GAP Celebrates Open Day Success
Study USA Award for Geography Student
Irish Isotope Research Group (IIRG) hold symposium in GAP
GAP’s Professor Bruce Campbell elected to the Academia Europaea
Indian Delegation Visit GAP
Queen’s University Belfast Leads New Research into Malta’s Past
Canada’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom gives annual Eaton Lecture
Fully funded AHRC PhD Studentship
Divis Excavation April – May 2013
GAP Student Wins iPad in National Student Survey (NSS) Competition
Three Lectureships in Human Geography
Discover Medieval Chester: Exhibition and Web-Resource Launch
Archaeologists of the Future Brave the Elements on Divis Mountain
GAP Geography in World Top 100!
QUB Geography Student Represents UK in Sudan
2013 Eaton Lecture
GAP Celebrates Open Day Success
We are pleased to report that we had a very successful response to our Open Day events from Thursday 11th September through to Saturday 13th September.
Programme Co-ordinators, who were ably assisted by several postgraduate students and members of GeogSoc, welcomed visitors to the School and within the marquee. As the attached image demonstrates the large main lecture theatre in the Elmwood Building was full to capacity for one of our School based talks.
The Open Day event closed on Saturday with a Family Open Day. A variety of events took place across the campus and staff and postgraduates
representing GAP were once again in the marquee.
Dr Keith Lilley, GAP¹s Director of Education, presented a School talk at 1.30 in the Canada Room.
The Inaugural International Radiocarbon in the Environment Conference organised by Dr Evelyn Keaveney and Prof. Paula Reimer from GAP, Dr Philippa Ascough (SUERC) and Dr Jesper Olsen (Aarhus University) was held at Queen’s University Belfast August 18-22. 90 scientists from over 22 countries (including Japan, Brazil, China and India) participated in presentations on research involving radiocarbon and stable isotopes in the atmosphere, marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments. The plenary lecture was given by Prof. Ingeborg Levin of the University of Heidelberg (pictured in discussion with Dr Heather Graven, Imperial College London). Most delegates also attended a gala dinner and took part in conference tours – either a trip to the Giant’s Causeway or a tour to Knowth, a Neolithic passage tomb on the Brú na Bóinne tour of the Boyne Valley.
Proceedings of the conference will be published as open access in the journal Radiocarbon. The success of the inaugural conference has lead to the beginning of a series. The next Radiocarbon in the Environment conference will be held in 2017 – the host institute is yet to be decided due to competition between other organisations!
A fully-funded PhD studentship has been offered by QUB as part of the successful application to the ESRC to fund the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study Research Support Unit (NILS-RSU) from 2012 to 2017.
We are delighted to report that our colleague, Dr Satish Kumar, has received a Teaching Award during the recent graduation ceremony held on Monday 7th July 2014. The Award, in the Student-Nominated category, was presented by the President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Patrick Johnston and recognises Dr Kumar's efforts to internationalise the curriculum and to integrate multicultural elements into his teaching. Dr Kumar’s students have also commended him for, “a very stimulating module which … bridges the gap between University life and the real world”.
The Head of School, Professor Audrey Horning, commented: "We are very proud in GAP of our long standing commitment, across the School and in all of our endeavours, to enhance internationalisation through the auspices of teaching and research and Satish’s work is a fine example of this tradition."
left to right: Professor Audrey Horning (Head of School) and Dr Satish Kumar,
Dr Satish Kumar and graduates from School of GAP,
Dr Satish Kumar.
The end of the academic year has been marked within the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology with the annual Prize-Giving and Pre-Graduation Ceremony, which took place on Monday 7th July. Prize winners and family members gathered at the School, before the formal graduation ceremony, to recognise the achievements of both students and graduates throughout their time within the School.
This completes a very successful year and we congratulate all our graduates and wish them every success in the future.
A new book by GAP's Audrey Horning was officially launched on Thursday 26 June at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Ireland in the Virginian Sea: Colonialism in the British Atlantic, published by The University of North Carolina Press, has been described by Choice as 'remarkable' and 'creative' and by Professor Carla Pestana (UCLA) as a 'masterful work' that offers 'a sophisticated and nuanced treatment of the interplay between Irish and American colonialism'.
Further details can be found here.
Professor Paula Reimer and Dr Nuala Johnson have joined the ranks of Seamus Heaney, Mary Robinson, Ernest Walton and Erwin Schrödinger by being elected to the Royal Irish Academy. The Royal Irish Academy, which was founded in 1785, has over 480 Members and is considered to be the principal learned society in Ireland. Membership of the RIA is the highest academic honour in Ireland and is awarded to those who have attained the highest level of distinction in education and research. Amongst the newly elected Academy members are experts representing the Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities.
GAP Head of School Professor Audrey Horning noted that ‘the election of Professor Reimer and Dr Johnson to the Royal Irish Academy is a fantastic achievement that recognizes the reach and import of their individual research but also reflects very positively on the academic excellence of the School. We are delighted with their success.’
Dr Johnson participated in the admittance ceremony, which was held on Friday 30th May 2014. Professor Reimer is currently out of the country on business and is expected to take part in the forthcoming admittance ceremony. Further information about the Royal Irish Academy can be found here
Northern Ireland in Transition 1991-2011
A fully-funded PhD studentship has been offered by QUB as part of the successful application to the ESRC to fund the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study Research Support Unit (NILS-RSU) from 2012 to 2017. It is focused around the general theme of ‘Northern Ireland in Transition 1991-2011'. This was a key part of the research and dissemination agenda described in the application. It is hoped to that the studentship will commence in Autumn 2014 to take advantage of the full linkage of the 1991 Census data to the NILS.
The NILS is a large-scale longitudinal data linkage study. It covers 28% of the Northern Ireland population (based on a sample of 104/365 birthdates drawn from health cards) and has approximately 500,000 members. It is a powerful resource for health, social, demographic and labour market research through time and can be used for finely-grained spatial analysis given its sample size. The linkage of 2011 Census data to the NILS was completed in Autumn 2013 and the linkage of the 1991 Census data will be finalised by Autumn 2014. Full details of the resource, its uses to date, and the routes to accessing it are available here .
