Colin Courtney-Mustaphi

Name: Colin Courtney-Mustaphi

Title: Post-doctoral researcher


I am a researcher at the University of Basel, Switzerland, and am interested in how humans interact with their environment and what these modifications do to the world around us. I use a multidisciplinary approach by combining paleoenvironmental, archaeological, anthropological, historical, and remote sensing data – to explore natural and anthropogenic influences on ecosystems and landscapes. By investigating the characteristics and consequences of human modifications to environments in recent Earth history, we develop precedent and context for exploring dialogues on potential future trajectories for managed landscapes. I am also interested in how knowledge interacts with social values and rule sets that govern perceptions of land use/land cover change and contribute in stakeholder co-benefit balancing and consensus building toward land management policy formulation. 

I have been involved in previous and on-going projects in tropical East Africa, the Arctic, mountain areas of western North America, and peri-urban areas in eastern Canada

Publication List

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

Probert J, Parr C, Holdo RM, Anderson TM, Archibald S, Courtney Mustaphi C, Dobson A, Donaldson JE, Hempson G, Hopcraft JGC, Morrison TA, Beale CM. 2019. Anthropogenic modifications to fire regimes in the wider Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. Global Change Biology.

Munishi, L.K., Courtney Mustaphi, C.J., Marchant, R. 2019. Observation of an adult female oribi with leucistic pelage in Lobo, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology.

Boles O, Shoemaker A, Courtney Mustaphi CJ, Petek N, Ekblom A, Lane P. 2019. Historical ecologies of pastoralist overgrazing in Kenya: long-term perspectives on cause and effect. Human Ecology.

Courtney Mustaphi, C.J., Brahney, J., Aquino-López, M.A., Goring, S., Orton, K., Noronha, A., Czaplewski, J., Asena, Q., Paton, S., Brushworth, J.P., 2019. Guidelines for reporting and archiving 210Pb sediment chronologies to improve fidelity and extend data lifecycle. Quaternary Geochronology 52, 77-87.

Courtney-Mustaphi CJ, Colombaroli D, Vannière B, Adolf C, Bremond L, Aleman J, the Global Paleofire Working Group (GPWG2). 2018. African fire histories and fire ecologies. PAGES Magazine 26(2), 88.

Davis EL, Courtney-Mustaphi C, Pisaric MFJ. 2018. Fire histories and futures of Columbian and Rocky Mountain forests, western Canada. Western Geography 23: 3-11.

Gallego-Sala A, Charman D, Brewer S, Page S, Prentice IC, Friedlingstein P, Moreton S, Amesbury M, Beilman D, Björck S, Blyakharchuk T, Bochicchio C, Booth R, Bunbury J, Camill P, Carless D, Chimner R, Clifford M, Cressey E, Courtney-Mustaphi C, De Vleeschouwer R, de Jong R, Fialkiewicz-Koziel B, Finkelstein S, Garneau M, Githumbi E, Hribjlan J, Holmquist J, Hughes P, Jones C, Jones M, Karofeld E, Klein E, Kokfelt U, Korhola A, Lacourse T, Le Roux G, Lamentowicz M, Large D, Lavoie M, Loisel J, Mackay H, MacDonald G, Makila M, Magnan G, Marchant R, Marcisz K, Martínez Cortizas A, Massa C, Mathijssen P, Mauquoy D, Mighall T, Mitchell FJG, Moss P, Nichols J, Oksanen PO, Orme L, Packalen M, Robinson S, Roland T, Sanderson N, Sannel AB, Silva-Sánchez N, Steinberg N, Swindles G, Turner TE, Uglow J, Väliranta M, van Bellen S, van der Linden M, van Geel B, Wang G, Yu Z, Zaragoza-Castells J, Zhao Y. in press 2018. Latitudinal limits to the predicted increase of the peatland carbon sink with warming. Nature Climate Change 8: 907-913.

Boles O, Courtney-Mustaphi C, Richer S, Marchant R. 2018. Joining the dots of land-use and land-cover change in Eastern Africa. PAGES Past Global Changes Magazine 26(1), p.16-17.

