New paper on impact of vegetation structure on tephra preservation

A new paper has been published which examines the role of small-scale vegetation structure in preserving tephra layers.

Cutler, NA., Shears OM., Streeter, RT., Dugmore, AJ. (2016) Impact of small-scale vegetation structure on tephra layer preservation. Scientific Reports 6:37260

This paper follows on from fieldwork conducted by the authors in Iceland in June 2015.


The photo above shows one of the field sites from the paper (Fossdalur, in south Iceland) with (from left to right) Olivia Shears (University of Cambridge), Nick Cutler (University of Cambridge) and Richard Streeter (University of St Andrews) .

Another PAGES session of note

Do species move, adapt or die? Exploring past biodiversity, ecological change and community dynamics in the fossil record – The remains of many species are well-preserved in Quaternary palaeoecological deposits and offer the opportunity to explore the formation, development and dynamics of biological communities over long temporal periods and address a range of key ecological and conservation questions. In this session, we particularly encourage papers that seek to explore species and community spatio-temporal dynamics and interactions, spread, extinction and niche evolution, over the different time-scales that apply to Quaternary studies. The session is convened by Nicki Whitehouse (Plymouth Uni.) with Helen Roe, Donatella Magri, Jane Bunting & me. Full details at (session no. 19).


Past Global Changes (PAGES) Open Science Meeting

The theme of the May 2017 PAGES meeting in Zaragoza is Global Challenges for our Common Future: a paleoscience perspective. The aim is to discuss and define the role of past global change science in the coming years. Abstract submissions are now invited. These include a session convened by me (Althea Davies) with Nicki Whitehouse (Plymouth Uni.) and Jane Bunting (Hull Uni.) entitled Palaeoecological perspectives on the role of animals in community dynamics and trophic interactions. Palaeoecology often focuses on lower trophic levels (plants, diatoms), but recent work on the effects of megafaunal extinctions on ecosystem structure and function shows the potential for a more integrated approach to the study of trophic systems over longer timescales. See the session outline (it’s no. 29) and full session list here: