I meant to write this post as a retrospective on 2019 at the end of last year, which gradually faded into a hope to publish it in early January. It’s now unavoidably the middle of February and the ‘new’ year is well underway, but so many TPRG things happened in 2019 that a review is still very much in order! Here’s a whistle-stop tour of some highlights…
Farewells and hellos
Both Heather and Richard completed their PhDs last year, so huge congratulations to Drs Plumpton and Smith! In 2019 Heather also spent several months in the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, thanks to a fellowship with the British Ecological Society, before starting work at the Walker Institute as an Interdisciplinary Research Fellow.
While it’s sad not to have Richard and Heather around any more, we’re very excited that Marco Raczka has joined the TPRG as a Postodoctoral Research Associate in Amazonian Palaeoecology (this post). He’ll be working on Frank’s new HERCA project over the next three years. Speaking of which… Continue reading
INQUA 2019, the quadrennial conference of the International Union for Quaternary Research, is taking place in Dublin over the next week, and we’re going to be there! Details of our poster sessions and presentations are below.
Josie has a talk entitled ‘Evaluating the resilience of traditional agriculture systems to climate change in the Peruvian Andes over the last 2000 years’ in the ‘Human-environment interactions in the late Quaternary: sources of evidence and applications 1’ session (29th Jul 2019, 16:45 – 18:30 in Liffey Hall 2, Level 1). You can read her abstract here.
James has a talk entitled ‘Millennial-scale history of Bolivian forest plots’ in the ‘Changing tropical landscape 2’ session (29th Jul 2019, 11:30 – 13:15 in EcoCem, Level 2). You can read his abstract here.
Oli has a poster called ‘Modelling the evolution of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest through the Quaternary in high spatial, temporal and taxonomic resolution’ in the Posters III session (29th Jul 2019, 14:30 – 15:15 in Liffey Hall A & B, Level 1), and is giving a talk called ‘The 3D Pollen Project: a new, free source of scans and 3D-printable models for outreach, engaging teaching, and research’ in the ‘Making the Quaternary relevant: Outreach and education’ session (27th Jul 2019, 16:45 – 18:30 in Liffey Meeting Room 2, Level 1). The abstract is here. You can find out more about the 3D Pollen Project on the project website, or on twitter.
And, while Frank won’t be at the conference (he’s doing fieldwork in Bolivia as part of a major new project – more on that another time), he and TPRG alumnus Richard are co-authors on Yoshi Maezumi’s paper ‘Examining the Role of Natural and Anthropogenic Fire Activity on the Biogeographic Distribution of the Amazonian Rainforest Ecotone (ARE)‘, also in the ‘Changing tropical landscape 2’ session.
We look forward to meeting you if you’re there!
When was the last time you looked around you and wondered, ‘How on Earth did I get here?!’
I had one of those moments – possibly the biggest of my career so far – on April the 10th, in the Royal Institution‘s iconic lecture theatre. In one sense I knew the answer (from Kent via Victoria and Green Park underground station), but even now, two weeks after the event, I’m still trying to wrap my head around how I came to talk about my PhD research from the same spot as such renowned science communicators as David Attenborough, Richard Dawkins and Carl Sagan.
This post originally appeared on the Walker Institute community blog: http://www.walker.ac.uk/news-events/backwards-research-to-move-forwards-with-policy/
Just before Christmas last year I was offered a place on the first Climate Services Academy Training (CSAT) programme. As someone who has been interested in the science-policy interface for a long time, particularly around climate issues, I was delighted with my early Christmas present from the Walker Institute (@WalkerInst on Twitter).
