APD Workshop series launch!!!

February 3, 2023
sji15

Interested in African paleoecology? Want to incorporate African pollen data into your research or teaching?

The African Pollen Database (APD) has been updated, and the Neotoma Paleoecology Database now contains over 200 APD records.   Many community members filled out a recent survey to help us format of our meetings in order to start focusing on helping people use APD data for research and teaching!

This Wednesday, February 8 at 9am EST, we will announce our finalized schedule for the next few months during a short meeting and provide a short (10 minute) walkthrough of the African Pollen Database on the Neotoma Paleoecology Database. Join us live for this short meeting at 9am EST time or check out the recording afterwards, which we will post here.

What: APD Workshop series launch meeting

When: February 8, 9am EST

Where: zoom, for link, email Sarah Ivory

Who: everyone interested in African paleoecology

UV radiation linked to mass extinction!

January 19, 2023
WDG

Recent research into the chemistry of ancient pollen grains has revealed a pulse of elevated UV radiation may have played a role in the end Permian mass extinction event (250 million years ago). To find out more:

APD Workshop Series: R, Databases, and You!

January 17, 2023
sji15

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 (sji15@psu.edu) or Chris Kiahtipes (chris.kiahtipes@gmail.com) know.

The Ecology of the Past: Inagueral lecture

January 12, 2023
WDG

William Gosling giving his oratie “The Ecology of the Past” at the Aula (University of Amsterdam), 22 December 2022.

On the 22 December I gave my oratie (inaugural lecture), entitled “The Ecology of the Past”, related to my appointment as Professor of Palaeoecology & Biogeography at the University of Amsterdam. I really enjoyed the opportunity to mark this personal milestone with some many colleagues, friends and family. In case you missed the event you can watch it online via the universities portal by clicking here (or on the photo).

Note: (1) to flip between seeing the slides and the video feed just click on the screen, (2) running time of lecture until 50 minutes.

Mapping Ancient Africa: Video of seminar 8

December 19, 2022
WDG

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]

Details of this seminar can be found here. You can find more Mapping Ancient Africa seminar videos on the “Ecology of the Past” YouTube channel.

INQUAlogo

Mapping Ancient Africa: Video of seminar 7

November 11, 2022
WDG

The seventh Mapping Ancient Africa online seminar took place on Thursday 10 November 2022. The seminar was delivered by Manu Chevalier (University of Bonn) and showcased his new publication entitled: An introduction to the Climate REconstruction SofTware (CREST) model.

Details of this seminar can be found here. You can find more Mapping Ancient Africa seminar videos on the “Ecology of the Past” YouTube channel.

INQUAlogo

Reference

  • Chevalier, M. (2022) crestr: an R package to perform probabilistic climate reconstructions from palaeoecological datasets. Climate of the Past 18, 821-844. DOI: 10.5194/cp-18-821-2022
  • crestr An R package to perform probabilistic palaeoclimate reconstructions from palaeoecological datasets https://mchevalier2.github.io/crestr/

New insights from a Poaceae pollen morphological study in the Amazon

November 8, 2022
WDG

Open access:

Wei, C., Jardine, P.E., Gosling, W.D. & Hoorn, C. (2023) Is Poaceae pollen size a useful proxy in palaeoecological studies? New insights from a Poaceae pollen morphological study in the Amazon. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 308, 104790. DOI: 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2022.104790

Mapping Ancient Africa: Seminar 7

October 26, 2022
WDG

I am pleased to announce that the seventh online Mapping Ancient Africa seminar will take place on 10 November 2022 (17:00-18:00 CET – please note change of clocks from summer time) 

The seminar will be delivered via Zoom. The link for the seminar can be obtained from the MAA Slack channel or by contacting the chair of this seminar William Gosling. If you want to know more about the Mapping Ancient Africa project visit our web pages and please do not hesitate to get in contact if you want to get involved.

INQUAlogo

Intensification of ENSO frequency drives forest disturbance in the Andes during the Holocene

September 29, 2022
WDG

Open access:

Hagemans, K., Urrego, D.H., Gosling, W.D., Rodbell, D.T., Wagner-Cremer, F. & Donders, T.H. (2022) Intensification of ENSO frequency drives forest disturbance in the Andes during the Holocene. Quaternary Science Reviews 294, 107762. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2022.107762

From new methods to new insights: Advancing palaeoecology with @PalaeoNick

September 21, 2022
WDG

During the delivery of this years BSc Palaeoeclogy course at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) I discussed with a number of students about the nature and purpose of understanding the ecology of the past. This lead me to highlighting the research of Nick Loughlin (@PalaeoNick) from his PhD at The Open University and the subsequent work that he has done. I though it might be interesting to also share this here…

Nick recovers a sediment core for his PhD project.
Nick Loughlin during his PhD field work in Ecuador

Nick’s study sought to understand better the ecological history of the biodiverse eastern Andean flank in Ecuador. To achieve this he went into the field and recovered sediments from a lake and a sedimentary section exposed by a road cutting. He analysed the sediments to reveal vegetation change (pollen analysis), fire histories (charcoal analysis), and past animals in the landscape (non-pollen palynomorphs, or NPPs). To extract extra ecological information from his samples he developed the methodological approach for examining NPPs in a tropical setting (Loughlin et al. 2018a). He then combined all the different palaeoecological approaches to reveal the drivers of vegetation change during the last glacial period (in the absence of humans; Loughlin et al. 2018b), and during the last 1000 years (when indigenous and European human populations radically altered the landscape; Loughlin et al. 2018c). The insights gained from Nicks research provided empirical evidence of how humans have been modifying this biodiversity hotspot on the timescales relevant to the lifecycles of tropical trees. These findings and ideas were collated in his PhD Thesis at The Open University which was supervised by Encarni Montoya, Angela Coe and myself (Loughlin, 2018a). Subsequently, Nick has been working to broaden the impact of his work and to communicate his findings to the broader scientific and conservation community. This has lead to two new publications focused on understanding baseline ecological function and conservation implications (Loughlin et al. 2022, Nogué et al. 2022).

Lake Huila
Evidence of past ecological change recovered from Lake Huila (Ecuador) revealed how past peoples had modified the landscape of the eastern Andean biodiversity hotspot.

The arch of research carried out by Nick, I think, really demonstrates the important of understanding the ecology of the past – without his detailed investigation of microfossils we could not have seen the impacts of indigenous communities on the past Andean landscape, or identify the consequences of the European depopulation; or been able to estimate the timescales of the ecological change!

References

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