Dr. H.J.M. (Hanneke) Meijer
- +31 (0)71 5687552
- +31 (0)71 5687666
- Room Number
- D 03.43
I am currently a Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral Fellow. Please contact me at email@example.com.
My main research interest lies in placing the general palaeontology of insular environments in a broader evolutionary perspective. I focus on fossil avifaunas from islands. Though less intensely studied then their mammalian counterparts, insular birds can show remarkable adaptations to island life. Textbook examples from the fossil record include the flightless dodo (Raphus cucullatus) from Mauritius, the massive moa-hunting Haasts eagle (Harpagornis moorei) from New Zealand and the parallel evolution of long-legged owls from the Caribbean and Mediterranean region.
Liang Bua cave (Flores, Indonesia)
I am involved in the study of fossil remains from Liang Bua cave at the island of Flores in south-eastern Indonesia. The Liang Bua fauna provides an unique opportunity to study insular evolution, as the fossil sequence covers 95.000 years as well as the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Despite claims to the contrary, the Late Pleistocene Flores fauna is neither aberrant nor exclusive, but the result of non-random selective forces acting upon an impoverished and disharmonic insular fauna. Vertebrate evolution on Flores appears to have been characterized by phylogenetic continuity, low species richness and a disharmonic fauna. All three aspects stem from the isolated position of the island and have resulted in the distinct morphological characteristics of the Flores fauna. Features exhibited by H. floresiensis, such as small stature, a small brain, relatively long arms, robust lower limbs and long feet, are not unique, but are shared by other insular taxa. Therefore, the evolution of H. floresiensis can be explained by existing models of insular evolution and followed evolutionary pathways similar to those of the other terrestrial vertebrates inhabiting Pleistocene Flores.
The fellowship of the hobbit. A. an artist’s impression of the giant marabou Leptoptilos sp. nov. (estimated at 1.8 m) compared to Homo floresiensis (estimated at 1.0 m), drawing by I. van Noortwijk; B. A mandible of Stegodon florensis insularis from Liang Bua; C. mandibles of Papagomys armandvillei from Liang Bua (below) and of extant Rattus rattus; D. teeth fromthe Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis.
Since 2008, I have also been involved in the excavations of the dodo mass grave in Mare aux Songes (MAS) marsh in south-east Mauritius. Despite the well-documented recent history of human colonisation and impact on Mauritius, virtually no records of the pre-human ecosystem exist, making it difficult to assess the magnitude of the changes brought about by human settlement. The discovery of a very rich 4000-year-old fossil bed at Mare aux Songes, containing vertebrate remains, gastropods, insects, diatoms, pollen and spores enables us to reconstruct the lost world of the dodo. Our analysis suggests that from ca 4000 years ago (4 ka), rising sea levels created a freshwater lake at MAS, generating an oasis in an otherwise dry environment which attracted a diverse vertebrate fauna. Subsequent aridification in the south-west Indian Ocean region may have increased carcass accumulation during droughts, contributing to the exceptionally high fossil concentration. The abundance of floral and faunal remains in this area offers a unique opportunity to reconstruct a pre-human ecosystem on an oceanic island, providing a key foundation for assessing the vulnerability of island ecosystems to human impact.
Recently excavated, partly associated dodo lower leg from Mare aux Songes. © RM Jayasena
Gargano and Selvagens
Recently, I’ve also ventured into describing fossil bird remains from the Neogene of Gargano (a former island in the north-east of Italy) and the Ilhas Selvagens (the uninhabited Savage Islands, south of Madeira). More about that to come.
Selvagens Grande seen from the back of the Clipper Stad Amsterdam, September 2009.
