HABCOM International Focus Groups & Projects

HABCOM International Focus Groups and Projects

INQUA IFG 1702F HoLa - Holocene Global Landuse

Holocene Global Landuse (HOLA) is an interdisciplinary working group dedicated to reconstructing land use across the Holocene through a global, comparative perspective. Human land use activities are known to be drivers of vegetation change and can also produce potentially significant levels of greenhouse gases such as methane. However, the complex and variable relationships between land use (anthropic) and land cover (mostly climatic) are still insufficiently understood. Differing assumptions about these relationships have led to significant differences between models of anthropogenic land cover change (ALCC), a critical shortcoming with immediate scientific and policy implications for work on global climate. This International Focus Groups (IFG) of the Humans and the Biosphere Commission (HABCOM) of INQUA focuses on building capacity, creating new and internationally shared databases, and producing initial models of the relationships between human land use and climate. 

Contact: Marco Madella at  marco.madella@upf.edu

HoLa website

Project 1703P : Enhancing quantitative reconstruction skills in South Asian Palynology and Paleoecology

Project 1703P details

Project 1605P : Mapping pre-Columbian land use in Amazonia

Project 1605P details

INQUA IFG 5678F Human colonization and paleoenvironmental contexts in subarctic and arctic Siberia and Beringia

Ted Goebel

Department Of Anthropology, Texas A&M University, USA


Purposes: To foster international and interdisciplinary research on the spread of modern human populations into northernmost Siberia and Beringia, north of about 52°N latitude, during the late Pleistocene, 40,000-10,000 years ago; to review the current state of knowledge of the archaeological and palaeoecological records of Siberia and Beringia; to identify major gaps in our knowledge of the Palaeolithic settlement of northern Asia and especially Siberia; to propose new research that will lead to recovery of a comprehensive Palaeolithic record as well as an understanding of the process of Palaeolithic settlement of the region.

INQUA IFG 1604F Modelling Environmental Dynamics and Hominin Dispersals around the Mid-Pleistocene Revolution

The Mid-Pleistocene Revolution (MPR) was a period of profound ecosystem reconfiguration, caused by climatic changes driven by variations in orbital forcing that took place around 1 Ma. Changes in climate drastically affected vegetation in complex ways and led to a significant renewal of mammalian faunal complexes in Europe and elsewhere. In particular, it is generally accepted that those environmental changes affected the survival opportunities and the distribution patterns of humans in Europe. However, it is not well established how, where, when and at which extent the environment affected human population dynamics.
IFG page

INQUA IFG 2112 The whole is not the sum of the parts: building a synthesis database of past human-environmental systems in the Global South (pSESYNTH)

This project is a community-driven effort resulting from the joint PAGES-INQUA early-career researcher workshop “ Past Socio-Environmental Systems” (PASES), and is led by Xavier Benito (IRTA, Spain), Charuta Kulkarni (UK) and Ignacio Jara (CEAZA, Chile). The team project is composed of more than 20 researchers from different parts of the world acting as regional coordinators of the Global South. pSESYNTH has the overarching objective to build the first ever multi-theme database of past socio-environmental systems from the Global South. A biased understanding of long-term human-environmental dynamics can mislead our responses to pressing environmental issues of similar magnitude and nature in the most developing countries. Therefore, our project will shed light into the multivariate relationships among climate, environment, and cultural evolution for testing multiple hypotheses of widespread cultural “stress” and human resilience to climate change. Our mission is to consolidate research collaborations among who should be the next-generation leaders in the field.


Timeline of activities

At the short term (January through June 2022), pSESYNTH will explore what processes, handed in by project participants through datasets, allow us to infer past drivers using a multiproxy approach, organized into three themes: paleoecological (e.g., pollen, charcoal, aquatic indicators), paleoclimatic (e.g., speleothems, lake sediments, tree-rings), and archaeological (e.g., radiocarbon dates, burial sites, material culture). Participants will explore how to link these three sources with special emphasis on trajectories of change of the human component: when, where and how past societies evolved. At the long-term (July 2022 through June 2023), pSESYNTH will capitalize on existing single- and multi-themed databases (e.g., Neotoma, NOAA, LinkedEarth, CARD, ArchaeoGlobe, HYDE 3.2) to ensure accessibility for data standards, usability, and comparability with the newly generated multi-thematic database. Furthermore, it will focus on software integration (relation al database) linked to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to provide users with an interactive web interface, allowing them to pinpoint what location and time period contain available datasets, thereby helping identify gaps for future studies and avenues for collaborations.


Contact and further information

Central to pSESYNTH is to reach out to the broader INQUA and PAGES to invite them to collaborate. Visit the website ( http://www.pases2020.com/index.php/psesynth-project/) for further information and the registration form to sign up as a project member. 

HABCOM Other Related Projects

Project 1703P : Enhancing quantitative reconstruction skills in South Asian Palynology and Paleoecology

Project 1703P details