Annual Discussion Meeting 2012: Quaternary Science and Society

date(s): 04/01/12 – 06/01/12
venue: Beaulieu, Hampshire

Modern Quaternary Science interacts with human society in multiple ways and this meeting draws upon this interaction. Quaternary studies of marine, lacustrine, fluvial, aeolian and glacial environments provide invaluable data for the construction and validation of climate models at a variety of temporal and spatial scales.

Quaternary studies can also reveal how, and why, ecosystems are coupled to environmental change both in the past and potentially in the future. The increasingly close collaboration between Quaternary scientists and archaeologists is providing cutting-edge information on the role of environment in the evolution and dispersal of humans across the Globe. Quaternary Science is also a key part of both the 'Geoconservation' and 'Anthropocene' debates within Earth Sciences. This discussion meeting will cover all these aspects in a range of sessions (see provisional programme below) over two and a half days in the unique setting of the oldest documented forest in Europe.

Call for Abstracts

The deadline for oral submissions has now passed. If you would like to present a poster at the meeting please register online as soon as possible and submit your abstract. Abstracts are a maximum of 300 words and x1 figure is allowed. Posters are invited on any of the session themes or on any topical research in Quaternary science.

Registration and abstract deadline 17 December 2011.

Please visit the meeting webpage (link below) for more information and registration details.

Provisional Programme

Wednesday 4th January 2012

9.00-10.30 registration (including coffee)

10.30-12.15: Session 1 - Quaternary Science & Society: the climate system

10.30-11.00: Eelco Rohling - Sea surface temperature sensitivity to radiative forcing of climate over several glacial cycles.

11.00-11.30: Simon Blockley, Christine Lane & RESET project members - Tephrochronology and testing the timing of Lateglacial climate and environmental change in Europe and the North Atlantic

11.30-12.00: Christine Lane & RESET project members - Testing the response of humans to abrupt environmental transitions using tephrostratigraphy

12.00-12.15: Pete Langdon - Intermittent methane release from a wetland in arctic Alaska during the last ~12,000 years related to environmental change

12.15-12.30: Paul Hughes - Mire succession and carbon accumulation under high tephra loading: a palaeoecological record from Hokkaido, Japan

12.30-12.45: Discussion

12.45-1.30: LUNCH

1.30-3.00: Session 2 - Using past interglacials as analogues for the current warm stage (1)

1.30-2.00: Eric Wolff - Interglacial climate in ice cores and other archives

2.00-2.15: William Gosling - The impact of interglacial climates on vegetation in the tropics

2.15-2.45: Erin McClymont - Interglacial climates as analogues for the future - perspectives from the marine realm

2.45-3.00: Rosie Stirling - A new approach to luminescence dating interglacials: a method to date the entire Quaternary (2.6 Ma)

3.00-3.15: Discussion

3.15-3.45: COFFEE

3.45-5.30: Session 3 - Using past interglacials as analogues for the current warm stage (2)

3.45-4.00: Natasha Barlow - Is the Holocene typical? Assessing the modes of sea-level change during different interglacials

4.00-4.15: Gareth Tye - An annually resolved climate record for the closest analogue to the Holocene

4.15-4.30: Jennifer Sherriff - The climatic structure of the latter stages of Marine Isotope Stage 11: Examples from Britain

4.30-4.45: Darren Jeffers - Palaeoclimate and vegetation dynamics during the last interglacial of the southern Beqaa valley, Lebanon.

4.45-5.15: Jonathan Holmes - Mid Holocene changes in climate, ecosystems and land-surface conditions in the Sahara and Sahel and their implications for 'tipping points' in the Earth system.

5.15-5.30: Discussion

6.00-7.30 QRA AGM

7.30 PLUS Reception followed by DINNER

Thursday 5th January 2012

9.00-10.45: Session 4 - Quaternary Science and Managing the Natural Environment

9.00-9.30: John Gordon & Eleanor Brown - Geodiversity and geoconservation in a changing environment

9.30-10.00: Jim Rose - Quaternary Science and the future management of the Earth's surface

10.00-10.15: Jane Bunting - Palaeoecology and Conservation: words and action

10.15-10.30: John Stewart - The Quaternary Verterbrate Fossil Record and Conservation Biology - Making good use of the Past

10.30-10.45 Discussion

10.45-11.00: Coffee

11.00-11.30 QRA Awards - Croll and Lewis Penny Medals, and Honorary Members

11.30-1.00: Session 5 - Applied Quaternary Science

11.30-11.45: Harry Langford - A late Middle to Late Pleistocene fluvial sedimentary succession at Whittlesey, eastern England

