Scientific Archaeology 2021

November 13, 2021
WDG

The Science in Archaeology 2 course, run as part of the minor in “Archaeology Today” by the Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (ACASA), is currently underway. This year I have again contributed to this course with a weeks worth of activity related to detecting past human impacts. During this week we have focused on what sorts of evidence contained within the sedimentary record can be used to track human actions. We focused in particular on the manipulation of fire regimes and the the abundance of animals in landscapes (i.e. extinctions vs. introductions of domestic species). To illustrate how past human activities can be detected in landscapes I tapped into some recent publications I have been involved with (eastern Andean flank, Samoa and Mauritius) and the students selected papers in line with their own focus to discuss. Here is what they came up with…

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JOB: Assistant Professorship in Climate-Vegetation Dynamics

September 3, 2021
WDG

I am excited to announce that we are looking for an expert in climate systems, with experience of computational modelling, to join our team in the Department of Ecosystem & Landscape Dynamics (ELD) at the University of Amsterdam. ELD is one of four research departments within the Institute for Biodiversity & Ecosystem Dynamics which seeks to unravel how ecosystems function in all their complexity. The successful applicant will deliver climate related education within our BSc Future Planet Studies and MSc Earth Sciences programs, and conduct cutting edge research. We are looking for a collaborative researcher who can establish research links with existing staff members and inspire students.

For full details and how to apply visit: https://www.academictransfer.com/nl/303950/assistant-professorship-in-climate-vegetation-dynamics/

Closing date: Monday 11 October

Interviews likely to be conducted in Amsterdam: 27 and 29 October.

Mapping Ancient Africa

July 16, 2021
WDG

INQUAlogo

I am pleased to announce the start of a new project “Mapping Ancient Africa” funded by the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) with support from the Palaeoclimate commission (PALCOM) and the Human & Biospheres commission (HABCOM). This project will bring together Quaternary scientists focused on past climates and environments with those working on human evolution and development in Africa. Through the synthesising data and linking these with modelling approaches we hope to bring together a novel group of researchers to explore the climatic and environmental backdrop to hominin development.

The project will be lead by Stefanie Kaboth-Bahr, Rahab Kinyanjui, Lynne Quick, Sarah Ivory and myself.

Further information on the project can be found on a new “sub-site” within this blog dedicated to the “Mapping Ancient Africa” project. The project is designed to connect researchers working on these topics so if you are interested to be involved please do get in contact. The first meeting will be held in October 2021 online and at four locations: Nairobi (Kenya), Port Elizabeth (South Africa), Potsdam (Germany) and Portland (Oregon, USA) – for further details click here.

Job: Post-doc “Digital Environmental Sustainability”

September 28, 2020
WDG

Do you have a PhD in Physical Geography, Environmental Sciences, Landscape Ecology or Soil Ecology? Have you got educational and research experience working with digital data to contribute to climate, geographic or biodiversity science? If so please consider applying for the 4-year post-doctoral position “Digital Environmental Sustainability” currently available within the Department of Ecosystem & Landscape Dynamics (Institute for Biodiversity & Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam).

Closing data: 29 November 2020

For full information click here.

Leaf wax n-alkane patterns of six tropical montane tree species show species-specific environmental response

July 22, 2019
WDG

Open access:

Teunissen van Manen, M., Jansen, B., Cuesta, F., León-Yánez, S. & Gosling, W.D. (2019) Leaf wax n-alkane patterns of six tropical montane tree species show species-specific environmental response. Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.5458

New land in the Neotropics

May 6, 2019
WDG

Cuesta, F., Llambi­, L.D., Huggel, C., Drenkhan, F., Gosling, W.D., Muriel, P., Jaramillo, R. & Tovar, C. (2019) New land in the Neotropics: a review of biotic community, ecosystem, and landscape transformations in the face of climate and glacier change. Regional Environmental Change. DOI: 10.1007/s10113-019-01499-3

Scientific Methods in Archaeology

November 21, 2018
WDG

VU AmsterdamOver the last two weeks I have been giving my lectures at the VU Amsterdam “Scientific Methods in Archaeology” bachelor program. In my lectures we think about how to detect past environmental change with particular reference to tracking past human activities. As part of our exploration of past human-environment-climate interactions each student is asked to choose a scientific article, summerise it, and we then discuss it in class. The three papers sected this year covered the Neolithic of the Netherlands (Weijdema et al., 2011), a overview of Mediterranean and north African cultural adaptations to drough events during the Holocene (Mercuri et al., 2011), and an exploration of the role of humans in mega-faunal extinctions in South America (Villavicencio et al., 2015). All papers provided interesting points of discussion and an opportunity to think about different aspects of how we investigate past environmental and societal change.

Read the full student summaries below.

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Environments Through Time paper presentations

November 6, 2018
WDG

The 2018 edition of the University of Amsterdam masters course “Environments Through Time” is now up and running. The course sits at the interface between ecology, physical geography and archaeology and seeks to provide students with a better understanding of how long-term (>100’s years) datasets can provide insights in to past environmental change.

In the first week of the course the students had to present their ‘favourite’ paper in just three (3) minutes! Quite a challenge and lots of fun. This years selection of papers themed around:

  • mega-fauna extinctions (Bakker et al., 2016; Gill et al., 2009; van der Kaars et al., 2017),
  • impacts of human land use practices (Bitusik et al., 2018; Carson et al., 2014; Chepstow-Lusty et al., 2009; Gauthier et al., 2010; Tisdall et al., 2018), and
  • climatic drivers of vegetation change (Haug et al., 2001; Tierney et al., 2017; Tudhope et al., 2001).

For full list of papers presented see below.

In the second and third weeks (now ongoing) students get to deconstruct published chronologies and conduct time series analsis of multi-proxy datasets. Data for these excercises is frequently is extracted from databases such as Neotoma, Pangea, NOAA – paleoclimatology datasets database and the Global Charcoal Database – which shows the importance of these open access databases for developing effective research led eductation, as well as pushing forward to frontiers of research.

Environments Through Time is taught in English, delivered by myself (William Gosling), Crystal McMichael and Milan Tunissen van Manen and currently has 31 registered students from MSc Biological Sciences and MSc Earth Sciences degrees.

Full list of papers presented by students on the Environments Through Time course in 2018 Continue Reading

Geological and climatic influences on mountain biodiversity

October 2, 2018
WDG

Nature Geoscience (Oct. 2018)Antonelli, A., Kissling, W.D., Flantua, S.G.A., Bermúdez, M.A., Mulch, A., Muellner-Riehl, A.N., Kreft, H., Linder, H.P., Badgley, C., Fjeldså, J., Fritz, S.A., Rahbek, C., Herman, F., Hooghiemstra, H. & Hoorn, C. (2018) Geological and climatic influences on mountain biodiversity. Nature Geoscience, 11, 718-725. DOI: 10.1038/s41561-018-0236-z

Full or Associate Professor in Earth and Climate at VU Amsterdam

October 13, 2016
WDG

VU Amsterdam

I would like to publicize the current vacancy for a Full or Associate Professor within the “Earth & Climate” cluster at the VU Amsterdam. Having worked in Amsterdam now for just over two years I really enjoy living in the Netherlands, and find the academic environment very stimulating. UvAThere are strong links between the VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam (where I am based).

The VU Amsterdam are looking for someone with a strong track record in palaeoclimate and/or landscape modelling with a focus on Quaternary timescales. I am excited to see this vacancy and I am sure that there would be many opportunities to develop links with the Research Group of Palaeoecology & Landscape Ecology which I head up.

For full details on the vacancy click here closing date 1 November 2016.

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