Mapping Ancient Africa: Seminar 1

November 29, 2021
WDG

Martin Trauth

The first of the online seminar series associated with the INQUA funded Mapping Ancient Africa (MAA) project will take place on Monday 6 December at 16:15 (CET).

The seminar will be given via Zoom. The link for the seminar can be obtained from the MAA slack page, or from seminar chair and MAA PI Stephanie Kaboth-Bahr.

For further information on seminars in this series visit the MAA schedule page.

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Quaternary Vegetation Dynamics

November 17, 2021
WDG

Cover of "Quaternary Vegetation Dynamics: The African Pollen Database"

I am delighted to announce the publication of the new volume in the Palaeoecology of Africa series. I had the privilege to guest edit this with Anne-Marie Lézine and Louis Scott. The final version is now available OPEN ACCESS online.

Gosling, W.D., Lézine, A.-M. & Scott, L., eds. (2021) Quaternary Vegetation Dynamics: The African Pollen Database. Series editor: Runge, J. Palaeoecology of Africa: Volume 35. CRC Press. ISBN: 9780367755089 DOI: 10.1201/9781003162766

Download supporting online material here.

Scientific Archaeology 2021

November 13, 2021
WDG

The Science in Archaeology 2 course, run as part of the minor in “Archaeology Today” by the Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (ACASA), is currently underway. This year I have again contributed to this course with a weeks worth of activity related to detecting past human impacts. During this week we have focused on what sorts of evidence contained within the sedimentary record can be used to track human actions. We focused in particular on the manipulation of fire regimes and the the abundance of animals in landscapes (i.e. extinctions vs. introductions of domestic species). To illustrate how past human activities can be detected in landscapes I tapped into some recent publications I have been involved with (eastern Andean flank, Samoa and Mauritius) and the students selected papers in line with their own focus to discuss. Here is what they came up with…

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Mapping Ancient Africa: Report of kick off meeting

October 22, 2021
WDG

INQUAlogo

The kick off meeting of the INQUA funded Mapping Ancient Africa project took place on the 14 and 15 October 2021. This hybrid meeting linked up face-to-face meetings in Kenya, South Africa, Germany and the USA online. In total around 35 people participated in the meeting over the two days. It was great to start to get researchers back into rooms together, and to take advantage of the online link ups to connect people within regions who could not travel, and people in different continents. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the researchers to each other and to start to think about how we can work together to deliver the project goals of collating and synthesising data related to past climate, vegetation and hominin activity from across the continent.

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Mapping Ancient Africa: Paleo-ENSO

October 11, 2021
WDG

INQUAlogo

To start discussion during the Mapping Ancient Africa kick off meeting (October 2021) lead author Stefanie Kaboth-Bahr has recorded an introduction to her recent paper proposing a novel tropical based climate mechanism for driving climatic change across Africa.

Kaboth-Bahr SGosling WD, Vogelsang R, Bahr A, Scerri EML, Asrat A, Cohen AS, Düsing W, Foerster V, Lamb HF, et al. 2021. Paleo-ENSO influence on African environments and early modern humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118(23):e2018277118. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2018277118

Mapping Ancient Africa: Kick off meeting

October 1, 2021
WDG

The first meeting of the, INQUA funded, Mapping Ancient Africa project will take place on the 14 and 15 of October 2021 with face-to-face meetings at four locations (Nairobi, Kenya; Port Elisabeth, South Africa; Potsdam, Germany; Portland, Oregon, USA) being linked up online.

For further information visit the project pages: https://ecologyofthepast.info/mapping-ancient-africa/

Palaeoecology of Africa

September 21, 2021
WDG

I am pleased to announce that the new, open access, volume of Palaeoecology of Africa (PoA) should be available to download in October. The “Quaternary Vegetation Dynamics” volume comprises 24 chapters, produced by more than 70 authors, and contains extensive review papers, personal perspectives on hot topics, as well as new research and data papers.

To find out more on the volume visit the publishers web site: PoA Vol. 35

Over the next few months I aim to blog about the various specific chapters to showcase some of the key findings. I hope that this book will provide a useful resource to all researchers working on past climate, environmental and vegetation change in Africa, and will provide a springboard for the start of the new “Mapping Ancient Africa” project that will kick off in October.

JOB: Assistant Professorship in Climate-Vegetation Dynamics

September 3, 2021
WDG

I am excited to announce that we are looking for an expert in climate systems, with experience of computational modelling, to join our team in the Department of Ecosystem & Landscape Dynamics (ELD) at the University of Amsterdam. ELD is one of four research departments within the Institute for Biodiversity & Ecosystem Dynamics which seeks to unravel how ecosystems function in all their complexity. The successful applicant will deliver climate related education within our BSc Future Planet Studies and MSc Earth Sciences programs, and conduct cutting edge research. We are looking for a collaborative researcher who can establish research links with existing staff members and inspire students.

For full details and how to apply visit: https://www.academictransfer.com/nl/303950/assistant-professorship-in-climate-vegetation-dynamics/

Closing date: Monday 11 October

Interviews likely to be conducted in Amsterdam: 27 and 29 October.

BES grant round open!

August 3, 2021
WDG

The British Ecological Society (BES) has just opened a new call for applications to its Outreach, Ecologists in Africa, Small Research Projects, Large Research Projects and Travel & Training grants. To find out how to apply visit: https://www.britishecologicalsociety.org/funding/research-grants/

DEADLINE: Friday 10 September 2021

A modern analogue matching approach to characterize fire temperatures and plant species from charcoal

August 2, 2021
WDG

Maezumi SY, Gosling WD, Kirschner J, Chevalier M, Cornelissen HL, Heinecke T, McMichael CNH. 2021. A modern analogue matching approach to characterize fire temperatures and plant species from charcoal. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 578:110580. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2021.110580

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