Conference & Meetings


World of Gravettian Hunters (Krakow, Poland)


Member of the scientific committee: Prof. Hervé Bocherens


Bocherens, H., Drucker, D.G., Munzel, S.C., Rivals. R., Fellows Yates, J.A., Krause, J., Wojtal, P. “Stable isotope, tooth microwear and palaeogenetic investigations of the mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) of Kraków Spadzista.”

Crépin, L., Péan, S., Drucker, D.G., Patou-Mathis, M., Laznikova-Galetova, M., Prat, S., Yanevich, A., “Subsistence behaviours during the Gravettian in south-eastern Europe. New insights from the last investigations in Buran-Kaya III (Crimea).”

Drucker, D.G., Soler, J., Soler, N., “Gravettian hunters in a Mediterranean context: reconstructing environment and diet at the Serinyà Caves (Girona, Spain) using stable isotopes.”

Drucker, D.G., Stevens, R.E., Germonpré, M., Sablin, M.V., Péan, S., Bocherens, H., “The end of the mammoth steppe in central East European Plains during the Epigravettian: insights from collagen stable isotopes.”

Péan, S., Crépin, L., Prat, S., Patou-Mathis, M., Puaud, S., Verna, C., Laznikova-Galetova, M., Drucker, D.G., Yanevich, A., “New field and analytic results from the Buran-Kaya III (Crimea) Gravettian layers: implications for the understanding of anatomically modern human dispersal in South-Eastern Europe.”

Wißing, C., Crevecoeur, I., Germonpré, M., Naito, Y., Posth, C., Rougier, H., Semal, P., Bocherens, H., “Evidence for ecological diversity among Gravettian hunters across Europe. A stable isotopic approach.”


9th International Conference on Mesolithic in Europe (Belgrade, Serbia)



Drucker, D.G., Valentin, F., Human diet and mobility in the Paris Basin during the Boreal: Insights from the stable isotope analysis of bone collagen.

Post, C., Drucker, D.G., Bocherens, H., Harvati, C., Conard, N.J., Krause, J., Genetic diversity in Mesolithic Europeans.

21st International Cave Bear Symposium (Leiden, The Netherlands)


Co-authorship in 2 presentations:

Krajcarz, M., Pacher, M., Krajcarz, M.T., Laughlan, L., Rabeder, G., Sabol, M., Wojtal, P., Bocherens, H., Geographical variation of stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N) of cave bear collagen during MIS 3 from Western to Eastern Europe.

Münzel, S.C., Drucker, D.G., Cupillard, C., Bocherens, H., Cave bear exploitation by Neanderthals and Modern Humans. The cases of Calamine (Franch Jura) and Hohle Fehls (Swabian Jura).

ESHE 5th Annual Meeting (London, UK)


Co-authorship in a presentation:

Germonpré, M., Láznickova-Galetova, M., Sablin, M., Bocherens, H., A comparison of two hypotheses of the domestication of the dog.

21st Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (Glasgow, UK)



Diáz-Zorita Bonilla, M., Diáz del Rió, P., Balsera, V., Waterman, A., Thomas, J., Peate, D., Bocherens, H., Martínez-Navarrete, M.I., Gilman, A., Martin, C., People of La Mancha. Diet and mobility at the Bronze Age site of El Acequión (Albacete, Spain).

Diáz-Zorita Bonilla, M., Diáz del Rió, P., Escudero, J., Beck, J., Escudero, J., Bocherens, H., Martínez-Navarrete, M.I., Vicent, J.M., Testing the scale of human mobility at the third millenium BC mega-site of Marroquiés Bajos (Jaén, Spain) through 87Sr/86Sr and δ18O isotope analysis.

Etu-Sihvola, H., Bocherens, H., Junno, A., Mannermaa, K., Oinonen, M., Uusitalo, J., Arppe, L., Online database on bone collagen δ13C, δ15N and δ34S values. A new tool for (prehistoric) dietary reconstruction in the Eastern Baltic Sea Area.


