Records of past animals and human ecosystem manipulation

vhaHaving recently become an Associate Editor for Vegetation History & Archaeobotany I have decided that I will try and highlight a couple  papers from the journal each months which have caught my attention. My first selections are:

  • A study which demonstrated the close relationship between the fossil fungal spore record and historical accounts (Orbay-Cerrato et al., 2017).
  • An investigation of a human modification of ecosystems on the sub-tropical Pacific island of New Caledonia using fossil wood charcoal remains (Dotte-Sarout, 2017)

For more detailed thoughts on these papers read on…

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Published open access:

Hoogakker, B.A.A., Smith, R.S., Singarayer, J.S., Marchant, R., Prentice, I.C., Allen, J.R.M., Anderson, R.S., Bhagwat, S.A., Behling, H., Borisova, O., Bush, M., Correa-Metrio, A., de Vernal, A., Finch, J.M., Frechette, B., Lozano-Garcia, S., Gosling, W.D., Granoszewski, W., Grimm, E.C., Gruger, E., Hanselman, J., Harrison, S.P., Hill, T.R., Huntley, B., Jimenez-Moreno, G., Kershaw, P., Ledru, M.-., Magri, D., McKenzie, M., Muller, U., Nakagawa, T., Novenko, E., Penny, D., Sadori, L., Scott, L., Stevenson, J., Valdes, P.J., Vandergoes, M., Velichko, A., Whitlock, C. & Tzedakis, C. (2016) Terrestrial biosphere changes over the last 120 kyr. Climate of the Past 12, 51-73. DOI: 10.5194/cp-12-51-2016

 

European Pollen Database meeting & workshop

EPDLOGO

Posted on behalf of Thomas Giesecke:
EUROPEAN POLLEN DATABASE
Meeting and training workshops
1-3/06/2016
Aix-en-Provence, France

We offer exciting keynote lectures, an extensive poster session to showcase your research, and two days of training with experts in software, databases, and modelling.

We want your opinion on how to develop the European Pollen Database (EPD) to make it a better resource for research, education, and data storage.

NO registration fee

Workshop topics include:

  • Plotting and archiving palaeoecological data, using Tilia and Neotoma
  • Charcoal analysis software and database
  • How to use modern surface samples for ‘analogue’ reconstructions of the past
  • LandCover6k: Pollen Productivity Estimates (PPEs), REVEALS/LOVE models
  • Help in pollen and Non-Pollen Palynomorph (NPP) identification
  • Using the EPD with ‘R
  • Age vs. depth modelling

Click links below for further information on:

Event supported by:

PAGESlogo

 

Introducing Tessa Driessen

Tessa DriessenHi I’m Tessa and really excited to introduce myself here!

I’m an Environmental Biology Master student from Utrecht University (UU) doing a research internship in Amsterdam with William Gosling and Rike Wagner of the UU. Most people would describe me as a typical biologist because I like identifying plants and know some birds by their name. Personally I disagree because I lack the beard and hardly wear woollen socks. Besides looking at birds and plants I’m also interested in biodiversity and palaeoecology, and I will try to combine these interests in my research project on a sediment core from Samoa. I will be working on lake sediment cores from Samoa and hope fossil record can give me an overview of the natural history of the island (past c. 10,000 years); and an insight into what impact human colonisation had on the biodiversity. To explore the islands natural history I will be looking at pollen, charcoal and non pollen palynomorphs.

The sediment core on which I will be working has already been recovered and currently resides in beautiful Southampton (UK). So I’m spared of a 30 hour trip to tropical Samoa and the opportunity to return with some Samoan tattoo’s and a tan… So thanks to David Sear and his team at the University of Southampton with whom I will be collaborating for this project.

I have a long standing interest in tropical islands. Before commencing this research internship I did my first masters internship at WWF Indonesia. For my WWF internship I spent three months in the tropics collecting baseline ecological data on timber companies located in a new reserve in Sumatra. Furthermore, during my bachelor degree, I did a research internship at Naturalis Biodiversity Center investigating the “Correlation between higher altitudes and endemic plant species” in the Malayan archipelago. Our results turned out much better then we hoped for and fingers crossed our article will be accepted soon!

In three weeks I will be starting in the lab in Amsterdam and hopefully in a few months will be able to post an update about my results here.

