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Anneke Madern

P.A. (Anneke) Madern, PhD candidate - Biodiversity Discovery


Email: anneke.madern@naturalis.nl
Phone: +31 (0)71 751 9642
Room number: C01.10, Darwinweg 2
“As a palaeontologist with a soft spot for databases, I study mammal biodiversity in relation to the environment through time and space.”

Ever since I can recall, I am fascinated by nature, evolution, and the history of the Earth. It's my aspiration to discover the mechanisms behind the bigger picture.
Before studying Biology, I started with Archaeology, and soon realized bioarchaeology, geology, zoology, climatology and going into the field were my favourite things. During my first research project under the supervision of Lars van den Hoek Ostende, I discovered mammal paleontology is where all my interests come together. I never realized rodent molars nor statistics could be so interesting, and the tools for opening the doors to understanding the dynamics of biodiversity.


I did my MSc Biology at Leiden University. Both my Bachelor and Master research projects were in the field of mammal paleontology. As of beginning 2012, I am a PhD candidate at Naturalis Biodiversity Center, where I use large amounts of data from both online databases and collections to try and understand the diversity dynamics of European Miocene mammals, both large and small. My work is carried out in close collaboration with researchers from the Institut Català de Paleontologia in Barcelona, Spain.


Research interest

The aim of my four year PhD is to come to a full evolutionary-biogeographical analysis, together with a reconstruction of the ecosystems on the Iberian Peninsula. This will enable us to see how climatic changes at the Middle to Late Miocene boundary affected the rise and fall of the Vallès-Penedès biodiversity hotspot. The first step is to reconstruct the biogeographical history of the over one hundred mammal species that lived in the basin. To analyze the spatial distribution and temporal variations therein, the NOW database will be used, complemented with new data and literature. In the end I aim to provide a close insight into how a mammal community is assembled and eventually disassembled.


evolution, biogeography, biodiversity, miocene, vallesian, mammals, biosystematics, paleoclimate, mesowear, neogene, palaeontology

Current research topics

Biogeography of the Vallès-Penedès Basin and the Vallesian mammal turnover

Using the already available specimens in the collections of the ICP in Barcelona, Spain, together with those of recent excavations in the Vallès-Penedès Basin, I try to get an overview of the Vallesian mammal turnover, which took place around 10 Million years ago.

- in collaboration with Isaac Casanovas-Vilar, Juan Cantalapiedra, Daniel DeMiguel,  David Alba and Lars W. van den Hoek Ostende.


Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain.



Lecturor / pratical assistant Leiden University, Biology Faculty

2015    ‘Methods in Biodiversity Analysis’ (MSc)

2015    Honour's class/summer school ‘Crises in Biology’ (together with VU Amsterdam)

2015    ‘Biodiversity II – Taxa in Space and Time’ (BSc)

2014    ‘Methods in Biodiversity Analysis’ (MSc)

2014    ‘Impossibilities of the fossil record’ (minor)

2014    Honour's class/summer school ‘Crises in Biology’ (with VU)

2013    ‘Methods of Biodiversity Analysis’ (MSc)

2013    ‘Biodiversiteit - mini projects’ (BSc)

2013    ‘Biodiversity I - Impossibilities of the fossil record’ (minor)

2012    ‘Biodiversiteit - mini projects’ (BSc)

Supervision MSc Students

2013 Supervisor - Leonie Bergwerff - The Influence of the Vallesian Crisis on the Carnivora in the Vallès-Penedès Basin
2013 Supervisor - Naomi Jansen - The effect of the Vallesian Crisis on the Artiodactyla and Perissodactyla in the Vallès-Penedès Basin
2013 Supervisor - Jeanne van de Put - Vallesian micromammal biogeography of the Iberian Peninsula. Comparing biodiversity through time and space between the Vallès-Penedès basin and inland basins.

Supervision BSc Students

2015 Supervisor - Sanne ten Thije - Accuracy of MN zonation type locality system
Available student projects

Public outreach

Profile page ResearchGate 

Profile page Academia.edu

Profile page LinkedIn



Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Madern P.A., Put J.M.M.S. van der, Casanovas-Vilar I., Hoek Ostende L.W. van den 2018. Iberian micromammals show local extent of Vallesian Crisis. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 496: 18-31.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Hoek Ostende L.W. van den, Furió M., Madern A., Prieto J. 2016. Enters the shrew, some considerations on the Miocene palaeobiogeography of Iberian insectivores. Comptes Rendus Palevol 15: 813-823.
Go to website (DOI)

Casanovas-Vilar I., Madern P.A., Alba D.M. Cabrera L., García-Paredes I., Hoek Ostende L.W. van den, DeMiguel D., RRobles J.M., Furió M., Dam J. van, Garcés M., Angelone C., Moyà-Solà S. 2016. The Miocene mammal record of the Vallès-Penedès Basin (Catalonia). Comptes Rendus Palevol 15: 791-812.
Go to website (DOI)

