Palaeo-micromammal Research - Thalassa Matthews
Post-doctoral Researcher in the Cenozoic Collections
I received a PhD from the University of Cape Town in 2004. My thesis was entitled ‘The taphonomy and taxonomy of Mio-Pliocene and late Middle Pleistocene micromammals from the Cape west coast, South Africa’. I specialise in the study of micromammals such as mice, rats, mole rats, moles and shrews from archaeological and palaeontological sites. These micromammals provide environmental information which is used to reconstruct past environments (palaeoenvironments). During postdoctoral research I have worked on a number of west and south coast archaeological and palaeontological sites, although much of my recent work has focussed on the 5 million year old site of Langebaanweg, now the site of the West Coast Fossil Park. I have researched the small mammals from the site, and am currently working on the frogs (Ranids) as they can potentially provide very interesting information on the kind of water bodies, and other details, regarding the environments in which they lived.
Image: Thalassa looking at fossil rat teeth from Langebaanweg
Roberts, D.L., Matthews, T., Herries, A., Boulter, C., Smith, R., Dondo, C., Mthenbi, P. and Haarhoff, P. 2011. Chronology of the Late Cenozoic Langebaanweg Palaeontological Site: West Coast of South Africa. Earth Science Reviews.106(3):191-310.
Matthews, T.,Rector, A., Jacobs, Z., Herries, A.I.R., Marean, C.W. 2011. Environmental implications of micromammals accumulated close to the MIS 6 to MIS 5 transition at Pinnacle Point Cave 9 (Mossel Bay, Western Cape Province, South Africa). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 302:213–229
Matthews, T.,and Stynder, D. 2011. An analysis of two Myosorex species (Soricidae) from the Early Pliocene site of Langebaanweg (West coast, South Africa) using geometric morphometrics and linear measurements. Geobios. 44:87-99.
Matthews, T.,and Stynder, D. 2011. An analysis of the Aethomys (Murinae) communityfrom Langebaanweg (Early Pliocene, South Africa) using geometric morphometrics. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 302:230-242.
Matthews, T.,Marean, C., and Nilssen, P. 2009. Micromammals from the Middle Stone Age (92 – 167
ka) at Cave PP13B, Pinnacle Point, south coast, South Africa. 44, 112-120. Palaeontologica Africana.
PhD 2004 (UCT)
Natural History Department
Iziko Museums of Cape Town
25 Queen Victoria Street
Tel: (+27)21 481 3877
Fax: (+27)21 481 3993