On Wednesday I attended my first Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NAEM) unfortunately, due to prior commitments, I was not able to attend the whole event, but I still managed to get a nice insight into the vibrant Dutch Ecological research community. Particularly exciting for me was the “Biodiversity in Space and Time” theme. Plenary sessions by Alexandre Anotonelli (University of Gothenburg) and Hans ter Steege (Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden) focused on the Amazon ecology past and present. The subsequent session on the same theme, organized by Daniel Kissling (University of Amsterdam) and Niels Raes (Naturalis Biodiversity Center), was also excellent and ranged from species richness patterns past and present in Gabon (Andre van Proosdij, Naturalis Biodiversity Center), through soil microbes (Kelly Ramirez, Netherlands Institute of Ecology) to the role of sea level change on island biodiversity (Kenneth Rijsdijk, University of Amsterdam). I am looking forward to attending more of these meetings in the future and getting involved with the NERN community.
The next INQUA Congress will be held in Nagoya (Japan) on July 27 – August 2, 2015
This is a call for contributions to session P05 on ‘Climate change in the tropical South Pacific during the Late Quaternary’.
The session abstract is as follows:
Establishing well dated, quantitative, highly resolved palaeoclimate data for the major climate systems of the tropical south Pacific has become a research priority owing to the paucity of instrumental data from this critical region of the Earth. Whilst the quantity of proxy climate data for this region is increasing rapidly, compared to records from the Northern Hemisphere there is a surprising paucity especially when considering the importance of this region to global climate. Such information is vital for fully understanding inter-hemispheric climate linkages, global energy fluxes and the long-term evolution of natural climate variability such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation. The dearth of pre-industrial climate records from this region contributes to large uncertainties associated with future climate change impacts far beyond the south Pacific. This session aims to bring together researchers working on Late Quaternary ocean/climate proxies with those whose research lies in modelling ocean-climate processes and dynamics in the tropical south pacific region, and their implications for global climate.
We hope this session will be of interest to you. If you plan to contribute to this session, please submit your abstract before December 20, 2014 click here.
I am delighted to be organizing a focus session at the first AfQUA meeting. The session seeks to bring together ecologists and palaeoecologists working in Africa. If you are interested in getting involved please contact me (William Gosling) directly. For further information on the conference visit the AfQUA website or twitter feed.
Focus session 1: African ecology in context
The African continent spans over 80 degrees of latitude, nearly 6000 m of altitude and around 30 million km2 consequently it contains a vast array of unique ecosystems. Many of the African ecosystems are under direct pressure from human activity and are threatened by on-going and projected climate change. However, management and conservation of the modern African ecosystems is hampered by a paucity of data on their natural history. Studies of observations of ecosystems spanning >30 years are rare so we are heavily reliant on examination of the fossil record to place modern ecology in a long-term (>50 year) context. Information on past ecosystems can be extracted through the examination of a range of biological indicators (e.g. pollen, carbon isotopes, charcoal) found within marine and lake sediments. However, interpretation of the sediments and the proxies they contain with the ecosystems observed today is challenging because of timescale and interpretation issues. The aim of this session is to bring together modern ecologists and paleo-ecologists working in Africa to present the state-of-the-art understanding of ecosystems past and present, and explore how we can improve understanding of timescales and proxy interpretation to place these threatened ecosystems in context.