PhD Pelletier Maxime

147000 €

Reindeer Facing Global Environmental Change: Past, Present, Future

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Kolmivuotinen

This research project aims to acquire new knowledge about the biology and ecology of reindeer populations in the face of climate and environmental changes. Through the study of the past and present reindeer communities, the project seeks to provide valuable insights into their adaptability, vulnerability, and resilience to global changes. The study focuses on reindeer herds in Fennoscandia, utilising archaeological records and modern populations, as well as advanced analytical techniques such as Dental Microwear Texture Analyses (DMTA), Geometric Morphometrics (GMM), and Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM). The project's objectives include documenting the past variability in reindeer ecological niches and behaviours to understand their adaptive capacity, as well as conducting a deep-time retrospective study of the impact of global environmental change on reindeer populations. By analysing reindeer skeletal remains from archaeological sites and comparing them with modern populations, the research aims to reconstruct the history of reindeer in Fennoscandia over the past millennium and model future trends. With its innovative combination of state-of-the-art analysis techniques, this project offers a unique and comprehensive approach to better understanding reindeer population dynamics. The findings will contribute to discussions on reindeer conservation and management, both in the wild and in domestic settings, bridging historical and contemporary perspectives. The economic and cultural importance of reindeer for the indigenous Sami people, and more generally for all the inhabitants of Fennoscandia, is also highlighted. This interdisciplinary research project pushes the boundaries of knowledge by integrating past and present perspectives, shedding light on reindeer's response to environmental changes, and contributing to the broader understanding of biodiversity loss and sustainability in the Arctic and beyond.