The Anthropocene: A governance perspective

March 31, 2014

EarthSystemGovernanceNick Loughlin on:

Biermann, F. (2014) The Anthropocene: A governance perspective. The Anthropocene Review, 1, 57-61.

This comment piece looks at the Anthropocene as a political construct and a tool to constrain the concept of ‘Earth System Governance’ within the social sciences. To quote the author ‘the Anthropocene is political’ and this is indeed the case when attempting to organise disparate and often conflicting bodies into a global community that can guide society to a way of working within nature, but it is also a biological, ecological and geological term and as such a scientific rational to understanding our Anthropocene is required not just a political one.

The writer succinctly demonstrates the interdependence of countries, social groups and global organisations within the modern era along with the intergenerational aspect of a range of social and environmental issues. However it places the Anthropocene as a marketing tool targeted at a political audience rather than a scientific term that denotes a currently unverified chronostratigraphic unit.

It is in no doubt that humans are a significant driving force behind changes to the biosphere and the concept of ‘Earth System Governance’ as described within this paper demonstrates the wide ranging global issues that require consensus.

The Anthropocene Review – reviewed

March 26, 2014

AnthropoceneReviewThe Anthropocene Review is a new journal focusing on the impact of humans on planet Earth through time; information on the latest publications can be found on the associated blog.

Given that much of the research we are interested in relates human-environment interactions in the past we decided to take a closer look at the range of articles being covered by this journal. Our thoughts on seven articles published in the first issue of The Anthropocene Review will appear in a series of blog posts soon. To get started here are a list of the papers we will be covering:

Full Anthropocene Review table of contents here.




Ecuador Fieldwork : Lake Huila

January 14, 2014

Lake Huila

Lake Huila

So we’re back from a hot and humid Ecuador to the joys of a British winter. Ecuador is an amazing country and the diversity of the flora and fauna surpasses anything that I have experienced before. Continue Reading

Introducing Nick Loughlin: New PCRG PhD researcher

October 15, 2013

Nick Loughlin working...

Nick Loughlin working…

Hi, my name’s Nick and I’m joining the Palaeoenvironmental Change Research Group as a PhD student on a NERC funded project looking at the response of tropical forests to past changes in global climate.

I’m excited to be going off to Ecuador in November (with Encarni and Will) to undertake the sampling of lake sediments around the Estación Biológica Pindo Mirador and the National Park of Cayambe Coca, from which I hope to be able to determine changes in the ecology of the mountainous flora of the Andean regions of Ecuador during the last glacial and current interglacial periods.

Before starting at the OU I undertook a BSc in Geological Sciences at the University of Plymouth and an MSc in Palaeobiology at the University of Bristol working on the palaeoecology of lower Cambrian trace fossils in brackish water environments in an attempt to constrain the evolution and radiation of early metazoans.

I’m thrilled to be starting at the OU and am looking forward to splitting my time trekking through tropical rainforests and staring at microscopic pollen in a lab in Milton Keynes.

To date I have published one scientific paper, I hope to produce many more over the next few years…

Loughlin, N.J.D. & Hillier, R.D. (2010) Early Cambrian Teichichnius-dominated ichnofabrics and palaeoenvironmental analysis of the Caerfal Group, Southwest Wales, UK. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 297(2): 239-251. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.07.030

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