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February 2015
Professor David Livingstone gives Dudleian Lecture at Harvard
Dr Tristan Sturm, Lecturer in Human Geography

January  2015
GAP student Jodie Jackson wins QUBSU ‘What’s the Big Idea?' award

December 2014
GAP UCAS Days 2015
Applications invited for fully-funded PhD project
GAP students win for support from the Queen’s Annual Fund
GAP in top 20 for Research Power in REF2014
Research Fellow in Prehistoric Landscape and Island Archaeology
New PhD opportunities announced

November 2014
Steve Royle on Newstalk
Queen’s researchers prove that ash clouds can cross Atlantic Ocean
New book by Prof. Steve Royle!

October 2014
Northern Ireland in Transition: Fully-funded PhD Studentship
Day of the Dead: Recent Research in Human Osteoarchaeology
Lecturer in Palaeoecology
Queen’s University researchers in bid to uncover the birth of Belfast’s docklands
Dr Satish Kumar interviewed by Commonwealth Secretariat
Dr Satish Kumar features in 'Identities and Shared Histories' documentary

September 2014
The Irish in Massachusetts: Historical Significance, Lasting Legacy
GAP researchers link Ireland to Alaska through volcanic ash layer
GAP Celebrates Open Day Success

July 2014
Fully-funded PhD studentship
GAP’s Dr Satish Kumar receives Teaching Award 2014
Graduation - July 2014
Ireland in the Virginian Sea by Professor Audrey Horning launched at PRONI

June 2014
Royal Irish Academy Membership bestowed on GAP Staff

May 2014
New book on early medieval Ireland
GAP geographers contribute to new mapping exhibition
Fully-funded PhD studentship
Lecturer in Physical Geography

April 2014
Dealing with Darwin: New book by Professor David Livingstone

March 2014
Dr Nuala Johnson and Professor Paula Reimer elected to Membership of the Royal Irish Academy
Students Learn How Enterprise Can Transform Cities
GAP Geography in World Top 100 for 2014

February 2014
CAF begin new excavation in Carrickfergus Castle
Professor David Livingstone to deliver the 2014 Gifford Lectures

January 2014
Queen’s launches major study into Malta’s past
Rainforests in Far East shaped by humans for the last 11,000 years
GAP Welcomes MLA Sean Rogers
Lectureship in Human Geography

Professor David Livingstone gives Dudleian Lecture at Harvard

On 19th February, GAP Professor David Livingstone will give the prestigious Dudleian Lecture at Harvard, on the subject of "Religious Encounters with Evolution: Place, Politics, Polemics". He will address the historical interaction of science and religion as it pertains to Darwinian evolution, using politics, polemics, and particularly place as analytical tools. Prof Livingstone reminds us that science is presented and received differently according to geographic space and enriches our understanding of the interaction between science and religion. The same day, he will be the discussant at a Lunch Panel in Harvard Divinty School on "The Climate of War: Violence, Warfare and Climatic Reductionism". On 20th February, Professor Livingstone will be one of the discussants at a second Lunch Panel on "Science in its Place", together with Professor Janet Browne, Dr Andrew Jewett and Dr Myrna Perez Sheldon.

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Dr Tristan Sturm, Lecturer in Human Geography


We are delighted to be able to welcome Dr Tristan Sturm to GAP as Lecturer in Human Geography!

Tristan is a political geographer, who finished his PhD at UCLA in 2010. He was formerly Assistant Professor from 2012 to 2015 at York University in Toronto, Canada. The main themes of his research concern the geopolitics of religion, apocalyptic thought related to climate change, and how nationalism and landscape are co-constitutional. He is currently working on a book project on how American Christian Zionists have performed their nationalism for Israel on landscapes portending the apocalypse. He is specifically interested in the materiality of how these geopolitical imaginations are enacted on the ground, in everyday life, and through tourist and pilgrimage itineraries at Tel Megiddo (Armageddon), Gaza, and the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount. Concomitant with this research, Tristan is interested in theorizing both what he has termed "the geopolitics of religion" (geopolitics by religious groups and their theologies) and "religious geopolitics" (secular discourses that utilize religious discourse). His main concern is fundamentalist religious groups, but he is also interested in how mainstream faiths have constructed their own geopolitical world visions and have justified violent territorial imaginaries.

