QRA Postgrad Blog

15th QRA International Postgraduate Symposium Exeter 2010

Posted by Pg graduate admin on 18 Nov 2010

 


August 25th to 27th saw the University of Exeter host the 15th QRA International Postgraduate Symposium. This followed last years '8th' Symposium held at Manchester, demonstrating that while the gathered attendees may be the bright future of Quaternary research, basic mathematics may not be their strong suit. The discrepancy was entertainingly explained by keynote speaker Professor Chris Turney during his address, one of many highlights of the 2010 event expertly organised by Tom Roland, Becky Rixon, Charlotte Evans and Mark Grosvenor.


 


The first day, however, began under ominously dark skies, heavy with foreboding. Shortly after setting off for the first field trip site, the impressive 'Punch Bowl' in Exmoor National Park, it rained. Then it rained some more. After a period of reflection the rain decided that since it had built up such a fine pace, it really would be a shame to stop. Of course the deluge did not deter the hardy souls of the group. Dr Stephen Harrison provided a detailed description of the geomorphology and superficial deposits of the semi-oval Punch Bowl, highlighting features that he interprets as providing evidence for a cirque glacier here on Exmoor, probably during the Devensian glaciation.


 



 


The second site visited was the Valley of Rocks on the north Devon coast. The feature runs parallel with the Bristol Channel, and those willing to climb the rocky, winding path up to the summit of an impressive Lynton Slate outcrop were rewarded with views of both the cave-riddled coastline and the dry Valley of Rocks below. The valley probably represents a pre-Ipswichian route of the East Lyn River, which was abandoned when coastal erosion at Lynmouth Bay to the east captured the rivers' course. And still it rained.


 



 


Although not deterring the attendees, the bad weather did slow progress. By the time we reached the last field site of Porlock Weir, the tide had unfortunately covered the tree stumps of the submerged Mesolithic forest in Porlock Bay. The area still offered interesting features along this dynamic coastline, where a marshy lagoon has developed behind a shingle ridge. The sedimentation history of the area appears to record the influence of early upland farming communities and a rising relative sea level over the Holocene period. The group, now happily committed to a semi-aquatic existence, strolled the rain-swept shoreline examining the coastal region until someone remembered the awaiting drinks reception back at Exeter.


 


Day two began with a welcome address by Professor Dan Charman, the QRA Executive Committee's nominee to be the next QRA President, extending Exeter's hospitality to the 31 postgraduates assembled in Geography's Parker Moot Room. Professor Chris Turney then regaled everyone with tales of 18th and 19th Century Quaternary research 'superstars' (some more successful than others), and his involvement in the discovery of a new hominin species on the island of Flores in 2004. Prof Turney's talk included an examination of Early Pleistocene hominin expansion into Australasia, new methodologies extending the age limit of 14C dating and New Zealand breakfast radio and mobile phones. After an entertaining start to proceedings, the day's research presentations began.


 



 


The first two sessions of the symposium were based around the application of geochronologies to Quaternary research, ranging from optically stimulated luminescence to lichenometry. These were followed by sessions on palaeoecology and environmental archaeology. After a short break the presentations concluded with a poster session, giving attendees the opportunity to discuss projects in a less formal setting. 


 



 


The conference meal was held at Exeter Sausage and Grill and was a great opportunity to continue making contacts and to discuss life, the universe and everything. After the meal came much drinking and boogieing, the likes of which Exeter had rarely witnessed before. At least that's how everyone remembered it the following morning. The evening was fortunate to conclude with just the single attendee needing assistance from helpful University of Exeter security personnel - after frisking the delegate for his room key they safely deposited him into his bed.



 


 


Day three continued the high standard of presentations from the preceding day, with sessions based on glaciology and sedimentology, climate reconstruction and modelling, and the Pleistocene fluvial deposits and Palaeolithic archaeology of the Solent River. Throughout the oral and poster presentations two elements in particular stood out. Firstly, the quality of research being undertaken by the postgraduates assembled was of the highest order. Secondly, and just as importantly, the enthusiasm of those attending the conference was evident in the presentations themselves, the questions that they provoked and the general discussions that filled the three day event.    


 


As the final day drew to a close the awards for the best presentations of the symposium were made. Congratulations go to Ewan Woodley (Swansea University), awarded Best Oral Presentation (two years in a row...hmmm!) and Ed Turner (University of Leeds), awarded Best Poster Presentation. In a closely contested vote Durham University was selected to host the 16th (or so) QRA International Postgraduate Symposium, with Vicky Brown taking up the challenge to co-ordinate next years event. Finally, Gunnar Mallon (University of Southampton) completed his two year term as a QRA Postgraduate Representative. Marcus Hatch (Queen Mary, University of London) was elected the new junior representative, joining senior representative Helen Cockerton (Swansea University) in the role.


