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AFQUA, Nairobi, Kenya, July 14th-22nd 2018

The PAGES Global Paleofire Working Group with the support of PAGES, AFQUA, The University of Montreal and the Chrono-environnement research laboratory (CNRS-Université de Franche-Comté) is organizing of a session and a 3-day workshop during and after the AFQUA conference (July 14th-22nd, 2018) next summer in Nairobi, Kenya

Session FS05 : Africa on Fire : state-of-the-art and perspectives about fire history, fire ecology and fire-vegetation-climate interactions across tropical biomes
Conveners : Julie Aleman & Boris Vannière

If you are interested in contributing a talk or a poster to this session, please submit an abstract before the 30th of April, 2018. More information is available at If you need financial support to attend the conference, the limit for the application is March 31st, 2018.

Title : African Fire History and Ecology : Building Understanding and Capacity through Collaboration and Knowledge Exchange
Number of places available : 15-20 persons maximum
Date and location : July 20-22th 2018 after the AFQUA conference, at the National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi.
Early career scientists and African researchers who use or would like to develop paleofire analyses in their research are especially encouraged to apply.
Organizers/Speakers : Julie Aleman, Colin Courtney-Mustaphi, Daniele Colombaroli, Olivier Blarquez & Boris Vannière.

Workshop program

This workshop aims to address majors issues about paleofire research in Africa. Two major challenges are emerging from recent and ongoing GPWG2 work : 1) local, regional, continental, and global fire history must be connected to and understood in relation to modern fire data and activities, and 2) understanding the dominant controls of fire (e.g. climate, vegetation and humans) during the late Quaternary in each region is highly dependent on collaborative, interdisciplinary research.
Africa poses a particularly critical gap in our knowledge of fire history at this time. With this workshop, we aim at building a strong network of researchers focused on fire at different temporal and spatial scales (paleoecologists, archaeologists, historians, etc.) and identify laboratories that can act as hubs to disseminate methodologies, materials and training to other facilities. The workshop will have a significant capacity-building component and it is hoped that it will inspire new work on paleofire across the continent.

1) Develop the use of charcoal-based paleofire analyses in various sites in Africa and build a network of African scientists and Institutes to widespread the systematic analysis of charcoal during sediment cores analysis.
2) Assess available data and identify geographical and methodological gaps.
3) Promote the development of new projects and collaborations.

Tentative schedule
Day 1 : Dedicated to the technical aspects of charcoal analysis, from the selection of a coring sites to charcoal particles extraction and counting.
Day 2 : Statistical analyses, discussion about available data, and identification of geographical and methodological gaps (using the Global Charcoal Database).
Day 3 : Drafting of new projects and development of collaborations.

How to apply

The deadline to apply is May 15th, 2018. Please send an email to with a short letter describing your interest in the workshop, how you would like to contribute and what you would like to learn. Please also briefly describe your background and current research. Limited financial support will be available, so if you need it please state it in your application.

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