The Application Process
The studentship is planned to complement a wider programme of research on change in Northern Ireland 1991-2011. Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates with strong quantitative backgrounds from any social science discipline (for example, Human Geography, Sociology, Politics, and Public Health/Epidemiology). Applicants are encouraged to develop their own topic under the general rubric of ‘Northern Ireland in Transition'.
Applications should demonstrate an awareness of the research potential of longitudinal data, an understanding of suitable analytical approaches and statistical methods, and an awareness of how the NILS can be used to address the proposed research topic. In more detail, applications should contain the following elements:
The closing date for applications is June 1st, 2014 with interviews to take place within a month of this date. Dr Ian Shuttleworth (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will be the main supervisor, is available to answer informal queries. His research interests include residential segregation, labour market change, political demography, and migration at various spatial scales.
ALL applications (identifying referees) are submitted via the Queen’s University postgraduate application portal.
Suggested possible research topics include:
This topic list is by no means exhaustive and applicants are therefore encouraged to develop their own ideas in consultation with Dr Shuttleworth and the staff of the NILS-RSU (email@example.com). Suitable second supervisors will be selected from relevant academic staff in QUB according to the research topics identified by the successful candidates.
Queen's University Belfast -School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology
This post is available to undertake research and teach in any aspect of physical geography, geomorphology, oceanography, climate modelling, environmental science and related disciplines which will complement, diversify or enhance research activities in the Environmental Change research cluster and the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology.
The Environmental Change research cluster maintains an extensive array of equipment for field and laboratory research, including EA-IRMS for stable isotopes (C&N), X-ray diffraction, field x-ray fluorescence, laser scanners, geophysics (gamma-ray, resistivity, magnetometry, ground-penetrating radar), particle size analyser, ion chromatography, simulated weathering equipment, palaeoecological laboratories, core storage, a full range of light microscopes, access to SEM, and an AMS dedicated for radiocarbon-dating.
Anticipated interview date:
week commencing Monday 23 June 2014
Salary scale: £33,562 - £49,216 per annum (including contribution points)
Closing date: Monday 9 June 2014
Please visit our website for further information or contact
Queen’s University Belfast,
Telephone (028) 90973044
FAX: (028) 90971040
The University is committed to equality of opportunity and to selection on merit. It therefore welcomes applications from all sections of society and particularly welcomes applications from people with a disability.
The joint QUB-UCD Early Medieval Archaeology Project financed by the Heritage Council reached an important milestone with the publication of Early Medieval Ireland 400-1200: The evidence from excavations. The book was launched 22nd of May by Prof. Martin Carver at the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, the publishers of the volume. The book, written by Finbar McCormick and Thomas Kerr of QUB and Aidan O’Sullivan and Lorcan Harney of UCD, provides a radical new interpretation of settlement, trade and craftwork in Early Medieval Ireland in Ireland based on the huge amount of excavations that occurred in Ireland during the first decade of this century. The books is the first in Europe to provide a comprehensive overview of early medieval excavations in any country.
“This is without doubt a significant – indeed outstanding – contribution to the study of early-medieval Ireland. It is an excellent piece of scholarship and will become a fundamental handbook for the understanding of the period” Michael Ryan
“A work of fundamental scholarship that other countries will envy” Martin Carver
"Mapping Alternative Ulster" is a new exhibition at the Ulster Museum.
Featured among the exhibition's maps and mappings, is the work of GAP PhD student, Catherine Porter, whose doctoral research explores historic maps of Ireland using GIS. One of the maps analysed by Catherine - a Plantation map of Loughinsholin, by Josias Bodley - was selected for display by the exhibition's curator, Garrett Carr. As well as Catherine's contribution to Mapping Alternative Ulster, Dr Keith Lilley, Reader in Historical Geography in GAP, will be giving a public lecture as part of a series of events tied into the exhibition. The lecture is on 'looking behind the map'.
Further details on the Mapping Alternative Ulster exhibition can be found at here.
The exhibition runs from Thursday 8 May 2014 - Sunday 22 June 2014.
In a new book, just published by Johns Hopkins University Press, David Livingstone uses place, politics, and rhetoric as analytical tools to investigate how religious communities sharing a Scots Presbyterian heritage engaged with Darwin and Darwinism at the turn of the twentieth century. His findings, recently presented as the prestigious Gifford Lectures, transform our understandings of the relationship between science and religion.
We are delighted to announce that Nuala Johnson, Reader in Human Geography, and Paula Reimer, Professor and Director, Centre for Climate, the Environment & Chronology (14CHRONO), have been elected Members of the Royal Irish Academy in recognition of their outstanding contributions to scholarship. Membership of the Royal Irish Academy is the highest academic honour in Ireland and provides public recognition of academic excellence. It is restricted to a small group of academics in Ireland who set the highest standards in academic scholarship. This achievement is richly deserved and the School is proud of Paula's and Nuala’s success.
The latest QS World University Subject Rankings (2014) once again places QUB Geography in the World Top 100. This consolidates a steady improvement in the recognition of QUB Geography from a placing of 151-200 three years ago to the 51-100 placing last year. The survey confirms Geography’s reputation among academics and employers. GAP is proud of this continued international recognition of our strength in research and teaching.
The School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology recently played host to three prominent business leaders from Northern Ireland who each delivered a presentation on the theme of the “The Role of the Entrepreneur in Transforming a City”. This topic was discussed as part of the final year module, Spaces of Urbanisation in Emerging Economies and Sustainable Development.
David Gavaghan, Chief Executive of Titanic Quarter, Liam Lynch from LL Systems and Rose Mary Stalker, Chartered Engineer and INI Board member took time to share their experiences with final year students about how they have seen cities around the world transformed by enterprise. David Gavaghan, who led the lecture, highlighted the importance of ‘entrepreneurship’ and its impact in other countries using examples from China, which has been substantially transformed in the last 20 years. David said, ‘I would encourage each of you to go out and see the world, but then to come back to Northern Ireland and apply everything you have learned to help grow our cities and economy.’
