Rebuild the Plant Conservation Unit

May 7, 2021
WDG

The Plant Conservation Unit (University of Cape Town, South Africa) recently suffered a significantly when the building in which it was housed was ignited by a wildfire. A fund raiser has been initiated by Dr. Lynne Quick on behalf of the Southern African Society for Quaternary Research (SASQUA).

To find out more and donate to the fund please visit: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/rebuild-the-pcu.

News article: Fire causes loss of the Plant Conservation Unit offices and photographic collections.

Job: PhD Palaeoecology & Community Ecology

March 24, 2021
WDG

Mark BushMark Bush is looking to recruit a PhD researcher to the “Neotropical Palaeoecology Research Group” at Florida Institute of Technology.

Applications are invited from qualified and highly-motivated students for an exciting PhD studentship in the areas of paleoecology and community ecology of South American lowland rainforests.

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Eric Grimm – RIP

November 16, 2020
WDG

This note is to acknowledge the passing yesterday of one of the most influential figures in the fields of palynology and palaeoecology, Eric Grimm. While I did not know Eric well he did visit Amsterdam twice in recent years. Firstly, as part of a collaborative initiative to digitise pollen data from the University of Amsterdam archives (March-July 2017), and secondly to train Data Stewards for the African Pollen Database (January 2020). During these visits Eric was generous with his time, masterful with his knowledge, and infectious with his enthusiasm. He will be sadly missed. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. Rest in peace Eric.

Some photos from the meeting in January

Professor of Marine Palaeobiodiversity

October 8, 2020
WDG

Prof. dr. Willem Renema

Prof. dr. Willem Renema Special Chair in Marine Palaeobiodiversity

Willem Renema, head of the Marine Biodiversity research group at Naturalis, has been appointed as a Special Chair in Marine Palaeobiodiversity within the Department of Ecosystem & Landscape Dynamics at the University of Amsterdam. I am delighted that Willem has joined the team coupling his expertise in marine tropical systems with our existing focus on terrestrial tropical settings will, I am sure, provide many new avenues of scientific endeavour. Catalysing collaboration between Naturalis and UvA will be five PhD researchers, employed on the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network, who will be jointly supervised by Naturalis and UvA staff. 

  • To find out more about Willem and his appointment click here.
  • To visit Willem’s Naturalis web site click here.
  • To find out more about 4D-Reef click here.

Job: Post-doc “Digital Environmental Sustainability”

September 28, 2020
WDG

Do you have a PhD in Physical Geography, Environmental Sciences, Landscape Ecology or Soil Ecology? Have you got educational and research experience working with digital data to contribute to climate, geographic or biodiversity science? If so please consider applying for the 4-year post-doctoral position “Digital Environmental Sustainability” currently available within the Department of Ecosystem & Landscape Dynamics (Institute for Biodiversity & Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam).

Closing data: 29 November 2020

For full information click here.

In search for the historical roots of grasses

August 11, 2020
WDG

In search for the historical roots of grasses: A review of Neogene grass history in the Amazon drainage basin

Corresponding article: Kirschner, J. A., & Hoorn, C. (2019). The onset of grasses in the Amazon drainage basin, evidence from the fossil record. Frontiers of Biogeography. DOI: 10.21425/F5FBG44827

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Meet team “Global change & vegetation dynamics” @ Plant Ecology & Diversity

August 4, 2020
WDG

Plant Ecology & DiversityWithin the overarching context of Plant Ecology & Diversity the “Global change & vegetation dynamics” subject area aims to place a temporal component on key themes such as biodiversity, conservation and ecosystem function. Manuscripts are welcome that use long-term (palaeo-) ecological approaches, modern field observations and laboratory experiments, and computational modelling to explore change and dynamics within ecosystems. We welcome all formats of manuscripts to this section (original research articles rapid communication articles, review articles, and perspectives articles). If you have any questions about the potential suitability of your research in the journal please do not hesitate to get in contact.

The editorial team handling this section of the journal currently comprises myself as Subject Editor and six Associate Editors. To find out more about us, our research interests and expertise read on…

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Revealing pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial Kenya

June 29, 2020
WDG

Rahab Kinyanjui

USING PALAEOECOLOGICAL PROXIES TO DETERMINE ANTHROPOGENIC IMPACT ON VEGETATION DURING PRE-COLONIAL, COLONIAL AND POST-COLONIAL PERIOD IN KENYA’S HIGHLANDS-CASE STUDY ABERDARE RANGES

By Rahab KINYANJUI (National Museums of Kenya: Nairobi)

In spite of the challenges and uncertainties that the larger scientific community is currently facing, I am delighted and humbled to accept one of the British Ecological Society’s Ecologist in Africa research grant for 2020. The grant will support my historical ecology project whose main goal is to apply palaeoecological and archaeological proxies to investigate the extent of anthropogenic impacts on vegetation structure and composition of one of the Kenyan Central highlands before, during, and after the colonial period.

The Aberdare range forest provide an ideal setting for this study because they have been farmed by local populations since long before colonialism, and they were heavily impacted during colonial times because of their fertile soils. This pilot project aims to reveal the land-use and land-cover dynamics of the Aberdare range forest, and it is hoped that eventually similar studies will be undertaken in other parts of the Kenyan highland forests.

Keep on pollen sniffing

May 5, 2020
WDG

By Cas Verbeek (University of Amsterdam)

Luckily, in spite of these trying times, we are allowed to continue our research in Amsterdam and on the Veluwe to determine the effects of air pollution on airborne pollen grains. Unfortunately for us (but generally perhaps one of the few silver linings of this situation), the COVID-19 lockdown has largely eliminated our main variable of interest; air pollution.

With traffic in the city at a minimum, any chemical differences might not be as pronounced between the city and rural areas. However, this may actually provide us with a unique opportunity to get a baseline of the pollen chemistry in Amsterdam with relatively little pollution. This baseline may also be of interest to projects working on urban air quality and greenifying urban spaces, such as the projects in the Amsterdam Knowledge Mile Park, which is included amongst our sampling locations.

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For more about our project on pollen and pollution in the Netherlands see other posts:

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