PCRG August

September 4, 2013
WDG

Will's BES T-shirt logo swabbed at Greenman

Will’s BES T-shirt logo swabbed at Greenman; for more microbes on festival kit visit the “Hall of shame” on http://www.besfest.org

August was a month for travel with PCRG members heading for Peru (Bryan, and he is still there), Greenman festival (William), INTECOL conference (William and Frazer), and the Royal Geographic Society annual meeting (William, Encarni, Frazer and Hayley). Detailed reports of the UK based travels are already on the blog, and hopefully we will get a post from Bryan on his Peruvian adventure once he is back.

Back in Milton Keynes work progressed with:

  • Hayley producing a revised full draft of her pollen counting methodology manuscript,
  • Frazer starting with the first tentative attempts to apply his chironomid training data set to fossil chironomid records,
  • Phil trialing inverted microscopes and training on the FTIR,
  • Encarni plotting field work in Ecuador (more travel for November-December),
  • William seeming to spend alot of time working on research strategy for the faculty, and thinking about writing teaching material for the ongoing revison of our level 2 environmental science module, and
  • most excitingly of all, Lottie submitting her PhD thesis! WELL DONE LOTTIE.

PCRG April & May

May 20, 2013
WDG

Lots of excitement in the Palaeo group over the last couple of months including:

image

Co-I Wes Fraser checks out the FTIR in its new lab. The FTIR will be the main kit used for pollen chemical analysis in the project.

1) Recruitment. Interviews, and offers, for the PhD and PDRA posts related to our recent NERC standard grant award. Hot competition made our life very difficult but we are delighted to be adding two new people to our team. More information as soon as positions have been confirmed…

2) Student conference. On 16 May it was the annual CEPSAR student conference. The standard of talks from our 2nd and 3rd year PhD students was as excellent. With both Hayley and Frazer representing the PCGR well. Frazer recieved a highly commended award from the judges which means that he is on the right track having just had a paper accepted for INTECOL in August – well done Frazer.

3) Outreach preparation & activity. The British Ecological Society “Sex and Bugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll” got its first outing at Imperialfest (04/05/2013), further activities and equipment were tested at The OU (24/05/2013) and hopefully we are now set for our first major outing at Wychwood – exciting times!

4) Science outputs on track. The acceptance of two papers for publication (an African pollen atlas to be published in Review of Palaeobotany & Palynology, and palaeo-ecosystem services in the Andes paper for The Holocene).

PCRG March

April 12, 2013
WDG

Rachel Gill and Encarni Montoya with sediment cores from Jamaica.

Rachel Gill and Encarni Montoya with sediment cores from Jamaica.

Quick and belated update on activity in March! Not sure where the time is going at the moment…

Early in the month we were delighted to welcome Prof. Jonathan Holmes and Rachel Gill from UCL who came to use our core splitter to open new sediment cores from Wally Wash Pond in Jamaica! A visit from Steve Brooks (Natural History Museum) early in the month to discuss midgy progress with Frazer was great. We are getting ever closer to developing a training data set… Also popping by was ex-PhD student and now Aberystwyth lecturer Joe Williams who we will hopefully be developing some new collaborations with over the summer and fingers crossed mounting an expedition back to Bolivia!

Continue Reading

Funded PhD studentship: Tropical vegetation, environment and climate

March 21, 2013
WDG

William Gosling

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

Fully funded NERC PhD studentship tied to 500,000 years of solar irradiance, climate and vegetation changes project.
To start October 2013 now avaliable with the Palaeoenvironmental Change Research Group.

Title: Tropical vegetation, environment and climate: The present is the key to the past

Supervisors:
William D. Gosling (The Open University),
Wesley Fraser (Oxford Brookes University),
Barry Lomax (University of Nottingham),
Mark Sephton (Imperial College London) &
Yadvinder Malhi (University of Oxford)

  • Investigate the dynamics of modern tropical forest and savannah ecosystems
  • Training in micro fossil and organic geochemical analysis
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of modern pollen-vegetation relationships
  • Field work in Ghana, in conjunction with Forestry Research Institute of Ghana
Making pollen traps on field work in Ghana

Making pollen traps on field work in Ghana

Understanding how vegetation responded to past climate change requires the development of well constrained relationships between living floras, environment and climate. This project will help constrain the great uncertainty which exists as to how tropical ecosystems are represented in the fossil record by examining the relationship between modern vegetation and the pollen it produces. The project will analyse modern pollen rain using a combination of traditional microscopic analysis [1] and cutting edge geochemical techniques [2]. We anticipate that the findings will provide new insight into past vegetation and climatic change.

For further information on the project and how to apply see the full advert: NERC PhD advert. Prior to applying please check eligibility for NERC funding by clicking here.

Closing date: 25th April, interviews will be held at The Open University during May.

To find out more about the department, research environment and student life at The Open Univerity visit the Department of Environment, Earth & Ecosystems, the Centre for Earth, Planetry, Space & Astronomical Research (CEPSAR) and OU RocSoc web pages.

Work as part of a larger research team in the UK and abroad.

Work as part of a larger research team in the UK and abroad.

References:

[1] Gosling, W.D., et al., Differentiation between Neotropical rainforest, dry forest, and savannah ecosystems by their modern pollen spectra and implications for the fossil pollen record. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 2009. 153(1-2): p. 70-85.
[2] Lomax, B.H., et al., Plant spore walls as a record of long-term changes in Ultraviolet-B radiation. Nature Geoscience, 2008. 1(9): p. 592-596.

Post-doctoral fellowship opportunity

January 16, 2013
WDG

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.

Continue Reading

Two studentships avaliable

January 9, 2013
WDG

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…
Continue Reading

Research Fellowships at The Open University

October 26, 2012
WDG

FOUR Research Investment Fellowship
Department of Environment, Earth & Ecosystems
Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space & Astronomical Research
Closing date : 30/11/2012

Asteraceae in Andes

The four fellowships are advertised in four areas of Earth & Environmental Science; however, applications from exceptional scientists in related fields are also welcome.

For further details visit:
Earth Science
* Integrated Earth System Modelling
* Terrestrial Ecosystem Science
* Ecosystem Services

If you are interested in any of these posts and want to discuss links to the Palaeoenvironmental Change Research Group please contact William Gosling.

Blog at WordPress.com.