 


On behalf of all the QRA postgraduates and the QRA itself, we would like to congratulate Tom, Becky, Charlotte and Mark for putting on a superb 2010 Postgraduate Symposium, and thank them for all their hard work throughout the three days. Roll on Durham 2011.


 


Marcus Hatch


Queen Mary, University of London


 


QRA Postgrad Symposium 2010


 

15th QRA International Postgraduate Symposium Exeter 2010

Posted by Pg graduate admin on 18 Nov 2010

August 25th to 27th saw the University of Exeter host the 15th QRA International Postgraduate Symposium. This followed last years '8th' Symposium held at Manchester, demonstrating that while the gathered attendees may be the bright future of Quaternary research, basic mathematics may not be their strong suit. The discrepancy was entertainingly explained by keynote speaker Professor Chris Turney during his address, one of many highlights of the 2010 event expertly organised by Tom Roland, Becky Rixon, Charlotte Evans and Mark Grosvenor.


 


The first day, however, began under ominously dark skies, heavy with foreboding. Shortly after setting off for the first field trip site, the impressive 'Punch Bowl' in Exmoor National Park, it rained. Then it rained some more. After a period of reflection the rain decided that since it had built up such a fine pace, it really would be a shame to stop. Of course the deluge did not deter the hardy souls of the group. Dr Stephen Harrison provided a detailed description of the geomorphology and superficial deposits of the semi-oval Punch Bowl, highlighting features that he interprets as providing evidence for a cirque glacier here on Exmoor, probably during the Devensian glaciation.


 



 


The second site visited was the Valley of Rocks on the north Devon coast. The feature runs parallel with the Bristol Channel, and those willing to climb the rocky, winding path up to the summit of an impressive Lynton Slate outcrop were rewarded with views of both the cave-riddled coastline and the dry Valley of Rocks below. The valley probably represents a pre-Ipswichian route of the East Lyn River, which was abandoned when coastal erosion at Lynmouth Bay to the east captured the rivers' course. And still it rained.


 



 


Although not deterring the attendees, the bad weather did slow progress. By the time we reached the last field site of Porlock Weir, the tide had unfortunately covered the tree stumps of the submerged Mesolithic forest in Porlock Bay. The area still offered interesting features along this dynamic coastline, where a marshy lagoon has developed behind a shingle ridge. The sedimentation history of the area appears to record the influence of early upland farming communities and a rising relative sea level over the Holocene period. The group, now happily committed to a semi-aquatic existence, strolled the rain-swept shoreline examining the coastal region until someone remembered the awaiting drinks reception back at Exeter.


 


Day two began with a welcome address by Professor Dan Charman, the QRA Executive Committee's nominee to be the next QRA President, extending Exeter's hospitality to the 31 postgraduates assembled in Geography's Parker Moot Room. Professor Chris Turney then regaled everyone with tales of 18th and 19th Century Quaternary research 'superstars' (some more successful than others), and his involvement in the discovery of a new hominin species on the island of Flores in 2004. Prof Turney's talk included an examination of Early Pleistocene hominin expansion into Australasia, new methodologies extending the age limit of 14C dating and New Zealand breakfast radio and mobile phones. After an entertaining start to proceedings, the day's research presentations began.


 


 



 


The first two sessions of the symposium were based around the application of geochronologies to Quaternary research, ranging from optically stimulated luminescence to lichenometry. These were followed by sessions on palaeoecology and environmental archaeology. After a short break the presentations concluded with a poster session, giving attendees the opportunity to discuss projects in a less formal setting. 


 



 


The conference meal was held at Exeter Sausage and Grill and was a great opportunity to continue making contacts and to discuss life, the universe and everything. After the meal came much drinking and boogieing, the likes of which Exeter had rarely witnessed before. At least that's how everyone remembered it the following morning. The evening was fortunate to conclude with just the single attendee needing assistance from helpful University of Exeter security personnel - after frisking the delegate for his room key they safely deposited him into his bed.


 



 


Day three continued the high standard of presentations from the preceding day, with sessions based on glaciology and sedimentology, climate reconstruction and modelling, and the Pleistocene fluvial deposits and Palaeolithic archaeology of the Solent River. Throughout the oral and poster presentations two elements in particular stood out. Firstly, the quality of research being undertaken by the postgraduates assembled was of the highest order. Secondly, and just as importantly, the enthusiasm of those attending the conference was evident in the presentations themselves, the questions that they provoked and the general discussions that filled the three day event.    


