Dutch and Belgian Palynology meeting
University of Amsterdam
Many thanks to Henry Hooghiemstra for the invitation to present at the recent palynology meeting in Amsterdam hosted by the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystems Dynamics (IBED). The program of talks was broad and interesting ranging from the deep time geological history of the Amazon basin (Carina Hoorn) to the use of video game technology in visulizing landscapes (Bodo Schuetze); watch videos of his work, or read the thesis.
I contributed some new work on human-landscape interaction in the central Andes, entitled: “Ecosystem service provision sets the pace for pre-Columbian Andean societal development”. It was very exciting to get feedback from such an esteemed audience on this new work. The days talks concluded with the IBED seminar given by Mark Bush (Florida Institute of Technology) which countinued the South American human-environment theme but we moved to the lowlands for “Amazonia in 1491: A paleoecological perspective”. Mark’s talk built on his recent work exmining the extent of human impact on Amazonia (references 1-3 below) which has cautioned against assuming widespread and intensive human impact within Amazonia prior to the arrival of Europeans.
Following the seminars we had drinks at the institute and an excellent meal in Amsterdam. Thanks again to Henry and all those at IBED who hosted a high class and scientifically stimulating meeting.
1. Bush, M.B., Silman, M.R., De Toledo, M.B., Listopad, C., Gosling, W.D., Williams, C., De Olivera, P.E. & Krisel, C. (2007) Holocene fire and occupation in Amazonia: Records from two lake districts. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (B), 362, 209-218
2. McMichael, C.H., Bush, M.B., Piperno, D.R., Silman, M.R., Zimmermann, A.R. & Anderson, C. (2012) Spatial and temporal scales of pre-columbian disturbance associated with western Amazonian lakes. Holocene, 22, 131-141
3. McMichael, C.H., Piperno, D.R., Bush, M.B., Silman, M.R., Zimmerman, A.R., Raczka, M.F. & Lobato, L.C. (2012) Sparse pre-Columbian human habitation in western Amazonia. Science, 336, 1429-1431