Nature Ecology & Evolution – Nussaibah Raja-Schoob & Paulina Nätscher

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Picture: Aline Ghilardi

Nussaibah Raja-Schoob and Paulina Nätscher, together with colleagues from the UK, South Africa, Brazil and India, recently published a paper highlighting the effects of colonial history and socio-economic factors on sampling biases in the fossil record. The study shows that 97% of fossil data collected in the last 30 years were contributed by researchers in richer countries, mainly located in Northern America and Europe. They also highlight how parachute science, where “researchers, generally from higher-income countries, ‘drop in’ to other countries to conduct research and leave without any engagement with the local community, including local researchers”, is prevalent in the field of paleontology. The results have now been published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Nature had a News Feature about this study.