 


As the final day drew to a close the awards for the best presentations of the symposium were made. Congratulations go to Ewan Woodley (Swansea University), awarded Best Oral Presentation (two years in a row...hmmm!) and Ed Turner (University of Leeds), awarded Best Poster Presentation. In a closely contested vote Durham University was selected to host the 16th (or so) QRA International Postgraduate Symposium, with Vicky Brown taking up the challenge to co-ordinate next years event. Finally, Gunnar Mallon (University of Southampton) completed his two year term as a QRA Postgraduate Representative. Marcus Hatch (Queen Mary, University of London) was elected the new junior representative, joining senior representative Helen Cockerton (Swansea University) in the role.


 


On behalf of all the QRA postgraduates and the QRA itself, we would like to congratulate Tom, Becky, Charlotte and Mark for putting on a superb 2010 Postgraduate Symposium, and thank them for all their hard work throughout the three days. Roll on Durham 2011.


 


Marcus Hatch


Queen Mary, University of London


 



 


 

15th QRA International Postgraduate Symposium Exeter 2010

Posted by Pg graduate admin on 18 Nov 2010

August 25th to 27th saw the University of Exeter host the 15th QRA International Postgraduate Symposium. This followed last years '8th' Symposium held at Manchester, demonstrating that while the gathered attendees may be the bright future of Quaternary research, basic mathematics may not be their strong suit. The discrepancy was entertainingly explained by keynote speaker Professor Chris Turney during his address, one of many highlights of the 2010 event expertly organised by Tom Roland, Becky Rixon, Charlotte Evans and Mark Grosvenor.


 


The first day, however, began under ominously dark skies, heavy with foreboding. Shortly after setting off for the first field trip site, the impressive 'Punch Bowl' in Exmoor National Park, it rained. Then it rained some more. After a period of reflection the rain decided that since it had built up such a fine pace, it really would be a shame to stop. Of course the deluge did not deter the hardy souls of the group. Dr Stephen Harrison provided a detailed description of the geomorphology and superficial deposits of the semi-oval Punch Bowl, highlighting features that he interprets as providing evidence for a cirque glacier here on Exmoor, probably during the Devensian glaciation.


 



 


The second site visited was the Valley of Rocks on the north Devon coast. The feature runs parallel with the Bristol Channel, and those willing to climb the rocky, winding path up to the summit of an impressive Lynton Slate outcrop were rewarded with views of both the cave-riddled coastline and the dry Valley of Rocks below. The valley probably represents a pre-Ipswichian route of the East Lyn River, which was abandoned when coastal erosion at Lynmouth Bay to the east captured the rivers' course. And still it rained.


 



 


Although not deterring the attendees, the bad weather did slow progress. By the time we reached the last field site of Porlock Weir, the tide had unfortunately covered the tree stumps of the submerged Mesolithic forest in Porlock Bay. The area still offered interesting features along this dynamic coastline, where a marshy lagoon has developed behind a shingle ridge. The sedimentation history of the area appears to record the influence of early upland farming communities and a rising relative sea level over the Holocene period. The group, now happily committed to a semi-aquatic existence, strolled the rain-swept shoreline examining the coastal region until someone remembered the awaiting drinks reception back at Exeter.


 


Day two began with a welcome address by Professor Dan Charman, the QRA Executive Committee's nominee to be the next QRA President, extending Exeter's hospitality to the 31 postgraduates assembled in Geography's Parker Moot Room. Professor Chris Turney then regaled everyone with tales of 18th and 19th Century Quaternary research 'superstars' (some more successful than others), and his involvement in the discovery of a new hominin species on the island of Flores in 2004. Prof Turney's talk included an examination of Early Pleistocene hominin expansion into Australasia, new methodologies extending the age limit of 14C dating and New Zealand breakfast radio and mobile phones. After an entertaining start to proceedings, the day's research presentations began.


 


 



 


The first two sessions of the symposium were based around the application of geochronologies to Quaternary research, ranging from optically stimulated luminescence to lichenometry. These were followed by sessions on palaeoecology and environmental archaeology. After a short break the presentations concluded with a poster session, giving attendees the opportunity to discuss projects in a less formal setting. 


 



 


The conference meal was held at Exeter Sausage and Grill and was a great opportunity to continue making contacts and to discuss life, the universe and everything. After the meal came much drinking and boogieing, the likes of which Exeter had rarely witnessed before. At least that's how everyone remembered it the following morning. The evening was fortunate to conclude with just the single attendee needing assistance from helpful University of Exeter security personnel - after frisking the delegate for his room key they safely deposited him into his bed.