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GAP student Jodie Jackson wins QUBSU ‘What’s the Big Idea?' award

Jodie Jackson receives her cheque from CEO of Ormeau Business Park Patricia McNeill at the awards ceremony on 10th December 2014

Among the winners of awards in the Annual Queen’s Students’ Union’s ‘What’s the Big Idea?' awards was GAP student Jodie Jackson for 'Best idea for a Social Enterprise'. Her proposal is for a new international project, Tiwala, working with the charity ‘TEN Foundations’ in rural regions of the Philippines. The aim is to focus on poverty alleviation through a livelihood program based on the creation and selling of soap.

The outcome of this project is to use the profit generated from sales to facilitate paid employment for those involved in the scheme and provide funding for the childrens shelter which has been established by TEN Foundations.

Organised by Enterprise SU, the annual Queen’s Students’ Union Business Idea Awards are open to all undergraduate and postgraduate Queen’s students with a novel and creative idea.

More details about Tiwala (pdf) 

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GAP UCAS Days 2015

We will be holding three UCAS Open Day events in the new year and I would be delighted if you could join us on one of the following dates (Click on the subject names for further details):

Saturday 24 January 2015 (11am-1pm) Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology
Wednesday 18 February 2015 (2pm-5pm) Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology
Saturday 14 March 2015 (11am-2pm) GeographyArchaeology and Palaeoecology

Where to find us

These events are designed to give you an opportunity to visit the School, meet with our staff and students and learn about our teaching and research. I would be grateful if you could contact us, in advance, if you wish to join us on one of our UCAS days. You can book your place on line via the following link:

http://go.qub.ac.uk/gapucasdays2015

If you have already registered for this event we have recorded your response and look forward to seeing you on the day.

 

Should you have any other queries, please do not hesitate to contact us as follows;

Contact: Ms June Feeney
Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 3350
Email: j.feeney@qub.ac.uk

We look forward to welcoming you to the School.

Best wishes,
Professor Audrey Horning (Head of School)

School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology
Queen¹s University, Belfast
Northern Ireland, BT7 1NN

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GAP in top 20 for Research Power in REF2014

GAP played an important role in the excellent showing by the university in REF2014. The return from 97% of the academic staff significantly improved our performance from RAE2008, and the School is now ranked in the top 20 for our research power, across outputs, impact and environment. We have been recognised for the international excellence of our research environment (ranked 18 out of 74) and are proud that 40% of our research impact and 20.9% of our research output are ranked as world leading (4*).

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Applications invited for fully-funded PhD project

Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD project on Darwinian medicine in fin-de-siècle Belfast. The project, funded by a strategic DEL award, emerges from a key research strand of the Society, Space and Culture Research Cluster on spaces of scientific knowledge. It will investigate the arguments and activities of an influential group of Belfast-based medical practitioners who advocated public health measures strongly shaped by evolutionary theory in the period 1880-1925. The project will be supported by cross-faculty supervision and linked to the Institute for the Collaborative Research in the Humanities annual priority theme for 2015-16 (Health, Wellbeing and the Humanities).

Further Details

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Research Fellow in Prehistoric Landscape and Island Archaeology

Applications are invited for this post attached to the FRAGSUS ERC project.

Further details and link to application forms here.

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New PhD opportunities announced

The School is now inviting applications for an exciting range of staff-driven and student-led PhD projects.

To be considered for funding, these applications should be submitted by 5pm on 26 January 2015.

For further details of funding opportunities and the application procedures, please visit our graduate studies research page.

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GAP students win for support from the Queen’s Annual Fund

GAP students Jodie Jackson and Wills McNeilly, two of the organisers of the 2015 Association of Young Irish Archaeologists Annual Conference (AYIA), attended a presentation ceremony in the Canada Room on Wednesday 17 December 2014 following a successful application for support from the Queen’s Annual Fund.

