September 23, 2021
Today, the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution published our paper on the implications of faunal turnover and persistence through times of drought in SW Madagascar is available for all to read! See how a very large, multidisciplinary team can trace threads from many different sources to understand complex interactions of climate, geography, ecological niches and human influences in the past.
Godfrey et al. (2021) Teasing apart impacts of human activity and regional drought on Madagascar large vertebrate fauna: Insights from new excavations at Tsimanampesotse and Antsirafaly.
November 20, 2020
Check out the latest NSF Science Matters invited blog post by Laurie Godfrey about our research in Madagascar.
October 14, 2020
The National Science Foundation has invited us to contribute updates from our Madagascar expeditions for their public outreach for National Fossil day. See their thread about our work on the NSF twitter feed.
June 19, 2019
Tonight on PBS, "When Whales Walked" will air in the US at 9pm EST. This documentary features Dr. Evon Hekkala, our resident crocodile expert, assisted by my dive team and I in Vintany cave. The whole team is still in Madagascar for our 2019 expedition so we will miss the premiere, but we encourage others to see it on their big TVs without us. We, and anyone who misses the premiere, can see it on PBS.com or download it on iTunes anytime.
March 29, 2019
We are presenting some exciting news about the extinct species we've been finding in the caves. Specifically, the animals represented in two nearby caves are completely different from oneanother, and in Mitoho, we have discovered the remains of the largest mammalian predator ever known from Madagascar! Read more about it here:
"Night and day: Subfossil faunal representation in neighboring Malagasy caves illustrates interaction and exclusion by
predator and prey." Presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists Conference, Cleveland OH.
June 27, 2018
There's still time to help us develop a museum in Madagascar! Every dollar counts. See our GoFundMe campaign here: MadaMuseum!
June 20, 2018
We've just returned from the first of two field seasons supported by our current National Science Foundation research grants. This year we recovered several species of birds, small mammals, and some living and extinct lemurs from caves where we had not found them previously. This expands our picture of the biodiversity in the area when these sites were formed. We also collected several stalagmites for paleoclimate reconstructions that will further advance our understanding of the ecosystem that once flourished here.
Top: Team divers explore Vintany cave in info graphic used by the National Science Foundation to promote National Fossil Day 2020. Photo credit P. Lehman. Middle: Klukkert cradles a Pachylemur cranium in an underwater cave in the spiny desert in Southwest Madagascar. Photo credit P. Widmann; Bottom: Klukkert prepares underwater camera rig for collecting images to map the cave site. Photo credit A. Coffield-Feith.
In the News
Underwater Caves, the Final Frontier | Outside Magazine
Giant Lemur Graveyard |National Geographic Story of the Year
Giants from Madagascar's Past | The Washington Post
VIDEO: National Science Foundation Reports
Field Reports/Blogs with our sponsors
Paleontology in the Flooded Caves of Madagascar | Shearwater
Madagascar: The Scientific Anomaly | Protec Dive Centers
Mahafaly Karst Exploration 2014 | XDEEP
Madagascar Cave Diving Association
Background image: Looking down into Aven cave, a sinkhole that formed when the ground fell into an cave underneath, now flooded with fresh water and filled with the bony remains from a by-gone era.