PCRG January

BES centenary logo
We are taking the BES festival of ecology to music festivals in 2013! “Tell me when”… you’d better read the blog!

January seems to have flown past and has been another active month. With group members variously involved in:

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2012. You can see all of the year’s most-viewed posts in your Site Stats.

  1. Nitrogen isotopes in lake sediments February 2012
  2. Research Fellowships at The Open University October 2012
  3. The Mighty Midge May 2012
  4. Thinking about proxies January 2012
  5. Number crunching in palynology May 2012

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Post-doctoral fellowship opportunity

Vinillos Section
Join us… PCRG members on fieldwork in Ecuador

The AXA Research Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme is opening shortly!

All applications must be pre-approved by the host institution so if you are interested in applying for a project through The Open University expressions of interest are required by 25th January 2013.

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PCRG November & December

The last two months of 2012 were exceptionally busy! 

On the research front

On the teaching and administration front

Two tasks dominated the non-research activity: 1) teaching the Geological Record of Environmental Change (S369) exams assessment and assigment, and 2) as Post Graduate Tutor keeping up with NERC developments for the new Doctoral Training Partnerships.

PCRG members on filed work in Cayabe-Coca National Park (2012). Left to right: Hayley, Encarni, William and Frazer.
PCRG members on field work in Cayabe-Coca National Park (2012). Left to right: Hayley, Encarni, William and Frazer.
Encarni and Frazer have returned to Ecuador Jan-Feb 2013 to collect further sedimentary cores. More on the blog soon…

Finally all that remains is to say “Happy New Year” from the PCRG and on with 2013… 🙂

Palynologishe Kring

Prof. H. Hoogiemstra Chair of Palaeoecology & Landscape ecology
Prof. H. Hoogiemstra Chair of Palaeoecology & Landscape ecology at IBED

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.

View Schuetze's work on recreating Mauritius in 3D on Vimeo
View Schuetze’s work on recreating Mauritius in 3D on Vimeo

 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.

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Two studentships avaliable

Two NERC algorithm funded PhD studentships are currently available with the PCRG. The projects are focused on understanding past environmental change in west tropical Africa and Amazonian-Andean Ecuador. Both projects will involve field work and build on on-going research within the lab.

Closing date 31/01/2013

Fieldwork in 2012 near Papallacta (Ecuador).
One project will work on samples collected during fieldwork in 2012 near Papallacta (Ecuador).

Further project details and how to apply below…
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Encarni Montoya

Hi all,

I am Encarni Montoya and I have recently joined the Palaeoenvironmental Change Research Group.

Field work in Ecuador 2012
Field work in Ecuador 2012

I am a NERC Research Fellow with a project entitled “Evaluation of forests sensitivity to past climatic changes” (FORSENS), which will be running until September 2015. The project is based on a multi-site, multi-proxy and multi-disciplinary approach to aid the understanding of Neotropical forests’ dynamics since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; c. 21,500 years ago).

I presented details in a poster at the recent INTIMATE/CELL-50k Join Workshop this 12-15th November at Budapest, Hungary. Click here to view my poster and find out more details about the project.

Prior my arrival to PCRG, I was working at The Botanical Institute of Barcelona (CSIC-ICUB, Palynology and Paleoecology Lab) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Tropical and High Mountain Paleoecology). I am a palaeoecologist mainly focused on Late Glacial environmental change in Neotropics, being interested in the climate-vegetation-human relationships. For this purpose, I mainly use pollen, microscopic charcoal and non-pollen palynomorphs. I am also involved in several editor tasks, as regular referee os several Q1 journals, and the editor of the “Humans and Biosphere Commission” Newsletter.

If you are interested in my project please do not hesitate to get in contact.