As well as discussing the transformation of the Titanic Quarter and the current Colin Community Project in Belfast, the group also took time to talk to students about their career aspirations.
They offered the students advice about how to get started in their careers and gave examples of areas they could start to work within, which will help them foster successful careers. In addition to this the speakers also encouraged the students to gain valuable experience through internships with the Titanic Quarter and Colin Community Projects.
Queen’s Senior Lecturer Dr M. Satish Kumar, who coordinates the module said, ‘It is increasingly important for students to consider the significance of a very good degree in Geography. To pursue future careers early and to plan how they can use the skills and experience from their courses in order to progress in life.’
Student feedback following the event was extremely positive:
I found the talk extremely useful overall. It was very interesting to see how each of the presenters’ individual journeys evolved and led them to different occupational posts. They were very engaging to listen to and highlighted key issues, which I took advice on in terms of job opportunities.
I found todays class very interesting and relevant to today’s culture, it helped me gain perspective on how certain areas of business work and how different people do things to help people gain the right to the city or feel included e.g. the Colin area and the skate park. It was very stimulating and all three speakers had my full attention throughout. I’ve learnt it is important to take certain steps to attain a goal you may set in your life but it needs to be something you feel confident about.
I found the lecture very beneficial and it has made me think about a career in the development of Belfast City and about staying in Belfast.
I can honestly say that this was one of the best lectures I've had at Queen's. To be honest I didn't expect to learn much going into the lecture because previously I felt that I had to have my career plan made by this stage, and I am glad that the three speakers reassured us that they had no final idea of what they would be doing at the stage of development that I am currently at.
Although I have never been pressured to go down any particular career path it has made me realise that I can look for employment that interests me rather than something to do just to earn a living, this I think was the most important lesson I learnt from today.
The Titanic Quarter talk was extremely beneficial in boosting my outlook for the future with regards to my career path. Each of the individuals spoke with the intention of inspiring our student body, this was encouraging in the context of an extremely stressful year.
The Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork, Queen’s University Belfast, has begun a new excavation in Carrickfergus Castle. The excavations, which are being carried out on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency: Built Heritage (NIEA), will last for three weeks. It is hoped that the investigations will uncover new information about the castle and further enhance visitor experience at the monument. The excavations will take place in two locations within the castle- the Inner and Outer Wards. The main excavation in the Inner Ward is centred on the presumed location of the Great Hall, one of the most important buildings of the Medieval Castle. The excavations in the Outer Ward will provide new information about the nature of and depth of archaeological structures and features in this part of the Castle. Carrickfergus Castle is the best-preserved Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. It has a long history and has been continuously occupied for more than 800 years since it was constructed in the late twelfth century by John de Courcy. Although the excavations will be fenced off for safety purposes, visitors to Carrickfergus Castle will still be able to view the excavations as they take place and see what the archaeologists are uncovering.
David Livingstone, Professor of Geography & Intellectual History, is to deliver the prestigious Gifford Lecture Series in Aberdeen, starting on 17 February. Since their inception, the Gifford Lectures have become the foremost intellectual event dealing with religion. science and philosophy. Past lecturers have included scholars such as Hannah Arendt, Karl Barth, Iris Murdoch, Martha Nussbaum, Alvin Plantinga, Michael Polanyi and Paul Ricoeur. In his lectures, David will examine the role of place, politics and rhetoric in the way religious communities sharing a Scots Presbyterian heritage engaged with Darwinism in different venues - Edinburgh, Belfast, Columbia and Princeton. The lectures intend to subvert the perennial inclination of many to speak of the relationship between science and religion - not least in our own day.
The lectures will be available for download in due course.
Details of a prestigious €2.5M research grant awarded to scholars at Queen’s University Belfast have been unveiled.
Led by Dr Caroline Malone from Queen’s School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, the international study is examining prehistoric society on the island of Malta. Academics will not only be researching Malta from the first occupation of Neolithic farmers around 5,500BC until medieval times, but will also be looking at how to ensure long-term conservation.
New research from Queen’s University Belfast shows that the tropical forests of South East Asia have been shaped by humans for the last 11,000 years.
The rain forests of Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Thailand and Vietnam were previously thought to have been largely unaffected by humans, but the latest research from Queen’s Palaeoecologist Dr Chris Hunt suggests otherwise.
Back Row: Dr Ulrich Ofterdinger, Professor Keith Bennett (HoS), Professor Tom Millar (Dean EPS), Dr Damian Fogarty, Dr Chris Hunt.
Front Row: Chloe Floyd, MLA Sean Rogers, Dr Jennifer McKinley, Mr Conor Graham.
South Down MLA Sean Rogers visited Queen’s University Belfast on Friday 10th January as part of the Politics Plus MLA-Scientist pairing initiative, which aims to help MLAs establish links with scientists and to help scientists understand political decision-making and how they can influence policy development.
Mr Rogers has been paired with Dr Jennifer McKinley from the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology (GAP) who is currently involved in research into soil associations and health in collaboration with the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry and the Renal Disease Research Group.
During his visit Mr Rogers joined researchers from GAP in discussions about Health and the Environment.
It is anticipated that through this Pairing Initiative scientists will inform MLAs about their area of expertise and gain an understanding of how the Northern Ireland Assembly works, how legislation is made and how they may inform the process. Northern Ireland is the first regional assembly to roll out the scheme, which will focus on geosciences.
Applications are invited for a full-time lectureship in Human Geography in the School of GAP, Queen’s University. The successful applicant will contribute to the research programme of the Society, Space and Culture Research Cluster and to the School’s teaching and administration/outreach activities. Applications are welcome from persons with research interests in any aspect of Human Geography but preference may be given to those whose research focuses on (i) the geographies of science and society, (ii) political geography or (iii) population studies and who will complement or enhance the research activities of the Society, Space and Culture Research Cluster.