11.45-12.00: Clive Auton - Multidisciplinary Quaternary Studies Applied to Flood Alleviation in Scotland

12.00-12.15: Andrew Finlayson - From ice sheet cycles to urban regeneration: modelling the Quaternary geology under Scotland's biggest city

12.15-12.30: Natalie Ludgate - Cave sediments: novel archives for environmental change

12.30-12.45: Mary Edwards - Promising new DNA approaches to understanding Late-Quaternary and recent biodiversity changes

12.45-1.00: Discussion

1.00-1.45: Lunch

1.45-3.45: Session 6 - Human-climate-ecosystem interactions: learning from the past (1)

1.45-2.15: Andy Dugmore - Societal 'Collapse' in a North Atlantic context

2.15-2.45: Marie-Jo Gaillard-Lemdahl - LANDCLIM 6000-200 - a study of past land cover-climate feedbacks in NW Europe

2.45-3.00: Nicki Whitehouse - The Boom and Bust of early farming communities; linking archaeological and climate change in the Neolithic

3.00-3.15: Tony Brown - The enigma of the burnt mounds

3.15-3.30: Michael Grant & Mary Edwards - Long-term perspectives on an iconic landscape: Origins and future trajectories of the "Ancient and Ornamental Woodland", New Forest, UK

3.30-3.45: Discussion

3.45-4.00: Coffee

4.00-5.30: Session 7 - Human-climate-ecosystem interactions: learning from the past (2)

4.00-4.30: Rick Battarbee - Climate and lakes

4.30-4.45: Giri Kattel - Maar lakes as sentinels of regime shift and adaptability of past ecosystems: lessons for adaptation to future climate

4.45-5.00: Samantha Allcock - Regional integration of lake sediment and archaeological archives: Holocene climate variability and socio-evolutionary pathways in Cappadocia, central Turkey.

5.00-5.15: Rong Wang - Lakes, regime shifts and ecosystem modelling

5.15-5.30: Discussion

5.30-6.00: Coffee

6.00-7.00: Wiley Lecture (Prof. T. Webb);

7.30: QRA Dinner

Friday 6th January 2012

9.00-10.00: Poster Session - include ALL posters.

10.00-10.30: Climatica - a discussion on public-scientist interactions.

10.30-11.00: Coffee

11.00-1.00: Session 8 - Human-climate-ecosystem interactions: learning from the past (3)

11.00-11.30: Zhang Ke & John Dearing - Extending the timescale and range of ecosystem services through paleoenvironmental analyses: the example of the lower Yangtze basin

11.30-11.45: Helen Shaw - The impact of traditional pastoral management: palaeoecological and historical contributions to understanding sustainability, resilience and ecosystem services.

11.45-12.00: Xavier Blas - Holocene Environmental History of NW Spain: Examining the Relationships between Aridification, Land-Use and Societal Changes

12.00-12.15: Hazel Reade - Palaeoclimatic Interpretation from the Isotopic Analysis of Tooth Enamel: Application to the Archaeological Record of Northeast Libya

12.15-12.30: Virgil Dragusin - Possible human activity recorded by speleothem carbon isotopes in SW Romania

12.30-12.45: Helene Ducrotoy - A palaeoecological and biomolecular investigation of Sorghum bicolor domestication

12.45-1.00 Discussion

1.00-1.45: LUNCH

1.45-2.30: Session 9 - Human-climate-ecosystem interactions: learning from the past (4)

1.45-2.00: Frank Mayle - Amazonia before Columbus - Virgin Wilderness or Domesticated Landscape?

2.00-2.15: John Carson - Pre-Columbian raised field agriculture in The Llanos de Mojos, Bolivian Amazonia: a strategy for maize agriculture in an "unproductive" landscape

2.15-2.30: Joseph Williams - Environmental and human activity change in the Cochabamba Basin, Bolivia

2.30-2.45: Discussion

2.45-3.00: Coffee

3.00-4.30: Session 10 - The Anthropocene

3.00-3.30: Phil Gibbard - The Anthropocene - title TBC

3.30-4.00: Ian Fairchild - Definition of the Anthropocene: a view from the underworld

4.00-4.15: Esme Webb - Problems with trying to study the Anthropocene of Western Australia

4.15-4.30: Tony Brown - Views on the Anthropocene

4.30-4.45: Discussion (Anthropocene and overall meeting)

4.45pm onwards, coffee & depart

further information:
Dr Pete Langdon (
+44 (0)2380 594086

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