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Dear Colleagues,

Please note that the Committee minutes from the August 2015, International Symposium in Lanzhou, China have now been published. Please find these under the Minutes header on the website.

Many thanks,
Your IPA Committee

The IPS 2015 official website has been launched. The address is Please access it using the thumbnail in the sidebar! Continue Reading »

ASLO Aquatic Science Meeting

The ASLO 2015 Aquatic Science meeting is being held in Grenada on the 22-27th Febraury Continue Reading »

The organisers of the 2015 IPS in Lanzhou, China are asking for a second round of session proposals. Please all show an interest! For more information on sessions that have been selected so far and on how to propose one please read on. Continue Reading »

We are pleased to announce details on the 2014 British Diatom Meeting. This will be held in Hay-on-Wye (UK) during the last weekend of October (24-26th). Please click the link below for more information on how to register and details of where the meeting is being held.

British Diatom Meeting 2014

Dear All,

The details of the 6th European Phycological Congress, to be held in London between 23-28th August 2015 are available below.
First Notice

Please note the extended deadline for abstract submission for the Symposium S29 of the International Sedimentological Congress in Geneva, Switzerland (18-22 August 2014). It is now Sunday 18th May.

The committee invite all poster and oral presentations in the field of paleoclimatology and paleoenvironmental reconstruction. Visit here for more information.

12th Symposium obituaries

Eugene F. Stoermer (1934-2012)

Eugene F. Stoermer (1934-2012)

Eugene F. Stoermer

Eugene F. Stoermer (but Gene to everyone) was born on March 7 1934, and died after a 2 year fight with cancer on February 17, 2012. He was 77 years old. He leaves behind his wife Bobbie, 3 children and 5 grandchildren.

Gene’s work was well known to many of us, and especially the diatom community, where he made tremendous contributions to diatom systematics and ecology. His paleolimnological work focussed on large lake systems and especially the Great Lakes. Gene was a professor of biology at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. His Bachelor of Science degree was obtained in 1958 and his Doctor of Science in 1963, both from Iowa State University.

Gene guided 24 students in his lab in their graduate programs and served on numerous other dissertation committees. He is the author of over 200 publications and numerous reports. Most recently he co-edited the book The Diatoms: Applications for the Environmental and Earth Sciences. Gene was diagnosed with cancer while we were working on this second edition, but he continued with his enthusiastic contributions and insightful comments.

Gene originally coined and used the term Anthropocene from the early 1980s to refer to the impact and evidence for the impact of human activities on the planet earth. The word was not used in general culture until it was popularized in 2000 by Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen and others who regard the influence of human behavior on Earth’s atmosphere in recent centuries as so significant as to constitute a new geological era.

Gene served on the editorial board of the Journal of Paleolimnology for many years, where he was always known for his constructive and thoughtful reviews. He also served as editor of Diatom Research, and was a past-President of both the Phycological Society of America and the International Society for Diatom Research.

Gene will be remembered for his impressive contributions to science, for his work as a teacher and mentor to many younger colleagues, and perhaps most importantly, for being a decent human being.

Seward R. (Ted) Brown (1918-2010)

Ted, who was 92 years old, died peacefully at his home north of Kingston on the evening of July 2, 2010. He was surrounded by some close friends.

After being born and raised in Nova Scotia in eastern Canada, and following 5 years of decorated military service in World War II, Ted came to Queen’s University to take his bachelor’s and master’s degree, working on the Lake Opinicon region. Ted’s Masters thesis was entitled: “Some aspects of lake soils in relation to the productivity of a lake”.

After his MA degree, he returned to teach at the prestigious Pictou Academy in Nova Scotia, as a high school teacher. Nonetheless, his interest in limnology had been kindled, and during his summers he would return to Kingston to work as a research assistant with the new limnology professor at Queen’s – Dr. Jack Vallentyne. In the early 1950’s, Vallentyne was starting work on sediment cores and the newly developing field of “paleolimnology” or using the information contained in lake sediments to track past environmental and ecological changes. It was these `biochemical fossils’ that would be the focus of Ted ‘s scientific career, and in fact he is now often referred to as the “father of fossil pigment analyses” by paleolimnologists world-wide.

In 1954 Ted was accepted to work towards a doctorate with Prof. G. E. Hutchinson at Yale University on the sedimentary chlorophylls of Little Round Lake (a small lake north of Kingston). It was during the Yale years (1954-1959) that Ted did his original work on the algal and bacterial chlorophylls and their derivatives in lake sediments. This clearly required an integrated approach. In realistic terms this meant that he received degrees in both the chemical and biological sciences.

Ted returned to Queen’s University in 1959 as a new assistant professor where he led a small but diverse group of limnologists and paleolimnologists. I was honoured to be one of his last graduate students in the 1980s, as was Peter Leavitt – who is also at this meeting.

Although Ted retired in the late 1980s, he was clearly delighted with the rapid expansion of paleolimnology over the last 20 years, and was pleased with the successes of his colleagues here and aboard.

Given the sad and sudden news of the passing of Françoise Gasse, please find a reposting of her IPA Lifetime Achievement Award given to her at the 12th IPS in Glasgow, 2012.

gasseFrançoise Gasse

Françoise Gasse has been a pioneer on many fronts. Her dissertation on Lake Abhé near the Ethiopia-Djibouti border is the first continuous dated African Plio-Pleistocene diatom record. She developed a large database of contemporary diatoms and associated environmental information from African lakes, which was probably the earliest lacustrine transfer function to quantify geochemical variation driven by climate. Françoise worked throughout Africa and western Asia to reconstruct Quaternary climate, and a substantive portion of what we know about African paleoclimate is based on or builds on her work. Her research commonly integrated diatom and isotopic data and is characterized both by its sophisticated understanding of the importance of basin hydrogeomorphology in palaeoclimatic interpretation and the rigour of her taxonomic treatment of the diatoms. Françoise supervised the graduate research of several well-known scientists and has mentored multiple other individuals over the years. The impact and quality of her career are exemplary.

Françoise’s paper can be found here.

With great emotion and sadness, we have to pass on the following sad new: Françoise GASSE, our colleague and our friend, passed away on April 22th, 2014.

Françoise Gasse, paleobiologist, specialist of Diatoms, paleoclimatologist and paleohydrologist dedicated her scientific research to the study of lacustrine sediments and lake waters. She initiated pioneer researches in order to reconstruct Quaternary climates and Environments in Sahara and Sahel, in East Africa (Ethiopia), in Madagascar, in western and south Asia (Caspian Sea, Tibet), and in the Middle East (Lebanon). The present knowledge of the arid zones paleoclimatology lies on her works on lakes and paleolakes of these regions. One of her key contribution has been to develop the use of diatom distribution to quantify how lake properties such as depth and salinity have evolved through time. Her research commonly integrated diatom and isotopic data and is characterized both by its sophisticated understanding of the importance of basin hydrogeomorphology in paleoclimatic interpretation and the rigor of her taxonomy of diatoms. The impact and quality of her career are and will remain exemplary.

She was the first woman who received the Vega Medal in Gold awarded in 2005 by the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography. In 2010, she was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Union of Geosciences for her contribution to the reconstruction of climate variability during the Holocene. Her last contribution to the journal Paleolimnology (January 2014) was an ultimate tribute to the deserts : “Reminiscences and acknowledgments from a lover of deserts near the end of her professional life”.

Her friendly and discrete authority, her radiant smile and her cleverness will remain in our memories.

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