Paleofires: methods, applications and future developments in Quaternary studies

Dublin, Ireland
Contact person:
Daniele Colombaroli, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PAGES' Global Paleofire Working Group 2 (GPWG2) members will conduct a workshop during the 20th INQUA Congress in Dublin, Ireland, on 29 July 2019.


Wicklow Meeting Room 4 (Level 2)


The workshop, titled "Paleofires: methods, applications and future developments in Quaternary studies" consists of two sessions - 11:30-13:15 and 16:45-18:30.

Places are limited to 30 participants for each session, on a first come, first served basis.


With the growing need in the Quaternary science community to make paleodata more accessible to other disciplines (climate change impacts, landscape management, biodiversity conservation), GPWG2 is promoting new initiatives for knowledge transfer, methods development and cross-disciplinary research to strategically integrate paleofire data with the present and future societal challenges.

This workshop welcomes students interested in developing new charcoal series and learning about the Global Charcoal Database (Session 1: Knowledge transfer), and more experienced researchers interested in contributing to future GPWG initiatives (Session 2: Future developments).

Key-note talks will introduce current approaches for data collection, data analysis and interpretation, numerical techniques to assess the spatio-temporal variability of fire (including the last updated version of the R-package), and strategies for community outreach (Diverse- Knowledges approach).

Who can attend?

We welcome participants across a wide range of disciplines, including archaeology, geography, Earth sciences, paleoclimatology and ecology.

You are invited to bring your own dataset (.txt, .csv or .xlsx file) for exploratory analysis and discussion.

In applying to this workshop, please also indicate whether you are interested in the first, second, or both sessions.

Session 1 – Knowledge transfer "What can I do with my charcoal data?" (1h 45 min). Target: ECRs/Beginners.

This is a mini teaching-fire symposium with quick 10-minute presentations introducing key topics by GPWG leaders.

Learning objectives: principle of charcoal analyses, study design and site selection, laboratory procedures, data analyses (R-package) and data interpretation, data-mining and the Global Charcoal Database, paleofire and applied research in practice.

- How can I get new data? (Mitchell J. Power, University of Utah)
- How do I analyse my data? (Olivier Blarquez, University of Montreal)
- Interpreting my data part 1: fire and human impact (Donna Hawthorne, University of St Andrews)
- Interpreting my data part 2: fire and climate (Anne-Laure Daniau, University of Bordeaux)
- How can my data be used in models? (Jennifer Marlon, Yale University)
- How can my data be used for landscape conservation? (Daniele Colombaroli, RHUL)
- How do I contribute to the Global Charcoal Database? (Boris Vannière, CNRS, Besançon)

Session 2 – Future GPWG directions (1 h 45 min). Target: ECRs/Advanced.

This is a community-driven workshop which aims to discuss current and future research topics of interest that will become the foci for GPWG participants over the next three years.

Currently, three critical needs have been identified that emphasize how best to foster collaborations across communities and disciplines.

1. Building further opportunities to work with the remote sensing community to use fire observations and historical archives to advance the calibration of sediment-charcoal-inferred fire reconstructions from paleofire records.
2. Collaborating with the climate modeling community to understand and potentially reduce the uncertainty of fire aerosol contribution to changes in the Earth’s radiative forcing on short and long time scales.
3. Strengthening ties with the traditional fire knowledge community to address biodiversity conservation and ecosystem sustainability (e.g. the Diverse Knowledge framework).

We anticipate other key topics emerging from our fruitful discussions and related to:

- Fire impact on ccosystems
- Fire-climate feedbacks
- Methodological advancements.

Depending on the number of participants, groups will be split to facilitate discussion among topics.

We warmly welcome advanced ECR across a wide range of disciplines, including archaeology, geography, Earth sciences, paleoclimatology, and ecology to take the lead of some future initiatives. 

How to be involved

Number of participants are limited! If you wish to sign up, please email Daniele Colombaroli as soon as possible: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Daniele Colombaroli
Boris Vannière
Donna Hawthorne
Anne-Laure Daniau
Olivier Blarquez
Mitchell Power
Jennifer Marlon

Further information

All queries can be emailed to Daniele Colombaroli: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.