7th European Congress of Mammalogy (Stockholm, Sweden)


Co-authorship in 2 presentations:

Hofman-Kaminska, E., Bocherens, H., Kowalczyk, R., Patterns of habitat use and diet of European bison and moose in Europe.

Kowalczyk, R., Hofman-Kaminska, E., Samojlik, T., Makowiecki, D., Merceron, G., Bocherens, H., Why has the European bison survived, while the other large beasts have gone

XIX INQUA 2015 (Nagoya, Japan)



Naito, Y.I., Drucker, D.G., Chikaraishi, Y., Ohkouchi, N., Germonpré, M., Bocherens, H., Amino acid nitrogen isotopic constraints on the diet of cave bears (Ursus spelaeus) from Goyet Cave, Belgium: insights into the paleoecological reconstruction.

Annual meeting of the SOCIETY FOR MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND EVOLUTION (Vienne, Austria)


Co-authorship in a presentation:

Post, C., Mittnik, A., Drucker, D.G., Bocherens, H., Harvati, C., Conard, N.J., Krause, J., Mitochondrial genome diversity in european Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherers.

Center for Archaeological Sciences workshop RECENT ADVANCES IN BIOARCHAEOLOGY (Leuven, Belgium)


Invited presentation:

Bocherens, H., New developments in isotopic tracking of ancient diets: Amino acids, sulphur isotopes, and Bayesian models


57th Annual Meeting of the Hugo Obermaier-Gesellschaft (Heidenheim, Germany)



Bocherens, H., Drucker, D.G., Germonpré, M., Lázničková-Galetová, M., Sablin, M.V., Kandel, A.W., Schuenemann, V., Thalmann, O., Krause, J., Morphological, ecological and genetic characterization of Pleistocene wolves and Palaeolithic dogs in the Gravettian of Předmostí I (Czech Republic). abstract

Drucker, D.G., Conard, N.J., Harvati, K., Posth, C., Krause, J., Bocherens, H., Isotopic evidence of aquatic resource consumption in the Swabian Jura during the Late-Glacial interstadial.

Münzel, S.C., Drucker, D.G., Cupillard, C., Bocherens, H., Cave Bear Exploitation by Neanderthals and Modern Humans: The Cases of Casamène (French Jura) and Hohle Fels (Swabian Jura).

Posth, C., Wißing. C., Drucker, D., Kitagawa, K., Wehrberger, K., Kind, C.-J., Bocherens H., Harvati, K., Conard, N.J., Krause J., Biomolecular investigation of Paleolithic and Mesolithic human remains from the Swabian Jura (South-West Germany).

Wißing, C., Crevecoeur, I., Germonpré, M., Krause, J., Naito, Y., Posth, C., Rougier, H., Semal, P., Bocherens, H., 2015. Insight from stable isotopes into the ecology of late Neandertals and early anatomically modern humans (AMH) in North-West Europe. Abstract


74th Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (Berlin, Germany)


Co-chairman of technical session XI “Mammalian dietary ecology”: Prof. Hervé Bocherens pdf


Bocherens, H., Arppe, L., Drucker, D.G., Karhu, J., Vartanyan, S.: Habitat trackers, niche engineers or flexible all-doers? Isotopic insight on the palaeoecology of the latest Pleistocene and Holocene woolly mammoths Mammuthus primigenius. pdf of abstract

Cotte, M., Prevosti, F., Soibelzon, L., Bocherens, H.: Pleistocene trophic systems in the Pampean region (Buenos Aires Province, Argentina): Insights from C and O stable isotopes. pdf of abstract

Dantas, M., Cherkinsky, A., Bocherens, H., Drefahl, M., França, L de M., Bernardes, C., Avilla, L.S.: Isotopic signature (δ13C, δ18O) of the paleoecology and niche partitioning of the Pleistocene megafauna from Brazilian intertropical region – Northeastern Brazil.


