Bush, Mark

Biological Sciences

My research group specializes in solving biogeographical problems via palynology - the study of pollen. Much of our work is either to improve our ability to recognize pollen or in interpreting pollen signatures of the past. Pollen can used to quantify past climate change, identify changes in landuse and cultural changes such as switches in food resources. Our work centers on the Neotropics with field sites ranging from Mexico to the Galapagos and the Amazon Basin.

Personal Overview

Mark Bush (Ph.D. University Hull, UK, 1986) is Professor and Chair of the Conservation Biology and Ecology Program at the Florida Institute of Technology. He has more than 30 years experience of working on the biogeography and paleoecology of tropical systems. His research focuses on fossil pollen and charcoal analysis of Neotropical settings and environmental reconstructions of past climates, fire histories, and vegetation communities. He also investigates pre-Columbian influences on the environment and responses to past climate change. He has published >150 papers on tropical ecology and climate change, and 2 books.

Educational Background

B.Sc. University of Hull, U.K.
M.S. Duke University
Ph.D. University of Hull, U.K.

Current Courses

Bio 4410 Community Ecology

Bio 4030/5030 Conservation Biology

Summer field programs in the Andes, Galapagos and Africa

Professional Experience

Postdoctoral Fellow, The Ohio State University
1987 - 1991

Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama
1991 - 1992

Assistant Professor in the Practice of Botany, Duke University
1992 - 1996

Editorial Board Global Ecology and Biogeography
2000 - 2006

Editor Journal of Biogeography
2004 - present

Current Research

We use paleoecology to look at all aspects of South and Central American ecology in the Quaternary Period. Our current projects include investigating the population collapse of the Pleistocene megafauna, and the impacts of megadroughts played in the ecology of Amazonia. We are looking at climatic variability during the last interglacial and the last ice age in Central America, the Amazon Basin and the Andes. We are also engaged in investigations of the influence of the El Nino Southern Oscillation on the climate history of the Galapagos Islands. We are investigating the role that native South and Central American people played in altering their environment prior to European arrival. Lastly, we are building a bigger and better pollen database to provide a tool to improve identification of Neotropical pollen types.

Selected Publications

Bush, M. B. 2017. The resilience of Amazonian forests. Nature 541:167-168.

Bush, M. B., Y. A. Correa-Metrio, R. van Woesik, C. Shadik, and C. N. McMichael. in press. Human disturbance amplifies Amazonian ENSO signal. Global Change Biology.

Holden, P. B., H. J. B. Birks, S. J. Brooks, M. B. Bush, G. M. Hwang, F. Matthews-Bird, B. G. Valencia, and R. van Woesik. in press. BUMPER v1.0: A Bayesian user-friendly model for palaeo-environmental reconstruction. Geoscientific Model Development.

Bush, M. B., and C. N. McMichael. 2016. Holocene variability of an Amazonian hyperdominant. Journal of Ecology 104:1370-1378.

Bush, M. B., Y. A. Correa-Metrio, C. H. McMichael, S. Sully, C. R. Shadik, T. Guilderson, M. Steinitz-Kannan, and O. J.T. 2016. A 6900-year history of landscape modification by humans in lowland Amazonia. Quaternary Science Reviews 141:52–64.

Bush, M. B., M. A. Riedinger‐Whitmore, M. Steinitz‐Kannan, M. C. Miller, and P. E. De Oliveira. 2016b. Paul Colinvaux 1930–2016. The Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 97:208-212.

Raczka, M. F., M. B. Bush, A. M. Folcik, and C. H. McMichael. 2016. Sporormiella as a tool for detecting the presence of large herbivores in the Neotropics. Biota Neotropica 16.

Rozas-Davila, A., B. G. Valencia, and M. B. Bush. 2016. The functional extinction of Andean megafauna. Ecology 97:2533-2539.

Valencia, B. G., F. Matthews‐Bird, D. H. Urrego, J. J. Williams, W. D. Gosling, and M. Bush. 2016. Andean microrefugia: testing the Holocene to predict the Anthropocene. New Phytologist 212:510-522.

Bush, M. B., C. H. McMichael, D. R. Piperno, M. R. Silman, J. Barlow, C. A. Peres, M. Power, and M. W. Palace. 2015. Anthropogenic influence on Amazonian forests in pre‐history: An ecological perspective. Journal of Biogeography 42:2277-2288.

Bush, M. B., N. A. S. Mosblech, and W. S. Church. 2015. Climate change and the agricultural history of a mid-elevation Andean montane forest. The Holocene 25:1522-1532.

Bush, M. B., A. Alfonso-Reynolds, B. G. Valencia, D. H. Urrego, A. Correa-Metrio, M. Zimmerman, and M. R. Silman. 2015. Fire and climate: Contrasting pressures on tropical Andean timberline species. J. Biogeography 42:938-950.

