Data workshops in R for paleoecologists

February 10, 2023
sji15

The African Pollen Database community is hosting a series of workshops including practical data tutorials and discussions to help paleoecologists working in Africa integrate these data into research and teaching.

Our theme for Spring 2023 is “using R to understand African paleoecology”, and the schedule is posted here.

Our first workshop will be February 22 at 9am EST. Chris Kiahtipes will be provided a guided tutorial that can be followed live to help you use R and RMarkdown to develop reproducible research workflows for pollen data. This will be ~1 hour. Please register in advance by emailing Chris (chris.kiahtipes@gmail.com) to receive the zoom link and a guide to setup your workspace ahead of the workshop.

To see our launch meeting from February 8 that includes a tour of the African Pollen Database on the Neotoma Paleoecology Database, watch this video.

Mapping Ancient Africa in Rome

February 3, 2023
WDG

I am pleased to announce that we will be holding a two day Mapping Ancient Africa (MAA) workshop at the “Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome” on the 12 and 13 July (just before the INQUA 2023 Rome congress). We invite all MAA members to participate. Workshops will be lead on the two days by myself, Stefanie, Rahab and Lynne. We will cover the development of manuscripts for the proposed Quaternary International special issue, and planning for the future of the MAA network (future meetings and potential grant applications). If there are particular items that you would like to cover during the workshops then please let us know and we will do our best to include them. This event will be designed primarily for “in person” activities, however, we hope to have opportunities for people to also link in online at some plenary moments.

IMPORTANT: If you plan to attend the MAA Rome meeting in person please email me to register with the words “MAA Rome event registration” in the subject line. I can then organize appropriate levels of catering.

If you are not already involved with MAA and would like to know more visit our web pages and get in contact.

This event, and the Mapping Ancient Africa multi-year project, is supported financially by the Palaeoclimates Commission (PALCOM) of INQUA.

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Mapping Ancient Africa: Seminar 10

February 1, 2023
WDG

Mapping Ancient Africa (MAA) online seminars are 10! On the 7 February 2023 (17:00-18:00 CET) the following exciting seminar will be given:

The seminar will be delivered via Zoom. The link for the seminar can be obtained from the MAA Slack channel or by contacting the chair of this seminar Stefanie Kaboth-Bahr. If you want to know more about the Mapping Ancient Africa project visit our web pages and please do not hesitate to get in contact if you want to get involved.

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Mapping Ancient Africa: Video of Seminar 9

January 23, 2023
WDG

The 9th Mapping Ancient Africa seminar, and first of 2023, took place on Thursday 19 January. The seminar was delivered by Celine Vidal (University of Cambridge) and showcased recent work on the dating of volcanic deposits to constrain the age of hominin fossils in eastern Africa.

Details of this seminar can be found here. You can find more Mapping Ancient Africa seminar videos on the “Ecology of the Past” YouTube channel.

References

  • Vidal, C.M., Lane, C.S., Asrat, A., Barfod, D.N., Mark, D.F., Tomlinson, E.L., Tadesse, A.Z., Yirgu, G., Deino, A., Hutchison, W., Mounier, A. & Oppenheimer, C. (2022) Age of the oldest known Homo sapiens from eastern Africa. Nature 601, 579-583. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-04275-8
  • Vidal, C.M., Fontijn, K., Lane, C.S., Asrat, A., Barfod, D., Tomlinson, E.L., Piermattei, A., Hutchison, W., Tadesse, A.Z., Yirgu, G., Deino, A., Moussallam, Y., Mohr, P., Williams, F., Mather, T.A., Pyle, D.M. & Oppenheimer, C. (2022) Geochronology and glass geochemistry of major Pleistocene eruptions in the Main Ethiopian Rift: Towards a regional tephrostratigraphy. Quaternary Science Reviews 290, 107601. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2022.107601
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APD Workshop Series: R, Databases, and You!

January 17, 2023
sji15

Interested in African paleoecology? Want to incorporate African pollen data into your research or teaching?

If you read nothing else, please take this survey before January 25!

The African Pollen Database (APD) has been relaunched, and the Neotoma Paleoecology Database now contains over 200 APD records.   Data stewards working with APD and Neotoma have been meeting regularly for the last two years to upload data, but we are now changing the format of our meetings in order to start focusing on helping people use APD data for research and teaching!

We are developing a schedule of practical tutorials on APD data workflows in R, using Rneotoma, and a few other topics to take place over next few months (see this video for general info).

