Research Projects

Paleontology


Project I: I conduct paleontological field research in two regions of southern Madagascar:

Southwestern Madagascar: With Alfie Rosenberger (Brooklyn College) and Laurie Godfrey (University of Massachusetts), we are exploring the submerged caves of Tsiminanampetsotsa National Park. In Aven Cave, we discovered what is likely to be the single largest cache of giant lemurs ever uncovered. As a natural trap for animal remains, Aven Cave is likely to produce a complete picture of local, past biodiversity. This research was funded by the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation.

Southcentral Madagascar: Recent exploration at Christmas River has revealed a diverse early Holocene fauna that dates to approximately 10,000 years ago. The presence of southern-limited, forest-dependent species at Christmas River supports the hypothesis that forest once extended, perhaps discontinuously, across the central highlands towards the west. In collaboration with Brooke Crowley (University of Cincinnati) and P.J. Perry (The Pennsylvania State University), we are conducting research at Christmas River to assess local mobility and geographic barriers to gene flow to the East and South of Madagascar.

Project II:  I am broadly interested in the relationship between habitat, geography, and the evolution of mammal community structure in Madagascar. My principal collaborator in such projects is Steve Goodman (Vahatra and The Field Museum).

Selected Publications (Full list available on Google Scholar):

Muldoon KM, Crowley BE, Godfrey LR, Simons EL. 2017. Predation on subfossil Prolemur simus by multiple predator species at Ankarana Massif, northern Madagascar:
did predation contribute to the demise of this once widespread species?  International Journal of Primatology. doi: 10.1007/s10764-016-9944-7

Kamilar JM, Blanco MB, Muldoon KM. 2016. Ecological Niche Modeling of Mouse Lemurs (Microcebus spp.) and its Implications for Their Species Diversity and Biogeography. In SM
Lehman, U Radespiel, and E Zimmermann (eds) Dwarf and Mouse Lemurs of Madagascar: Biology, Behavior and Conservation Biogeography of the Cheirogaleidae. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN-13: 9781107075597

Goodman SM, Muldoon KM. 2016. A new subfossil locality for the extinct large Malagasy eagle Stephanoaetus mahery (Aves: Falconiformes): implications for time of extinction and ecological specificity. The Holocene 1-5. doi: 10.1177/0959683615622554.

Godfrey LR, Crowley BE, Muldoon KM, Kelley EA, King SJ, Best AW, Berthaume M. 2016. What did Hadropithecus eat, and why should paleoanthropologists care? American
Journal of Primatology
 78(10): 1-15. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22506

Muldoon KM, Goodman SM. 2015. Primates as Predictors of Mammal Community Diversity in the Forest Ecosystems of Madagascar. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0136787. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0136787

Rosenberger AL, Godfrey LR, Muldoon KM, Gunnell GF, Andriamialison H, Ranivoharimanana L, Ranaivoarisoa JF, Rasoamiaramanana AH. 2015. Giant subfossil lemur graveyard discovered, submerged, in Madagascar. Journal of Human Evolution 81, 83-87. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.01.004

Kistler L, Ratan A, Godfrey LR, Crowley BE, Hughes CE, Lei R, Cui Y, Wood ML, Muldoon KM, Andriamialison H, McGraw JJ, Tomsho LP, Schuster SC, Miller W, Louis EE, Yoder AD, Malhi RS, Perry GH. 2015. Comparative and population mitogenomic analyses of Madagascar's extinct, giant 'subfossil' lemurs. Journal of Human Evolution 79, 45-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2014.06.016

Pontzer H, Raichlen DA, Gordon AD, Schroepfer-Walker KK, Hare B, Dunsworth HM, Wood BM, Isler K, Burkart J, Irwin M, Shumaker RW, Lonsdorf EV, Ross SR, Muldoon
KM
, O'Neill MC. 2014. Primate energy expenditure and life history. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111, 1433-1437. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1316940111

Goodman SM, Raherilalao MJ, Muldoon KM. 2013. Bird fossils from Ankilitelo Cave: Inference about historical environmental changes in southwestern Madagascar. Zootaxa 3750,
534-548. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.3750.5.6

Godfrey LR, Schwartz GT, Jungers WL, Catlett KK, Samonds KE, King SJ, Muldoon KM, Irwin MT, Burney DA. 2013. Life history variation in Madagascar's giant extinct lemurs. In J Masters, M Gamba, and F Genin (eds) Leaping Ahead: Advances in Prosimian Biology. New York: Springer, pp. 51-60.

Muldoon KM, Crowley BE, Godfrey LR, Rasoamiaramanana A, Aronson A, Jernvall J, Wright PC, Simons EL. 2012. Early Holocene fauna from a new subfossil site: a first
assessment from Christmas River, south central Madagascar. Madagascar Conservation and Development 7, 23-29. 

Kamilar JM, Muldoon KM, Lehman SM, Herrera J. 2012. Testing Bergmann's rule and the resource seasonality hypothesis in Malagasy primates using GIS-based climate data. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 147, 401-408. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22002

Muchlinski MN, Godfrey LR, Muldoon KM, Tongasoa L. 2011. Evidence for dietary niche separation based on infraorbital foramen size variation among subfossil lemurs. Folia Primatologica 81, 330-345. doi: 10.1159/000323277

Samonds KE, Parent SN, Muldoon KM, Crowley BE, Godfrey LR. 2010. Rock matrix surrounding subfossil lemur skull yields a diverse collection of mammalian subfossils: implications for reconstructing Madagascar's paleoenvironments. Malagasy Nature 4, 1-16.

Kamilar JM, Muldoon KM. 2010. Climatic niche diversity of Malagasy primates: a phylogenetic perspective. PLOS One 5, e11073. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011073

Muldoon KM, Goodman SM. 2010. Ecological biogeography of Malagasy non-volant mammals: community structure is correlated with habitat. Journal of Biogeography 37, 1144-1159. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02276.x

Muldoon KM. 2010. Paleoenvironment of Ankilitelo Cave (late Holocene, southwestern Madagascar): implications for the extinction of giant lemurs. Journal of Human
Evolution
58, 338-352. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2010.01.005

Muldoon KM, DeBlieux DD, Simons EL, Chatrath PS. 2009. The subfossil occurrence and paleoecological significance of small mammals at Ankilitelo Cave, southwestern Madagascar. Journal of Mammalogy 90, 1111-1131. doi: 10.1644/08-MAMM-A-242.1

Muldoon KM, Simons EL. 2007. Ecogeographic size variation in small-bodied subfossil primates from Ankilitelo, SW Madagascar. American Journal of Physical
Anthropology
134, 152-161. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.20651