Cawthra, H.C., Frenzel, P., Hahn, A., Compton, J.S., Gander, L. and Zabel, M. (in press) Seismic stratigraphy of the inner to mid Agulhas bank, South Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews.


Chase, B.M., Boom, A., Carr, A.S., Chevalier, M., Quick, L.J., Verboom, G.A. and Reimer, P.J. (2019). Extreme hydroclimate response gradients within the western Cape Floristic region of South Africa since the Last Glacial Maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews 219: 297 – 307


Engelbrecht, F.A., Marean, C.W., Cowling, R.M., Engelbrecht, C.J., Neumann, F.H., Scott, L., Nkoana, R., O'Neal, D., Fisher, E., Shook, E., Franklin, J., Thatcher, M., McGregor, J.L., Van der Merwe, J., Dedekind, Z. and Difford, M. (2019) Downscaling Last Glacial Maximum climate over southern Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews 226: 105879


Helm, C.W., Chawthra, H.C., De Vynck, J.C., Helm, C.J., Rust, R. and Stear, W. (2019) Patterns in the sand: A Pleistocene hominin signature along the South African coastline? Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association.


Lockley, M.G., Cawthra, H.C., De Vynck, J.C., Helm, C.W., McCrea, R.T. and Nel, R. (2019) New fossil sea turtle trackway morphotypes from the Pleistocene of South Africa highlight role of ichnology in turtle paleobiology. Quaternary Research 1 - 5. 10.1017/qua.2019.40


Strobel, P., Kasper T., Frenzel, P., Schittek K., Quick, L.J., Meadows, M.E., Mausbacher, R. and Haberzettl, T. (2019). Late Quaternary palaeoenvironmental change in the year-round rainfall zone of South Africa derived from peat sediments from Vankervelsvlei. Quaternary Science Reviews 218: 200 – 214.


Braun, K., Bar-Matthews, M., Matthews, A., Ayalon. A., Cowling, R.M., Karkanas, P., Fisher, E.C., Dyez, K., Zilberman, T. and Marean, C.W. et al. (2018) Late Pleistocene records of speleothem stable isotopic compositions from Pinnacle Point on the South African south coast. Quaternary Research 91: 265-288.


Carr, A.S., Bateman, M.D., Cawthra, H.C. and Sealy, J. (2018) First evidence for onshore marine isotope stage 3 aeolianite formation on the southern Cape coastline of South Africa. Marine Geology 407: 1 – 15.


Cawthra, H.C. (2018) Pinnacle Point geology – why early humans could live there. Quest Magazine 14: 18-21.


Cawthra, H.C., Jacobs, Z., Compton, J.S., Fisher, E.C., Karkanas, P. and Marean, C.W. (2018) Deposition and Sea-level history from MIS 6 (Termination II) to MIS 3 on the southern continental shelf of South Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews 181: 156 – 172.


Cawthra, H.C., Jacobs, Z., Compton, J.S., Fisher, E.C., Karkanas, P. and Marean, C.W. (2018) Depositional and sea-level history from MIS 6 (Termination II) to MIS 3 on the southern continental shelf of South Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews 181:156-172.


Chase, B.M. and Quick, L.J. (2018) Influence of Agulhas forcing of Holocene climate change in South Africa's southern cape. Quaternary Research 90: 1 – 7.


Cowling, R.M. (2018) The PalaeoAgulhas Plain: An ice-age refuge for Homo sapiensQuest Magazine 14:10-13.


Cowling, R.M., Gallien, L., Richardson, D.M. and Ojeda, F. (2018) What predicts the richness of seeder and resprouter species in the fire-prone Cape fynbos: Rainfall reliability or vegetation density? Austral Ecology 43: 614 – 622.


Esteban, I., Marean, C.W., Fisher, E.C., Karkanas, P., Cabanes, D. and Albert, R. (2018) Phytoliths as an indicator of early modern humans plant gathering strategies, fire fuel and site occupation intensity during the Middle Stone Age at Pinnace Point 5-6 (south coast, South Africa). PLoS ONE 13(6).


Hahn, A., Miller, C., Ando, S., Bouimetarhan, I., Cawthra, H.C., Garzanti, E., Green, A.N., Radeff, G., Schefuß, E. and Zabel, M. (2018) The Provenance of Terrigenous Components in Marine Sediments Along the East Coast of Southern Africa. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 19.


