This week some of the REAL members came together with researchers of the National Museums of Kenya to participate in a workshop in palaeoenvironmental approaches organised by Stephen Rucina, Rob Marchant, and Colin Courtney Mustaphi. The workshop was held at the National Museums in Nairobi.
Some of the REAL members enjoying the sun
Colin talked to us about the basics of palaeoenvironmental research, some of the topics and research question that are typically being addressed and the tools that are used to answer those questions. These included the identification of pollen, modern pollen-vegetation relationships, and the different lines of proxy evidence such as (sub)fossil pollen, fungal spores, and charcoal.
The workshop inspires lots of discussion
Other topics that were being discussed included different software packages for data analysis and data visualization, and building age-depth models. This included C2 software (written by Stephen Juggins at Newcastle University) for the analysis of ecological and palaeoecological data. Rob Marchant joined the discussion later in the week to talk a bit about using palaeo-data to develop future scenarios. Finally, Colin talked about the ins and outs of getting your scientific work published and gave some tips on presenting at conferences.
Proceedings were closed with a short tour of the museum, visiting the departments of Archaeology, Palaeoanthropology, and Palynology.
The participants of the workshop