Yul Altolaguirre Zancajo



The Role of Culture in Early Expansions of Humans
Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut
Senckenberganlage 25
60325 Frankfurt am Main
+49 69 7542 1290

Curriculum Vitae

Doctoral student


“High-resolution palynological analysis of the Early Pleistocene regional environment before, during and after the first expansion of early Homo into Southern Spain”

My project is motivated by the need of a detailed reconstruction of the characteristics of climate and landscape successions in the context of the earliest hominid occupation in Western Europe. To obtain this reconstruction I will study palynological samples from Baza Basin, Granada (SE Spain), in order to carry out a high-resolution reconstruction of climate and vegetation successions. The samples were taken from the “Palominas” Core Drill, which comprises 107 meters of sedimentary rocks belonging to the Calabrian Pleistocene (1.1 -1.5 Ma). The Baza region includes the Orce site, which is well known for its important findings of artefacts attesting the presence of early hominins as early as 1.2 Ma, maybe even 1.4 Ma. Therefore, the projected analysis of climate and vegetation changes will provide direct evidence for the environment before, during and after the first expansion of early Homo into the region. The quantitative reconstruction of climate, regional vegetation units, and local plant communities as parameters of early human environments will support the understanding of how severe and how fast Early Pleistocene changes of the environment have been, and in which way they might have caused reasons or obstructions for early Homo to occupy Southern Europe.



02/2016 Museum Guide at “Ruta de Los Dinosaurios” Center, Cuenca, Spain (Talher S. A.)

03/2013 -07/2013 Intern at the Laboratory of Biomolecular Stratigraphy, Technical University of Madrid (UPM), Spain. (Geological and Mining Institute of Spain)



2015 Master in Advanced Paleontology. Thesis title: “Palynological study of the Lower Cretaceous section at Cortes de Arenoso (Castellón)” (Complutense University of Madrid & University of Alcalá).

2014 Master in Geological Processes and Resources. Thesis title: “Palynofacies analysis of the Escucha Fm. and the cretaceous desert system of Utrillas Gp. at Teruel’s Iberian Range and source rock evaluation” (Complutense University of Madrid Madrid).

2013 Bachelor in Geology at Complutense University of Madrid (UCM): Thesis title: “A geological and paleontological study of La Lastrilla, Segovia” (Complutense University of Madrid Madrid).



British Council Fellowship Programme, 2015


Field experience

Paleontological excavations and surveys of Miocene sites in Madrid (Cerro de los Batallones & Somosaguas fossil sites) and Kenya (Rusinga Island).



09/2019 NECLIME Annual Meeting, St. Petersburg, Russia

09/2019 RCMNS Interim Colloquium, Granada, Spain

07/2019 INQUA Congress, Dublin,Ireland

06/2019 NECLIME workring group on "Neogene palynmorphs", Weimar, Germany

11/2018 METHOD IFG Workshop, Burgos, Spain

10/2018 RCMNS Interim Colloquium, Bratislava, Slovakia

09/2018 NECLIME Annual Meeting, Sofia, Bulgaria

08/2018 EPPC, Dublin, Ireland

04/2018 METHOD IFG Training Lab, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

09/2017 NECLIME Annual Meeting, Yerevan, Armenia

03/2017 METHOD IFG Training Lab on ABM, Mauer, Germany

05/2015 XIII Meeting of Young Researchers in Paleontology (EJIP), Madrid, Spain

Ausgewählte Publikationen und Vorträge


Altolaguirre, Y., Schulz, M., Gibert, L. & Bruch, A.A. (2021): Mapping Early Pleistocene environments and the availability of plant food as a potential driver of early Homo presence in the Guadix-Baza Basin (Spain). Journal of Human Evolution 155, 102986. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2021.102986.

Altolaguirre, Y., Bruch, A.A. & Gibert, L. (2020): A long Early Pleistocene pollen record from Baza Basin (SE Spain): Major contributions to the palaeoclimate and palaeovegetation of Souther Europe. Quaternary Science Reviews 231, 106199. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106199

Altolaguirre, Y., Postigo-Mijarra, J. Mᵃ ., Barrón, E., Carrión, J. S., Leroy, S. A., & Bruch, A. A. (2019). An environmental scenario for the earliest hominins in the Iberian Peninsula: Early Pleistocene palaeovegetation and palaeoclimate. Review of palaeobotany and palynology, 260, 51-64.

Altolaguirre, Y. (2015): Palynofacial analysis of the Escucha Formation and the Utrillas Group in Teruel (Spain). Relationship with the evolution of the sedimentary systems and evaluation of oleogenetic potential. Current Trends in Paleontology and Evolution, XIII EJIP, 22-24.

Garcia-Mayordomo, J., Ortiz, J. E., Torres, T., Insua-Arevalo, J. M., Martinez-Diaz, J. J., Altolaguirre, Y., & Martin-Banda, R. (2014): Amino acid racemization dating of Upper Pleistocene-Holocene terrestrial gastropods from a Mediterranean region (Murcia, SE Spain). EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts 16, 10832.