  

AYIA was founded in 1968 by a group of students from Queen’s University under the umbrella of the Irish Archaeological Institute (IAI). The annual conference is the organisation’s most important event and promotes communication and co-operation, provides a forum for new ideas and fosters the interest and enthusiasm of archaeologists at an early stage in their career.

Each year the conference is held at a different Irish institution and in March 2015, it will once again be proudly hosted by Queen’s.

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Steve Royle on Newstalk

Professor Steve Royle discusses his new book "Islands: Nature and Culture" (Reaktion) on Ireland's independent radio station Newstalk.

http://www.newstalk.ie/player/podcasts/Moncrieff/Highlights_from_Moncrieff/70216/1/what_is_it_like_to_be_an_islander

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Queen’s researchers prove that ash clouds can cross Atlantic Ocean

Read more here

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New book by Prof. Steve Royle!

Steve Royle's new book 'Islands: nature and culture' has been published by Reaktion. He describes the great variety of islands scattered around the world, their economies, and the animals, plants and people living on them, showing that despite the view of some islands as earthly paradises, they are often beset by severe limitations in both resources and opportunities.

More details at http://www.reaktionbooks.co.uk.

The book be launched on Thursday, 13 November at 6pm in the Common Room, Elmwood Building, Elmwood Avenue.

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Northern Ireland in Transition: Fully-funded PhD Studentship

The deadline for applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to support a project focusing on Northern Ireland in Transition, 1991-2011 has been extended to 1 December 2014. This award 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.

Further details 

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Lecturer in Palaeoecology

A lectureship in human palaeoecology is available in GAP.

Closing date 17th November.

Full details of post and application procedure HERE

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Day of the Dead: Recent Research in Human Osteoarchaeology


17th-19th October 2014

Last weekend QUB hosted an international conference in human osteoarchaeology which was attended by 80 delegates from over 14 countries (including Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Sweden, and the U.S.A). The weekend commenced with a one day workshop in Archaeothanatology, or the Archaeology of Death, led by Dr Stéphane Rottier and Professor Christopher Knüsel from the University of Bordeaux 1. This workshop outlined new approaches to the detailed recording and interpretation of in situ human skeletal remains prior to excavation. Archaeothanatology has been practised for over 30 years in France, but has not been widely incorporated into archaeological practice in Ireland or Britain. The workshop was sponsored by the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland and was accredited as a continuing professional development course.

A two day conference which focused on recent research in the field of human osteoarchaeology, followed the workshop. This was the first international conference in human osteoarchaeology to be held on the island of Ireland. Delegates included a variety of people from many different backgrounds including undergraduate students, postgraduate students, post-doctoral researchers, established academics, commercial archaeologists, and archaeologists from government funded agencies. The keynote address by Dr Barra O Donnabhain titled, ‘Anglo-Saxons and Celts: Race, Science and the Irish’ examined the legacy of racially based notions of difference in the Irish skeletal collections. This weekend was organised by Dr Catriona McKenzie with Deirdre Drain, Jeanna Loyer and Roisin O’Reilly and was sponsored by the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork (CAF), CHRONO, and the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology.

Website

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Queen’s University researchers in bid to uncover the birth of Belfast’s docklands

Dr Liz Thomas

"Welcome to Sailortown" depot wall

Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast are in a bid to uncover the birth of Belfast’s docklands in a new three year research study.

Dr Liz Thomas from the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology (GAP) at Queen’s will undertake a unique new project this autumn, which aims to shed light on living in the 19th century dockland town, Sailortown in Belfast.

Beginning this project, Liz has appealed for anyone with any connection to Sailortown to come forward with their stories of the town or stories that may have been passed down through the generations about the people and the place.

Liz said: “I have always been interested in every aspect of life related to the sea and docks, probably because my grandfather worked on the docks in Dublin and I really am interested in anyone who has any connection to Sailortown to tell me their stories no matter how mundane it may seem.