It is anticipated that interviews will take place on 21 March 2014.
Closing date: 3 March 2014
Andrew Bell has received the Association of Geographical Information (AGI) Student of the Year for his Integrated spatial approach using GIS for Slope Risk Assessment – The Roads Service Model
Simon Wheeler, Northern Ireland AGI representative presented the award to Andy.
GAP's International Professor of Political Geography 2012-14, John Agnew (and UCLA's Distinguished Professor of Geography) has been elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in the Section of Geology and Geography. This honour marks Professor Agnew's outstanding research contribution in the fields of political and economic geography. Warm congratulations from the School of GAP.
Queen’s University Belfast is a partner in a new £11.2m investment programme creating the next generation of researchers in the arts and humanities.
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has awarded Queen’s, and its partners in Newcastle University and Durham University, funding to create the new Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership (NBDTP).
The NBDTP will fund around 157 doctoral studentships over the next five years. These will be allocated by an open competition with the first successful cohort of NBDTP students taking up their awards in September 2014 .
The School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology forms part of the NBDTP. The School seeks applications from suitably qualified candidates wishing to submit a PhD proposal as part of the application process in an open competition for AHRC studentships.
Intending applicants are advised first to contact a suitable potential supervisor in their desired area of arts and humanities research within the disciplines of geography and archaeology in the School. Information on research strengths in these areas are outlined in the Society, Space and Culture, and Past Cultural Change research clusters.
Further details on the application process will be announced shortly.
Professor Emeritus Fred Boal's landmark paper 'Territoriality on the Shankill-Falls divide', published over 40 years ago in Irish Geography, features in the "Classics in Human Geography Revisited" section of Progress in Human Geography. This is a testament to the paper's significance in setting the agenda for research on the social geography of divided cities in general and of Belfast on the cusp of the 'Troubles' in particular.
A fully-funded (fees and maintenance) PhD studentship is now open for applications from suitably qualified students.
The title of the funded doctoral project is “Pollen stratigraphy and taphonomy at Shanidar Cave, Kurdish Iraq". The studentship is funded by The Leverhulme Trust. For further information click here
Closing date for applications is 22nd November 2013.
For further details about the project please contact Dr Chris Hunt
Queen’s University Geography student Lucy Trotter celebrated being named ‘Student of the Year’ at a recent graduation ceremony for the Study USA programme. Lucy is pictured with the other finalists.
Left to right: Sinead Loughran (QUB Law), Roisin McSparron (UUC), Henry Robinson (QUB Law) and Rachel Scullion (QUB English).
Front and centre: Lucy Trotter and Dr Stephen Farry Minister for Employment and Learning
Queen’s University Geography student Lucy Trotter is celebrating after being named ‘Student of the Year’ following her completion of the Study USA programme.
Lucy, from York, was one of 72 students who took part in the year long programme, which is organised by the British Council and gives higher education students in Northern Ireland the opportunity to study business related modules in a number of US universities.
From the total cohort, five students were selected based on achieving top academic marks and given the opportunity to complete an essay highlighting how their experience has helped further their employability. Four of the finalists were from Queen’s University and came from a range of disciplines including Geography, Law and English.
Lucy explains, ‘The essay was about how the Study USA programme helped my employability, which I found quite easy to write, as it was a fantastic experience and it has helped me in a number of different ways. For example I will be able to show future employers that I can adapt to new situations and structures and quickly pick up new skills, as I demonstrated in studying in a different discipline for the first time. Also the American education system has a greater work load which involved managing my time effectively in order to achieve my results.’
The award was announced at a graduation ceremony in Belfast, which was attended by the students who took part in the programme along with British Council representatives, sponsors and Dr Stephen Farry, Minister for Employment and Learning.
Patrick Black from the British Council coordinated the Study USA programme and said,
‘The standard of the students taking part in the programme is extremely high and all the students who undertake the programme benefit from the experience. Lucy and the finalists all achieved excellent results and we hope that this will help them as they continue in their studies and future employment.’
Past students, from the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, have used the Study USA experience as an opportunity to further develop their own career plans and, combined with their undergraduate degree learning, it has helped them to secure graduate level employment in the IT, public and voluntary sectors.
If you would like to know more about the Study USA programme please click here
The newly established Irish Isotope Research Group (IIRG) held a symposium in GAP on 18 October 2013 chaired by Prof. Paula Reimer (QUB). Dr Jacqueline Cahill-Wilson (Discovery Programme) opened with a short background on the IIRG, followed by presentations on isotopic methods by Prof. Richard Evershed (University of Bristol), Dr Peter Ditchfield (University of Oxford) and Dr Thomas Kador (University of Bristol).
The IIRG meeting followed with discussion on standardisation of protocols, improvements to export licensing of samples and potential avenues for funding research students and postdocs.
We are delighted with the news that Bruce Campbell, Professor of Medieval Economic History in the School of Geography, Archaeology & Palaeoecology at Queen's University, has been invited to become a member of the Academia Europaea at elections in September 2013. This honour is in recognition of Professor Campbell’s outstanding scholarly contribution to our understanding of Medieval agrarian economies.
A high powered delegation from India is visiting Queen's this week as part of the University’s initiative to develop Queen’s Academy India (QAI). Over the next four years the Academy will train up to 250 Indian students and university faculty to help expand the number of new, well-qualified university staff available in the North Eastern region of the country. During their visit the delegation were given a tour of the CHRONO 14 facility within the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology.
A research group, led by Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), has been awarded €2.49m from the Framework 7 European Research Council (ERC) to undertake a 5 year programme examining sustainability in the prehistory of Malta. This is one of only 50 grants awarded this year for research in the humanities and social sciences and is the first ERC grant to include Malta.