 



 


Day three continued the high standard of presentations from the preceding day, with sessions based on glaciology and sedimentology, climate reconstruction and modelling, and the Pleistocene fluvial deposits and Palaeolithic archaeology of the Solent River. Throughout the oral and poster presentations two elements in particular stood out. Firstly, the quality of research being undertaken by the postgraduates assembled was of the highest order. Secondly, and just as importantly, the enthusiasm of those attending the conference was evident in the presentations themselves, the questions that they provoked and the general discussions that filled the three day event.    


 


As the final day drew to a close the awards for the best presentations of the symposium were made. Congratulations go to Ewan Woodley (Swansea University), awarded Best Oral Presentation (two years in a row...hmmm!) and Ed Turner (University of Leeds), awarded Best Poster Presentation. In a closely contested vote Durham University was selected to host the 16th (or so) QRA International Postgraduate Symposium, with Vicky Brown taking up the challenge to co-ordinate next years event. Finally, Gunnar Mallon (University of Southampton) completed his two year term as a QRA Postgraduate Representative. Marcus Hatch (Queen Mary, University of London) was elected the new junior representative, joining senior representative Helen Cockerton (Swansea University) in the role.


 


On behalf of all the QRA postgraduates and the QRA itself, we would like to congratulate Tom, Becky, Charlotte and Mark for putting on a superb 2010 Postgraduate Symposium, and thank them for all their hard work throughout the three days. Roll on Durham 2011.


 


Marcus Hatch


Queen Mary, University of London


 



 


 

15th QRA International Postgraduate Symposium Exeter 2010

Posted by Pg graduate admin on 18 Nov 2010

August 25th to 27th saw the University of Exeter host the 15th QRA International Postgraduate Symposium. This followed last years '8th' Symposium held at Manchester, demonstrating that while the gathered attendees may be the bright future of Quaternary research, basic mathematics may not be their strong suit. The discrepancy was entertainingly explained by keynote speaker Professor Chris Turney during his address, one of many highlights of the 2010 event expertly organised by Tom Roland, Becky Rixon, Charlotte Evans and Mark Grosvenor.


 


The first day, however, began under ominously dark skies, heavy with foreboding. Shortly after setting off for the first field trip site, the impressive 'Punch Bowl' in Exmoor National Park, it rained. Then it rained some more. After a period of reflection the rain decided that since it had built up such a fine pace, it really would be a shame to stop. Of course the deluge did not deter the hardy souls of the group. Dr Stephen Harrison provided a detailed description of the geomorphology and superficial deposits of the semi-oval Punch Bowl, highlighting features that he interprets as providing evidence for a cirque glacier here on Exmoor, probably during the Devensian glaciation.


 



 


The second site visited was the Valley of Rocks on the north Devon coast. The feature runs parallel with the Bristol Channel, and those willing to climb the rocky, winding path up to the summit of an impressive Lynton Slate outcrop were rewarded with views of both the cave-riddled coastline and the dry Valley of Rocks below. The valley probably represents a pre-Ipswichian route of the East Lyn River, which was abandoned when coastal erosion at Lynmouth Bay to the east captured the rivers' course. And still it rained.


 



 


Although not deterring the attendees, the bad weather did slow progress. By the time we reached the last field site of Porlock Weir, the tide had unfortunately covered the tree stumps of the submerged Mesolithic forest in Porlock Bay. The area still offered interesting features along this dynamic coastline, where a marshy lagoon has developed behind a shingle ridge. The sedimentation history of the area appears to record the influence of early upland farming communities and a rising relative sea level over the Holocene period. The group, now happily committed to a semi-aquatic existence, strolled the rain-swept shoreline examining the coastal region until someone remembered the awaiting drinks reception back at Exeter.


 


Day two began with a welcome address by Professor Dan Charman, the QRA Executive Committee's nominee to be the next QRA President, extending Exeter's hospitality to the 31 postgraduates assembled in Geography's Parker Moot Room. Professor Chris Turney then regaled everyone with tales of 18th and 19th Century Quaternary research 'superstars' (some more successful than others), and his involvement in the discovery of a new hominin species on the island of Flores in 2004. Prof Turney's talk included an examination of Early Pleistocene hominin expansion into Australasia, new methodologies extending the age limit of 14C dating and New Zealand breakfast radio and mobile phones. After an entertaining start to proceedings, the day's research presentations began.


 


 



 


The first two sessions of the symposium were based around the application of geochronologies to Quaternary research, ranging from optically stimulated luminescence to lichenometry. These were followed by sessions on palaeoecology and environmental archaeology. After a short break the presentations concluded with a poster session, giving attendees the opportunity to discuss projects in a less formal setting. 


