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Department of Vertebrate Zoology

Division of Birds

Labrador Duck
Labrador Duck
Christina Gebhard © Smithsonian Institution
bar Hanneke J.M. Meijer
    Hanneke J.M. Meijer
    Post-doctoral Fellow

  • Phone:(202) 633-0797
  • Fax: (202) 633-8084
  • E-mail:meijerh[at]

  • Mailing Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    Division of Birds
    PO Box 37012, MRC 116
    Washington, DC 20013-7012

  • Shipping Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    Division of Birds
    1000 Constitution Ave, NW
    Washington, DC 20004


M.Sc. Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands (2003)
Ph.D. Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2007)

Research Interests

My research uses the fossil record of birds on islands to answer questions on paleoecology, taphonomy, biodiversity and biogeography. I am currently involved in research at Liang Bua Cave (Flores, Indonesia), which in 2003 yielded a new species of tiny hominin, Homo floresiensis, and Mare aux Songes (Mauritius). At Liang Bua, birds are the most diverse faunal group so far, and avian remains are distributed throughout the sediments spanning the last 100.000 years. It provides us with an unique record of prehistoric avian biodiversity in an area that is renowned for its high levels of biodiversity and degree of endemism. I use this fossil bird assemblage to reconstruct the palaeoenvironment of Homo floresiensis and to document the response of an insular bird community to natural and non-natural disturbances. My work on Mauritius focuses on the evolutionary history of Mauritius and understanding the origin of the dodo mass grave at the Mare aux Songes.

Recent Publications

Meijer, H.J.M., Gill, P.G.B. de Louw, van den Hoek Ostende, L.W., Hume, J.P. & Rijsdijk, K.F., 2012. Dodo remains from an in situ context from Mare aux Songes, Mauritius. Naturwissenschaften, doi: 10.1007/s00114-012-0882-8.

Rijsdijk, K.F., Zinke, J., de Louw, P.G.B., Hume,J.P., van der Plicht, J., Hooghiemstra, H., Meijer, H.J.M., Vonhof, H.B., Porch, N., Florens, F.B.V., Baider, C., van Geel, B., Brinkkemper, J., Vernimmen, T. & Janoo, A., 2011. Mid-Holocene (4200 kyr BP) mass mortalities in Mauritius (Mascarenes): Insular vertebrates resilient to climatic extremes but vulnerable to human impact. The Holocene, doi:10.1177/0959683611405236

Meijer, H.J.M. & Due, R.A., 2010. A new species of giant marabou stork (Aves: Ciconiiformes) from the Pleistocene of Liang Bua, Flores (Indonesia). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 160: 707-724.

Meijer, H.J.M., van den Hoek Ostende, L.W., van den Bergh, G.D. & de Vos, J. 2010. The fellowship of the hobbit: the fauna surrounding Homo floresiensis. Journal of Biogeography, 37(6): 995-1006.

van den Bergh, G.D., Meijer, H.J.M., van den Hoek Ostende, L.W., Due Awe, R., Morwood, M.J., Sutikna, T., Saptomo, E.W., Dobney, K.M., Turney, C, 2009. The mammals, birds and varanids from Liang Bua: A 95 kyr long Late Pleistocene – Holocene island fauna succession with hominins. Journal of Human Evolution, 57: 527-537

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