Conroy, J. L., A. F. Collins, J. T. Overpeck, M. B. Bush, J. E. Cole, and D. J. Anderson. 2015. A 400‐year isotopic record of seabird response to eastern tropical Pacific productivity. Geo: Geography and Environment 2:137-147.Flantua, S. G., H. Hooghiemstra, E. C. Grimm, H. Behling, M. B. Bush, C. González-Arango, W. D. Gosling, M.-P. Ledru, S. Lozano-García, and A. Maldonado. 2015. Updated site compilation of the Latin American Pollen Database. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 223:104-115. Kular, D., K. Hollowood, O. Ommojaro, K. Smart, M. Bush, and E. Ribeiro. 2015. Classifying Frog Calls Using Gaussian Mixture Models. Pages 347-354 Advances in Visual Computing. Springer International Publishing. Matthews‐Bird, F., W. D. Gosling, A. L. Coe, M. Bush, F. E. Mayle, Y. Axford, and S. J. Brooks. 2015. Environmental controls on the distribution and diversity of lentic Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) across an altitudinal gradient in tropical South America. Ecology and Evolution. McMichael, C., D. Piperno, and M. Bush. 2015a. Comment on Clement et al. 2015 ‘The domestication of Amazonia before European conquest’. Proc. R. Soc. B 282:20151837. McMichael, C., D. Piperno, E. Neves, M. Bush, F. Almeida, G. Mongeló, and M. B. Eyjolfsdottir. 2015b. Phytolith assemblages along a gradient of ancient human disturbance in western Amazonia. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 3:141. McMichael, C. H., D. R. Piperno, and M. B. Bush. 2015c. Comment on Clement et al. 2015 “The domestication of Amazonia before European conquest”.

Piperno, D. R., C. McMichael, and M. B. Bush. 2015. Amazonia and the Anthropocene: What was the spatial extent and intensity of human landscape modification in the Amazon Basin at the end of prehistory? The Holocene 25:1588-1597.

Bush, M. B., P. E. de Oliveira, M. F. Raczka, W. D. Gosling, F. E. Mayle, C. H. McMichael, and D. H. Urrego. 2014. Paleoclimates of Amazonia: An ice-age view.in F. Ribeiro and I. Carvalho, editors. Paleontologia: Cenários de Vida - Paleoclimas.

Bush, M. B., C. H. McMichael, M. F. Raczka, M. B. De Toledo, M. J. Power, F. E. Mayle, and P. E. De Oliveira. 2014b. The Holocene of the Amazon. Paleoclimas - Série Paleontologia: Cenários de Vida. Interciência, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Bush, M. B., A. Restrepo, and A. F. Collins. 2014. Galápagos History, Restoration, and a Shifted Baseline. Restoration Ecology.

Conroy, J.L., Thompson, D.M., Collins, A., Overpeck, J.T., Cole, J.E., and Bush, M.B. 2014. Climate influences on water and sediment properties of Genovesa Crater Lake, Galápagos Journal of Paleolimnology. doi: 10.1007/s10933-014-9797-z

McMichael, C. H., M. W. Palace, M. B. Bush, B. Braswell, S. Hagen, E. G. Neves, M. R. Silman, E. K. Tamanaha, and C. Czarnecki. 2014. Predicting pre-Columbian anthropogenic soils in Amazonia. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281:20132475.

Collins, A. F., M. B. Bush, and J. P. Sachs. 2013. Microrefugia and species persistence in the Galápagos highlands: A 26,000-year paleoecological perspective. Frontiers in Genetics 4.

McMichael, C., M. W. Palace, M. B. Bush, R. Braswell, S. Hagen, E. Neves, M. R. Silman, E. Tamanha, and C. Czarnecki 2014. Predicting pre-Columbian anthropogenic soils in western Amazonia. Proceedings of the Royal Society B; 281 (1777):20132475. doi: 10.1098

Collins, A. F., M. B. Bush, and J. P. Sachs 2013. Microrefugia and species persistence in the Galapagos highlands: A 26,000-year paleoecological perspective. Frontiers in Genetics 4. 10.3389/fgene.2013.00269

Correa-Metrio, A., M. Bush, S. Lozano-García, and S. Sosa-Nájera 2013a. Millennial-Scale Temperature Change Velocity in the Continental Northern Neotropics. PLoS ONE 8:e81958.

Correa-Metrio, A., J. Meave S. Lozano-García, and M. B. Bush 2013b. Environmental determinismand neutrality in vegetation at millennial time scales. Journal of Vegetation Science DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12129.

McMichael, C. H., M. B. Bush, M. R. Silman, D. R. Piperno, M. F. Raczka, L. C. Lobato, M. Zimmerman, S. Hagen, and M. Palace 2013. Historical fire and bamboo dynamics in western Amazonia. Journal of Biogeography 40:299-309.

