.E., Chase, B. M., Seliane, M., (2010). Holocene palaeoenvironments of the Cederberg and Swartruggens mountains, Western Cape, South Africa: Pollen and stable isotope evidence from hyrax dung middens. Journal of Arid Environments 74, 786-793.
11 . Carr, A. S., Boom, A., Chase, B. M., (2010). The potential of plant biomarker evidence derived from rock hyrax middens as an indicator of palaeoenvironmental change. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 285, 321-330.
10 . Chase, B. M., Meadows, M. E., Scott, L., Thomas, D. S. G., Marais, E., Sealy, J., and Reimer, P. J., (2009). A record of rapid Holocene climate change preserved in hyrax middens from southwestern Africa. Geology** 37**, 703-706.
9 . Chase, B. M., (2009). Evaluating the use of dune sediments as a proxy for palaeo-aridity: a southern African case study. Earth-Science Reviews 93, 31-45.
8 . Chase, B. M. and Brewer, S., (2009). Last Glacial Maximum dune activity in the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa: observations and simulations. Quaternary Science Reviews 28, 301-307.
7 . Tolley, K. A., Chase, B. M., and Forest, F., (2008). Speciation and radiations track climate transitions since the Miocene Climatic Optimum: a case study of southern African chameleons. Journal of Biogeography 35, 1402-1414.
6 . Bateman, M. D., Buckland, P. C., Chase, B., Frederick, C. D., Gaunt, G. D., (2008). The Late-Devensian proglacial Lake Humber: new evidence from littoral deposits at Ferrybridge, Yorkshire, England. Boreas 37, 195-210
5 . Telfer M., Bateman M. D., Carr, A., Chase B. M., (2008). Testing the applicability of a Standardized Growth Curve (SGC) for quartz OSL dating: Kalahari dunes, South Africa. Quaternary Geochronology 3, 137-142.
4 . Chase, B. M., and Meadows, M. E. (2007). Late Quaternary dynamics of southern Africa’s winter-rainfall zone. Earth-Science Reviews 84, 103-138.
3 . Chase, B. M. and Thomas, D. S. G., (2007). Multiphase late Quaternary aeolian sediment accumulation in western South Africa: timing and relationship to palaeoclimatic changes inferred from the marine record. Quaternary International 166, 29-41.
2 . Chase, B. M. and Thomas, D. S. G., (2006). Late Quaternary dune accumulation along the western margin of South Africa: distinguishing forcing mechanisms through the analysis of migratory dune forms. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 251, 318-333.
1 . Carr, A. S., Thomas, D. S. G., Bateman, M. D., Meadows, M. E. and Chase, B., (2006). Late Quaternary palaeoenvironments of the winter-rainfall zone of southern Africa: palynological and sedimentological evidence from the Agulhas. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 239, 147-165.