microscopio cabeceras

Yolanda  Fernández Jalvo


915668850 - 988965




Investigador Cientifico del CSIC

Investigación / Research

Principales líneas de investigación / Main Research Lines:


My research has been focused on Taphonomy, the study of fossilization through preserved/transformed original palaeobiological information, and the study of superimposed traces (on fossil surfaces, their histology or their geo- and biochemical composition) of a secondary record of information that let us know about the site formation and past living and fossil contexts. This secondary information and traces are also fossils of the past environments and activity of contemporaneous living organisms (biotic agents) or environmental climatic conditions (abiotic agents).


My investigation mainly focuses on fossil bones and pollen, from Pleistocene and Miocene periods with some collaborations with projects dealing with Holocene and Cretaceous periods, and modern experiments. The time range is therefore extensive, taking into consideration any taxonomic group of large and small vertebrates or pollen, and no restriction to any geographic area Europe, Asia, America and Africa. I am interested in all aspects that taphonomy may inform, stress the capacity of taphonomy to extend its accuracy and quality of resolution, focusing on agents that are directly influenced by the type of environment and climatic conditions, preservation or influenced by animal behaviour.


In order to better interpret all information that fossils contain, observation of modern analogues is frequently needed. Collaboration with natural parks and field stations in Spain (Riofrio National Park and Experimental Station La Higueruela) and South Africa (Tswalu natural game reserve) is especially relevant to my research. In addition, experimental work under highly controlled conditions can be obtained at the first Laboratory of Experimental Taphonomy (mimicking 'fossils in the making') that I built in 2009 at the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN) which complements taphonomic studies in fossil sites.







Proyectos en curso / Ongoing Projects:


•  Wonderwerk Cave (South Africa), small mammal taphonomy.

Entidades financiadoras: Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the University of Toronto, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.
Entidades participantes: Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales - CSIC,  University of Toronto, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel Geological Survey, The McGregor Museum.
Investigador principal: Michael Chazan  (University of Toronto).
Duración: 2010-present


• Procesos tafonómicos: Repercusión en interpretaciones paleoecológicas, paleoambientales y biomoleculares.

Entidad financiadora: Spanish Ministry of Science and Education. 
Entidades participantes: Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales - CSIC, 
Investigador principal: Yolanda Fernández-Jalvo
Referencias: BTE2000-1309, BTE2003-01552, BTE2007-66231, BTE2010-19825.
Duración: 2010-present



Taphonomy and Paleobiology, tri-annual projects.

Entidad financiadora: Spanish Ministry of Science and Education. 
Entidades participantes: Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales - CSIC, 
Investigador principal: Yolanda Fernández-Jalvo
Referencias: BTE2000-1309, BTE2003-01552, BTE2007-66231, BTE2010-19825.
Duración: 2010-present



•  MOHMIE: Influence de l'installation des hommes modernes au Maroc sur l'évolution de la biodiversité des petits vertébrés terrestres.

Entidad financiadora: Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR).
Entidades participantes: Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales - CSIC, France: Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Institut Jacques Monod, INRA.
Investigador principal: Christiane Denys (MNHN - Paris)
Referencia: ANR-09-PEXT-004 ("6ème extinction")
Duración: 2010-2014



Otros Proyectos / Other Projects:


Ssummary: Participation in 27 projects (21 International, 11 as Principal Research).


Projects last 10 years:


2008-2010. Pollen Taphonomy Joint Project South Africa (NRF) and Spain (Ministry of Science and Innovation)

2002-2009-present. Field director excavations of Azokh Cave (Republic of Nagorno-Karabagh)and co-leader of scientific research of the international research group

2005-2008. Cancer and Human Evolutionary Research: An Integrative Science and Technology project (USA/ES)

2004-2006. I3 FP6 European Community Programme (SYNTHESYS_ RII3-CT-2003-506117)

2004-2006. NSF (National Science Foundation). Revealing hominids origins (RHOI)

• El sistema de yacimientos de vertebrados del Mioceno superior continental del Cerro de los Batallones, Madrid, España.

Dirección General de Investigación y Gestión del Plan Nacional de I+D+i (MCYT).
Entidades participantes: Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales - CSIC / Universidad Complutense de Madrid /  Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Investigador principal: Jorge Morales Romero
Referencia: BTE2002 - 00410
Duración: 01/01/2003 - 31/12/2005




Miembros del grupo de investigación / Research Group Members:


Sobre los miembros del grupo / About the group members




Últimas publicaciones / Latest Publications:


Denys, C., Stoetzel, E., Andrews, P., Bailon, S., Rihane, A., Huchet, J.B., Fernandez-Jalvo, Y., Laroulandie, V.
Taphonomy of Small Predators multi-taxa accumulations: palaeoecological implications
(2017) Historical Biology, pp. 1-14. Article in Press.
DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2017.1347647

Marin-Monfort, M.D., Suñer, M., Fernández-Jalvo, Y.
Characterization of recent marks produced on fossil bone surface during sullegic and trephic processes and their influence on taphonomic studies. (2017) Quaternary International, . Article in Press.
DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2017.07.039

