Video: Sediment coring in South Africa

January 21, 2022
WDG

New sediment coring videos from Lynne Quick and her team at Nelson Mandela University. Find out more about their work on Twitter (@The_Palaeolab) and on their Palaeoecology Lab web pages.

Nelson Mandela University’s Palaeoecology Research Group: Sediment coring fieldwork campaign to the Zuurberg Mountains, Eastern Cape, September 2021. Enjoy…

Mapping Ancient Africa: Video of seminar 3

January 18, 2022
WDG

The third of a seminars in the Mapping Ancient African project took place on Monday 17 January 2022 and was given by Emmanuel Ndiema (National Museums of Kenya). You can watch the seminar now on the Ecology of the Past YouTube channel. Seminar details can be found here.

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Mapping Ancient Africa: Seminar 3

January 15, 2022
WDG

Emmanuel Ndiema

The third in Mapping Ancient Africa (MAA) online seminar series will take place on Monday 17 January at 18:00 CET (20:00 EAT). This seminar will focus on the archaeology of eastern Africa.

  • Speaker: Emmanuel Ndiema (National Museums of Kenya)
  • Title: The Later Prehistory of South Eastern Lake Turkana basin

The seminar will be delivered via Zoom. The link for the seminar can be obtained from the MAA Slack page, or from seminar chair and chaired by MAA hub coordinator Rahab Kinyanjui.

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

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PoA 35: Research Articles

December 15, 2021
WDG

The second in my series highlighting papers in the recent volume of Palaeoecology of Africa (published entirely open access online) focuses on the research articles. The research articles make up the ‘guts’ of the volume, comprising 10 of the 24 papers. Three of these are from western Africa (Dinies et al.; Gosling et al.; Lemonnier & Lézine), two from eastern Africa (Githumbi et al.; Kinyanjui et al.), two from central Africa (Richards; Gaillard et al.), and three from southern Africa (Chevalier et al.; Hill & Finch, Hill et al.). These research articles present new data and key insights into past environmental change in Africa, which fall into two broad categories, providing information on: (i) how we can extract information from pollen data sets, and (ii) the processes operating to drive vegetation.

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PoA 35: Data papers

December 2, 2021
WDG

The recently published volume of the Palaeoecology of Africa series contains a number of different types of papers: research articles, reviews, perspectives and data papers. One of the key reasons I was motivated to become involved in the project was to help mobilise palaeoecological data from Africa towards open access datasets (African Pollen Database, Neotoma). To hopefully get greater recognition to the great work done over the years and to help facilitate synthetic work that will provide a greater understanding of spatial variance in past climate change. Ultimately, four short data papers were included in the volume: an enhanced c. 16,000 year pollen record from the Bale Mountains in Ethiopia (Gil-Romera et al. 2021), two pollen and charcoal record from the southern Cape Coast in South Africa, c. 3200 and 650 years long respectively (du Plessis et al. 2021a; du Plessis et al. 2021b), and a c. 700 year long record from Madagascar (Razanatsoa et al. 2021). The records provide new insights in to landscape scale environmental change driven by both humans and climate. To find out more check out the open access articles and the data at:

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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.

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.

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