Bringing paleoscience and historical knowledge into fire management

Canberra, Australia
Contact person:
Simon Connor, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A workshop titled "Bringing paleoscience and historical knowledge into fire management" will be held on 3 May 2019 at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australia.

The workshop will run from 10:00-16:00.


McDonald Room, ground floor, Menzies Library, Australian National University, Canberra.


The ANU is delighted to welcome Dr Boris Vannière to Australia from late April to mid-May.

Boris is a paleoecologist specialising in fire history and is currently leader of PAGES' Global Paleofire Working Group 2 (GPWG2) and Director of Research at the CNRS in France.

His visit provides an opportunity to organise a topical workshop and to encourage greater Australian involvement in the GPWG2-PAGES network.

Workshop description

Fire management is a major concern in countries like Australia, where catastrophic fires frequently impact on economies, infrastructure and livelihoods. To better understand and manage fire in these landscapes under a changing climate, we need to make decisions based on the best knowledge available.

A vast and largely untapped body of knowledge about fire dynamics exists in paleofire research, ecological monitoring, historical documents and the sophisticated burning regimes practised by Indigenous communities for millennia.

How can we bring sources of long-term knowledge to inform current fire policies and management?

In this workshop, Boris Vannière and Simon Connor (ANU) will showcase recent activities and challenges in bringing paleoscience into fire management internationally.


The workshop brings together people with diverse perspectives on fire to develop a future strategy for effectively communicating our past perspectives and insights to policymakers and management agencies. Following the lead of the Global Paleofire Working Group 2, the workshop focuses on three key questions:

1. Is the recent fire regime unusual in the context of the Holocene and how does it represent a risk for ecosystems and societies?

2. How can we transform paleofire data into understandable products for managers and policy makers?

3. What insights from paleo-perspectives can we use to support decision-making for ecosystem management?

Proposed outcomes

Workshop participants should come prepared to share their knowledge of fire in the Australian environment and contribute to open discussions about science communication. Following the workshop, participants will be invited to participate in drafting a jointly-produced policy document.

A synthesis paper arising from the workshop and a kick-off draft for a multi-approach international project on fire will also be discussed. This is a great opportunity for researchers at all career stages to broaden their international collaborative networks and contribute to more inclusive and sustainable approaches to fire.

Further information

RSVP to Simon Connor: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 29 April for catering purposes.