4th International Palaeontological Congress – The history of life: A view from the Southern Hemisphere (Mendoza, Argentina)



Cotte, M., Prevosti, F., Soibelzon, L., Bauriedl, S., Bocherens, H.: South American endemic ungulates in the Pampean region (Buenos Aires Province, Argentina): Ecological insights from stable isotopes (diet, competition and predation pressure). pdf of abstract

XVII world UISPP Congress (Burgos, Spain)


Convenors of session B19 Aquatic resource consumption by prehistoric humans: Dr. Dorothée Drucker and Dr. Yuichi Naito (proceedings will be published in a special issue of Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports - pdf)

Co-convenor of session A25b Collective burial in the Late European Prehistory: Dr. Marta Díaz-Zorita Bonilla


Bocherens, H., Drucker, D.G., Haidle, M.N., Naito, Y.I., Münzel, S.C., Müller-Beck, H.: Isotopic evidence (C, N, S, O) for a high aquatic dietary contribution for a Pre-Dorset muskox hunter from Umingmak (Banks Island, Canada). pdf of abstract

Crépin, L., Vercoutère, C., Drucker, D., Chiotti, L., Henry-Gambier, D., Nespoulet, R.: Zooarchaeology of a final gravettian site. Example of the Abri Pataud, level 2.

Díaz-Zorita Bonilla, M.: New bioarchaeological investigations at tomb 3, La Pijotilla (Solana de Los Barros, Badajoz, Spain)

Díaz-Zorita Bonilla, M.: Collective burial and unequal access to death. The bioarchaeology of Valencina de la Concepción (Seville, Spain)

Drucker, D.G.: Sulphur-34 as a tracer of aquatic resources consumption: insights from the Lateglacial and early Holocene of Northwest Europe.

Drucker, D.G., Kuitems, M., van der Plicht, J., van Kolfschoten, T., Bocherens, H.: Carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes of bone collagen from Schöningen (Middle Pleistocene, Germany) and their palaeoecological implications. pdf of abstract

Drucker, D.G., Rosendahl, W., Van Neer, W., Görner, I., Bocherens, H.: Stable isotope analysis of the human of Rhünda (Germany): intense exploitation of aquatic resources in the European Northern plains during the Younger Dryas.

Naito, Y.I., Chikaraihi, Y., Drucker, D.G., Ohkouchi, N., Wissing, C., Bocherens, H.: Ecological niche of neanderthals from Spy Cave revealed by nitrogen isotope analysis of collagen amino acids.

Naito, Y.I., Wissing, C., Drucker, D.G., Bocherens, H., Yoneda, M., Chikaraihi, Y., Ohkouchi, N.: Detection of aquatic resource consumption by prehistoric humans based on nitrogen isotopic composition of collagen amino acids. pdf of abstract

Serangeli, J., Bocherens, H., Drucker, D.G., van Kolfschoten, T., Rivals, F., Starkovich, B., Verheijen, I.: The saber-toothed cat from Schöningen. Context and preliminary results. pdf of abstract

Wissing, C., Crevecoeur, I., Germonpré, M., Naito, Y.I., Rougier, H., Semal, P., Bocherens, H.: Insights into the ecological niche of Neandertals: stable isotopes and their paleobiological implications

Middle Palaeolithic in North-West Europe: Multidisciplinary approaches (Namur, Belgium)


Chairman of session “Anthropology”: Prof. Hervé Bocherens


Bocherens, H., Abrams, G., Bonjean, D., Cotte, M., Di Modica, K., Wissing, C.: Carbon and oxygen stable isotopes (13C, 18O) in tooth enamel of Late Pleistocene mammals: Tools for reconstructing paleoclimate, paleoenvironments and paleodiets during the Middle Palaeolithic. pdf of abstract

Rougier, H., Crevecoeur, I., Beauval, C., Flas, D., Bocherens, H., Wissing, C., Germonpré, M., Semal, P., van der Plicht, J.: New fossils at the “Troisième Caverne” of Goyet (Belgium) and the mortuary practices of late Neandertals. pdf of abstract

Wissing, C., Bocherens, H., Crevecoeur, I., Beauval, C., Flas, D., Germonpré, M., Semal, P., van der Plicht, J., Rougier, H.: Insight into the ecology of Neandertals in North-West Europe: Stable isotopes and their palaeobiological implications. pdf of abstract


World of Gravettian Hunters (Krakow, Poland)


Member of the scientific committee: Prof. Hervé Bocherens


Bocherens, H., Drucker, D.G., Germonpré, M., Lázničková-Galetová, M., Wissing, C., Brůžek, J., Oliva, M., “Reconstruction of the Gravettian food-web at Předmostí I using isotopic tracking of bone collagen.”

