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Armidale District

APS Armidale Forum Presentation March 2015
Vegitation changes in the NE Area based on pollen,
diatoms and phytoliths from lagoon mud.

by Bob Haworth.


Our presenter, Bob Haworth is a lecturer in Physical Geography at UNE and has been there for over 30 years.
His research around the Guyra , LLangothlin and other lagoons initiated the reconstruction of climate and vegetation changes in the New England since the peak of the last Ice Age over 30,000 years ago.

Much of this work was done by core sampling the mud from the lake beds and analysing microscopic remains (plant pollen, as well as tell tale silicate organisms - phytoliths and diatoms) preserved in the lake mud which can show the species change and extinction. The transition from wet to dry and warm to cool climate over time.

These samples can also show what people were doing in the past, from residue on grinding vessels and stone scrapers, thus helping archaeology. Some call him a paleo-archeologist.

Currently, he is working on a project tracing archaeological changes in environments shown by these micro-organisms to the effects on human society and settlement.

He has made numerous forays into the New England landscape and has seen the ravages that wild pigs are causing to vegetation and soils in the Upland lagoons, and was a popular speaker on ABC morning radio on ABC about the ecology of these environments. In 2014 he travelled to Maria Island with UNE indigenous students. He has had a long time interest in the cultivation of native pine trees and is attempting to create a "botanical garden" of as many native pine species as he can in the Armidale pine forest.

from Helen Schwarz