 



 


The conference meal was held at Exeter Sausage and Grill and was a great opportunity to continue making contacts and to discuss life, the universe and everything. After the meal came much drinking and boogieing, the likes of which Exeter had rarely witnessed before. At least that's how everyone remembered it the following morning. The evening was fortunate to conclude with just the single attendee needing assistance from helpful University of Exeter security personnel - after frisking the delegate for his room key they safely deposited him into his bed.


 



 


Day three continued the high standard of presentations from the preceding day, with sessions based on glaciology and sedimentology, climate reconstruction and modelling, and the Pleistocene fluvial deposits and Palaeolithic archaeology of the Solent River. Throughout the oral and poster presentations two elements in particular stood out. Firstly, the quality of research being undertaken by the postgraduates assembled was of the highest order. Secondly, and just as importantly, the enthusiasm of those attending the conference was evident in the presentations themselves, the questions that they provoked and the general discussions that filled the three day event.    


 


As the final day drew to a close the awards for the best presentations of the symposium were made. Congratulations go to Ewan Woodley (Swansea University), awarded Best Oral Presentation (two years in a row...hmmm!) and Ed Turner (University of Leeds), awarded Best Poster Presentation. In a closely contested vote Durham University was selected to host the 16th (or so) QRA International Postgraduate Symposium, with Vicky Brown taking up the challenge to co-ordinate next years event. Finally, Gunnar Mallon (University of Southampton) completed his two year term as a QRA Postgraduate Representative. Marcus Hatch (Queen Mary, University of London) was elected the new junior representative, joining senior representative Helen Cockerton (Swansea University) in the role.


 


On behalf of all the QRA postgraduates and the QRA itself, we would like to congratulate Tom, Becky, Charlotte and Mark for putting on a superb 2010 Postgraduate Symposium, and thank them for all their hard work throughout the three days. Roll on Durham 2011.


 


Marcus Hatch


Queen Mary, University of London


 



 


 

15th QRA International Postgraduate Symposium Exeter 2010

Posted by Pg graduate admin on 18 Nov 2010

August 25th to 27th saw the University of Exeter host the 15th QRA International Postgraduate Symposium. This followed last years '8th' Symposium held at Manchester, demonstrating that while the gathered attendees may be the bright future of Quaternary research, basic mathematics may not be their strong suit. The discrepancy was entertainingly explained by keynote speaker Professor Chris Turney during his address, one of many highlights of the 2010 event expertly organised by Tom Roland, Becky Rixon, Charlotte Evans and Mark Grosvenor.


 


The first day, however, began under ominously dark skies, heavy with foreboding. Shortly after setting off for the first field trip site, the impressive 'Punch Bowl' in Exmoor National Park, it rained. Then it rained some more. After a period of reflection the rain decided that since it had built up such a fine pace, it really would be a shame to stop. Of course the deluge did not deter the hardy souls of the group. Dr Stephen Harrison provided a detailed description of the geomorphology and superficial deposits of the semi-oval Punch Bowl, highlighting features that he interprets as providing evidence for a cirque glacier here on Exmoor, probably during the Devensian glaciation.


 



 


The second site visited was the Valley of Rocks on the north Devon coast. The feature runs parallel with the Bristol Channel, and those willing to climb the rocky, winding path up to the summit of an impressive Lynton Slate outcrop were rewarded with views of both the cave-riddled coastline and the dry Valley of Rocks below. The valley probably represents a pre-Ipswichian route of the East Lyn River, which was abandoned when coastal erosion at Lynmouth Bay to the east captured the rivers' course. And still it rained.


 



 


Although not deterring the attendees, the bad weather did slow progress. By the time we reached the last field site of Porlock Weir, the tide had unfortunately covered the tree stumps of the submerged Mesolithic forest in Porlock Bay. The area still offered interesting features along this dynamic coastline, where a marshy lagoon has developed behind a shingle ridge. The sedimentation history of the area appears to record the influence of early upland farming communities and a rising relative sea level over the Holocene period. The group, now happily committed to a semi-aquatic existence, strolled the rain-swept shoreline examining the coastal region until someone remembered the awaiting drinks reception back at Exeter.


 


Day two began with a welcome address by Professor Dan Charman, the QRA Executive Committee's nominee to be the next QRA President, extending Exeter's hospitality to the 31 postgraduates assembled in Geography's Parker Moot Room. Professor Chris Turney then regaled everyone with tales of 18th and 19th Century Quaternary research 'superstars' (some more successful than others), and his involvement in the discovery of a new hominin species on the island of Flores in 2004. Prof Turney's talk included an examination of Early Pleistocene hominin expansion into Australasia, new methodologies extending the age limit of 14C dating and New Zealand breakfast radio and mobile phones. After an entertaining start to proceedings, the day's research presentations began.