Tessa

Organisms and environments: Frontiers in palaeoecological technique development

inquaXIX INQUA Congress
NAGOYA, JAPAN 27 July-2 August, 2015

Grass pollen from Lake Bosumwti picked for individual chemical analysis

Grass pollen from Lake Bosumwti picked for individual chemical analysis

Abstract submission is now open for the XIX International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) Congress. “Ecology of the past” researchers will be there and are hosting a special session, entitled Organisms and environments: Frontiers in palaeoecological technique development, at which we hope to bring together a wide range of palaeoecologists working on novel proxy development. Members of the “Ecology of the past” group will be showcasing recent findings on the environmental significance of pollen chemistry change through time; linked to the 500,000 years of solar irradiance, climate and vegetation change in tropical West Africa project (Fraser et al., 2014). Please take a look at our session and consider submitting YOUR abstract today!

For information on abstract submission click here. Closing date for abstract submission 20 December 2014.

For further information on our session click here, or “Continue reading” below…

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6th Workshop on Non-Pollen Palynomorphs

POSTER: Non-Pollen Palynomorphs in Ecuador: Starting from scratch

OUR POSTER: Non-Pollen Palynomorphs in Ecuador: Starting from scratch

Tallinn University
18-20 June 2014

Last month I had the opportunity of attending the 3-days non-pollen palynomorphs (NPP) workshop that was held at the Tallinn University, Estonia. It was perfectly organised by Tiiu Koff and Egle Avi among other members of the university, as it was a join workshop of Cladocera remains (XII Subfossil Cladocera workshop; 16-18th June) and NPP (18-20th June). Unfortunately, I was just present in the NPP workshop, so my comments will be focus on it.

With around 40 participants, we greatly enjoyed the discussions that came up about the state-of-the-art of this broad and interesting proxy and its implications for archaeology, palaeolimnology, and different aspects of ecology like human landscape management, biodiversity and conservation, or community assemblages. Current methodological problems like taxonomy, standardisation of lab techniques, etc., were also debated.

Opening and key lectures were from Bas van Geel and Emilie Gauthier, showing the development of this discipline over the last 40 years, and a great example of multi-proxy project aimed to study the human arrival and impact in Greenland respectively. Besides oral and poster presentations, last day there was a microscope session, very useful for sharing knowledge and uncertainties! In our specific case, Will, Hayley and I contributed with a poster titled “Non-pollen palynomorphs in Ecuador: starting from scratch”.

Personally, among the things I most like from the NPP meetings is the friendly and close environment, where everyone is more than glad to help others, regardless the experience. Following this feeling of small and scattered group of people dealing with the same issues, we used to do a final remark session every workshop raising the advances and inconveniences found so far, updating our NPP papers repository (managed by Antonella Miola), and addressing future directions as a group (for instance, we have now our own project in ResearchGate, thanks to Lyudmila Shumilovskikh!). In this particular workshop, I was very happy when I found out that Tallinn University has a green policy (paper free), and they replaced book abstracts etc., by iPads to follow the workshop schedule.

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. In addition, there will be a NPP session in the next European Palaeobotany and Palynology congress, tobe held in University of Padova (Italy), next August 2014. We encourage people with all kind of experience (or lack of) to attend further events.

Encarni Montoya

Hi all,

I am Encarni Montoya and I have recently joined the Palaeoenvironmental Change Research Group.

Field work in Ecuador 2012

Field work in Ecuador 2012

I am a NERC Research Fellow with a project entitled “Evaluation of forests sensitivity to past climatic changes” (FORSENS), which will be running until September 2015. The project is based on a multi-site, multi-proxy and multi-disciplinary approach to aid the understanding of Neotropical forests’ dynamics since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; c. 21,500 years ago).

I presented details in a poster at the recent INTIMATE/CELL-50k Join Workshop this 12-15th November at Budapest, Hungary. Click here to view my poster and find out more details about the project.

Prior my arrival to PCRG, I was working at The Botanical Institute of Barcelona (CSIC-ICUB, Palynology and Paleoecology Lab) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Tropical and High Mountain Paleoecology). I am a palaeoecologist mainly focused on Late Glacial environmental change in Neotropics, being interested in the climate-vegetation-human relationships. For this purpose, I mainly use pollen, microscopic charcoal and non-pollen palynomorphs. I am also involved in several editor tasks, as regular referee os several Q1 journals, and the editor of the “Humans and Biosphere Commission” Newsletter.

If you are interested in my project please do not hesitate to get in contact.