Fernández, F.J., Montalvo, C.I., Fernández-Jalvo, Y., Andrews, P., López, J.M.
A re-evaluation of the taphonomic methodology for the study of small mammal fossil assemblages of South America
(2017) Quaternary Science Reviews, 155, pp. 37-49.
DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.11.005

Rhodes, S.E., Walker, M.J., López-Jiménez, A., López-Martínez, M., Haber-Uriarte, M., Fernández-Jalvo, Y., Chazan, M.
Fire in the Early Palaeolithic: Evidence from burnt small mammal bones at Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar, Murcia, Spain.
(2016) Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 9, pp. 427-436.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.08.006

Walker, M.J., Anesin, D., Angelucci, D.E., Avilés-Fernández, A., Berna, F., Buitrago-López, A.T., Fernández-Jalvo, Y., Haber-Uriarte, M., López-Jiménez, A., López-Martínez, M., Martín-Lerma, I., Ortega-Rodrigáñez, J., Polo-Camacho, J.-L., Rhodes, S.E., Richter, D., Rodríguez-Estrella, T., Schwenninger, J.-L., Skinner, A.R.
Combustion at the late Early Pleistocene site of Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar (Murcia, Spain).
(2016) Antiquity, 90 (351), pp. 571-589.
DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2016.91

Fernández-Jalvo, Y., Andrews, P., Denys, C., Sesé, C., Stoetzel, E., Marin-Monfort, D., Pesquero, D.
Taphonomy for taxonomists: Implications of predation in small mammal studies
(2016) Quaternary Science Reviews, 139, pp. 138-157.
DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.03.016

Fernández-Jalvo, Y., Pesquero, M.D., Tormo, L.
Now a bone, then calcite
(2016) Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 444, pp. 60-70.
DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.12.002

Guimaraes, S., Fernandez-Jalvo, Y., Stoetzel, E., Gorgé, O., Bennett, E.A., Denys, C., Grange, T., Geigl, E.-M.
Owl pellets: A wise DNA source for small mammal genetics
(2016) Journal of Zoology, 298 (1), pp. 64-74.
DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12285

Walker, M.J., Anesin, D., Angelucci, D., Avilés-Fernández, A., Berna, F., Buitrago-López, A.T., Carrión, J.S., Eastham, A., Fernández-Jalvo, Y., et al. (2016). A view from a cave: Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar (Caravaca de la Cruz, Murcia, Southeastern Spain). Reflections on fire, technological diversity, environmental exploitation, and palaeoanthropological approaches.
 Human Evolution, 31 (1-2), pp. 1-67.
DOI: 10.14673/HE2016121014

Fernandez-Jalvo, Y., Avery, D.M.
Pleistocene Micromammals and Their Predators at Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa [Les micromammiféres du Pléistocéne et leurs prédateurs. Grotte de Wonderwerk, Afrique du Sud].
(2015) African Archaeological Review, 32 (4), pp. 751-791.
DOI: 10.1007/s10437-015-9206-7

Fernández-Jalvo, Y., Andrews, P., Tong, H.
Taphonomy of the Tianyuandong human skeleton and faunal remains
(2015) Journal of Human Evolution, 83, .
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.03.010

Pesquero, M.D., Alcalá, L., Bell, L.S., Fernández-Jalvo, Y.
Bacterial origin of iron-rich microspheres in Miocene mammalian fossils
(2015) Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 420, pp. 27-34.
DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.12.006






Around 100 publications, ~40% published in Scientific Impact Factor (SCI) highly rated such as Nature, Science, PNAS, Quaternary Science Reviews, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology or Journal of Human Evolution;

About 22 in Spanish and International non-rated journals (No SCI), and more than 40 co-authorship to book-chapters or monographs.


Author of 1 monograph, 1 book and 1 edited book:

1. Co-authored book: Fernández-Jalvo, Y. & Andrews, P. (in press) Atlas of Taphonomy Springer, The Netherlands. 

2. Special issue editor: Fernández-Jalvo,Y. (associate editor, 2002). The Fourth International Meeting on Bone Diagenesis, Archaeometry 44 (3). 

3. Edited volume: Fernández-Jalvo, Y.; King, T. Andrews, P. Yepiskoposyan, L. (eds).  Azokh Cave and the Transcaucasian Corridor. Springer, The Netherlands.



(TOP 10 chosen, last 10 years)

1. Finlayson, C. et al., (Fernández-Jalvo, Y.) (2006). Late survival of Neanderthals at the southernmost extreme of Europe. Nature443: 850 - 853 


2. Pruvost, M.; Schwarz, R.; Bessa Correia, V.; Champlot, S.; Braguier, S.; Morel, N.; Fernández-Jalvo, Y.; Grange, T. and Geigl E-M. (2007). Freshly excavated fossil bones are best for amplification of ancient DNA. Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104: 739-744


3. Fernández-Jalvo, Y. & Marín Monfort, M.D. (2008) Experimental taphonomy in museums: Preparation protocols for skeletons and fossil vertebrates under the Scanning Electron Microscopy. Geobios41: 157-181 


4. Stringer, C.B.; Finlayson, J.C.; Barton, R.N.E. Fernández-Jalvo, Y.,  Cáceres, I., Sabin, R.; Rhodes, E.J.; Currant, A.P., Rodriguez-Vidal, J, Giles Pacheco, F, Riquelme-Cantal J.A. (2008). Neanderthal exploitation of marine mammals. Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105: 14319-14324 


5. Stringer, C.B.; Finlayson, J.C.; Barton, R.N.E. Cáceres, I.; Fernández-Jalvo, Y. (corresponding author) (2008) Reply to Klein and Steele: Neanderthals and their South African contemporaries. Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Doi 10,1073. 


