The ice age in tropical Africa: new results from deep lake drilling
  • Devonport Lecture Theatre, Portland Square Building

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This spring's Mark Blacksell Public Lecture in Geography will be given by Professor Philip Barker from Lancaster University. 

The evolution and migration of our species is closely connected with climate variability over very long time scales. Although lots of hypotheses have been proposed indicating a connection, few have been tested by long continuous records of climate. This is particularly important for the so called mega-droughts, periods of aridity lasting for thousands of years covering parts of the last interglacial period, which coincided with continent-wide migrations of Homo sapiens. An incredible opportunity to study this important time period and other climate events is offered by the laminated sediments of Lake Challa, a crater lake on the flank of Kilimanjaro. Here the first results of 200m long cores drilled by the Intercontinental Scientific Drilling Programme will be presented along with early work that reveals climate variability at scales from that of Milankovitch to ENSO. Evidence drawn from the sediments including from diatoms and isotopes will be used to demonstrate the dynamics of climate from this fascinating region.

Philip Barker is currently Director of the Lancaster University Environment Centre, and has researched extensively on what lake diatoms can tell us about past changes in climate, especially in the East African rift.

The lecture starts at 17:00 and everyone is welcome to attend (no booking required).

This event is supported by the Royal Geographical Society.

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Today's events

The Mark Blacksell Lecture, University of Plymouth, in association with the Royal Geographical Society (RGS)

The purpose of this series of lectures is to bring scholars working at the forefront of geography to the University of Plymouth to present their research to a public audience. The lecture series is named after the late Professor Mark Blacksell, a human geographer with unusually widespread interests and expertise. He was appointed Professor of Geography at the University in 1994, and served as both Head of the Geography Department and Dean of the Faculty of Science before he retired in 2003.

See details of previous talks in the series.

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