Shipton C, Roberts P, Archer W, Armitage SJ, Bita C, Blinkhorn J, Courtney-Mustaphi C, Crowther A, Curtis R, d’ Errico F, Douka K, Faulkner P, Groucutt HS, Helm R, Herries AIR, Jembe S, Kourampas N, Lee-Thorp J, Marchant R, Mercader J, Pitarch Marti A, Prendergast ME, Rowson B, Tengeza A, Tibesasa R, White TS, Petraglia MD, Boivin N. 78,000-year-old record of Middle and Later stone age innovation in an East African tropical forest. Nature Communications 9, 1832. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-04057-3

Beale CM, Courtney Mustaphi CJ, Morrison TA, Archibald S, Anderson TM, Dobson AP, Donaldson JE, Hempson GP, Probert J, Parr CL. 2018. Pyrodiversity interacts with rainfall to increase bird and mammal richness in African savannas. Ecology Letters 21(4): 557–567.

Githumbi E, Kariuki R, Shoemaker A, Courtney Mustaphi C, Chuhila M, Richer S, Lane P, Marchant R. 2018. Pollen, people and place: paleoenvironmental, archaeological, and ecological perspectives on vegetation change in the Amboseli landscape, Kenya. Frontiers in Earth Science 5 Article 113: 1-26. DOI: 10.3389/feart.2017.00113

Marchant R, Richer S, Boles O, Capitani C, Courtney-Mustaphi C, Lane P, Prendergast M, Stump D, Wynne-Jones S, Ferro Vázquez C, Wright D, Boivin N, Lang C, Kay A, Phelps L, Fuller D, Widgren M, Punwong P, Lejju J, Gaillard-Lemdahl M-J, Morrison KD, Kaplan J, Benard J, Crowther A, Cuní-Sanchez A, de Cort G, Deere N, Ekblom A, Farmer J, Finch J, Gillson L, Githumbi E, Kabora T, Kariuki R, Kinyanjui R, Kyazike E, Muiruri V, Mumbi C, Muthoni R, Muzuka A, Ndiema E, Nzabandora C, Olago D, Onjala D, Pas Schrijver A, Petek N, Platts PJ, Rucina S, Shoemaker A, Thornton-Barnett S, van der Plas G, Watson L, Williamson D. 2018. Drivers and trajectories of land cover change in East Africa: human and environmental interactions from 6000 years ago to present. Earth-Science Reviews 178: 322-378.

Githumbi EN*, Courtney Mustaphi CJ*, Yun KJ, Muiruri V, Rucina SM, Marchant R. 2018. Late Holocene wetland transgression and 500 years of vegetation and fire variability in the semi-arid Amboseli landscape, southern Kenya. Ambio – A Journal of the Human Environment 47(6), pp 682–696. *equal contribution

Pfeifer M, Andrew B, Calders K, Cayuela L, Courtney-Mustaphi C, Cuní-Sanchez A, Deere N, Denu D, Gonsamo A, Gonzalez de Tanago J, Hayward R, Lau A, Macia MJ, Marchant R, Ledo A, Marshall AR, Olivier P, Paine CET, Pellikka P, Hamidu S, Shirima D, Trevithick R, Wedeux B, Wheeler C, Woodgate W, Platts PJ. 2018. Tropical forest canopies and their relationships with climate and disturbance – results from a global dataset of consistent field-based measurements. Forest Ecosystems 5: 7. doi: 10.1186/s40663-017-0118-7

Seki HA, Shirima DD, Courtney Mustaphi CJ, Marchant R, Munishi PKT. 2018. The impact of land use and land cover change on biodiversity within and adjacent Kibasira Swamp in Kilombero valley, Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology 53(6): 518-527. doi: 10.1111/aje.12488

Courtney Mustaphi CJ, Gajewski K, Marchant R, Rosqvist G. 2017. A late Holocene pollen record from proglacial Oblong Tarn, Mount Kenya. PLOS One 12(9): e0184925. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0184925 [Data available from open access Harvard Dataverse]