The project, which began in May 2013, culminates a 25-year collaboration that has already made important discoveries about the early Maltese communities and comprises nineteen senior scholars from QUB, Cambridge University, the University of Malta, the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage and Heritage Malta (National Museum of Archaeology). It is expected that the project will give rise to a significant legacy, not only in understanding early Malta, but also through formulating informed strategies to ensure long-term conservation and care of vulnerable heritage in this and other island settings.
Leading the project from QUB’s School of Geography, Archaeology & Palaeoecology, Dr Caroline Malone explains the work of the research group;
‘The title of the project is Fragility and Sustainability in restricted island environments: Adaptation, Culture Change and Collapse in prehistory (FRAGSUS). The team will explore the changing environmental and cultural background of Malta during prehistory from the first occupation of Neolithic farmers around 5500BC until medieval times. Previous studies conducted by Professor Patrick J. Schembri (University of Malta) and Dr Chris Hunt (QUB) have already demonstrated that the climate and environment were unstable during the last few millennia BC and that instability would have impacted on the lives of prehistoric societies. New work has commenced with a series of pollen cores extracted from across Malta that will build a detailed understanding of the changing flora/vegetation of the islands.’
Excavation in the area has already extracted tiny invertebrates such as snails and insects that will allow researchers to reconstruct the changing ecology at different periods. The staff at QUB will use their specialist 14CHRONO lab in Belfast to provide expertise in dating both environmental and archaeological materials. This will allow for an accurate chronology for early Malta from Bayesian statistical studies that will link the natural and human worlds together.
Archaeological studies within the project will focus on landscapes and the remains of the ancient population. Researchers will study sites and settlements of the early Maltese to assess how the prehistoric people developed the socio-cultural resilience that sustained them during hard times. Examination of the early economy may identify changes in farming systems whilst analysis of human bones will reveal diet, disease and population structure of the ancient Maltese.
Head of School for Geography, Archaeology & Palaeoecology (GAP), Professor Keith Bennett commented;
‘The FRAGSUS project is an excellent demonstration of the value of the close collaborative relationships between archaeologists and environmental scientists that underlie GAP research activity. We are delighted to be taking the lead role in this international research partnership.’
Students within the School of GAP have opportunities, throughout their studies, to be involved in international research projects including the FRAGSUS project.
In addition to this GAP students may participate in fieldwork in Malta and other research sites, as well as undertaking analysis work on research samples, using the School’s state of the art facilities.
For further information on courses and further research projects undertaken by the School, please visit www.qub.ac.uk/gap.
For further information about the FRAGSUS Project visit - http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/FRAGSUS/
Mr Gordon Campbell, High Commissioner of Canada to the UK, delivered this year’s Eaton Lecture at the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology. He spoke on the subject of ‘Think anew, act anew: the five ‘A’s’ of the 21st century. Asia, aging, atmosphere, Arctic and arithmetic’. The Eaton Lecture was endowed by the Governors of the Eaton Foundation of Toronto and is held annually at Queen’s University, Belfast. The first Lecture was delivered by Dr. Fredrik Eaton O. Ont. on 12 May 1994. Further information about this year’s distinguished lecturer is available here.
We are looking forward to welcoming you to the School in September.
The School Welcome and Orientation Programme begins on Monday 23rd September, although many of you will be going to University-wide events in the days beforehand – we hope you enjoy both and find them helpful.
We have a number of events organised through the week that will help you to adjust to University life and get the most from your studies. You will have received a copy of this with your Welcome Letter, and it is also available below.
These events include meetings with your Advisor of Studies, Personal Tutors, the Archaeology and Geography societies, computing and library staff, and Year 1 module coordinators.
We will update this page over the next week, so please check for any extra information we feel maybe beneficial to you.
This runs from Monday 23rd to Thursday 26th September. You will receive help from your Advisor of Studies with your academic registration and timetable, meet your Personal Tutor, learn about the resources and support services available to you as a QUB student, and meet staff and students in the School as well as the wider University community like the Students Union and Community Living.
Welcome Week is an essential start to your time here, where you will obtain further information on how your timetable works (you will already have the dates and times as part of your registration); obtain advice on beginning your studies; meet other students in your classes.
If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. You can e-mail the School on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are trying to enrol on elective modules and are having difficulties, please be advised that this requires departmental consent and this can be arranged during your appointment with your advisor of studies which will take place on the first few days of Welcome Week.
A new online interactive historical atlas of the city of Derry/Londonderry is now available. The 'Digital Atlas of Derry/Londonderry' is the result of a collaborative project between Queen’s University Belfast, the Royal Irish Academy, and Derry City Council, and forms part of Derry’s 2013 ‘UK City of Culture’ programme.
Using state of the art digital technologies, the atlas allows users to explore and navigate the changing urban landscapes of Derry over five centuries. Keith Lilley, Conor Graham and Lorraine Barry in the School of Geography, Archaeology & Palaeoecology developed the digital content and online delivery of the atlas, which is the first of its kind as part of a European-wide project producing historic towns atlases.
Ensuring the effective restoration and conservation of some of our best-loved buildings involves understanding the longterm changes that occur inside the individual blocks of stone used in their construction.
Until recently, the absence of the technology needed to do this limited knowledge of those processes. Now, thanks to EPSRC funding, Jennifer McKinley is delving deeper, using equipment and techniques normally associated with oil and gas exploration.
We are delighted with the news that David Livingstone, Professor of Geography and Intellectual History in the School of Geography, Archaeology & Palaeoecology at Queen's University, has been awarded an Honorary DLitt by the University of Aberdeen. Professor Livingstone is the current holder of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship and was awarded an OBE in 2002 for services to Geography and History.
Archaeology students from Queen’s University have been part of the major discovery of a 12th Century Medieval Lime Kiln, in the grounds of Dundrum Castle
A discovery, which is thought to be a Medieval Lime Kiln dating back to the 12th Century, has been excavated on the site of Dundrum Castle in County Down. The Castle has been part of the County Down landscape for almost 1000 years, and now a group of Archaeology students, from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), have played a role in unearthing this major discovery on the site. The lime kiln is thought to have been used to create the mortar which would have been needed for construction on the site and therefore may predate the Castle which stands on the Dundrum hills. The excavation work has been overseen by the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork (CAF), which is based within the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at QUB. CAF carries out archaeology work for the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA). The students have been working directly with CAF staff to record soil samples and artefacts, which are found during the work.
