Quaternary palaeoecology

How to use microfossils and macrofossils as palaeoecological tools to understand Quaternary landscapes.

Designed for PhD students and early career earth and environmental science researchers, delivered by the Museum’s palaeoecology specialists including Adrian ListerSteve BrooksTom Hill and John Tweddle.


The course will include a taxonomic and palaeoecological review of a suite of biological groups during the five day short course covering beetles, chironomids, diatoms, pollen, and vertebrates.

By the end of the course participants will:

  • appreciate the range of key flora and fauna often preserved in sedimentary archives that are available as a tool for palaeoenvironmental research;
  • understand basic taxonomy and identification techniques associated with a selection of Quaternary fossil groups;
  • understand the value and potential application of reference collections as a tool for Quaternary fossil identification;
  • be aware of the environmental gradients that control the distribution of the proxy groups under investigation;
  • be familiar with the spatial and temporal variation evident within the palaeo-record and appreciate its association with environmental change;
  • be aware of the key strengths and weaknesses relating to the different environmental proxies when undertaking Quaternary investigations;
  • understand and apply the principles of ecological analyses to Quaternary environmental reconstructions.

More information

Course poster PDF (422KB)

Dates and times

A five-day course:

4-8 Feb 2019

Daily: 9.30-17.00

Closing date: 23 November 2018

How to apply

This course is available to all environmental science students. There are 15 spaces available, and priority will be given to those with NERC funding.

Download and complete the application form (Word 22KB) and return it to the address listed on the form by the closing date 23 November 2018.

Applicants will be contacted after the closing date and notified whether a place has been allocated.

Contact us

For more information about course content please contact Tom Hill.

For administrative questions (e.g. travel, accommodation) please contact Laura Miles.

Funded by