PCRG February

Four new workstations installed in the Past Environmental Change microscope lab
Four new workstations installed in the Past Environmental Change microscope lab

Excitement in February saw the arrival of a new research grant within the PCRG, to look at pollen and spore chemistry from Lake Bosumtwi (watch this space for new post-doc and PhD studentship positions), and (just in time) the expansion of benches in the microscope lab which will ensure that the new people will have spaces to sit in! In addition, we had a paper published with long time friends and collaborators at the University of Leeds; Roucoux et al. (2013).

Despite the disruption of the lab refit Hayley and Frazer have been cracking on with pollen and chironomid analysis. Encarni and Frazer returned from field work in Ecuador and half the samples have so far made it back to The Open University; we now wait with anticipation for customs to release the other box!

Four shiny new benches from the other side
Four shiny new workstations from the other side – woo

Meanwhile I have been working on exam questions for the Geological Record of Environmental Change module (S369), interviewing prospective PhD candidates for the October 2013 start projects and have been on a training course to learn about the Vitae support for research student training.

American tour: Biogeography meeting & Ecuador field work



I am glad to say that after almost two months out of the office running around with 8 bags of equipment, Frazer and I have finished our tour of the Americas. As the work has been so diverse, we would like to split our comments and impressions into two different posts, we hope you enjoy them!

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Ecology videos online

We are now in the centenary year of the British Ecological Society (BES). To celebrate this there is a year long Festival of Ecology which includes many events across the country.

The BES is keen to share events online and these can be followed on twitter with # tags (#BES100, #BESFest) and/or by following the BES (@BESCentenary, @BritishEcolSoc).

Throughout the year we hope to get more and more video content of events and activities online. Here is a quick compiliation of existing BES online video content to give you a taste of what we are building upon!

The first Festival of Ecology video was posted by the Sex & Bugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll team and was shot at the BES annual meeting 2012:

Ecologist workshop on creative public engagement at the BES annual meeting 2012

The BES Roadies (@BESRoadies) will be taking ecology to music festivals over the summer. So far we are confirmed at Wychwood and Greenman. More video from the BES Roadies will be posted on our YouTube page.

Other BES video currently online is from:

If you are aware of any other ecology videos please add comments and links below. Thanks

500,000 years of solar irradiance, climate and vegetation changes

William Gosling
William Gosling pollen trapping in west Africa. A studentship on the new grant will investigate modern pollen-vegeation relationships from tropical West Africa.

I am delighted to be able to report that the PCRG has recently obtained a NERC standard grant to investigate 500,000 years of solar irradiance, climate and vegetation changes” (NE/K005294/1).

Investigators on the project are:

Supported by project partners:

Much thanks to the many people who have supported and helped us in the development of this proposal. Now time to do some fun science…

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PCRG web pages II

The old PCRG web site hosted by The Open University has been removed and replaced with a new holding page. I am currently rescuing content from the old pages and incorporating into this blog. Palaeolimnology et al. will now become the main host web page for my research group. Please look out for new content.

PCRG publications 2012

Bush, M.B. & Gosling, W.D. (2012) Environmental change in the humid tropics and monsoonal regions. The SAGE Handbook of Environmental Change (ed. by J.A. Matthews, P.J. Bartlein, K.R. Briffa, A.G. Dawson, A. De Vernal, T. Denham, S.C. Fritz and F. Oldfield), pp. 113-140. SAGE, London.

Mosblech, N.A.S., Bush, M.B., Gosling, W.D., Hodell, D., Thomas, L., Van Calsteren, P., Correa-Metrio, A., Valencia, B.G., Curtis, J. & Van Woesik, R. (2012) North Atlantic forcing of Amazonian precipitation during the last ice age. Nature Geoscience, 5, 817-820

Williams, J.J., Brooks, S.J. & Gosling, W.D. (2012) Response of chironomids to late Pleistocene and Holocene environmental change in the eastern Bolivian Andes. Journal of Paleolimnology, 48, 485-501

PCRG publications 2011

Bush, M.B., Flenley, J.R. & Gosling, W.D. (2011) Tropical rainforest responses to climatic change, 2nd edn. Springer/Praxis, Chichester.

Bush, M.B., Gosling, W.D. & Colinvaux, P.A. (2011) Climate and vegetation change in the lowlands of the Amazon basin. Tropical rainforest responses to climatic change (second edition) (ed. by M.B. Bush, J.R. Flenley and W.D. Gosling), pp. 61-84. Springer/Praxis, Chichester, UK.

Cárdenas, M.C., Gosling, W.D., Sherlock, S.C., Poole, I., Pennington, R.T. & Mothes, P. (2011) Response to comment on “The response of vegetation on the Andean flank in western Amazonia to Pleistocene climate change”. Science, 333, 1825

Cárdenas, M.L., Gosling, W.D., Sherlock, S.C., Poole, I., Pennington, R.T. & Mothes, P. (2011) The response of vegetation on the Andean flank in western Amazonia to pleistocene climate change. Science, 331, 1055-1058

Gosling, W.D. & Holden, P.B. (2011) Precessional forcing of tropical vegetation carbon storage. Journal of Quaternary Science, 26, 463-467

Hanselman, J.A., Bush, M.B., Gosling, W.D., Collins, A., Knox, C., Baker, P.A. & Fritz, S.C. (2011) A 370,000-year record of vegetation and fire history around Lake Titicaca (Bolivia/Peru). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 305 201-214

Williams, J.J., Gosling, W.D., Brooks, S.J., Coe, A.L. & Xu, S. (2011) Vegetation, climate and fire in the eastern Andes (Bolivia) during the last 18,000 years. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 312, 115-126

Williams, J.J., Gosling, W.D., Coe, A.L., Brooks, S.J. & Gulliver, P. (2011) Four thousand years of environmental change and human activity in the Cochabamba Basin, Bolivia. Quaternary Research, 76, 58-69