I am excited to announce that I have recently joined the “Advisory Editorial Board” of The Holocene journal. Many thanks to editor-in-chief John Matthews for the invitation. Interesting to join a very experienced team, which includes both my PhD and post-doc supervisors; the esteemed Frank Mayle and Mark Bush! I look forward to receiving interesting new papers to examine.
The Holocene journal publishes research, review and forum papers focused on environmental change during the Holocene (last 11,700 years). It encourages the submission of manuscripts with an interdisciplinary approach covering palaeoenvironments, palaeoclimate, palaeoecology, palaeohydrology, palaeopedology, palaeoceanography and geo-archaeology. So if you have a some research in this area that you are looking for a home for please check out the details aims and scope, and criteria on the journal web page, click here.
The course “Landscape Dynamics in an era of change: Learning from the past to face the future” took place in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa between 5 and 15 March 2023. The course was run by the Graduate School for Production Ecology and Resource Conservation (PERC) and participants were drawn from universities in the Netherlands and South Africa. The main goal of the course was to investigate the past and current dynamics of the region and predict possible futures in an inter- / trans-disciplinary context. Consequently the content of the course was incredibly diverse including: geology, geomorphology, palaeoecology, cultural history, vegetation studies, soil science, farming systems and forestry. These topics were integrated into four group projects centered on invasive species, rewilding, commercial farming and small scale farming.
Strandberg, N.A., Sear, D.A., Langdon, P.G., Cronin, S.J., Langdon, C., Maloney, A., Bateman, S., Bishop, T., Croudace, I., Leng, M., Sachs, J.P., Prebble, M., Gosling, W.D., Edwards, M. & Nogue, S. (2023) Island ecosystem responses to the Kuwae eruption and precipitation change over the last 1600 years, Efate, Vanuatu. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 11, 1087577. DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2023.1087577
Chris Kiahtipes will be presenting a, African Pollen Database (APD), practical tutorial about working with paleoecological data in R for beginners! Please join us Wed, February 22 at 9am EST. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the zoom link.
Also, if you are interested in joining, please follow the set-up guide below before the start of the workshop in order to make sure you are ready to go and follow along in real-time during the workshop!
The African Pollen Database community is hosting a series of workshops including practical data tutorials and discussions to help paleoecologists working in Africa integrate these data into research and teaching.
Our theme for Spring 2023 is “using R to understand African paleoecology”, and the schedule is posted here.
Our first workshop will be February 22 at 9am EST. Chris Kiahtipes will be provided a guided tutorial that can be followed live to help you use R and RMarkdown to develop reproducible research workflows for pollen data. This will be ~1 hour. Please register in advance by emailing Chris (email@example.com) to receive the zoom link and a guide to setup your workspace ahead of the workshop.
To see our launch meeting from February 8 that includes a tour of the African Pollen Database on the Neotoma Paleoecology Database, watch this video.
The 9th Mapping Ancient Africa seminar, and first of 2023, took place on Thursday 19 January. The seminar was delivered by Celine Vidal (University of Cambridge) and showcased recent work on the dating of volcanic deposits to constrain the age of hominin fossils in eastern Africa.
Vidal, C.M., Lane, C.S., Asrat, A., Barfod, D.N., Mark, D.F., Tomlinson, E.L., Tadesse, A.Z., Yirgu, G., Deino, A., Hutchison, W., Mounier, A. & Oppenheimer, C. (2022) Age of the oldest known Homo sapiens from eastern Africa. Nature601, 579-583. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-04275-8
Vidal, C.M., Fontijn, K., Lane, C.S., Asrat, A., Barfod, D., Tomlinson, E.L., Piermattei, A., Hutchison, W., Tadesse, A.Z., Yirgu, G., Deino, A., Moussallam, Y., Mohr, P., Williams, F., Mather, T.A., Pyle, D.M. & Oppenheimer, C. (2022) Geochronology and glass geochemistry of major Pleistocene eruptions in the Main Ethiopian Rift: Towards a regional tephrostratigraphy. Quaternary Science Reviews 290, 107601. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2022.107601
Interested in African paleoecology? Want to incorporate African pollen data into your research or teaching?
If you read nothing else, please take this survey before January 25!
The African Pollen Database (APD) has been relaunched, and the Neotoma Paleoecology Database now contains over 200 APD records. Data stewards working with APD and Neotoma have been meeting regularly for the last two years to upload data, but we are now changing the format of our meetings in order to start focusing on helping people use APD data for research and teaching!
We are developing a schedule of practical tutorials on APD data workflows in R, using Rneotoma, and a few other topics to take place over next few months (see this video for general info).
This is open to anyone interested in African paleoecology (students, researchers, teachers, etc)! If you or your students might be interested in taking part in one or all of these, please take this very brief survey by January 25 to let us know. Also if you have other students or researchers you think should get this email, let Sarah Ivory (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chris Kiahtipes (email@example.com) know.
The seventh Mapping Ancient Africa online seminar took place on Thursday 15 December 2022. The seminar was delivered by Chantal Kabonyi (University of Bukavu) and chaired by Manu Chevalier (University of Bonn). The presentation was delivered in French with English slides.
Les trois derniers millénaires d’histoire environnementale autour du lac Kivu: De la dorsale congolaise à la dorsale congo-Nil
[The last three millennia of environmental history around Lake Kivu: From the Congolese ridge to the Congo-Nile ridge]