“I would love to hear stories about the women in Sailortown and I would be delighted for people with any connection to Sailortown to get in touch with me if they would like to be part of the study and excavation. I am truly looking forward to working with this community and feel very privileged to have this opportunity to work with the people of Sailortown.

“This dockland area is significant because it represents the origin of Belfast as a world maritime and industrial capital. It has an amazing and complex history and the British Academy has recognized the significance of this area and its people by funding my three year fellowship.”

Liz has been awarded a highly prestigious three-year British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to complete this project.

802 applications were submitted to the British Academy for the 2014 award, but only 45 were successful, of which only four of these awards were assigned to archaeology. This is the first time in 18 years Queen’s has hosted a recipient of this prestigious fellowship.

Queen’s University Vice-Chancellor, Patrick Johnston said: “This award is an outstanding achievement, in a highly competitive field. Securing prestigious fellowships of this quality, aligns perfectly with my Vision for a world-class international university.”

Professor Audrey Horning, mentor to Liz on this project and Head of the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen’s said: “This is a significant achievement for Liz, for GAP, and for Queen’s and the School (of GAP) are absolutely delighted.” From the 19th century, Sailortown residents were instrumental in the development of Belfast as one of the world’s first industrial capitals. From the late 1960s, redevelopment of this dockland site had begun. Alongside the redevelopment of this historic dockland site, the community who lived in Sailortown, mostly descended from a long lineage of those working in the docklands, were relocated to different homes spread across Belfast and apart from each other. However even after forty years, the old Sailortown community spirit endures with the former residents reconvening weekly outside St Joseph’s Church, ‘The Chapel on the Quays’. The local community groups also supporting this project are the Sailortown Regeneration Group (SRG), Shared History Interpretative Project (SHIP) and Harbour Lights. The cross-generational and cross-community excavation is planned for next spring, and will be conducted over a two week period. Liz and the Sailortown Regeneration Group are also investigating the possibilities of developing a permanent exhibition in a heritage-themed playground on the site following the excavation.

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A warm welcome to new GAP lecturer Donal Mullan!


Donal returns to QUB after two and a half years as a Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University. He attained his B.Sc. (2007) and Ph.D. (2012) here in GAP, sandwiched by an M.Sc. in Climate Change from the University of East Anglia.

His research focuses on the development of regional and site-specific future climate change scenarios using statistical downscaling techniques, and their application to a wide range of environmental and socio-economic impact sectors.

His specialist impact sector is soil erosion and muddy flooding from agricultural land, with primary concern for changes in the off-site transport of sediment and nutrients into the neighbouring natural and built environment.

More recently he has begun applying climate change scenarios to a range of new impact sectors, with current projects examining future climate threats to natural systems and northern infrastructure in arctic and sub-arctic regions:

• Climate change and the viability of the world’s longest heavy haul ice road (with Graeme Swindles, Leeds; and Tim Patterson, Carleton)
• Future climate change and the long-term stability of permafrost peatlands in arctic Sweden (with Graeme Swindles, Leeds)
• Climate change and muddy flooding in Flanders, Belgium (with Karel Vandaele, Samenwerking Land en Water; John Boardman and Dave Favis-Mortlock, Oxford)

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Dr Satish Kumar interviewed by Commonwealth Secretariat

The Association of Commonwealth Universities, Commonwealth Secretariat, London have undertaken a special interview to profile Dr. M. Satish Kumar, Director Queen’s Academy India and Senior Lecturer to explore the effect that Commonwealth Faculty Fellowship had on his career since the Award, particularly highlighting his experience and key achievements. The overall purpose is to produce a series of alumni profiles which will feature scholars and fellows from across the different awards offered under this scheme. This profile will be featured in publications and on their website, and will shared with globally with colleagues and Commissioners in the Commonwealth.

Download profile (pdf)

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Dr M. Satish Kumar features in 'Identities and Shared Histories' documentary

Satish Kumar, Director of Queen's Academy India and Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, has appeared in a recent documentary focusing on ethnic minorities in Northern Ireland produced by NvTv. The programme, which looks at the part played by British colonialism in shaping Northern Ireland's multicultural society, can be viewed below.