This is open to anyone interested in African paleoecology (students, researchers, teachers, etc)!  If you or your students might be interested in taking part in one or all of these, please take this very brief survey by January 25 to let us know.  Also if you have other students or researchers you think should get this email, let Sarah Ivory (sji15@psu.edu) or Chris Kiahtipes (chris.kiahtipes@gmail.com) know.

The Ecology of the Past: Inagueral lecture

January 12, 2023
WDG

William Gosling giving his oratie “The Ecology of the Past” at the Aula (University of Amsterdam), 22 December 2022.

On the 22 December I gave my oratie (inaugural lecture), entitled “The Ecology of the Past”, related to my appointment as Professor of Palaeoecology & Biogeography at the University of Amsterdam. I really enjoyed the opportunity to mark this personal milestone with some many colleagues, friends and family. In case you missed the event you can watch it online via the universities portal by clicking here (or on the photo).

Note: (1) to flip between seeing the slides and the video feed just click on the screen, (2) running time of lecture until 50 minutes.

Mapping Ancient Africa: Video of seminar 8

December 19, 2022
WDG

The seventh Mapping Ancient Africa online seminar took place on Thursday 15 December 2022. The seminar was delivered by Chantal Kabonyi (University of Bukavu) and chaired by Manu Chevalier (University of Bonn). The presentation was delivered in French with English slides.

  • Les trois derniers millénaires d’histoire environnementale autour du lac Kivu: De la dorsale congolaise à la dorsale congo-Nil 
  • [The last three millennia of environmental history around Lake Kivu: From the Congolese ridge to the Congo-Nile ridge]

Details of this seminar can be found here. You can find more Mapping Ancient Africa seminar videos on the “Ecology of the Past” YouTube channel.

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Mapping Ancient Africa: Seminar 8

November 21, 2022
WDG

I am pleased to announce that the eighth online Mapping Ancient Africa seminar will take place on 15 December 2022 (17:00-18:00 CET)

Speaker: Chantal Kabonyi (University of Bukavu)
Title: Les trois derniers millénaires d’histoire environnementale autour du lac Kivu: De la dorsale congolaise à la dorsale congo-Nil [The last three millennia of environmental history around Lake Kivu: From the Congolese ridge to the Congo-Nile ridge]

NOTE: This will be a duel language presentation with the presentation given in French and slides containing English text.

The seminar will be delivered via Zoom. The link for the seminar can be obtained from the MAA Slack channel or by contacting the chair of this seminar Manu Chevalier. If you want to know more about the Mapping Ancient Africa project visit our web pages and please do not hesitate to get in contact if you want to get involved.

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Mapping Ancient Africa: Video of seminar 7

November 11, 2022
WDG

The seventh Mapping Ancient Africa online seminar took place on Thursday 10 November 2022. The seminar was delivered by Manu Chevalier (University of Bonn) and showcased his new publication entitled: An introduction to the Climate REconstruction SofTware (CREST) model.

Details of this seminar can be found here. You can find more Mapping Ancient Africa seminar videos on the “Ecology of the Past” YouTube channel.

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Reference

  • Chevalier, M. (2022) crestr: an R package to perform probabilistic climate reconstructions from palaeoecological datasets. Climate of the Past 18, 821-844. DOI: 10.5194/cp-18-821-2022
  • crestr An R package to perform probabilistic palaeoclimate reconstructions from palaeoecological datasets https://mchevalier2.github.io/crestr/

Mapping Ancient Africa: Seminar 6 (take 2)

September 30, 2022
WDG

Following the postponement of our previous seminar I am pleased to announce the next Mapping Ancient Africa (MAA) seminar (the new number 6 in the series) will take place on Thursday 6 October at 17:00 (CEST).

  • Speaker: Verena Foerster (Universität zu Köln)
  • Title: Pleistocene climate variability in eastern Africa influenced hominin evolution
  • Related publication: Foerster, V., Asrat, A., Bronk Ramsey, C., Brown, E.T., Chapot, M.S., Deino, A., Duesing, W., Grove, M., Hahn, A., Junginger, A., Kaboth-Bahr, S., Lane, C.S., Opitz, S., Noren, A., Roberts, H.M., Stockhecke, M., Tiedemann, R., Vidal, C.M., Vogelsang, R., Cohen, A.S., Lamb, H.F., Schaebitz, F. & Trauth, M.H. (2022) Pleistocene climate variability in eastern Africa influenced hominin evolution. Nature Geoscience. DOI: 10.1038/s41561-022-01032-y

The seminar will be delivered via Zoom. The link for the seminar can be obtained from the MAA Slack channel or by contacting the chair of this seminar Stefanie Kaboth-Bahr. If you want to know more about the Mapping Ancient Africa project visit our web pages and please do not hesitate to get in contact if you want to get involved.

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