Raczka, M. F., P. E. De Oliveira, M. Bush, and C. H. Mcmichael 2013. Two paleoecological histories spanning the period of human settlement in southeastern Brazil. Journal of Quaternary Science 28:144-151.

Urrego, D. H., M. B. Bush, M. R. Silman, B. A. Niccum, P. De La Rosa, C. Mcmichael, S. Hagan, and M. Palace 2013. Holocene fires, forest stability and human occupation in south-western Amazonia. Journal of Biogeography 40:521-533.

Correa-Metrio, A., M. B. Bush, D. A. Hodell, M. Brenner, J. Escobar, and T. Guilderson. 2012. The influence of abrupt climate change on the ice-age vegetation of the Central American lowlands. Journal of Biogeography 39:497-509.

McMichael, C., A. Correa-Metrio, and M. B. Bush. 2012a. Pre-Columbian fire regimes in lowland tropical rainforests of southeastern Peru. . Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 342-343:72-83.

McMichael, C. H., D. R. Piperno, M. B. Bush, M. R. Silman, A. R. Zimmerman, M. F. Raczka, and L. C. Lobato. 2012c. Sparse Pre-Columbian Human Habitation in Western Amazonia. Science 336:1429-1431.

McMichael. C., Bush, M.B., Piperno, D.R., Silman, M., Zimmerman, A., Anderson, C* 2012. Scales of pre-Columbian disturbance around western Amazonian lakes. The Holocene 22: 131-141.

Mosblech, N. A., A. Chepstow-Lusty, B. G. Valencia, and M. B. Bush. 2012. Anthropogenic control of late-Holocene landscapes in the Cuzco region, Peru. The Holocene.

Mosblech, N. A. S., M. B. Bush, W. D. Gosling, L. Thomas, P. van Calsteren, A. Correa-Metrio, B. G. Valencia, J. Curtis, and R. van Woesik. In Press. Synchrony of abrupt climate events over 89,000 years: a view from Amazonia. Nature Geoscience.

Restrepo, A., P. A. Colinvaux, M. B. Bush, A. Correa-Metrio, J. Conroy, M. R. Gardener, P. Jaramillo, M. Steinitz-Kannan, and J. T. Overpeck. 2012. Impacts of climate variability and human colonization on the vegetation of the Galápagos Islands. Ecology 93:1853-1866.

Raper, D. and M.B. Bush, in press A test of Sporormiella representation as a predictor of megaherbivore presence and abundance. Quaternary Research.

Conroy, J.L., Restrepo, A., Overpeck, J.T., Steinitz-Kannan, M., Cole, J.E., Bush, M.B. and P.A. Colinvaux, 2009. Unprecedented recent warming in the eastern tropical Pacific. Nature Geosciences.

Hillyer, R., Valencia, B. G. , Bush, M.B., Silman, M.R. and M. Steinitz-Kannan. 2009. A 24,700-year paleolimnological history from the Peruvian Andes. Quaternary Research 71: 71-82.

Bush, M. B., Silman, M.R., McMichael, C. and S. Saatchi. 2008. Fire, climate change and biodiversity in Amazonia: a Late-Holocene perspective. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 363:1795-1802.

Gosling, W.D., Bush, M.B. , Hanselman, J.A. and A.J. Chepstow-Lusty. 2008. Glacial-Interglacial changes in moisture balance and the impact on vegetation in the southern hemisphere tropical Andes (Bolivia/Peru). Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 259:35-50.

Bush, M.B. and Silman, M.R. In press. Amazonian exploitation revisited: Ecological asymmetry and the policy pendulum. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Bush, M.B. and Flenley, J.R. 2007. Tropical Rainforest Responses to Climate Change. Praxis, Chichester.

Bush, M.B. and Lovejoy, T.E. 2007. Amazonian conservation: pushing the limits of biogeographical knowledge. Journal of Biogeography 34: 1291-1293.

Bush, M.B., Silman, M.R., de Toledo, M.B., Listopad, C.R.S., Gosling, W.D., Williams, C., de Oliveira, P.E. and Krisel, C. 2007. Holocene fire and occupation in Amazonia: Records from two lake districts. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Ser. B.
362: 209-218

Bush, M.B. and Weng. C. 2007. Introducing a new (freeware) tool for palynology. Journal of Biogeography 34: 377-380.

Hanselman, J.A., Gosling, W.D., Paduano, G.M. and Bush, M.B. 2005. Contrasting pollen histories of MIS 5e and the Holocene from Lake Titicaca (Bolivia/Peru). Journal of Quaternary Science 20, 663-670.

Bush, M.B., Silman, M.R. and Urrego, D.H. 2004. 48,000 years of climate and forest change in a biodiversity hotspot. Science 303: 827-829.