Brian Stone, CAF’s Assistant Excavation Director, commented: “We started exploring this section last year and knew something was here, now through this excavation we have discovered what we think to be a lime kiln, most likely used to make the mortar to build the Castle. We think that the lime kiln may date back to the 12th Century. We hope that when we reach the bottom, we will find evidence of the fuel they used, mostly likely charcoal, and will be able to use this to carry out carbon dating. We are also finding a number of artefacts, such as pottery and animal bones. This helps us to piece together what life would have been like for people living close to the Castle at the time the kiln was in use.”
Dundrum Castle has been the site of archaeological interest for many years, and recently has been the venue for the filming of Channel 4’s Time Team. The current excavation has taken several weeks and the students have been able to assist in each stage of the work, from initial surveys to recording of artefacts.
First Year Archaeology student Roisin O’Neill said: “It has been exhausting taking part in the work but really worthwhile. We have been working on the site for four weeks, and it has been a great opportunity as we have never been involved in an archaeological dig like this before. I have had a great experience and I know that few universities offer students the chance to be involved in this type of excavation work.”
Fieldwork is an important element of many of the courses within the School as it allows students the opportunity to see how their theory is applied in real life situations. It also gives additional experience in practical fieldwork, which is vital for students who have aspirations of continuing into employment, in professional archaeology.
Students and staff gathered at the Elmwood building for the annual Prize-Giving and Pre-Graduation Ceremony
Graduate Camilla Thompsell, received a prize at the Prize-Giving and also graduated with a First Class BSc in Geography
The end of the academic year has been marked within the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology with the annual Prize-Giving and Pre-Graduation Ceremony, which took place on Wednesday 3rd July 2013.
This year 124 students graduated from the School with undergraduate or postgraduate degrees. Prize winners and family members gathered at the School, before the formal graduation ceremony, to recognise the achievements of both students and graduates throughout their time within the School. Prize winner Camilla Thompsell, who is originally from London and graduated with a First Class BSc in Geography, said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Queen’s, I have had so many opportunities to further myself. I would like to say thank you to Queen’s and to the School for all the help and support".
Camilla has now been accepted onto the Civil Service Fast Track Programme and will take up her post, in Ofsted, in September 2013.
Speaking at the prize-giving awards ceremony the Head of School, Professor Keith Bennett, congratulated students and graduates for their efforts and for their commitment to their studies. He also thanked parents, family and friends for the support they have shown, throughout the students' time, within the School.
As graduates of the School celebrate the completion of their studies the majority are now focused on what to do next and many have chosen to continue their studies in order to build upon their undergraduate learning.
Graduate Sharon Trimble is enthusiastic about her future prospects and her plans to undertake teacher training stating: "this choice will help me to get into a career which I know I’m going to enjoy".
The graduation ceremony brings to a close another busy year within the School, which has seen great success in 2012/13. We are now ranked in the Top 100 for Geography in the World (QS Rankings, 2013) and 8th in the UK for Archaeology, (The Guardian University Guide, 2014).
Closing date: 16th September 2013
Two fully-funded PhD studentships are to be offered by QUB as part of the successful application to the ESRC to fund the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study Research Support Unit (NILS-RSU) from 2012 to 2017. These will be focused around the general theme of ‘Northern Ireland in Transition 1991-2011’. This is a key part of the research and dissemination agenda described in the application. The first of the studentships is planned to start in late 2013 and will be based on the linkage of 2011 and 2001 Census data to the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study (NILS). The other, to commence in late 2014, will take advantage of the full linkage of the 1991 Census data to the NILS. The closing date for applications for the first studentship is 16th September 2013.
The NILS is a large-scale longitudinal data linkage study. It covers 28% of the Northern Ireland population (based on a sample of 104/365 birthdates drawn from health cards) and has approximately 500,000 members. It is a powerful resource for health, social, demographic and labour market research through time and can be used for finely-grained spatial analysis given its sample size. The linkage of 2011 Census data to the NILS will be completed in Autumn 2013 with the linkage of the 1991 Census data finalised by Autumn 2014. Full details of the resource, its uses to date, and the routes to accessing it are available from the following website (http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/NILSResearchSupportUnit/).
Professor Paula Reimer, School of GAP, received the Lyell Medal on Wednesday 5th June 2013 from the Geological Society of London President David Shilston.
The medal, named for one of the 19th century's most influential geologists, was awarded for the development and application of radiocarbon calibration for a range of geological, archaeological, and Earth System Process applications.
On receiving the award Professor Reimer commented:
"It is the dedication and efforts of my colleagues in the IntCal working group, as well as many others, that have facilitated the progress in our understanding of the mechanisms behind atmospheric and marine radiocarbon variations and their relationship to the global carbon cycle."
You can find out more about Professor Reimer's work via her webpage.
The efforts made by GAP's staff and students in helping the School, and the University, to improve its environmental performance and reduce its carbon emissions were celebrated at the annual Green Awards Ceremony held at Riddel Hall on Monday 27th May 2013. The Registrar and Chief Operating Officer, James O’Kane, presented the Awards and commented upon the dedication of both staff and students.
This year, in the run up to the Awards, GAP's environmental champions identified several "Teams", which focused in on specific areas including laboratories and offices. GAP won 7 awards, in total, including: 2 Gold, 4 Silver and 1 Bronze as follows:
Geography Laboratory: John Meneeley, Pat McBride.
Palaeoecology Laboratory: Gill Plunkett, Paul Trainor (Postgraduate Student), Peter Gray.
Fitzwilliam Building Offices: Gill Plunkett, Naomi Carver
Elmwood Building: Martin Stroud, Caoimhe O'Neill (Undergraduate Student).