Crépin, L., Patou-Mathis, M., Péan, S., Drucker, D.G., Prat, S., Puaud, S., Yanevich, A., “Influence of environment on subsistence behaviours in south-eastern Europe. Example of the Gravettian and the Aurignacian settlements of Buran-Kaya III (Crimea – Ukraine).”

Drucker, D.G., Vercoutère, C., Chiotti, L., Nespoulet, R., Crépin, L., Conard, N., Münzel, S., Higham, T., Bocherens, H., 2013. “Overkill or environmental casualty as an explanation for the decline of woolly mammoth during the Gravettian of the Dordogne and the Swabian Jura?.”



European bison management - lessons from the past

Invited keynote speaker: Prof. Herve Bocherens


H. Bocherens, D.G Drucker, G. Merceron, T. Samojlik, E. Hofman-Kamińska, R. Kowalczyk: “Isotopic tracking of modern and ancient bison (and other ungulates) in Europe“

E. Hofman-Kamińska, H. Bocherens, D.G Drucker, G. Merceron, T. Samojlik, R. Kowalczyk: “Historical and contemporary variation in isotopic composition of European bison and other large herbivore bone”

Some participants of the conference in Bialowieza forest, Poland


The 18th International Cave Bear Symposium

Member of the scientific committee: Prof. Herve Bocherens


H. Bocherens: “Stable isotopes in Quaternary mammals in karst deposits: Tools for reconstructing paleoclimate, paleoenvironments and paleodiets “

H. Bocherens, A. Bridault, D.G. Drucker, M. Hofreiter, S.C. Münzel, J. van der Plicht: “The last of its kind? Radiocarbon, ancient DNA and stable isotope evidence from a late cave bear from Rochedane (France)”

S.C. Münzel, F. Rivals, M. Pacher, G. Rabeder, N. Conard, H. Bocherens: “Behavioural ecology of Late Pleistocene bears (Ursus spelaeus and U. arctos): insight from stable isotopes and tooth microwear”


2012 Symposium on Turtle Evolution

Convener: Walter Joyce, Joe Corsini, Márton Rabi, Ingmar Werneburg

Participants to the 2012 Symposium on Turtle Evolution representing 17 countries in front of the geoscience building of the University of Tübingen.


Versteinerte Schildkröten als ältestes Bespiel von sich paarenden Wirbeltieren

Fossile Funde bestehen weltweit hauptsächlich aus bruchstückhaften Überresten von urzeitlichen Tieren und Pflanzen. Manchmal jedoch fin-det man Fossilien, die erstaunliche Einblicke in das Leben und die Um-welt urzeitlicher Organismen bieten. Die zwischen Frankfurt und Darm-stadt gelegene UNESCO-Welterbe Grube Messel ist dafür bekannt, dass sie außergewöhnliche Funde in hoher Qualität hervorbringt. In der aktuellen Ausgabe der Fachzeitschrift "Biology Letters" publiziert ein internationales Wissenschaftlerteam unter der Leitung von Dr. Walter Joyce vom Fachbereich Geowissenschaften der Universität Tübingen unter Beteiligung des Senckenberg Forschungsinstitutes Frankfurt und des Hessischen Landesmuseums Darmstadt den Fund mehrerer fossiler Schildkrötenpaare, die offensichtlich während des Geschlechtsaktes umgekommen sind.

