To find out more read Frazer’s blog post about his research.
Last month Frazer and Encarni attended the 3-days “dead heads” workshop that was held at the Beaulieu Hotel , in the New Forest National Park (UK). It was perfectly organised by Pete Langdon and Steve Brooks, and was a great opportunity for both of us who are relatively new to the midges’ community. With around 40 participants from Europe, America and Asia, we greatly enjoyed the discussions that came up about the state-of-the-art for this interesting proxy and the implications for palaeoclimatology, palaeolimnology, and different aspects of ecology like conservation, restoration or community assemblages. In addition, useful topics such as current methodological problems with age-depth model uncertainties, the usefulness and limitations of transfer functions, and taxonomy were also debated.
Besides oral and poster presentations, the workshop offered several tutorials during the afternoons, key amoung these were an introduction to R carried out by Richard Telford and Steve Juggins, and taxonomic support for head capsules ID leaded by Steve Brooks and Oliver Heiri.
In our specific case, Frazer contributed with an oral presentation titled “Understanding the modern distributions and ecological tolerances of the Neotropical Chironomidae fauna: The potential as a palaeoecological proxy” base on his PhD research. We were both so glad to make contact with other people working in South America, in particular Julieta Massaferro and Alberto Araneda presented very interesting data from Argentina and Chile.
Although these meetings are normally biannual, next conference location and date is yet to be decided, but we hope to have the chance to join this very friendly and supporting community again. We encourage people with all kind of experience (or lack of) to attend any further events.
The second part of our Ecuadorian expedition took in lakes and sections close to the towns of Papallacta and Cosanga. The variation in climatic conditions was marked as we experienced first hand the transition from freezing fog and driving rain to burning sun and heat within a few tens of kilometers as we travelled from >4000 m down to around 1000 m elevation.
Tomorrow we will attempt to recover short cores from two more lakes. Then our final few days here in Ecuador will be spent visiting partners and packing up.