Radiocarbon Laboratory: Julia Simpson, Stephen Hoper.
School Office: Stacy Gilmore, Caoimhe O'Neill (Undergraduate Student).
GIS Laboratory: Conor Graham.
The Head of School, Professor Keith Bennett, commented:
“This is an excellent outcome for the School. We entered the competition for the first time last year and were pleased then to receive one award. This year we have capitalized on that work and have now won seven awards, including several Gold and Silver, thanks to the efforts of Environmental Champions across the School. I'd like to especially acknowledge the able support and efforts of undergraduate and postgraduate students in helping us to improve our environmental awareness and change behaviours in the ways recognised by these awards.”
The School of Geography, Archaeology & Palaeoecology (GAP) at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) invites applications from suitably qualified students for a 3 year, fully-funded (UK fees and maintenance) Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD studentship.
Closing date: Wed 10th July 2013
From Garrison to Atlantic Port: material culture, conflict & identity in early modern Carrickfergus
Supervisors: Prof. Audrey Horning (QUB) and Sinéad McCartan (National Museums Northern Ireland)
An excavation took place at Divis Barn in the National Trust Divis and Black Mountain property between 22 April and 17 May 2013. This was part of a wider project managed by the Belfast Hills Partnership and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, designed to provide local people with an opportunity to participate in an archaeological excavation and through this promote a greater awareness of the rich heritage of the Belfast Hills. The excavation was supported by the National Trust, Northern Ireland Environment Agency: Built Heritage and the Ulster Archaeological Society.
The event attracted widespread media attention and over 1,000 people participated in the excavation throughout the duration of the dig. Children from 16 local schools and a variety of community groups also took part, despite some challenging weather conditions. The School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology was strongly represented at the event, with staff from the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork supervising the excavation and students from the master’s degree course in Professional Archaeology assisting in all aspects of the project.
The excavations took place in the area of a proposed new car park adjacent to the Warden’s base, where several prehistoric flint scatters had been noted. A geophysical survey prior to the start of the dig suggested the presence of a structure at the south-east of the site and trenches were sited to investigate these possibilities. Finds included many prehistoric flint items, a range of pottery sherds and metal items, but of great interest were the foundations of a vernacular house. Associated with this were some lovely finds, such as a complete glass ink-pot, clay pipe bowls and clay floor tiles.
The event has already added greatly to the archaeology of the Divis and Black Mountain area, which has only been accessible since its acquisition by the National Trust in 2005.
Geography Student Patrick McGurk receives his prize from Queen’s SU Vice-President for Education Nuala McAdams.
Geography student Patrick McGurk took a break from his revision this week to pick up his prize of a new iPad, which he won for recently taking part in the National Student Survey.
On winning the iPad Patrick said: "I'm really glad I took the time to fill in the survey, it's also good to have an opportunity to have our say on what we think about our course."
Patrick is a final year Geography student who has successfully secured graduate employment, in a managerial position, with a local company.Well done to Patrick and thank you to all who took part in the survey this year.
Applications are invited for three full-time lectureships in Human Geography in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen's University Belfast, which has been ranked among the top 100 in the world for Geography (QS World Rankings 2013). The successful applicants will contribute to the research programme of the Society, Space and Culture Research Cluster and to the School's teaching and administration/outreach activities. Applications are welcome from persons with research interests in any aspect of Human Geography but preference may be given to those whose research focuses on (i) the geographies of science and society, (ii) political geography or (iii) population studies and who will complement or enhance the research activities of the Society, Space and Culture Research Cluster.
Closing Date: Thursday 20 June 2013
Anticipated interview date: Thursday 4 and Friday 5 July 2013
Further information/application procedure on the posts is available here.
Pictured at the launch of the ‘Discover Medieval Chester’ exhibition at the Grosvenor Museum, Chester, are (l-r) Keith Lilley, Catherine Clarke, Paul Vetch and Sue Hughes.
As a result of AHRC funding supporting a knowledge transfer project, Dr Keith Lilley with colleagues from Chester Grosvenor Museum, King’s College London and the University of Southampton, launched a new exhibition in Chester on the medieval city, as well as a web-resource called “Discover Medieval Chester”.
“Discover Medieval Chester” comprises digital and interactive mapping created in the School of GAP as part of an earlier AHRC funded project called “Mapping Medieval Chester”. The new web-resource also features downloadable tours and will be compatible with mobile devices to allow visitors to Chester to explore the city’s rich medieval heritage using GPS-enabled smartphones. As well as digital mapping of medieval Chester, the web-resource also features artefacts from local archaeological collections, archive and modern images of the city, and audio-visual files describing aspects of urban life in Chester in the Middle Ages.
The web-resource is accessible here
Some 40 members of the Belfast Branch of the Young Archaeologists’ Club braved the hail stones on Saturday 11th May to take part in the excavation of a nineteenth-century farmstead on Divis Mountain. The excavation is directed by the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork’s Dr Harry Welsh and is being undertaken in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, the Belfast Hills Partnership and the National Trust. The children were not in the least deterred by the weather (although the same cannot be said about some of the YAC leaders and parents!) and they worked painstakingly to recover pieces of pottery, flint and even a tiny black glass bead. Further information about the YAC can be found here and further news about the excavation at Divis will follow.
The latest QS World University Subject Rankings place QUB Geography in the World Top 100 for 2013. This is the latest stage of a steady improvement in the recognition of QUB Geography from a placing of 151-200 two years ago to the latest 51-100 placing. The survey shows substantial improvement in our reputation among academics and employers, increasing citation rates, as well as strong h-index scores (new in QS for 2013). GAP is proud of this international recognition of the work all our staff do to strengthen our research and teaching, and will belooking to continue to improve quality in these areas.
Full details of the Geography results:
Queen’s University Student Declan Cole during a recent visit to Sudan as part of a British Council/Active Citizens delegation.
