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Early / Middle Pleistocene Transitions: The Land-Ocean Evidence

A one-day international conference

University of Cambridge, April 4th, 2003


Sponsored by: the Godwin Institute for Quaternary Research, INQUA Commission on Stratigraphy, The Quaternary Research Association, and the INQUA Subcommission on European Quaternary Stratigraphy.

The transition from Early to Middle Pleistocene is marked by fundamental changes in Earthıs climatic cyclicity. Orbital obliquity at 41 ka cycles which had dominated the earlier part of the Pleistocene was superceded progressively about a million years ago by a 100 ka rhythm of orbital eccentricity, crucially accompanied by increased-amplitude climatic oscillations. The glacial-interglacial world in which we now live is the result of these changes, and the impact on terrestrial and marine biota has been profound and manifold.

However, the timing and correlation of events during this transition has been problematic, leading to uncertainties over cause and effect. The purpose of this one-day meeting is to explore the biotic responses to climatic and physical changes that characterized the Early / Middle Pleistocene transition in both the marine and terrestrial realms. In doing so we hope to explore the very origins of our present biota.

This first announcement invites expressions of interest in this meeting. In addition to invited presentations, limited time will be allocated to oral contributions from others, and there will be space for posters. Those wishing to present their research, either as a poster or talk, are asked to contact Martin Head ( with a provisional title in the first instance.

It is intended that the proceedings of the meeting will be included in a special published volume.

Limited accommodation in Cambridge will be provided for those who require it.

Martin J. Head and Philip L. Gibbard.