Video Link

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The Irish in Massachusetts: Historical Significance, Lasting Legacy

24th – 26th September 2014

A Conference held in partnership between UMass Lowell and Queen’s University Belfast

A Conference held in partnership between UMass Lowell and Queen’s University Belfast UMass Lowell’s Center for Irish Partnerships (CIP) has collaborated with Queen’s University Belfast’s Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork (CAF) since 2009, when the institutions launched their “Irish-American Heritage Archaeological Program (IAHAP)”. Following five years of transatlantic archaeological fieldwork it was decided to hold a joint conference, organised and supported by CIP and the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen’s in the U.S. city to investigate the contribution that Irish immigrants have made in the development of the state of Massachusetts over the past 400 years. The conference ran from 24th September to 26th September and was held at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center, and – entitled “The Irish in Massachusetts: Historical Significance, Lasting Legacy” – the event brought together over 100 academics, students, politicians, community and business leaders, and members of the public. The Keynote Address, entitled “The Irish-Americans” was delivered by Dr Timothy Meagher, who has published widely on the subject, with books including From Paddy to Studs: Irish-American Communities in the Turn of the Century Era, 1880 to 1920 (1986), Inventing Irish America: Generation, Class and Ethnic Identity in a New England City, 1880 to 1928 (2001), and The Columbia Guide to Irish American History (2005), while the conference featured a series of historical lectures that chronicled Irish involvement in the Bay State from the Jacobean period through to the late 19th century. A series of panel sessions explored the Irish contribution to literature, business and sports, while UMass Lowell’s Chancellor Marty Meehan (who represented Massachusetts’ Fifth District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2007) led a distinguished panel including Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (eldest daughter of Robert F. Kennedy) to discuss the contribution made by Irish-Americans in the political life of the state.

Professor Audrey Horning (Head of School, School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen’s University Belfast) with the conference’s Keynote Speaker Dr Timothy Meagher (Associate Professor and University Archivist at the Catholic University of America), Professor Brian Mitchell (author of The Paddy Camps: The Irish of Lowell, 1821-1861, and former President of Bucknell University, Pennsylvania), and Grace Brady (Executive Director of the Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut).

The three panellists for the session on “Irish-American Literature” were Michael Patrick MacDonald (author of the national bestselling books All Souls: A Family Story from Southie, and Easter Rising: A Memoir of Roots and Rebellion), novelist Áine Greaney (author of Dancing Lessons), and playwright Ronan Noone (author of The Lepers of Baile Baiste and The Atheist).

Chaired by Marty Meehan (Chancellor of UMass Lowell and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the Massachusetts 5th Congressional District), the panel for the session on “Irish-American Politics in Massachusetts” comprised Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland), Ray Flynn (former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, and former Mayor of Boston), and David Bartley (former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives).

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GAP researchers link Ireland to Alaska through volcanic ash layer


An international team of researchers led by members of GAP have discovered that a volcanic eruption in Alaska 1200 years ago blasted ash far enough to be deposited as a layer across the Atlantic in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe. The team’s findings have just been published on open access in the journal Geology with GAP lead author Britta Jensen and GAP co-authors Sean Pyne-O’Donnell, Gill Plunkett, Valerie Hall and Jonathan Pilcher. The ash, or ‘tephra’, is from Mount Churchill in Alaska where it is called the White River ash. Using chemical ‘fingerprinting’ the team have linked it with the AD860B tephra which occurs in Ireland, Norway, Germany and Greenland. For years researchers had always assumed the AD860B was from Iceland, despite never being able to chemically correlate it with an exact volcanic source; now we know why.

Previous GAP research had also detected the AD860B in Greenland, and by counting the annual ice-core layers dated it to the year AD 847±1. This date can now be applied to the layer wherever it occurs – so far: Alaska, the North Pacific, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and the European sites including Ireland. The layer was deposited very quickly after eruption, probably within a matter of days, and will have the same age throughout this widespread area of the globe. It can therefore be used to precisely date and correlate any environmental or archaeological events associated with it by ‘tephrochronology’.

