The inaugural African Quaternary (AFQUA) conference and associated workshops was held at the University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa between 30-January and 8-February 2015. The meeting was organised by the South African Society for Quaternary Research and the talks and workshops held at the Baxter Theatre Centre and the University of Cape Town Environmental and Geographical Science Department. It was the first African Quaternary conference and it brought together researchers from the South African, East African, West African and North African communities. The sessions focused on:
- African Landscape Evolution in the Late Quaternary: linking data to environment.
- Dating and correlation of African archives of environmental change and archaeology.
- African climates and environments of the last 2000 years.
- Quaternary human-environment interactions in Africa: archaeological, ecological and evolutionary perspectives.
- Molecular-isotopic studies of modern ecosystems and palaeoclimatic changes in Africa.
- Climate change in Africa: inra and inter-hemispheric patterns and linkages.
Several workshops were also offered after the conference:
- Quantum GIS.
- Analysing palaeoecological data using R led by Prof. Steve Juggins.
- Stable isotopes for non-experts.
- Frequency analysis of quaternary records.
- Geoecodynamics – Landscape Evolution workshop – Dr Woody Cotterill
Which provided a basic introduction to the different skills/techniques.
The CELL-50K also held a networking meeting on Monday 2-February which was mainly to discuss dating of archives and the challenges faced.
The plenary talks were given by well established researchers working on the African landscapes for many decades providing a wealth of information to all the participants especially the early career researchers.
Pictures by Esther Githumbi