Helm, C.W., Cawthra, H.C., Cowling, Vynck, J.C.Marean, C.W., McCrea, R. and Rust, R. (2018) Palaeoecology of giraffe tracks in Late Pleistocene aeolianites on the Cape south coast. South African Journal of Science 114 (1/2):1–8.


Helm, C.W., McCrea, R.T., Cawthra, H.C., Lockley, M.G., Cowling, R.M., Marean, C.W.Thesen, G.H.H., Pigeon, T.S. and Hattingh, S.  (2018) A New Pleistocene Hominin Tracksite from the Cape South coast, South Africa. Scientific Reports 8:37772.


Helm, C.W., McCrea, R.T., Lockley, M.G., Cawthra, H.C., Thesen, G.H.H. and Mwanjunda, J.M. (2018) Late Pleistocene vertebrate trace fossils in the Goukamma Nature Reserve, Cape south coast, South Africa. Palaeontologia Africana 52:59–101.


Marean, C.W. (2018) People on the PalaeoAgulhas Plain. Quest Magazine 14:14-17.


Rundel, P.W., Arroyo, M.T.K., Cowling, R.M. and Keeley, J.E. (2018) Fire and plant diversification in Mediterranean-Climate regions. Frontiers in Plant Science 9:851.


Smith, E.I., Jacobs, Z., Johnsen, R., Ren, M., Fisher, E.C., Oestmo, S., Wilkins, J., Harris, J.A., Karkanas, P., Fitch, S., Ciravolo, Keenan, D., Cleghorn, N., Lane, C.S., Matthews, Tand Marean, C.W. (2018) Humans thrived in South Africa through the Toba eruption about 74 000 years ago. Nature 55:511-515.


Wundsch. M., Haberzettl, T., Cawthra, H.C., Kirsten, K.L., Quick, L.J., Zabel, M., Frenzel, P., Hahn, A., Baade, J., Daut, G., Kasper, T., Meadows, M.E. and Mausbacher, R. (2018) Holocene environmental change along the southern Cape coast of South Africa – Insights from the Eilandvlei sediment record spanning the last 8.9 kyr. Global and Planetary Change 163:51–66.



Collareta, A., Marean, C.W., Jerardino, A. and Bosselaers, M. (2017) Cetopirus complanatus (Cirripedia: Coronulidae) from the late Middle Pleistocene human settlement of Pinnacle Point 13B (Mossel Bay, South Africa). Zootaxa 4237 (2): 393-400.


Cowling, R.M., Bradshaw, P.L., Colville, J.F. and Forest, F. (2017) Levyns’ Law: explaining the evolution of a remarkable longitudinal gradient in Cape plant diversity. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 72:184-201.


Esteban, I., Vlok, J., Kotina, E.L., Bamford, M.K.Cowling, R.M., Cabanes, D. and Albert, R.M. (2017) Phytoliths in plants from the south coast of the Greater Cape Floristic Region (South Africa). Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 245:60-84.


Hahn, A., SchefuB, E., Ando, S., Cawthra, H.C., Frenzel, P., Kugel, M., Meschner, S., Mollenhauer, G. and Zabel, M. (2017) Southern Hemisphere anticyclonic circulation drives oceanic and climatic conditions in late Holocene southernmost Africa. Climate of the Past 13:649-665.


Helm, C.W., Anderson, R. J., Buckley, L. G., Cawthra, H.C. and de Vynck, J.C. (2017) Biofilm assists recognition of avian trackways in Late Pleistocene coastal aeolianites, South Africa. Palaeontologia Africana 52:78-83


Roberts, D.L., Neumann, F.H.Cawthra, H.C., Carr, A.S., Scott, L., Durugbo, E.U., Humphries, M.S., Cowling, R.Bamford, M.K., Musekiwa, C. and MacHutchon, M. (2017) Palaeoenvironments during a terminal Oligocene or early Miocene transgression in a fluvial system at the southwestern tip of Africa. Global and Planetary Change 150:1-23.