Marchant R, Courtney-Mustaphi C, Githumbi E. 2017. Entangled ecosystem-people-animal interactions: perspectives from East African savannas. Past Global Changes Magazine (PAGES), 25(2), 80–81. DOI:10.22498/pages.25.2.80

Hempson G, Parr C, Archibald S, Anderson T, Courtney Mustaphi, CJ, Dobson A, Donaldson J, Morrison T, Probert J, Beale C. 2018. Continent-level drivers of African pyrodiversity. Ecography 42(6), 889-899. [Data available from Dryad]

Courtney Mustaphi CJ, and Pisaric MFJ. 2018. Forest vegetation change and disturbance interactions over the past 7500 years at Sasquatch Lake, Columbia Mountains, western Canada. Quaternary International 488, 95-106.

Hawthorne D*, Courtney Mustaphi CJ*, Aleman JC*, Blarquez O, Colombaroli D, Daniau A-L, Marlon JR, Power M, Vannière B, Han Y, Hantson S, Kehrwald N, Magi B, Yue X, Carcaillet C, Marchant R, Ayodele O, Githumbi EN, Muriuki RM. Accepted in press. Global Modern Charcoal Dataset (GMCD): a tool for exploring proxy-fire linkages and spatial patterns of biomass burning. Quaternary International 488, 3-17.
*equal contribution

Patterson RT, Crann C, Cutts J, Courtney Mustaphi CJ, Nasser N, Macumber A, Galloway J, Swindles G, Falck H. 2017. New occurrences of the White River Ash (east lobe) in Subarctic Canada and utility for estimating freshwater reservoir effect in lake sediment archives. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 477, 1–9.

Sánchez Goñi, M. F., Desprat, S., Daniau, A.-L., Bassinot, F. C., Polanco-Martínez, J. M., Harrison, S. P., Allen, J. R. M., Anderson, R. S., Behling, H., Bonnefille, R., Burjachs, F., Carrión, J. S., Cheddadi, R., Clark, J. S., Combourieu-Nebout, N., Courtney-Mustaphi, C. J., Debusk, G. H., Dupont, L. M., Finch, J. M., Fletcher, W. J., Giardini, M., González, C., Gosling, W. D., Grigg, L. D., Grimm, E. C., Hayashi, R., Helmens, K., Heusser, L. E., Hill, T., Hope, G., Huntley, B., Igarashi, Y., Irino, T., Jacobs, B., Jiménez-Moreno, G., Kawai, S., Kershaw, P., Kumon, F., Lawson, I. T., Ledru, M.-P., Lézine, A.-M., Liew, P. M., Magri, D., Marchant, R., Margari, V., Mayle, F. E., McKenzie, M., Moss, P., Müller, S., Müller, U. C., Naughton, F., Newnham, R. M., Oba, T., Pérez-Obiol, R., Pini, R., Ravazzi, C., Roucoux, K. H., Rucina, S. M., Scott, L., Takahara, H., Tzedakis, P. C., Urrego, D. H., van Geel, B., Valencia, B. G., Vandergoes, M. J., Vincens, A., Whitlock, C. L., Willard, D. A., and Yamamoto, M. 2017. The ACER pollen and charcoal database: a global resource to document vegetation and fire response to abrupt climate changes during the last glacial period. Earth System Science Data 9, 679–695. doi: 10.5194/essd-9-679-2017. [Data available from PANGEA]

Outridge PM, Sanei H, Courtney Mustaphi CJ, Gajewski K. 2017. Holocene climate change influences on trace metal and organic matter geochemistry in the sediments of an Arctic lake over 7,000 years. Applied Geochemistry 78, 35–48.

Finch J, Marchant R, Courtney Mustaphi CJ. 2017. Ecosystem change in the South Pare Mountain bloc, Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania. The Holocene 27 (6), 796–810. [ScienceDaily summary]