Chair and Professor
Campus Address: Classroom Building A215
Camille Holmgren is a paleoecologist and biogeographer interested in changing environmental conditions in arid and semi-arid environments from the last ice age until present. Her research specializes in using plant fossils from rodent middens (their dens) to reconstruct vegetation patterns in western North and South America. Midden studies provide insight into plant species and community responses to changing climatic conditions over the past ~50,000 years and provide a baseline for assessing current and projected future changes. Her research has recently been featured in Smithsonian Magazine: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/archaeological-treasures-hidden-rat-nests-180973544/
Dr. Holmgren is also active in developing innovative teaching materials, including the NSF-sponsored Integrate course module “Changing Biosphere” in which students evaluate recent human influences on the biosphere in the context of the geologic record. She is a contributor to the Science Education Resource Center with several activities that have been awarded “Exemplary Status” https://serc.carleton.edu/person/3056.html.
Dr. Holmgren teaches courses in physical geography, biogeography, global change, past climates and environments, and research methods.
Holmgren, C.A., Bream, G.J., Duran, K.L., Briles, C.E. (In Press). Paleoenvironment: The Woodrat Midden Record. In Multidisciplinary Research at the La Botica Site, Conejos County, Colorado (M.D. Mitchell, Ed.), Research Contribution 115, Archaeological Investigations in the San Luis Valley 8. Submitted to History Colorado – State Historical Fund, Denver, CO.
Smith, A.D., Kaminski, M.J., Kanda, K., Sweet, A.D., Betancourt, J.L., Holmgren, C.A., Hempel, E., Alberti, F., Hofreiter. M (2021). Recovery and analysis of ancient beetle DNA from subfossil packrat middens using high-throughput sequencing. Scientific Reports 11, 12635. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-91896-8
Butterfield, B.J., Holmgren, C.A., Anderson, R.S., Betancourt, J.L. 2019. Life history traits predict colonization and extinction lags of desert plant species since the Last Glacial Maximum. Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2817
Butterfield, B.J., Anderson, R.S., Holmgren, C.A., Betancourt, J.L. 2019. Extinction debt and delayed colonization have comparable but unique effects on plant community-climate lags since the Last Glacial Maximum. Global Ecology and Biogeography 28, 1067-1077.
Holmgren, C.A., Hunter, K.L., Betancourt, J.L. 2019. Creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) ploidy history along its diploid-tetraploid boundary in southeastern Arizona-southwestern New Mexico, USA. Journal of Arid Environments 164, 7-11.
Holmgren, C.A. 2017. The biodiversity crisis—Are humans causing a sixth mass extinction? Published online as part of Integrate’s Changing Biosphere module for undergraduate instruction. http://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/teaching_materials/biosphere/student_materials/unit1_read.html
Borrelli, M.P. and Holmgren, C.A. 2016. Dietary modifications of packrats in response to changing plant communities: Evidence from fossil plant cuticles spanning >55,000 years in Sonoran Desert packrat middens. Journal of Arid Environments 138, 1-8.
Holmgren, C.A., Betancourt, J.L., Peñalba, M.C., Delgadillo, J., Zuravnsky, K., Hunter, K.L., Rylander, K.A., Weiss, J.L. 2014. Evidence against a Pleistocene desert refugium in the lower Colorado River Basin. Journal of Biogeography 41, 1769-1780.
Zinniker, D.A., Holmgren, C.A., and Simoneit, B.R.T. 2013. Enterolactone and Other Lignan Metabolites as Taxon-Specific Markers in Modern and Ancient Woodrat Middens. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C. 68c, 327-335.
Holmgren, C.A., Betancourt, J.L., and K.A. Rylander. 2011. Vegetation history along the eastern, desert escarpment of the Sierra San Pedro Mártir, Baja California, Mexico. Quaternary Research 75, 647-657.
Holmgren, C.A., Betancourt, J.L., and K.A. Rylander. 2010. A long-term vegetation history of the Mojave/Colorado Desert ecotone at Joshua Tree National Park. Journal of Quaternary Science 25, 222-236.
Placzek, C., Quade, J., Betancourt, J.L., Patchett, P.J., Rech, J.A., Latorre, C., Matmon, A., Holmgren, C.A., and English, N.B. 2009. Climate in the dry, central Andes over geologic, millennial, and interannual timescales. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Gardens 96, 386-397.
Holmgren, C. A., Rosello, E., Latorre, C., and Betancourt, J. L. 2008. Late Holocene fossil rodent middens from the Arica region of northernmost Chile. Journal of Arid Environments 72, 677-686.
Holmgren, C.A. 2007. Paleoenvironmental response of the northern Chihuahuan Desert to the Bølling/Allerød-Younger Dryas climatic oscillation. Invited paper for Current Research in the Pleistocene 24, 7-10.
Holmgren, C.A. 2007. Book review of Dry Borders: Great Natural Reserves of the Sonoran Desert. Felger, R. S. and Broyles, B. The Quarterly Review of Biology 82, 304.
Holmgren, C.A., Norris, J., and Betancourt, J.L. 2007. Inferences about winter temperatures and summer rains from the late Quaternary record of C4 perennial grasses and C3 desert shrubs in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. Journal of Quaternary Science 22, 141-161.
Holmgren, C. A., Betancourt, J.L., and Rylander, K. A. 2006. A 36,000-yr B.P. vegetation history from the Peloncillo Mountains, southeastern Arizona, USA. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 240, 405-422.
Latorre, C. L., Betancourt, J. L., Rech, J. A., Quade, J., Holmgren, C.A., Placzek, C. P., Vuille, M., and Rylander, K. A. 2005. Late Quaternary History of the Atacama Desert. In M. Smith & P. Hesse, Eds., 23° South: Archaeology and Environmental History of the Southern Deserts. National Museum of Australia Press, Canberra.
Holmgren, C. A., Peñalba, M. C., Rylander, K. A. and Betancourt, J. L. 2003. A 16,000 14C yr BP packrat midden series from the U.S.A.-Mexico Borderlands. Quaternary Research 60, 319-329.
Holmgren, C. A., Betancourt, J. L., Rylander, K. A., Roque, J., Tovar, O., Zeballos, H., Linares, E., and Quade, J. 2001. Holocene vegetation history from fossil rodent middens near Arequipa, Peru. Quaternary Research 56, 242-251.
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