Copeland, S.R., Cawthra, H.C., Fisher, E.C., Lee-Thorp, J.A., Cowling, R.M., le Roux, P.J., Hodgkins, J. and Marean, C.W. (2016) Strontium isotope investigation of ungulate movement patterns on the Pleistocene Paleo-Agulhas Plain of the Greater Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews 141: 65–84. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.04.002


De Vynck, J.Cowling, R.M.Potts, A.J. and Marean, C.W. (2016) Seasonal availability of edible underground and aboveground carbohydrate resources to human foragers on the Cape south coast, South Africa. PeerJ 4:e1679. doi:10.7717/peerj.1679


De Vynck, J.C., Anderson, R., Atwater, C., Cowling, R.M.Fisher, E.C.Marean, C.W., Walker, R.S. and Hill, K. (2016) Return rates from intertidal foraging from Blombos Cave to Pinnacle Point: Understanding early human economies. Journal of Human Evolution 92: 101–115. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.01.008


De Vynck, J.C., Van Wyk, B.E. and Cowling, R.M. (2016) Indigenous edible plant use by contemporary Khoe-San descendants of South Africa’s Cape South Coast. South African Journal of Botany 102: 60–69. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2015.09.002


De Vynck, J.C.Cowling, R.M.Potts, A.J. and Marean, C.W. (2016) Seasonal availability of edible underground and aboveground carbohydrate resources to human foragers on the Cape south coast, South Africa. PeerJ.


Esteban, I., De Vynck, J.C., Singels, E., Vlok, J., Marean, C.W.Cowling, R.M.Fisher, E.C., Cabanes, D. and Albert, R.M. (2016) Modern soil phytolith assemblages used as proxies for Paleoscape reconstruction on the south coast of South Africa. Quaternary International doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2016.01.037


Faith, J.T., Patterson, D.B., Blegen, N., O’Neill, C.J., Marean, C.W., Peppe, D.J. and Tryon, C.A. (2016) Size variation in Tachyoryctes splendens (East African mole-rat) and its implications for late Quaternary temperature change in equatorial East Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews 140:39–48. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.03.017


Grimm, G.W., Bouchal, J.M., Denk, T. and Potts, A.J. (2016) Fables and foibles: A critical analysis of the Palaeoflora database and the Coexistence Approach for palaeoclimate reconstruction. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 233:216–235. doi:10.1016/j.revpalbo.2016.07.001


Grimm, G.W. and Potts, A.J. (2016) Fallacies and fantasies: The theoretical underpinnings of the Coexistence Approach for palaeoclimate reconstruction. Climate of the Past 12: 611–622. doi:10.5194/cp-12-611-2016.


Hodgkins, J., Marean, C.W., Turq, A., Sandgathe, D., McPherron, S.J.P. and Dibble, H. (2016) Climate-mediated shifts in Neandertal subsistence behaviors at Pech de l'Azé IV and Roc de Marsal (Dordogne Valley, France). Journal of Human Evolution 96:1-18.


Marean, C.W. (2016) The transition to foraging for dense and predictable resources and its impact on the evolution of modern humans. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B. Biol. Sci. 371: 160–169. doi:10.1098/rstb.2015.0239


Marean, C.W. (2016) When the Sea Saved Humanity. Scientific American 25:36–43.


Potts, A.J., Veldkornet, D.A. and Adams, J.B. (2016) A phylogeographic break in a South African coastal saltmarsh macrophyte, Juncus kraussiiSouth African Journal of Botany 107:80–83. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2016.08.006


Rundel, P.W., Arroyo, M.T.K., Cowling, R.M., Keeley, J.E., Lamont, B.B. and Vargas, P. (2016) Mediterranean biomes: evolution of their vegetation, floras, and climate. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 47:383-407.


Sealy, J.LeeThorp, J., Loftus, E., Faith, J.T. and Marean, C.W. (2016) Late Quaternary environmental change in the Southern Cape, South Africa, from stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in faunal tooth enamel from Boomplaas Cave. Journal of Quaternary Science 31:919–927. doi:10.1002/JQS.2916


Singels, E., Potts, A.J.Esler, K.J.Cowling, R.M.Marean, C.W. and de Vynck, J. (2016) Foraging Potential of Underground Storage Organ Plants in the Southern Cape, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution 101:79-89.



Cowling, R.M. and Potts, A.J. (2015) Climatic, edaphic and fire regime determinants of biome boundaries in the eastern Cape Floristic Region. South African Journal of Botany 101: 73-81.


