PCRG January

January 2012 has been a busy one for the Palaeoenvironmental Change Research Group members we have been getting out and about (attending three research meetings), there has been activity in the labs (pollen, chironomids and geochemical analysis all being undertaken) and developments with the publication of our research (book chapter published and two papers moved along in the publication process).

Out and about
The Quaternary hindsight blog post reviewed the first meeting attended; the Quaternary Research Association annual discussion meeting. We presented three papers at this years QRA meeting: I presented a wide range of group data to comment on the “Impact of interglacial climates on vegetation in the tropics”, current PhD student Natalie Ludgate  showed new data related to her project on “Cave sediments: novel archives for environmental change”, while recent PhD graduate Joe Williams focused on an element of his doctoral work looking at “Environmental and human activity change in the Cochabamba Basin, Bolivia”. Meanwhile Lottie Miller was representing the group at the “Climate Change, Deforestation and Future of African Rainforests” at the Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests.

In the second week of January I headed to Oxford for the PAGES meeting looking a the fossil record, biodiversity and ecosystem services. The aim of the meeting was to think about how best to incorporate long-term (>100 year) information on ecosystems into modern assessments and planning processes. At the end of the meeting we were encouraged to contribute to the panning survey for the new Intergovernmental Platform of Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES).

In the laboratory
In the labs Lottie, Bryan and Hayley have been progressing with pollen counting, Frazer has been getting to grips with picking midges (although he is still having tweezers issues) and Natalie has been powering ahead to complete her analysis of n-alkanes from the Hang Trong site in Vietnam. Hopefully next month I will also be able to find some time to get into the labs.

Publications
Excitingly I have just received my author copy of “The SAGE Handbook of Environmental Change”. This is a very nicely produced two volume set: volume 1 “Approaches, Evidences and Causes” and volume 2 “Human Impacts and Responses”. I was very pleased to be invited to co-author the chapter on “Environmental Change in the Humid Tropics and Monsoonal Regions” chapter 30 in volume 2. Congratulations to the editorial team on pulling together this impressive volume I am looking forward to reading the rest of the chapters.

Other progress with publication saw the: 1) resubmission of Joe’s chironomid paper to Journal of Paleolimnology following revisions suggested by reviewers (so fingers crossed on that one now), and 2) drafting and discussion of Bryan’s first PhD paper related to Polylepis distribution in the Andes.

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