Journals non-SCI, peer-reviewed

Donovan S.K., Madern P.A. 2016. Rostroconchs in Leiden. Swiss Journal of Palaeontology 135: 349-352.
Go to website (URI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Madern P.A., Hoek Ostende L.W. van den 2015. Going south: Latitudinal change in mammalian biodiversity in Miocene Eurasia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 424: 123-131.
Go to website (DOI)

Hoek Ostende L.W. van den, Mayda S., Oliver A., Madern A., Hernández-Ballarín V., Peláez-Campomanes P. 2015. Aliveri revisited, a biogeographical appraisal of the early Miocene mammals from the eastern Mediterranean. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments 95: 271-284.
Go to website (DOI)

Journals non-SCI, peer-reviewed

Parnell J.A.N., Pilla F., The Thai Biogeography Group (comprisingSimpson D.A., Welzen P.C. van, Chayamarit K., Chantaranothai P., Boyce P.C., Bygrave P., Byrne C., Chen S., Couch C., Curtis T., Dransfield S., Duyfjes B.E.E., Eianthong W., Esser H.J., Grote P.J., Hua Z., Jebb M.H.P., Kirkup D.W., Ke Loc P., Larsen S.S., Macklin J., Madern A., Meade C., Merklinger F., Middleton D.J., Moat J., Muasya A.M., Nakmuenwai P., Pederson H., Pendry C.A., Prajaksood A., Pooma R., Preusapan K., Puglisi C., Sathapattayanon A., Sukkharak P., Staples G., Strijk J., Suddee S., Sungkaew S., Tangjitman K., Teerwatananon A., Tovaranonte J., Ung T., Trias Blas A., Wilde W.J.J.O. de, Wilkin P., Yahara T. 2015. A re-examination of the life and work of A.F.G. Kerr and of his colleagues and friends. Thai Forest Bulletin: Botany 43: 111-131.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Casanovas-Vilar I., Hoek Ostende L.W. van den, Furio M., Madern P.A. 2014. The range and extent of the Vallesian Crisis (Late Miocene): new prospects based on the micromammal record from the Valles-Penedes basin (Catalonia, Spain). Journal of Iberian Geology 40: 29-48.
Go to website (URI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Madern A., Casanovas-Vilar I., Alba D.M., DeMiguel D., Robles J.M., Hoek Ostende L.W. van den, Moyà-Solà S. 2013. The abrupt collapse of a diversity hotspot? Reconsidering Vallesian (Late Miocene) diversity in its type area. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33: 168.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Casanovas-Vilar I., Hoek Ostende L.W. van den, Furió M., Madern P.A. 2012. Patterns as pretty as can be: the range and extent of the Vallesian Crisis (Late Miocene) in the Vallès-Penedès basin (Catalonia, Spain). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 32: 75-75.


Chapters in books

Welzen P.C. van, Madern P.A. , Raes N., Parnell J.A.N., Simpson D.A., Moat J, Chayamarit K., Chantaranothai P., Boyce P.C., Bygrave P., Curtis T., Dransfield S., Esser H.-J, Jebb M.H.P., Kirkup D.W., Larsen K, Larsen S.S., Macklin J., Meade C. , Middleton D.J., Muasya A.M., Nielsen I., Prajaksood A., Pendry C.A., Pooma R., Suddee S., Sungkaew S., Teerawatananon A., Trias Blasi A., Wilkin P. 2011. The Current and Future Status of Floristic Provinces in Thailand. Information Science Reference, Hershey, PA, USA. ISBN 9781609606190.

Welzen P.C. van, Madern A., Raes N., Parnell J.A.N., Simpson D.A., Byrne C., Curtis T., Macklin J., Trias-Blasi A., Prajaksood A., Bygrave P., Dransfield S., Kirkup D.W., Moat J., Wilkin P., Couch C., Boyce P.C., Chayamarit K., Chantaranothai P., Esser H.-J., Jebb M.H.P., Larsen K., Larsen S.S., Nielsen I., Meade C., Middleton D.J., Pendry C.A., Muasya A.M., Pattharahirantricin N., Pooma R., Sudde S., Staples G.W., Sungkaew S., Teerawatananon A. 2011. The Current and Future Status of Floristic Provinces in Thailand. Information Science Reference (IGI Global), Hershey (PA).


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Zijlstra J.S., Madern P.A., Hoek Ostende L.W. van den 2010. New genus and two new species of Pleistocene oryzomyines (Cricetidae: Sigmodontinae) from Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. Journal of Mammalogy 91: 860-873.
Go to website (DOI)