When the programme kicked off in mid-January, I knew I was in for a treat. The first two weeks were spent at the University of Reading where we were taken on a whirlwind tour of the topics we’d need to understand to work on ‘climate services’ (think ecosystem services, but for the climate). Topics included communication for development, international risk management law and governance, livelihoods analysis, politics and political economy, and knowledge exchange. This was followed up by a week of intense ‘scenario days’ where we were given a real-life climate or environment related issue that is currently ongoing in one of the programme’s partner countries (Senegal, Malawi, Ghana and Uganda) to read up on and report back on at the end of the day. I learnt an enormous amount in those two weeks, but we were just getting started.
I’ve found science fascinating for a great many years, and one of the things I enjoy most in life is helping others to catch some of that fascination for themselves. It’s a big part of the reason why I became a teacher before I started my PhD, and I’m so glad that science communication and outreach opportunities have continued to appear since then – after all, research shows it’s good for you, and for others. In this post, I want to reflect on some of the outreach fun I’ve had in the last year, and maybe encourage you to have a go too!
Fascination of Plants Day 2017 – the event that kicked it all off…
I am aware that not many people had the great opportunity like me to attend PAGES OSM 2017. Therefore, I wanted to share some of the key things that got stuck with me after the conference.
There was an outstanding list of presentations and strong sessions. I am not aiming to pick a favourite, but I would like to highlight the following ones: “From the Mediterranean to the Caspian: paleoclimate variability, environmental responses and human adaptative strategies” with convener Ana Moreno et al, “Do species move or die” with convener N. Whitehouse et al, and specially “Disturbance dynamics across special and temporal scales” with convener Graciela Gil-Romera et al. Papers discussed there were largely multidisciplinary, and generated good discussions.
Morillo de Tou – the beautiful location of the YSM
I recently attend the PAGES (Past Global Changes) YSM (Young Scientists Meeting) as well as the OSM (Open Science Meeting) 2017 in sunny Spain. The YSM was particularly exciting – a group of 80 early career researchers met in the Pyrenees, at the restored village of Morillo de Tou.
Morillo de Tou
Morillo de Tou
The spectacular surroundings were matched by spectacular science, with a combination of great talks and posters as well as breakout group discussions and workshops. The schedule was pretty packed, but we made time for some star gazing with local astronomers and a night of traditional Aragon music and “dancing” in the moonlight. Overall, I thought the YSM was an excellent opportunity to meet other young scientists, and discuss issues of particular import to our community.
The Jê group: Farmers and sedentary
This time, written by scientific journalist Marcos Pivetta, this article covers what has been discovered so far by the archaeological research within the project and gives a first glance of what has been found from the palaeoecological research performed by Macarena L. Cárdenas and Frank Mayle.
To read the whole article click here, available in Portuguese. Right hand click in the page to automatically translate in google.
About FAPESP: São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP, Portuguese: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) is a public foundation located in São Paulo, Brazil, with the aim of providing grants, funds and programs to support research, education and innovation of private and public institutions and companies in the state of São Paulo.
The third year of our Je Landscapes project has just started and the team has been full on. This year the project started with a successful field trip in Southern Brazil, and with attendance to international conferences at the European Conference of Tropical Ecology and the Society for American Archaeology in Orlando where oral presentations from the team were made.
Considering also that the archaeological research started back in 2013, it is no surprise then that the project has had good attention from newspapers and media in Brazil lately. Here are links to some of the news and posts we definitely like:
Historia Revelada by Diario Catarinense Includes a video with the reconstruction of the findings
Escavações revelam hábitos de índios que viveram há mil anos no Sul do país Povos Jê by Folha de S. Paulo
Je Landscape in the cover of Diario Catarinense
Expedição Arqueológica em Urubici by EXPERIÊNCIA VMA
And more to come.
We are delighted to announce that we are finally ready to receive abstract submissions for the INQUA ECR Conference and Summer School 2016, at Reading, UK.
We have a wide range of activities and fun things to do at this event that you cannot miss, including lectures from renowned researchers, hands-on-training using models and empirical datasets, and of course the great opportunity to share your own research by giving an oral or poster presentation.
Check the website for more information
INQUA ECR Committee