As pollen analysts who use Fægri & Iversen (1950-1989) “Text book of pollen analysis” will know, Bergen University has a long and active tradition of Quaternary Palaeoecology.
Knut Fægri was active in the Botany department for over fifty years, and in addition to writing the standard textbook for pollen analysis and many other things, worked on pollen from over fifty sites.
The Botany Department has since been merged into the Biology Department where an active group of palaeoecologists collaborate with modern ecologists to understand how, and why, natural ecosystems change over space and time. Our primary goal is to ‘reconstruct the past, study the present, and model the future’ and to study, quantify, and understand the natural variability of ecosystems and the multi-layered impact of human activity.
Our palaeoecologists include
- Hilary Birks who has a special interest in plant macrofossils, focusing on the late-Glacial. She has a built up a huge macrofossil reference collection, which complements our pollen reference collection. Her work was recently celebrated in a special issue.
- John Birks whose work on quantitative methods in palaeoecology is well known and recently celebrated in a special issue. He was a key contributor to the work demonstrating the influence of acid rain on lake acidification. He is also keen on alpine plants and spy literature.
- Peter Emil Kaland who was recently knighted for his work on coastal heathlands
- Aage Paus who focuses on late-Glacial environmental change
- And someone who writes occasionally sarcastic blog posts when not thinking about diatoms.
These staff members are joined by excellent and friendly postdocs and PhD students working on niche modelling and other numerical problems in palaeoecology and trying to reconstruct UVB radiation from biomarkers in pine pollen.
We work in a new building with well appointed laboratories supported by two technicians, and have close collaboration with other palaeoecologists and other Quaternary scientists in Bergen. Including:
- archaeologists at Bergen Museum
- glaciologists in the Department of Geosciences
- climate modellers in the Bjerknes Centre
- researchers using pollen, chironomids and foraminifera in the Bjerknes Centre and Uni Research.
We have a vacancy. Would you like to join us and extend and enhance our work?