Because the Mount Churchill eruption is by no means classed as a super-eruption, the team speculates in their paper that other tephra layers from comparable or larger trans-Atlantic eruptions may be waiting to be detected in Irish and other sites. Referring to the Eyjafjallajökull eruption from Iceland in 2010 that caused so much flight disruption throughout Europe, they also highlight the obvious hazard implications when an eruption similar to the White River ash inevitably re-occurs and spews ash plumes across Atlantic flight paths.

Geology link (open access)
Edmonton Journal (Canada) link
CBC News (Canada) link

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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.

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Inaugural International Radiocarbon in the Environment Conference hosted by GAP

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!

https://www.facebook.com/14CEnv

https://www.twitter.com/14CEnvironment

http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/14C/

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Fully funded PhD studentship

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.

More...

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GAP’s Dr Satish Kumar receives Teaching Award 2014

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,
Teaching award,
Dr Satish Kumar.

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Graduation – July 2014

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.

‌ 

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Ireland in the Virginian Sea by Professor Audrey Horning launched at PRONI

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.

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Royal Irish Academy Membership bestowed on GAP Staff

Professor Mary E. Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy, pictured with Dr Nuala Johnson of the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queens’ University Belfast.
Photo credit: Johnny Bambury

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

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Fully Funded PhD studentship

Northern Ireland in Transition 1991-2011

Background

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 Data

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:

  1. A CV detailing qualifications and experience.
  2. A 1000-word (maximum) statement that sets out the research question(s) and places it in its context, demonstrating an understanding of relevant literature.
  3. A section on how data from the NILS can be used to deal with the research question(s).
  4. A section outlining the likely methods to be used for analysis.
  5. An outline of the expected timetable (including outputs) for the project.

The closing date for applications is June 1st, 2014 with interviews to take place within a month of this date. Dr Ian Shuttleworth (i.shuttleworth@qub.ac.uk), 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.

Further

Suggested possible research topics include:

  • The demographic bases of national identity (for example, what was the background of those in 2001 who declared themselves to be Northern Irish in the 2011 Census?);
  • Young people and social disadvantage (for example, how did those young people aged 18-24 in 2001 with no qualifications fare by 2011?);
  • Population dynamics and changing residential segregation (for example, how far was migration important in shaping the demographic profile of small areas in comparison with differentials in births and deaths);
  • Occupational and labour market transitions between 2001 and 2011

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 (nils-rsu@qub.ac.uk). Suitable second supervisors will be selected from relevant academic staff in QUB according to the research topics identified by the successful candidates.

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Lecturer in Physical Geography

Queen's University Belfast -School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology
Ref: 14/103250

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

Personnel Department,
Queen’s University Belfast,
BT7 1NN
Telephone (028) 90973044
FAX: (028) 90971040
e-mail: personnel@qub.ac.uk

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.

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New book on early medieval Ireland

Dr Thomas Kerr, Dr Finbar and Prof. Martin Carver at book launch

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

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GAP geographers contribute to new mapping exhibition

"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.

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Dealing with Darwin: New book by Professor David Livingstone

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.

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Dr Nuala Johnson and Professor Paula Reimer elected to Membership of the Royal Irish Academy

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.

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GAP Geography in World Top 100 for 2014

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.

Full details of the Geography results

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Students Learn How Enterprise Can Transform Cities

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.

David Gilmore


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.

Tim McStravick


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.

Nuala Malone


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.

Ross


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.

Grainne McKinney

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CAF begin new excavation in Carrickfergus Castle

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.

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Professor David Livingstone to deliver the 2014 Gifford Lectures

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.

Full details

The lectures will be available for download in due course.

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Queen’s launches major study into Malta’s past
Dr Caroline Malone and High Commissioner to Malta Mr Norman Hamilton

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.

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Rainforests in Far East shaped by humans for the last 11,000 years

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.

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GAP Welcomes MLA Sean Rogers

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.

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Lectureship in Human Geography

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

Further information/application procedure

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