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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Professor Pete Langdon's Inaugural Lecture: Why the past matters Event

18:30 - 20:30
16 November 2016
Building 67 (Nightingale Building) lecture theatre A (room 1027), Highfield Campus.

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Sarah Yarham on 023 8059 2522 or email .

Event details

Quaternary scientists have long used sedimentary archives such as lake and peat deposits, and the fossils contained within them, to reconstruct past climate and environmental changes. Understanding how warm/wet past environments were, or how diverse past ecosystems were, and how quickly they changed can provide a background onto which we can compare current environmental change. This provides a vital context for how the natural world we live in responds to change, and how resilient it may be to future change. In this lecture, Professor Langdon will present new data from a range of fossil sequences to consider why the past matters. Pete will use these data sources to demonstrate how rapidly ecosystems can respond to past climate change, how they respond to ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ drivers, and what happens when they cross a tipping point. This lecture will demonstrate the power of understanding the past in order to address what lessons we might learn for the future.

Speaker information

Professor Pete Langdon ,Educated at the University of Leeds (BSc in Geography and Geology in 1994), the University of East Anglia (MSc in Climate Change in 1996) and the University of Southampton (PhD in Palaeoecology in 1999), Professor Pete Langdon held a Lectureship at the University of Exeter (2000-2006) before re-joining the University of Southampton’s Geography and Environment as a staff member in 2006, and going on to become a Professor of Quaternary Science in 2015. Pete has broad interests spanning Quaternary Science, and is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on fossil chironomids (non-biting midges). He uses this expertise, coupled with a detailed knowledge of lake sediment archives, to reconstruct past environmental change from a range of contexts and places.

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