CRC Lecture Series 14th January by William Gosling: Drivers of Ecosystem Dynamics in West Africa over the last c. 500.000 Years

Dear participants,
Please note: The meeting location has been changed to HS VI / main building / Albertus-Magnus-Platz and will beginn 5 p.m.”

by Prof. Dr. William Gosling
Department of Ecosystem & Landscape Dynamics, University of Amsterdam

Over the last half million years global climate systems have undergone significant reorganisation, largely due to changes in the Earths orbital configuration, which has resulted in significant modification of ecosystems. The reconfiguration of climate systems has resulted in changes in temperature and precipitation patterns across the globe. At high and mid-latitudes the impact of these climate changes on ecosystems is predominantly driven by the expansion and contraction of ice-sheets. However, at low latitudes the impact of global climate cycles on ecosystems is less well understood, in part due to a paucity of suitable study sites. Lake Bosumtwi (Ghana, 6oN) was formed around one million years ago when a meteorite hit the Earth. The sedimentary record that has since accumulated within Lake Bosumtwi provides a rare opportunity to explore past ecosystem dynamics in a lowland tropical setting. Here I present evidence obtained from the Lake Bosumtwi sediments, and link it with other datasets, to explore the role of fire, herbivores, CO2, temperature, precipitation, and seasonality in driving ecosystem dynamics (vegetation composition and diversity) around the crater over the last c. 500,000 years.

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Event Information:

Date, Time:14/01/2019, 17:00 h – 18:00 h

Location: HS VI Main Building UoC, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne
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CRC Lecture Series 4th February 2019 by Maarten Blaauw: Better use Bayes: A Comparison of Classical and Bayesian Age-Models of Sedimentary Deposits

by Prof. Dr. Maarten Blaauw
School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast

Reliable chronologies are of key importance for fossil-based studies of past climate, environment and human activity. Only when put on a common time-scale can multiple studies be compared, and can spatio-temporal patterns of past events be properly identified and interpreted. However, producing chronologies is not a trivial task, especially if, as is too often the case, funds for dating are limited.

Many studies rely on ‘classical’ age-modelling techniques such as linear interpolation, to obtain age estimates for dated and undated core depths of sedimentary deposits. This method might be so popular because it often provides pleasingly narrow uncertainty estimates – in fact, the longer the distance between dated depths, the narrower the confidence intervals, so, fewer dates give you a more precise age-model! Recently developed Bayesian approaches produce age-depth models that aim to simulate the sedimentation process, using ‘random walks’ between dated depths that can be constrained by limits on variability in sedimentation. They can also deal with outlying dates.

Using a range of real-world and simulated dated cores, we apply classical as well as Bayesian age-models and compare the precision estimates and measures of accuracy, for cores dated at very low to very high resolution. Our analysis shows that classical age-models tend to be highly over-optimistic, whereas the Bayesian models produce realistic uncertainty estimates and are reliable and robust at an impressive range of dating densities as well as scatter and outliers.

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Event Information:

Date, Time:04/02/2019, 14:00 h – 15:30 h

Location: HS XVIIb Main Building UoC, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne

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Lee Clare: Göbekli Tepe – Updates of an Unesco World Heritage

By TeomancimitOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

by Dr. Lee Clare
German Archaeological Institute, Orient Department, Berlin

Göbekli Tepe is a supraregional cult center of the 10th and 9th century BC and is one of the most important and most discussed sites from the transitional period between hunter-gatherers and settled farmers. Recently this year, Göpekli Tepe has been declared as an Unesco World Heritage. The tell contains several megalithic circle systems, partly with T-pillars, which raised many speculations.

Lee Clare leads the excavations in Göbekli Tepe and reports in his lecture about the new excavations and research in Göbekli Tepe.

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Event Information:

Date, Time:17/12/2018, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: HS XVIIb Main Building UoC, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne

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Marie Sophie Tsinampoizina Randriamahefasoa: Climate over Africa, rainfall variability over Southwestern Madagascar

Dear PhD-students:

Fortunately, though on very short notice, we can announce that Marie Sophie will be coming today to give her presentation. Originally her talk was scheduled for November, but had to be postponed for an indefinite period. We sincerely hope that many of you will be able to attend the IRTG colloquium (2:00 – 3:15 p.m.), albeit there was none scheduled today.

Thank you very much!

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Event Information:

Date, Time:14/01/2019, 17:00 h – 18:00 h

Location: HS VI Main Building UoC, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne
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Alexander Gerner: Strata- Geophilosophische Notizen zu Sergio Costa

by Dr. Alexander Gerner
Center for Philosphy of Sciences of the University of Lisbon
(presentation will be held in English)

Within his talk the German philosopher and theater director Alexander Gerner takes up abstract geology as a complementary perspective: strata as a concept derived from geology and made operational in the human realms’ arts and knowledge development. He will present an atlas of friendship between philosophy, science, art and human technology by means of an observational program presented in the painting series “Strata” and other working images of the artist Sérgio Costa. The presentation will present experimental maps, illustrating an enhanced thinking of the concept „Strata: How are we able to experience long-time change?

