Roger Byrne

Roger Byrne

Professor Emeritus
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, 1972
Biogeography, vegetation change, prehistoric agriculture, pollen analysis; regional focus: California and Mexico


Historical biogeography, vegetation change, prehistoric agriculture, pollen analysis. Mr. Byrne is currently conducting research on the history of late-Pleistocene/Holocene environmental change in California and Mexico. He is also Curator of Fossil Pollen for the Museum of Paleontology at Berkeley.

Professor Byrne heads up the Quaternary Paleoecology Laboratory in McCone Hall.

Selected publications

In press.  Holocene climate change and human impact, central Mexico: a record based on maar lake pollen and sediment chemistry. (with Jungjae Park,  Roger Byrne, Harald Böhnel, Roberto Molina Garza and Mariaelena Conserva) Quaternary Science Reviews. Available online 17 November 2009.

2009.  Pollen-based biome reconstructions for Latin America at 0, 6000 and 18 000 radiocarbon years ago. (with Marchant, R., et al.)Climate of the Past 5 (4) 2009, pp.725-767.

2009.  First lacustrine varve chronologies from Mexico: impact of droughts, ENSO and human activity since AD 1840 as recorded in maar sediments from Valle de Santiago. (with Ulrike Kienel , Sabine Wulf Bowen, Roger Byrne, Jungjae Park, Harald Böhnel Peter Dulski, James F. Luhr, Lee Siebert, Gerald H. Haug and Jörg F. W. Negendank) Journal of Paleolimnology 42 (4): 587-609.

2009.  Abundance and diversity of tidal marsh plants along the salinity gradient of the San Francisco Estuary: implications for global change ecology. (with Watson, E. B.) Plant Ecology 205 (1), 113-128.

2008.  Palaeomagnetic secular variation and rock-magnetic studies of Holocene sediments from a maar lake (Hoya de San Nicolas) in Central Mexico. (with Chaparro, Marcos, Bohnel, Harald, Byrne, Roger, 3 Nowaczyk, Norbert, S. Molina-Garza, Roberto, Park Jungjae, and Jorg F. W. Negendank) Geophys. J. Int. 175, 462–476.

2008.  Stable isotope evidence for a foggy climate on Santa Cruz Island, California at ~ 16,600 cal. yr. B.P. (with Anderson, R. L., Byrne, R., Dawson, T.) Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 262, (3-4) 176-181.

2007.  A Paleological Record from a Maya Reservoir in the Northern Peten, Guatemala. (with Wahl, D., Schreiner, T., Byrne, R.) Latin American Antiquity 18,212-222.

2007.  Palaeolimnological evidence of late-Holocene settlement and abandonment in the Mirador Basin, Peten, Guatemala. (with Wahl, D., Byrne, R. Schreiner, T., Hansen, R.) The Holocene, Vol. 17, No. 6, 813-820.

2006.  Holocene Vegetation Change in the Northern Peten and its Implications for Maya Prehistory. (with Wahl, D., Byrne, R., Schreiner, T., and Hansen, R.) Quaternary Research 65, Issue 3, May 2006, Pages 380-389

2004.  La Secuencia Paleoambiental de la Cuenca Mirador. (with Wahl, D., Schreiner, T.) XVIII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, July 19-23, 2004. Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, Guatemala City, Guatemala.

2003.  Preliminary evidence of a dry mid-Holocene episode from Valle de Santiago, Guanajuato, Mexico. (with Conserva, M., Park, J., Böhnel, H., and Molina Garza, R.) GEOS Vol. 23, No. 2: 103

2003.  Cytometric sorting of pinaceae pollen and its implications for Radiocarbon dating and stable isotope analyses. (with Park, J., Ingram, L., Hung, T.) 20th Annual Pacific Climate Workshop, April 6-9, 2003, Asilomar, California.

2002. Late Holocene Vegetation Change in the Sierra Madre Oriental of Central Mexico. (with Mariaelena Conserva) Quaternary Research, 58, 122-129, 2002.

2001. Carbon-Isotope, Diatom, and Pollen Evidence for Late Holocene Salinity Change in a Brackish Marsh in the San Francisco Estuary. (with Lynn Ingram, Scott Starratt, Frances Malamud-Roam, Joshua N. Collins and Mark E. Conrad) Quaternary Research 55: 66-76.

2000. Invasion of Mediterranean Weeds into California before 1769. (with S. Mensing) Fremontia 27: 6-9

1999. A 560 Year Record of Santa Ana Fires Reconstructed from Charcoal Deposits in the Santa Barbara Basin California. (with S. Mensing and J. Michaelsen) Quaternary Research 51: 295-305

1998. Areal Variation in Woodland Food Plant Potential around Crawford Lake, pp., 121-138 in Iroquoian Peoples of the Land of Rocks and Water, A.D. 1000-1650: A Study in Settlement Archaeology. Vol 1. William D. Finlayson (ed.). London Museum of Archaeology, London, Ontario, Canada.

1998. Iroquoian Agriculture and Forest Clearance at Crawford Lake, Ontario, pp., 94-107 in Iroquoian Peoples of the Land of Rocks and Water, A.D. 1000-1650: A Study in Settlement Archaeology. Vol 1. William D. Finlayson (ed.). London Museum of Archaeology, London , Ontario, Canada.

1998. Experimental Pollen Studies in the Crawford Lake Region, pp., 91-94 (with C. Turton) in Iroquoian Peoples of the Land of Rocks and Water, A.D. 1000-1650: A Study in Settlement Archaeology. Vol 1. William D. Finlayson (ed.). London Museum of Archaeology, London , Ontario, Canada.

1998. Stable isotopes, Sr/Ca, and Mg/Ca in biogenic carbonates from Petaluma Marsh, northern California, USA. (with B. L. Ingram, P. De Deckker, A. R. Chivas, M. E. Conrad) Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 62 N19-20:3229-3237.

1998. A 5000-year record of agriculture and tropical forest clearance in the Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico. (with M. Goman) Holocene, 8:83-89.

1998. Pre-mission invasion of Erodium cicutarium in California. (with S. Mensing) Journal of Biogeography, 24:757-762.

Recent grants

CAL-DWR. Long-term Variability of Fresh Water Flow into the San Francisco Estuary using Paleoclimatic Methods. (co-PI with Lisa Wells) $30,000. 1994-1995.

USNFS. Grazing Impacts on Monache Meadow, Inyo National Forest (with Robert Dull). $10,000. 1994.

NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant (Eric Edlund). $10,000. July 1994-June 1995.

USGS/NEHRP. Geometry and Holocene Displacement of the Pittsburg Fault Analyses of Tectonic Landforms and Holocene Stratigraphy, (with Patrick Williams and James Wanket). $30,000. 1998-99.

USGS. Detailed Pollen Stratigraphy for Mira Vista Trench Site, (with Patrick Williams and James Wanket). $20,000. 1998-99.

DOE-Westgec Stratigraphic Evidence for Recent Changes in Salinity Regimes in the San Francisco Estuary (with Lynn Ingram) $280,000. 1997-1998.

Tetratek for USN Dating of Recent Marsh Sediments at Concord California by means of Pollen and 210 Pb (with David Wahl and Frankie Malamud Roam). $10,000. 1999.

Web Pages

Aztec Place Name Glyphs and the Extent of the Aztec Empire according to R.H. Barlow