"Unter den vielen zehntausenden Fossilien aus der Grube Messel kom-men nur diese Schildkröten als Paare vor", sagt Mitautor Dr. Stephan Schaal, Leiter der Messelforschung am Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum in Frankfurt. Nach einer genauen Analyse stellten die Wissenschaftler fest, dass man Männchen und Weibchen unterscheiden kann, und dass jedes Paar aus jeweils einer weiblichen und einer männ-lichen Schildkröte besteht. Obwohl die Männchen immer von den Weib-chen weggedreht vorgefunden wurden, erkennt man, dass die Schwän-ze einiger Männchen unter dem Panzer der Weibchen eingehakt sind. "Ich habe keinen Zweifel, dass diese Tiere vor etwa 47 Millionen Jahren während der Paarung starben", sagt Walter Joyce. "Wir kennen keine anderen Belege für Wirbeltiere, die bei diesem wichtigen biologischen Prozess starben und danach versteinert wurden."

Die meisten Wissenschaftler sind sich einig, dass die Grube Messel als tiefer, vulkanischer Maarsee entstand, der Tiere und Pflanzen konser-vierte, die auf seinen vergifteten Grund herabsanken. Aber manche De-tails sind noch ungeklärt, beispielsweise ob das Wasser auch in den oberen Schichten giftig war. Die modernen Verwandten der versteiner-ten Schildkröten aus Messel haben eine durchlässige Haut, mit der sie atmen und für längere Zeit unter Wasser bleiben können. Diese hervorragende Anpassung wirkt jedoch tödlich, wenn die Schildkröten in gifti-ges Wasser geraten. Dass die Messel-Schildkröten sich im See paarten, ist ein Beweis dafür, dass die oberen Schichten vermutlich nicht giftig, sondern vielmehr ein lebhaftes Biotop waren. Viele Schildkröten schei-nen aber bei der Paarung gestorben zu sein, als sie versehentlich ins tiefere, giftige Wasser herabsanken.



Cave lions were solitary hunters and had a preference for reindeer meat

12,000 years ago, cave lions hunted preferentially alone - and mostly reindeer: This is the conclusion of the working group of Prof. Hervé Bocherens from the department of Geosciences at the university of Tübingen. This research yields new data on the way of life of extinct cave lions. Using the abundance of carbon and nitrogen isotopes (13C, 15N) in bone collagen of predators, it is possible to get direct information about their diet. Until around 12,000 years ago, a large spectrum of possible prey were available to the large felines, among others mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, bison, horse and reindeer. These prey had to be shared with competitors such as cave hyena, brown bears, wolves and of course prehistoric humans.

Interestingly the researchers found in the cave lions from south-western Germany, northern Switzerland, northern France and southern Belgium very different isotopic composition, in contrast with the coeval hyenas which lived in packs and have very similar isotopic compositions. These results show, according to the researchers, that cave lions were solitary hunters and did not hunt in prides, as modern African lions do.

By analogy with the modern spectrum of prey available to lions in Africa, it was supposed that horse and bison were the main prey of the cave lions. Actually reindeer was the main item on the menu of cave lions, in proportions much higher than for there competitors. Some of the lions did also probably eat young cave bears. The preference for reindeer did last until the end of the Ice Age: the local extinction of this cold-adapted animal during the global warming of around 12,000 years ago could well be involved in the extinction of the European cave lions.


Session: Fossils and Evolutionary Biology

Convener: Hervé Bocherens

Krister Smith giving his talk on "Cenozoic climate change, biogeography and diversity patterns: a diachronic perspective"

Walter Joyce presenting his talk titled "The importance of fossils to systematic biology"

Hervé Bocherens presenting "Isotopic tracking of fossil mammal palaeoecology: implications for evolutionary biology"


Weltweit jüngstes Fossil eines großen Dinosauriers entdeckt

Ein internationales Team von Wissenschaftlern unter der Leitung von Tyler Lyson von der Yale University und Walter Joyce von der Uni Tübingen hat das weltweit jüngste Fossil eines großen Dinosauriers entdeckt. Der Fund stützt die gängige These, dass die Dinosaurier durch einen Meteoriteneinschlag am Ende der Kreidezeit vor 65 Millionen Jahres ausgelöscht worden sind.

