Ignacio Lazagabaster

Leverhulme Trust Post Doctoral Research Associate

Research interests

I am a broadly trained paleontologist and zooarchaeologist studying paleozoological records to examine historical human-environment interactions and uncover the key drivers that shaped human biological and cultural history. What were the biological and behavioral responses of ancient societies and the faunal components of the ecosystems they occupied in connection to climate change? Are these changes temporally and causally correlated with cultural changes observed in the archaeological record? What influence did humans have on natural environments in the past, and how could it have fed back to impact society? To answer these questions, it is fundamental to understand not only how human societies changed through time but also how their natural surroundings transformed.

My research agenda builds on a foundation of work I have been developing over the last several years that focused on investigating Quaternary mammal assemblages from historic and prehistoric sites. During my PhD at Arizona State University, I studied the taxonomy and paleoecology of extinct suids in the context of eastern African Plio-Pleistocene climate change and hominin evolution. At the University of Liverpool, I use mathematical models to examine changes in the geographical distribution of large mammals in relation to historical societal transitions in Egypt, as part of the BEAST project led by Jakob Bro-Jorgensen.  

Education and career

  • Biology Degree, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain (2007)
  • MsC Human Evolution and Biology, University of Coimbra, Portugal (2013)
  • PhD Evolutionary Anthropology, Arizona State University, USA (2018)
  • Postdoctoral Research, ERC DEADSEA_ECO Project, University of Haifa, Israel (2019)
  • Postdoctoral Research, Humboldt Fellowship, Museum of Natural Sciences Berlin, Germany (2021)
  • Postdoctoral Research, Leverhulme BEAST Project, University of Liverpool (Current)


  • Aouraghe H, Van der Made J, Haddoumi H, Agustí J, Benito-Calvo A, Rodríguez-Hidalgo A, Lazagabaster IA, Souhir M, Mhamdi H, El Atmani A, Ewague A. (2022). New materials of the white rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum and auerochs Bos primigenius from a Late Pleistocene terrace of the Oued el Haï (NE Morocco)-two elements of the Maghrebi Palearctic fauna. Historical Biology 34:1981-1999.
  • Lazagabaster IA, Eguez N, Ullman M, Porat R, Wachtel I, Davidovich U, Marom N. (2021). Cave paleozoology in the Judean Desert: assembling records of Holocene wild mammal communities. Journal of Quaternary Science 37:651-633.
  • Lazagabaster IA, Rovelli V, Fabre P-H, […], Marom N. (2021). Rare crested rat fossils unveil Afro-Eurasian ecological corridors synchronous with early human dispersals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 18:e2105719118.
  • Lazagabaster IA, Ullman M, Porat R, Halevi R, Porat N, Davidovich U, Marom N. (2021). Changes in the large carnivore community structure of the Judean Desert in connection to Holocene human settlement dynamics. Scientific Reports 11:3548.
  • Ungar PS, Abella EF, Burgman J, Lazagabaster IA, Scott J, Delezene L, Manthi F, Plavcan JM, Ward C. (2020). Dental microwear and Pliocene paleocommunity ecology of bovids, primates, rodents, and suids at Kanapoi. Journal of Human Evolution 140:102315.
  • Lazagabaster IA. Dental microwear texture analysis of Pliocene Suidae from Hadar and Kanapoi in the context of early hominin dietary breadth expansion. (2019). Journal of Human Evolution 132:80-100.
  • Du A, Robinson J, Rowan J, Lazagabaster IA, Behrensmeyer A. (2019). Stable carbon isotopes from paleosol carbonate and herbivore enamel document differing paleovegetation signals in the eastern African Plio-Pleistocene. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 261:41-52.
  • Lazagabaster IA, Souron A, Robinson J, Campisano C, Reed KE. (2018). Fossil Suidae (Mammalia, Artiodactyla) from Lee Adoyta, Ledi-Geraru, lower Awash Valley, Ethiopia: Implications for late Pliocene turnover and paleoecology. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 504:186-200.
  • Pineda-Munoz S, Lazagabaster IA, Alroy J, Evans A. (2016). Inferring diet from dental morphology in placental mammals. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 8:481-491.
  • Lazagabaster IA, Rowan J, Kamilar J, Reed KE. (2016). Evolution of craniodental correlates of diet in African Bovidae. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 23:385-396.


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