6. Fernández-Jalvo, Y.; King, T.; Andrews, P.; Yepiskoposyan, L.; Moloney, N.; Murray, J.; Domínguez-Alonso P.; Asryan, L. ; Ditchfield, P., Made J.van der; Torres, T; Sevilla, P.; Nieto Díaz, M., Cáceres, I; Allué, E.; Marín Monfort, M.D.; Sanz Martín, T. (2009). The Azokh Cave complex: Middle Pleistocene to Holocene human occupation in the Caucasus. Journal of Human Evolution 58, 103-109. 


7. Fernández-Jalvo, Y.; Andrews, P.; Pesquero, D.; Smith, C.I.; Sánchez, B.; Marin, DM., Geigl, E.M. & Alonso, A. (2010) Early diagenesis in temperate environments. Part I: surface bone and histology. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 288, 62-81. 


8.Fernández-Jalvo, Y., Andrews, P. (2011) When humans chew bones. Journal of Human Evolution 60, 117-123. 


9. Fernández-Jalvo, Y., Scott, L., Andrews, P. (2011) Taphonomy in palaeoecological interpretations, Quaternary Science Reviews 30, 1296-1302. 


10. Fernández-Jalvo, Y. Andrews, P., Sevilla, P. Requejo, V. (2014) Digestion vs abrasion features in rodent bones. Lethaia 47, 323-336.



(10 most relevant_Peer_reviewed).


Andrews, P. & Fernandez-Jalvo, Y. (2012). How to approach peri-mortem injury and other modifications. In: L. Bell (Ed.) Forensic Microscopy for Skeletal Tissues: Methods and Protocols. Springer, The Netherlands


Cáceres, I. & Fernández-Jalvo, Y. (2012). Taphonomy of the fossil bone assemblages from the Middle Area in Vanguard Cave. In: Barton, N., Stringer, C., Finlayson, C. (Eds.) Neanderthals in Context. Oxford, Oxford University School of Archaeology: Monograph 75, 253-265.


Currant, A., Fernández-Jalvo, Y. Price, C. (2012) The large mammal remains of Vanguard Cave. In: Barton, N., Stringer, C., Finlayson, C. (Eds.) Neanderthals in Context. Oxford, Oxford University School of Archaeology: Monograph 75, 236-239.


Fernández-Jalvo, Y. Andrews, P. (2010). Taphonomy of the Human Remains from Tianyuandong In: Shang Hong and Trinkaus Erik (eds). Early Modern Human Biology in Eastern Asia: The Early Modern Human from Tianyuan Cave. Texas, College Station TX: Texas A&M University Press, 205-210.


Y. Fernández Jalvo, et al. (2010) Chapter XVII. Azokh Caves excavations 2002-2006. Middle-Upper Palaeolithic transition in Nagorno-Karabagh In: LOBÓN-CERVÍA, J. y MORALES, J. (eds.): Homenaje a María Dolores Soria Mayor. Madrid, Monografías del CSIC: 325-338; 403-410.


Fernández-Jalvo, Y et al (2004) Azokh Cave and Northern Armenia. In: Baquedano, E. & Rubio Jara, S (eds). Miscelánea en Homage to E.Aguirre, Volume IV: Arqueología. Alcalá de Henares, MAR, 158-168.


Fernández-Jalvo, Y. & Andrews, P. (2003) Experimental effects of water abrasion on bone. Journal of Taphonomy 3: 147-163.


Fernández-Jalvo, Y. (2003) Taphonomy at Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos (Spain). In: N. López-Martínez, P. Peláez-Campomanes y M. Hernández Fernández (Eds). Surrounding fossil mammals: dating, evolution and paleoenvirontment, Coloquios de Paleontología, Special Volume: Homage to Dr. R.Daams Madrid, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 147-162 (English/Spanish).


Fernández-Jalvo, Y.; Sánchez Chillón, B, Andrews, P.; Fernández-López, S.& Alcalá Martínez, L. (2002). Morphological taphonomic transformations of fossil bones in continental environments, and repercussions on their chemical composition. Archaeometry, 44 (3): 353-361.


Fernández-López, S.R. & Fernández-Jalvo, Y. (2002). The limit between biostratinomy and fossildiagenesis. In:  Renzi de, M.; Pardo Alonso, M.V.; Belinchón, M.; Peñalver, E.; Montoya, P. & Márquez-Aliaga, A. (Eds). Current Topics on Taphonomy and Fossilization, 27-36.




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