XPERT Henry Hooghiemstra

June 22, 2015


Henry-Hooghiemstra-2We are delighted to be able to confirm the University of Amsterdam‘s leading expert in tropical palaeoecology, Emeritus Professor Henry Hooghiemstra, will be giving the first of our XPERT lectures; on Monday 17 August at Science Park 904. The lecture will be open to XPERT participants and other interested people. If you are not a member of XPERT but wish to attend please contact William Gosling to ensure that we have space for you.

TITLE: Exploration of dynamic tropical ecosystems in space and time

Abstract below…

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Andean bear

April 30, 2015


Bear-zoomOn our first field day three of the XPERT team (Valerie, Barry and Sarah) claim  they saw an Andean or spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) in the paramo of the Cayambe-Coca National Park… Valerie did manage to provided some supporting evidence in the way photos.

An Andean bear, or a black dog? An Andean bear, or a black dog? (photo: van den Bos)

For more information on Andean bears visit: Andean bear foundation

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Sediment coring in Lake Erazo

April 14, 2015

XPERT field school is underway…


Lake Erazo Sediment coring on Lake Erazo. Photo by Valerie van den Bos (who spent the flight over reading a book on how to take the perfect photo)

By Alexandra Lee and Nick Primmer

To study the palaeo-environmental record of the Andean cloud forest, sediment cores were taken from the recently discovered Erazo lake. In mixed conditions of blazing sun and pouring rain, 14 researchers, one bus driver and several Ecuadorian guides hauled what felt like a ton of equipment up to the lake 2,300 m asl. In the centre of the lake, a wooden coring platform was mounted between two boats securely anchored at three positions. Using a modified Livingston corer with a drop hammer, five cores were successfully recovered from the lake up to a maximum depth of two metres. The main challenge encountered was the stability of the platform which resulted in several complications limiting the number of cores…

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Introducing the XPERT network

January 16, 2015


The Cross-disciplinary Palaeo-Environmental Research Training (XPERT) network commences in 2015. This international network will bring together early career researchers from five countries to learn new skills and develop collaborative projects. Training will be provided during a field school in Ecuador, and a summer school at the University of Amsterdam. For further details please visit the respective field school, summer school and staff pages hosted on this blog.


Ecology of the past 2014

January 4, 2015

William shortly after a haircut

William shortly after first Dutch haircut

2014 has seen more people visit this blog and more “clicks” through to articles than in any previous year (see Annual Report 2014). So thanks for reading! I hope that the information provided is useful. For me 2014 has been a big year of change; with the largest work related change being taking up my new post at the University of Amsterdam in September.

2015 promises to be an exciting year with a number of key projects generating exciting findings (including chironomid climate for the Neotropics, Andean flank evolution, and ‘deep time’ palynomorphs) , the start of the XPERT network, and new proposals and collaborations being developed here in the Netherlands (including new proposal to work in Europe!).

Any comments, thoughts or contributions on the blog welcome.


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