 


 



 


The first two sessions of the symposium were based around the application of geochronologies to Quaternary research, ranging from optically stimulated luminescence to lichenometry. These were followed by sessions on palaeoecology and environmental archaeology. After a short break the presentations concluded with a poster session, giving attendees the opportunity to discuss projects in a less formal setting. 


 



 


The conference meal was held at Exeter Sausage and Grill and was a great opportunity to continue making contacts and to discuss life, the universe and everything. After the meal came much drinking and boogieing, the likes of which Exeter had rarely witnessed before. At least that's how everyone remembered it the following morning. The evening was fortunate to conclude with just the single attendee needing assistance from helpful University of Exeter security personnel - after frisking the delegate for his room key they safely deposited him into his bed.


 



 


Day three continued the high standard of presentations from the preceding day, with sessions based on glaciology and sedimentology, climate reconstruction and modelling, and the Pleistocene fluvial deposits and Palaeolithic archaeology of the Solent River. Throughout the oral and poster presentations two elements in particular stood out. Firstly, the quality of research being undertaken by the postgraduates assembled was of the highest order. Secondly, and just as importantly, the enthusiasm of those attending the conference was evident in the presentations themselves, the questions that they provoked and the general discussions that filled the three day event.    


 


As the final day drew to a close the awards for the best presentations of the symposium were made. Congratulations go to Ewan Woodley (Swansea University), awarded Best Oral Presentation (two years in a row...hmmm!) and Ed Turner (University of Leeds), awarded Best Poster Presentation. In a closely contested vote Durham University was selected to host the 16th (or so) QRA International Postgraduate Symposium, with Vicky Brown taking up the challenge to co-ordinate next years event. Finally, Gunnar Mallon (University of Southampton) completed his two year term as a QRA Postgraduate Representative. Marcus Hatch (Queen Mary, University of London) was elected the new junior representative, joining senior representative Helen Cockerton (Swansea University) in the role.


 


On behalf of all the QRA postgraduates and the QRA itself, we would like to congratulate Tom, Becky, Charlotte and Mark for putting on a superb 2010 Postgraduate Symposium, and thank them for all their hard work throughout the three days. Roll on Durham 2011.


 


Marcus Hatch


Queen Mary, University of London


 



 


 

15th QRA Postgraduate Symposium to be hosted by the School of Geography, University of Exeter, 25-27th August 2010

Posted by Pg graduate admin on 02 Mar 2010


The 15th Annual QRA Postgraduate Symposium runs this year from 25th - 27th August. The first day will include a diverse and interesting fieldtrip to Exmoor National park, incorporating a wide range of sites of interest to Quaternary scientists. The next two days of the conference will provide postgraduates, conducting research in the field of Quaternary science, to present in a relaxed and informal environment to their peers.


 


The aim of the conference is for young scientists with an interest in past climatic and environmental change to meet, discuss their work and foster links with one another, both academically and socially. Both oral and poster presentation slots are available and the deadline for registration and abstract submission is the 9th July 2010. The conference is open to postgraduates at any stage of their studies, whether they are MSc or PhD students. It is not a requirement that delegates present, but it is a great chance to practice for future conferences. The three-day event is always great fun, and there is no better way to meet your contemporaries from other university departments - the evening events tend to be just as interesting as the day's talks!


 


This year's keynote speaker will be Professor Chris Turney, recent recipient of the first INQUA Nick Shackleton Medal for Outstanding Young Quaternary Scientists. Chris will be talking to us about some of his recent research, as well as more generally about his experiences as an academic, and offering advice about pursuing a career in Quaternary research. For those of you know Chris, I do not need to emphasise that this should be a very entertaining talk! Please see the conference website for further details of Chris' career and publications.


 


For more information on any aspect of the conference, or to register, please take a look at our website (www.QRA2010.co.uk) or email us at exeter@QRA2010.co.uk. The Conference Team looks forward to seeing you in August!


Tom Roland


Chairman of the Conference Team


QRA Postgraduate Symposium 2010


School of Geography, University of Exeter


t.p.roland@exeter.ac.uk

8th QRA International Postgraduate Symposium Manchester 2009

Posted by Gunnar Mallon on 20 Jan 2010

The 8th QRA International Postgraduate Symposium was held by students from the schools of Geography (SED) and Earth Sciences (SEAES) at the University of Manchester during 25th to 28th August 2009. Almost forty students from across Europe came together to participate in presenting their forefront research and to discover the wide array of research being undertaken in the Quaternary postgraduate community. Many delegates met on the Tuesday evening for a civilised meal out at Odder, followed by a few drinks. The following morning, with a few sore heads from the night before, we headed out into the field for a day of introductions, discovery and understanding with Dr Jeff Blackford and James Backhouse from the SED.


