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

Modeling the ecology and evolution of biodiversity: Biogeographical cradles, museums, and graves

July 19, 2018
WDG

Rangel, T.F., Edwards, N.R., Holden, P.B., Diniz-Filho, J.A.F., Gosling, W.D., Coelho, M.T.P., Cassemiro, F.A.S., Rahbek, C. & Colwell, R.K. (2018) Modeling the ecology and evolution of biodiversity: Biogeographical cradles, museums, and graves. Science 361, . DOI: 10.1126/science.aar5452

Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting – bingo

February 14, 2018
WDG

This year at the Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting participants have been challenged to draw a pictire about a talk that they see as part of the science bingo event 

Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting 2018 – day 1

February 13, 2018
WDG

Today the Dutch ecological community has convened at the Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NEAM) in the forest near Lunteren. The meeting was kicked off by plenary lectures by Trisha Atwood and Han Olff who talked to the theme of “Ecosystem functioning in a changing world”. Trisha highlighted the importance of animals in modifying plant communities and their consequent importance for understanding changes in carbon storage. Han illustrated the complexity of ecological networks and posed the significant challenge of understanding changes in competing networks. Following the plenaries I chose two sessions to follow. The first on “Plant Ecology” and the second on “Ecosystem Resilience”. There were many exciting talks in both sessions, two of which grabbed my attention. Mara Baudena (Utrecht University) highlighted the complexity of modelling forest-grassland interactions in Africa, while Sofia Gomes (Naturalis Biodiversity Centre) showed surprising (to me) variation in mychorizal fungi across the globe.Furthermore four talks were presented by researchs at my home, the Institute for Biodiversity & Ecosystem Dynamics (University of Amsterdam):

  • Crystal McMichael “Ancient human disturbances may be skewing our understanding of Amazonian ecology”
  • Milan Teunissen van Manan “Species specific responses in leaf wax n-alkane composition from six tropical tree species”
  • Kenneth Rijsdijk “Assessing the resiliance of insular species to past climate change”
  • Seringe Huisman “Characterization of phytoliths in premontance western Amazonian forests”

So an exciting day, now for food and beer, and back on it tomorrow! Follow live on Twitter 

Success for BSc project students

July 18, 2017
WDG

BSc students on the Palaeoecology course prior to undertaking a research project with us.

Many BSc students undertook our “Palaeoecology” course prior to choosing to do a research project with us.

This year 15 (fifteen!) bachelors students completed their research projects in palaeoecology based within the Department of Ecosystem & Landscape Dynamics at the University of Amsterdam. The students had a variety of backgrounds with the majority coming from the BSc Biology and the BSc Future Planet Studies programs.

Each project was set up to test a particular ecological or biogeographic hypothesis. Investigations included the exploration of the role of humans in modifying ecosystems in Amazon, the nature of the pre-farming landscape in the the Netherlands, and how to chemically identify fossil charcoal. In undertaking their projects individual students had the opportunity to variously develop skills in microscopy, spatial modelling, or analytical chemistry. The high quality of the data produced means that hopefully many of these data sets can be used in future scientific publications. Well done to all!

If you are interested in conducting a similar project (at any academic level) with us please do not hesitate to get in contact. For further details of ongoing research within the Department of Ecosystems & Landscape Dynamics visit our web pages by clicking here.

MSc Biological Sciences University of Amsterdam

December 8, 2016
WDG

UvAThe MSc Biological Sciences at the University of Amsterdam is open to international students (taught in English) and offers four ‘tracks’ so you can specialize to your particular interest:

In addition as part of this MSc degree you will conduct research projects and have opportunities for internships. For further information to click here or watch our recent webinar with the program coordinator Joost Duivenvoorden.

Job: Palaeoecology at VU Amsterdam

November 29, 2016
WDG

VU Amsterdam

The Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam currently has a vacancy for an Assistant Professor in Palaeoecology. The VU Amsterdam are looking for a specialist in palaeoecology, palynology and/or palaeobotany, with an interest in reconstructing climatic- and anthropogenic forcing of vegetation/landscape/hydrological change in the Quaternary. Experts employing palynological, macro-fossil, geochemical, and modelling techniques welcome.

The VU Amsterdam group have strong links with the Institute for Biodiversity & Ecosystem Dynamics (University of Amsterdam), including my Palaeoecology & Landscape Ecology group.

Deadline: 08 December 2016
Further details click here.

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