I work in the field of cave palaeontology (late Pleistocene large mammals) since the beginning of my PhD and during my postdoctoral activity, trying to refine to my best the F-L-P triangle of research (Fieldwork – Lab – Publishing). In my career I have focused on subterranean settings to investigate population’s dynamics of extinct late Pleistocene cave bears and associated fauna, diet peculiarities, palaeoenvironment, palaeoichnology, osteometry and taphonomy.
My expertise in cave palaeontology grew by completing my PhD degree in 2015, participating in various research projects dealing with topics related to subterranean environment, attending various regional and international conferences, and publishing my research results in Quaternary journals. During this time, I successfully generated stable isotope data for the Upper Pleistocene Romanian cave bears and associated fauna, using traditional methods (δ13C, δ15N and δ18O). The published papers quickly become seminal within my research field, entailing the scientific community into constructive debates. Moreover, after starting my PhD and involving more incoming researchers into my work, the Romanian Carpathians MIS 3 cave mammal fauna has become better known to the international scientific community.
The expertise gained during the 14 years of working in research projects and with various teams (from Romania, France, Germany, Norway and US), dealing with quaternary deposits, gave me a desirable knowledge utterly necessary for conducting research in caves. Almost all projects where I was working involved mammals’ palaeontology, geochemistry, taphonomy, sedimentology, geochronology and geomorphology of quaternary cave/surface deposits. Moreover, the back bone of these projects was based on inter-/multidisciplinarity which I appropriated, as the publication list shows.
I am currently working in the EvoCave project as postdoctoral palaeontologist, having the opportunity to assess the palaeoecology of the fossil bone assemblage from the northernmost situated cave site from Eurasia, bearing fossils from MIS 5e-2 period. Beside the DNA investigations, EvoCave calls on the deepening the understanding of the palaeoecology and the extinction of MIS 5e-2 mammal fauna, in the light of new technologies in geochemistry, integrated with the traditional geochemical data and juxtaposed over radiocarbon, termoluminiscence and U/th ages and available palaeoclimate proxies (e.g. lake/sea sediments). Within this project I will seek to elaborate an original and coherent integrative methodology to approach fossil mammal associations and to provide reliable information regarding their past, offering a model to be used on a larger scale.