The symposium was kicked-off with a fieldtrip to two sites just south of Manchester, in north Cheshire. Luckily for us the weather seemed to be holding-out, but even so, us students were not fooled/convinced, especially with the knowledge of a peat bog visit, and so out came the wet weather gear! A short walk brought us to Lindow Moss, a large exposed area of peat bog, currently exploited for horticultural purposes and best known for the ‘Lindow Man', an Iron Age man found in the bog. After Dr Blackford enlightened us with the history of the site and the findings from within it, we had the opportunity to investigate an exposed section of preserved raised mire, enabling a detailed look at Holocene deposits and to have a go at inferring the environmental history through group discussion. Another interesting task involved using a Russian corer and gouge corer to delve beneath the peat unit to try and find the undiscovered lake sediments thought to exist below. It was a race against time between groups to try and obtain a core of lake sediments. Unfortunately it was not to be that day and so the search continues.


Jeff Blackford and the group on Lindow Moss


In the afternoon, a short distance further south brought us to our second field study site, a working quarry at Dingle Bank. Once we'd got dressed up in our safety gear of hard hats and high-vis jackets, we traipsed down into the quarry to observe the exposed sands and gravels. Ironically, this site was visited during the first ever field meeting of the Quaternary Field Study Group (now the QRA) in 1964. Through OSL and TL dating it is thought that the oldest sediments are at least 90,000 yrs BP. Dr Blackford guided us through the current thinking of a fragmented layer full of tree-trunk remains, theorised to be a beaver dam. We were able to see evidence of cross-bedding, ice-wedge structures, laminations, organic horizons and gravel beds, and discussion amongst the group set about uncovering the order events in creating this stratigraphy. Unfortunately, the rain marked the end of our day in the field and we hurried back to mini-buses, where the conference organisers ingeniously supplied us with cakes.


Dingle Bank quarry


That evening, the official opening of the conference and registration of participants was held in the Williamson Building on Oxford Road, where a drinks reception welcomed us together. Once the administrative tasks were done, we headed down Oxford Road for Indian cuisine, on the well known ‘curry mile' followed by a drink or two in a local pub.


During the following two days, fascinating oral presentations kept us captivated through a diverse range of subject areas from palaeoarchaeology to palaeolimnology, and from sedimentology to palaeoecology.


Delegate presentation


Towards the end of the first day of oral presentations, Professor Jamie Woodward from the SED gave the Keynote Speech, providing us with motivation and advice for future research through examples of his work in the Mediterranean. A poster session followed, where authors were required to give a brief introduction to their research before going on to display and defend their posters. It was also an opportunity to have informal discussions amongst members about the day's presentations and to discover shared interests.


Poster presentations


In the evening, the conference meal was held at the award winning Choice Bar and Restaurant in the beautiful setting alongside Castle Quay. The food was delicious and the atmosphere superb; it was an opportunity to relax and get to know people beyond their research. The night was rounded off in true style at a 70s disco where everyone enjoyed a bit of a boogie!


Delicious conference dinner


On the last day, we continued to be captivated further with a variety of presentations on Quaternary studies being carried out by young, fresh postgraduate researchers. It was great to see how enthusiastically people spoke about their projects and it was a fantastic way to share their ideas among peers - an excellent way to build self-confidence. Unfortunately, the symposium was drawing to a close, but there was just enough time to make some crucial decisions about the venue for next year's symposium and to present the awards for the best oral and poster presentations. Congratulations to joint winners, Ewan Woodley (Swansea University) and Alistair Seddon (University of Oxford) for the ‘Best Oral Presentation', Clare Boston from Queen Mary, University of London for winning the ‘Best Poster Presentation', and to the Geography Department at Exeter University who will be hosting the event next year (to be coordinated by Tom Roland). It was also time for Lorna Linch (Queen Mary, University of London), after two years, to hand over her duties as one of the postgraduate representatives. Elected in replacement was Helen Cockerton from Swansea University to join Gunnar Mallon (Southampton University) as representatives for the postgraduate community.


On behalf of all the postgraduates and the QRA, we would like to thank Rose, Debs and Rajasmita for all their hard work in creating a fantastic postgraduate symposium at Manchester University this year and we look forward to welcoming new and existing members at the 2010 symposium in Exeter.


Helen Cockerton
Swansea University


QRA Postgraduates 2009

QRA 8th International Postgraduate Symposium, hosted by the schools of Geography (SED) and Earth Sciences (SEAES) at The University of Manchester.

