Contributed by Grégoire Canlorbe @2019
“So, the long and short of it is that the prediction that the bear numbers would decline by two thirds failed. Not only did the bears not decline, but the global population number rose by at least 16 percent, perhaps more.”
[This interview was originally published by Friends of Science on December 15, 2019. It is presented here with the permission of the interviewer, Mr. Grègoire Canlorbe]
Susan J. Crockford: I live in Victoria, British Columbia, and I specialize in animals from the late Pleistocene, so probably the last fifteen to twenty thousand years. I have a contract company called Pacific Identifications Inc. We identify animal bones from archaeological projects and also from biological research: stomach contents, fecal samples, that kind of thing. That’s primarily how I get my income. And then, I am also a former adjunct professor at the University of Victoria—I had held that position since 2004 but in 2019, it was not renewed.
My primary interest—my overall interest—is evolution. That, for me, really informs everything. It’s the big picture. Evolution is the big idea that drives all my interest. For example, the interesting thing is that a deer bone from 8000 years ago looks like one living today, and so, there is continuity.
But there are also distinctions—when you get species differences, those are apparent. I became interested in polar bears when I was working on the topic leading up to my PhD dissertation. I was looking at the speciation process that turns a wolf into a dog (what we also call domestication). While trying to unravel what biological process drives that transformation, the wild species that I looked at to compare it to was the brown bear to polar bear transformation. So, I’ve been looking at the Continue reading “A conversation with Susan J. Crockford—for Association des climato-réalistes”