Last update September 17, 2010
Meijer, H.J.M. & Due, R.A., 2010. A new species of giant marabou stork (Aves: Ciconiiformes) from the Pleistocene of Liang Bua, Flores (Indonesia). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 160: 707-724
Meijer, H.J.M., van den Hoek Ostende, L.W., van den Bergh, G.D. & de Vos, J. 2010. The fellowship of the hobbit: the fauna surrounding Homo floresiensis. Journal of Biogeography, 37(6): 995-1006
Meijer, H.J.M., 2010. Bookreview of 'Paleogene Fossil Birds' by Gerald Mayr. Geological Journal, 46(1): 110
Hoek Ostende, L.W., Meijer, H.J.M. & van der Geer, A.A.E., 2009. A bridge too far, reply to "Processes of island colonization by Oligo-Miocene land mammals in the central Mediterranean: New data from Scontrone (Abruzzo, Central Italy) and Gargano (Apulia, Southern Italy)" by Mazza P.P.A and Rustioni, M. 2008, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 267, 208-215. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 279: 128-130
van den Bergh, G.D., Meijer, H.J.M., van den Hoek Ostende, L.W., Due Awe, R., Morwood, M.J., Sutikna, T., Saptomo, E.W., Dobney, K.M., Turney, C, 2009. The Liang Bua faunal remains: a 95 k.yr. sequence from Flores, East Indonesia. Journal of Human Evolution, 57: 527-537
Meijer, H.J.M, Donovan, S.K. & Renema, W., 2009. Major Dutch collections of Permian fossils from Timor amalgamated. Journal of Paleontology 83 (2): 313.
Meijer, H.J.M., 2009. In het kielzog van Darwin – Ei zoeken op Selvagens. Cranium 26 (2), pp. 48-51.
Meijer, H.J.M., 2009. Eizoeken op Selvagem. Bionieuws 16, pp. 4.
Meijer, H.J.M., Rijkelijkhuizen, J.M. & Huijing, P.A., 2008. Effects of firing frequency on length-dependent myofascial force transmission between antagonistic and synergistic muscle groups. European Journal of Applied Physiology 104: 501 - 513. PDF
Meijer, H.J.M., Rijkelijkhuizen, J.M. & Huijing, P.A., 2007 Myofascial force transmission between antagonistic rat lower limb muscles: effects of single muscle or muscle group lengthening. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 17 (6): 698-707.
Rijkelijkhuizen, J.M., Meijer, H.J.M., Baan, G.C. & Huijing, P.A., 2007 Myofascial force transmission also occurs between antagonistic muscles located within opposite compartments of the rat lower hind limb. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 17 (6): 690-697.
Meijer, H.J.M., Baan, G.C. & Huijing, P.A., 2006 Myofascial force transmission is increasingly important at lower forces: firing frequency-related length-force characteristics of rat extensor digitorum longus. Acta Physiologica (Oxford) 186: 185 – 195.
van Geel, B., van de Steeg, J.F. & Meijer, H.J.M., 2006. Flora en fauna van ‘Holt und Haar’; gegevens uit een Weichseliën-groeve gecombineerd. Cranium 23(2): 15 – 24.
Veldmeijer, A.J., Meijer, H.J.M. & Signore, M., 2006. Coloborhynchus from the Lower Cretaceous Santana Formation, Brazil (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidae, Anhangueridae), and update. PalArchs’ Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 3(2).
Veldmeijer, A.J., Signore, M.& Meijer, H.J.M., 2005. Brasileodactylus, (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidae, Anghangueridae), an update. Cranium 22(1): 45 – 56.
Veldmeijer, A.J., Signore, M. & Meijer, H.J.M., 2005. Description of two pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea) mandibles from the lower Cretaceous Santana Formation, Brazil. DEINSEA 11: 67 – 86.
Maas, H., Meijer, H.J.M. & Huijing, P. 2005. Intermuscular interaction between synergists in rat originates from both intermuscular and extramuscular myofascial force transmission. Cells Tissues Organs 181.
Meijer, H.J.M., 2004. The first record of birds from Mill (the Netherlands). PalArchs’ Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology 1(2).
Dutta, H. & Meijer, H.J.M., 2003. Sublethal effects of the pesticide Diazinon on the structure of the testis of bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus: A microscopic analysis. Environmental Pollution 125: 355 – 360.
Meijer, H.J.M., 2002. Pleistocene vogels; de ornithofauna van ‘Holt und Haar’ (Dld.) Cranium 19(2): 135 – 145.
Meijer, H.J.M., 2001. Mammoeten moeten ook drinken. Een nieuwe visie op een laat-Pleistoceen ecosystem. Cranium 18(2): 17 – 26.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012