Queen’s University student Declan Cole has recently represented the UK with 8 other charity workers during a visit to Sudan. The delegation visited the country through Active Citizens, which aims to support global change in emerging countries.
When in Sudan, the delegation carried out a number of visits which included consulting with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), holding business advisory sessions for local entrepreneurs and undertaking community work in rural areas.
Declan, who is a third year student, studying BSc Geography, tells how his course prepared him for travelling to the country, ‘In my first semester of Level 3 I studied ‘Spaces of Urbanisation in Emerging Economies and Sustainable Development’, I thoroughly enjoyed this module and see the developing world in a different light. The videos and case studies on places like Gujarat in India and Guayaquil in Ecuador were a visual aid to what was actually going on in a developing country. When I arrived and saw the same conditions in villages in Sudan I was humbled at actually seeing what people dealt with on a day-to-day basis.’
The delegation worked with the Sudanese Young Entrepreneurs programme and offered advice for young people to make inroads in the business world. NGOs including the Environmentalists society had the opportunity to discuss their current practices and how they planned to develop their organisation in the future. The group also had the opportunity to meet with rural communities, during which they encouraged them to take a lead and promote social change with focuses on health, education, water and gender inclusion. During the visit the delegation had the opportunity to witness the conditions which many people find themselves living. Schools in the area had upwards of 40 per class with problems with educational attainment in rural villages. Opportunities for education at a third level are also beyond the means of many Sudanese people. Declan continues, ‘I could relate a lot of my work to the Level 2 module of Geographies of Uneven Development to show what capitalism and colonialism has done to the developing world. Wherever there is affluence there is poverty-there is no balance. The trip to Sudan was an amazing experience in which I could actually see what Dr Majury and Dr Kumar were talking about and a sense of Development studies in action. If I had not embarked on the trip or taken the modules, I would have not known what was outside of the developed Western world.’ Through his studies Declan has had the opportunity to visit many countries in Europe as well as studying for a year in the USA. Students who choose to study Geography at QUB get many opportunities to travel as part of their course in order to gain a wider understanding of their subject and its global impact.
Prof Paula Reimer from Queens University Belfast show a group of students from the Institute of Technology (IT), Sligo around Ireland’s only Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (AMS), which is used in carbon dating artefacts.
Students and Staff from the Institute of Technology (IT), Sligo recently travelled to Belfast to visit Irelands only centre dedicated to carbon dating. The 14Chrono Centre is based at the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen’s University Belfast and is used to provide researchers and industry with findings regarding carbon dating.
The students from IT currently study modules in Archaeology; therefore this visit gave them first-hand experience of how carbon dating is carried out within a research environment. The main focus of the tour was the Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (AMS). This equipment is the only one of its kind in Ireland and is used by the University and Research students as part of their on-going research projects. The tour included students being shown the process of how the equipment can be used to breakdown organic material to identify the carbon content, which is used to accurate date the artefact.
Feedback from the students was that they found the visit interesting and that the facilities they saw were fantastic. QUB Lecturer Paula Reimer, who lead the tour commented, ‘the students enjoyed the visit and found it extremely beneficial to their studies.’
For further details regarding the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeology at Queen’s University Belfast, please contact:
Gordon Brown, Marketing Officer
Combining coverage of key themes and debates from a variety of historical and theoretical perspectives, this authoritative reference volume offers the most up-to-date and substantive analysis of cultural geography currently available.
This significantly revised new edition traces the historical evolution of cultural geography through to the very latest research. It covers a number of new topics such as biotechnology, rural, food, media and technology, borders and tourism, whilst also reflecting developments in established subjects including animal geographies. An accessible thematic structure features section on topics such as identities, nature and culture, and flows and mobility. The Companion is edited and written by the leading authorities in this fast-developing discipline, and features a host of new contributors to the second edition. Together they provide an international and interdisciplinary perspective, reflecting the advancing academic traditions of non-Western institutions, especially in Asia
On 7 March the 2013 Eaton Lecture was held in the School. These annual lectures, supported by the Eaton Foundation, are arranged by the Centre of Canadian Studies, which is housed within the School. This year the Centre co-hosted the event with the Society Space and Culture Cluster. The lecturer was Professor John Meehan, incoming President of Campion College, University of Regina, who spoke on Flags, Loyalists and Nationalists: The Canadian Experience.
GAP's Dr Ian Shuttleworth analyses the results of the 2011 Census and what it tells us about patterns of residential segregation in Northern Ireland on BBC's 'The View'.
Click here and scroll to 14:00.01
Professor Bruce Campbell has been invited to deliver the Ellen McArthur Lectures at the University of Cambridge on 4th, 6th, 11th and 13th February 2013.
The lectures are given triennially and are funded by a bequest to the University of Cambridge by Ellen McArthur (1862-1927).
Ellen McArthur was educated at Girton College, Cambridge, where she later became Tutor in history. In 1893 she became the first female lecturer at the University of Cambridge Local Examinations and Lectures Syndicate. She was the first woman to receive the degree of Doctor of Letters (Litt. D.) from the University of Dublin, under ad eundem arrangements.
Previous Ellen McArthur lecturers include some of the most distinguished names in economic history and include Alexander Gerschenkron (1968), Edward Miller (1970), Eric Hobsbwam (1972), Carlo M. Cipolla (1975), Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie (1979), Francois Crouzet (1983), Sir Tony Wrigley (1987), Herman van der Wee (1989), Lord Briggs (1992), Nobel prize winner Robert Fogel (1996), Jan de Vries (2000), Charles Feinstein (2003), Ken Pomerantz (2006), and Nick Crafts (2009).
To have been invited to deliver the 2012/13 lectures is therefore a very considerable honour. Moreover Professor Campbell is the first medieval economic historian to have been asked to give these lectures since Herman van der Wee in 1989.
All lectures are open to the public and will be delivered in Lecture 3 of the Mill Lane Lecture Rooms, Cambridge.
The lectures will also be filmed and made freely available as podcasts on the www.