Kritiker dieser These hatten angeführt, dass Dinosaurier in den obersten drei Metern der Ablagerungen der Kreidezeit fehlen und deshalb die Gegenthese aufgestellt, dass diese Tiere bereits vor dem gut dokumentierten Einschlag ausgestorben waren, vielleicht im Zuge von Klimaänderungen durch Vulkanausbrüche. Generell ist es statistisch unwahrscheinlich, Überreste der letzten Dinosaurier zu finden, da Sedimente vom Ende der Kreidezeit weltweit selten sind.

Der neue, spektakuläre Fund eines Horndinosauriers (Ceratopsier) wurde letztes Jahr in der Hell Creek Formation im US-Bundesstaat Montana gemacht. Es handelt sich um ein circa 40 Zentimeter langes Horn, das wahrscheinlich von dem acht Tonnen schweren Dinosaurier Triceratops horridus stammt. Die detaillierte Analyse ergab, dass das Fossil nur 13 Zentimeter unter der Kreidegrenze eingebettet war.

Dank des neuen Fossils können die Forscher nunmehr widerlegen, dass alle Gruppen großer Dinosaurier bereits vor dem Ende der Kreidezeit ausgestorben waren. Der Fund stützt die These, dass erst der Meteorit das Aussterben der über mehr als 160 Millionen Jahre erfolgreichen Dinosaurier verursacht hat.

Die genauen Abläufe der Aussterbewelle nach dem auf der Yukatan-Halbinsel in Mexiko dokumentierten Meteoriteneinschlag sind bis heute weitgehend ungeklärt. Offensichtlich ist aber, dass nicht alle Tier- und Pflanzengruppen gleich beeinträchtigt worden sind. Sogar kleine, befiederte Dinosaurier haben überlebt und sich zu Vögeln entwickelt.

Süßwasserschildkröten haben in derselben Region wie der neue Dinosaurierfund den Meteoriteneinschlag fast unbeschadet überstanden. Möglicherweise war die spezielle Physiologie der Süßwasserschildkröten ihre Rettung: Wenn es zu kalt wird, gehen sie in Winterschlaf, wenn es zu heiß wird, in Sommerschlaf. Diese Mechanismen halfen dieser Tiergruppe möglicherweise aber auch, globale Katastrophen einfach zu durchschlafen.


A new species of South East Asian Miocene hominoid, Khoratpithecus ayeyarwadyensis, with its palaeoecological context described in an article published in PLoS ONE.

This article describes the first hominoid found in Myanmar together with a Hipparion (s.l.) associated mammal fauna from Irrawaddy Formation deposits dated between 10.4 and 8.8 Ma by biochronology and magnetostratigraphy. This hominoid documents a new species of Khoratpithecus, increasing thereby the Miocene diversity of southern Asian hominoids. The composition of the associated fauna as well as stable isotope data on Hipparion (s.l.) indicate that it inhabited an evergreen forest in a C3-plant environment. These results enlighten that late Miocene hominoids were more regionally diversified than other large mammals, pointing towards regionally-bounded evolution of the representatives of this group in Southeast Asia. The Irrawaddy Formation, with its extensive outcrops and long temporal range, has a great potential for improving our knowledge of hominoid evolution in Asia.

The isotopic part of this work has been performed in our working group in Tübingen. It is part of a joint project on the Cenozoic terrestrial palaeoecosystems in South East Asia, realized in collaboration with colleagues from Myanmar (Department of Geology, Dagon University, Yangon; Department of Geology, University of Yangon, Yangon, and Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library, Mandalay), Thailand (Paleontology Section, Department of Mineral Resources, Bangkok), and France (Institut International de Paléoprimatologie et de Paléontologie Humaine, Université de Poitiers, Poitiers; Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier, Université Montpellier 2, Montpellier; and European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble, France).



Session: Late Quaternary Mammal Ecology: Insight from new Approaches Conveners: Hervé Bocheres & Martina Pacher 

Abstract Volume 

Report in "Süddeutsche Zeitung"