Posted by Gunnar Mallon on 05 May 2009

QRA 8th International Postgraduate Symposium logo
The conference begins on 26th August with an interactive fieldtrip to the Pennine hills, lead by the dynamic Dr Jeff Blackford and vibrant Dr Phillip Hughes, experts in palaeoecology and glacial geomorphology. For just £10 you will get a leisurely fieldtrip discussing the many geomorphological features in the area, and have go coring peat deposits in the afternoon. The final two days of the conference will include research presentations and poster sessions, which always produce varied, positive and constructive discussion between delegates. The conference dinner will be held on the 27th August at the credit crunching price of £20!! Key speakers on the final day (28th Aug) will include Prof Jamie Woodward, an expert in Geoarchaeological research.


Registration is just £15, which includes lunch and refreshments!! It is a great way to meet fellow students, make friends and discuss your research in a relaxed and diverse research environment. The 3 day event is open to postgraduates involved in any aspect of Quaternary research, from geomorphology to geoarchaeology, palaeoenvironmental reconstructions to glacial histories, and anything in between. For those requiring accommodation the deadline has been extended to the 29th May, for those submitting an abstract/registering without accommodation the deadline is 12th June. Accommodation is en-suite with a continental breakfast included for an amazing £20/night!!So we encourage you to visit our website (www.sed.manchester.ac.uk/QRA/) and apply as soon as possible!


We look forward to seeing you there!


Rose, Debs & Rajasmita
Manchester QRA Conference Team


 

QRA Postgraduate Symposium Liverpool, UK, 2008

Posted by Gunnar Mallon on 05 May 2009

The annual QRA postgraduate symposium aims to provide students with a friendly and supportive environment to develop important presentation and communication skills and to discuss ideas and problems with fellow students. This year, the 7th QRA International Postgraduate Symposium took place from the 19th to 22nd August 2008 and was hosted by students from the Department of Geography at the University of Liverpool. More than 60 students from all corners of the world attended, most of whom gave either oral or poster presentations, prompting valuable discussion amongst the delegates. The conference was officially opened with a wine reception in the evening followed by a night out on the town.


Delegates on Wirral Peninsula


During the two days of presentations a number of very exciting talks in the fields of Palaeoecology, Geochronology, Geoarchaeology, Climate / Environmental Reconstruction & Modelling, Glacial Environments and Sedimentology were given. The first day of talks also saw a poster session, which not only provided insights into further research topics but also offered a perfect opportunity to discuss new ideas and thoughts inspired by the presentations. In addition to the postgraduate presentations, two highly inspirational keynote speeches were given. In the first speech, Professor Richard Bradshaw stressed the importance of combining traditional Quaternary and Biological sciences in order to link climate and ecosystem change for the past, present and future. In the second speech, Professor Frank Oldfield discussed the importance of using Quaternary science, in view of long term processes, reconstruction of feedback and forcing mechanisms and model testing in developing realistic projections of future environmental change.


Presentations


Aside from all the hard work, the symposium provided a great social platform and an excellent opportunity to discover Liverpool. Evening entertainment included visits to the Cambridge ale house and several other pubs as well as a lively conference dinner at 60 Hope Street. At the dinner, prizes for the best presentations were awarded. The prizes went to Abi Stone for her talk entitled "Challenges for optically stimulated dating of linear dunes in the southern Kalahari: scale of De measurement and the influence of single grain behavioural types" and to Gina Moseley for her talk on "Past high sea stands, evidence from Conch Bar Cave, Middle Caicos, BWI". The night was rounded off in a popular bar in the city centre where everybody enjoyed a good dance.


Networking in the common room


On Friday, the conference ended with an interesting trip to the Wirral Peninsula led by Dr. Geoff Thomas and Dr. Richard Chiverrell. Here we explored a series of subglacial diamictons and outwash sand and gravel in a cliff section on a beach, which was followed by a visit to Thurstaston common were we discussed whether the existing features in the Permo-Triassic sandstone bedrock tors were sub-glacial channels or a result of Victorian vandalism.


Delegates on Wirral Peninsula


Finally, the University of Manchester was elected to be the venue for the 8 th QRA postgraduate symposium, which will take place in 2009. The Postgraduate Symposium is a great way to meet other PhD students and to create links with people from many different fields of Quaternary science. It is also an ideal chance to present your PhD research in a relaxed and friendly setting. We hope to see many familiar and new faces in Manchester next year!


On behalf of all the postgraduates and the QRA we would like to warmly thank Ian Thrasher, Katharine Welsh, Lee Bradley and Ningning Li for their hard work to make this year's conference a truly great success and for looking after and entertaining us. Thank you!