Cowling, R.M., Potts, A.J., Bradshaw, P., Colville, J., Arianoutsou, M., Ferrier, S., Forest, F., Fyllas, N.M., Hopper, S.D., Ojeda, F., Procheş, Ş., Smith, R.J., Rundel, P.W., Vassilakis, E. and Zutta, B.R. (2015) Variation in plant diversity in mediterranean-climate ecosystems: the role of climatic and topographical stability. Journal of Biogeography 42: 552-564.


Franklin, JPotts, A.J., Fisher, E.C., Cowling, R.M. and Marean, C.W. (2015) Paleodistribution modeling in archaeology and paleoanthropology. Quaternary Science Reviews 110:1-14.


Marean, C.W.Anderson, R.J., Bar-Matthews, M., Braun, K., Cawthra, H.C.Cowling, R.M., Engelbrecht, F., Esler, K.J., Fisher, E., Franklin, J., Hill, K., Janssen, M., Potts, A.J. and Zahn, R. (2015) A new research strategy for integrating studies of paleoclimate, paleoenvironment, and paleoanthropology. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews 24:62-72.



Roberts, D., Cawthra, H. and Musekiwa, C. (2013) Dynamics of late Cenozoic aeolian deposition along the South African coast: a record of evolving climate and ecosystems. Geological Society Publication, Special Publications 388:353-387.




Botha, S., Cowling, R., Potts, A., Esler, K. & de Vynck, J.: The foraging potential of edible plants foods in the Southern Cape.


Cowling, C.: What environment conditions were associated with the emergence of modern humans on the Cape South Coast?


De vynck, J., Hill, K., Anderson, R., Cowling, R. & Marean, C.: Productive and resilient intertidal marine resources available to human foragers on the South Coast of South Africa.


De Vynck, J.C., Hill, K., Anderson, R., Cowling, R.M. & Marean, C.W. (2015) Foraging for shellfish in a predictable and productive inter-tidal environment, the south coast of South Africa  In: 80th Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California.


Engelbrecht, F., Nkoana, R., Cowling, R.M., Fisher, E., Franklin, J., Marean, C., O'Neal, D., Potts, A. & Shook, E. (2015) Detailed dynamic modelling of glacial climate over the Cape south coast of South Africa. In: Paleoanthropology Society 2015 Annual Meeting San Francisco, California.


Esler, K., Potts, A., Midgley, G. & Cowling, R.: Resource-scapes, what, why, when and how?


Faltein, Z.: How might CO2 levels change the resource-scape picture? An assessment of geophyte growth at sub-atmospheric CO2 concentrations.


LeRoux, P., Lee-Thorp, J., Cowling, R., Cawthra, H. & Copeland, S. (2015) Testing the Paleo-Agulhas Plain Migration Ecosystem hypothesis with serial isotope analysis of fossil fauna. In: 80th Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California.


Potts, A., Cowling, R., Scheiter, S., Higgins, S. & Franklin, J. (2015) Peering into the past Cape vegetation during the Last Glacial Maximum using species distribution modelling and dynamic global vegetation modelling. In: 80th Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California.


Potts, A.J. (2015) An operational framework for biome boundary research outlined using examples from the Greater Cape Floristic Region In: Fynbos Forum, Montagu.


Potts, A.J.: Reconstructing the vegetation of the Cape paleolandscape using correlative and mechanistic models


Shook, E., Wren, C., Marean, C.W., Potts, A.J., Franklin, J., Engelbrecht, F., O'Neal, D., Janssen, M., Fisher, E., Hill, K., Esler, K.J., Cowling, R.M., Scheiter, S. & Moncrieff, G. (2015) Paleoscape model of coastal South Africa during modern human origins: progress in scaling and coupling climate, vegetation, and agent-based models on XSEDE. In: Proceedings of the 2015 XSEDE Conference: Scientific Advancements Enabled by Enhanced Cyberinfrastructure, pp. 1-8. ACM, St. Louis, Missouri.


Singels, E., Esler, K. & Parkington, J.: Underground storage organs in time and space.


Singels, E., Esler, K., Cowling, R.M., Potts, A.J. & de Vynck, J. (2015) Foraging for bulbs in the Cape Floristic Region In: 80th Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California.

Contact information
Dr Alastair Potts
Senior Lecturer and Researcher
Tel: 041 504-2396