 

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Event Information:

Date, Time:03/12/2018, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: HS XVIIb Main Building UoC, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne

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Daniela Holst: Subsistence & resource management in the early Holocene

The profound environmental changes at the beginning of the early Holocene worldwide are accompanied by innovations in human land-use, leading to a sedentary lifestyle and domestication in some parts of the world. The talk focuses on subsistence and land-use strategies in the contemporaneous European Mesolithic. Well-preserved archives allow for high-resolution reconstructions and quantitative assessments of the processing and stockpiling of high return harvests of energy rich foods. The hazelnut-roasting camps of Duvensee in Northern Germany form a prime example of Mesolithic subsistence strategies. Their potential implications on land-use and mobility are discussed in context with new evidences. A future research project on ground stone tools will contribute to the complement of our patchy image of the Mesolithic.

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Event Information:

Date, Time:19/11/2018, 16:00 h – 17:30 h

Location: HS XVIIb Main Building UoC, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne

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Martin Theuerkauf: From guesswork to maps – recent progress in quantitative vegetation reconstruction

The talk will give an overview of the main current approaches and illustrate their strength and weaknesses in a number of examples. It will then introduce the new ROPES approach. This method does not require pollen productivity as a parameter, and so may overcome major limitations of the present methods. It is suited to extend quantitative vegetation reconstruction into new regions and pre-Holocene periods, and allows analysis of long pollen records that cover several glacial/interglacial cycles. 

By Dr. Martin Theuerkauf from the

Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, University of Greifswald

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Vegetation reconstruction from pollen data, although dealing with counts and percentage values, has long been a mere semi-quantitative field. Pollen percentages do not directly represent past vegetation composition, because plants species produce pollen in very different amounts and with different dispersal patterns. This bias in pollen data is well known since the inception of the field 100 years ago, but correction for a long time relied on ad-hoc informed guesswork.

Today, a suite of methods is available that enable true quantitative interpretation of pollen data. The methods cover different spatial scales: REVEALS for example aims to translate pollen deposition from large lakes into regional vegetation composition. LOVE and Marco Polo reconstruct stand-scale vegetation composition using pollen data from very small sites. The extended downscaling approach and the multiple scenario approach explore vegetation patterns in landscapes using multiple pollen records.

So far these methods are still rarely applied, however, for a number of reasons. Most importantly, the underlying parameters pollen productivity and pollen dispersal require elaborate calibration and are hence so far available for some regions only.

Event Information:

Date, Time:05/11/2018, 16:00 h – 17:30 h

Location: HS XVIIb Main Building UoC, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne

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CRC-Workshop: How to give a good presentation

Dear participants,

This workshop will focus on improving presentation skills. Please note, that participants must bring an 8 – 10 minute presentation on a subject of their choice.

The content:

  • Knowing your audience
  • Use of jargon Short review of dos and don’ts for slides
  • Importance of a good introduction
  • Leaving a lasting impression: a good conclusion
  • Body language
  • Handling questions
  • Presentation with feedback (trainer/group)
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The program:

  • Introduction and general discussion on previous experience with presentations
  • Review of dos and don’ts for slides
  • Knowing your audience. Use of jargon
  • Break
  • Introduction / Body of presentation/ Conclusion
  • Handling questions / Body language / stage fright
  • Lunch
  • Presentations and trainer / group feedback
  • Break
  • Presentations and trainer / group feedback
  • Review and general feedback

 

The workshop will be held by Jill Yates-Wolff.

 

 

 

 

 

Event Information:

Date, Time:29/10/2018, 09:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Übungsraum 1.313 / BFS 1. Etage, Bernhard-Feilfchenfeld-Str. 11, Cologne

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Good Scientific Practice

Dear participants,
Please note: The meeting location has been changed to “Übungsraum 1 (Rundbau Geographie)”

 

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Boessenkool_Karin

Dr. Karin Boessenkool

Good scientific practice in research and scholarship is essential for the integrity of science. It sets internationally valid benchmarks for quality assurance, which enable replication and further studies by other scientists. And it provides safeguards against scientific dishonesty and fraud. Good practice, thus, nurtures trust within the scientific community and between science and society, both of which are necessary for scientific advance (Source: European Science Foundation)

This workshop is divided into two parts: the first part (02.07.2018) will introduce you to the principles of good scientific practice. An overview of your rights and responsibilities as a researcher will be presented, followed by a discussion about who sets the rules and regulations  (recommendations) for good scientific practice.

In the second part (16.07.2018) you have the opportunity to assess issues related with good/bad scientific practice in a guided group discussion on five different themes (Ideas, Data collection and storage, Data in publications, Publications and the role of co-authors, Review process).

Please refer to the recommended readings below.

The workshop will be held by Dr. Karin Boessenkool (Coordinator of the Geosciences Graduate School).

 

Recommended Reading

Science Ethics:
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Geophysical Union AGU
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Guides for Authors:
Journals of the AGU
Nature Journal
Science Magazine

Data policy:
AGU
Nature Journal
Science Magazine

Peer Review Process:
Nature Journal
Science Magazine

 

 

Event & Booking Information:

Date, Time: 16/07/2018, 14:00 h – 15:30 h
& 16/07/2015, 14:00 h – 15:30 h

Location: Übungsraum 1 (Rundbau Geographie), Zülpicher Straße 45, Cologne

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