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Activities in RAiN

April 2018

RAiN scientists Paul Strobel, Charlotte Miller and Annette Hahn present their newest findings on South African paleoclimates at the European Geoscience Union General Assembly in Vienna.

Nov 2017 - January 2018

Dr. Hayley Cawthra from the University of Port Elizabeth spends 3 months at the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (University of Bremen) for analytics, data discussion, project planning and strengthening of bilateral partnerships. 

Nov- Dec 2017

Dr. Annette from the University of Port Elizabeth spends 2 fruitfull months with Prof. Andrew Green at the University of Durban. A manuscript in the progress of submission resulted from this DAAD - funded stay.

July 2017

Michael Wünsch, RAiN PhD student from the Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena, defend his thesis project with the award "summa cum laude". Congratulations!

May 2017

2 RAiN PhD students, Xueqin Zhao and Nicole Herrmann from the University of Bremen, successfully defend their thesis projects and simultaneously publish their final results in peer-reviewed journals (see "Publications -> peer-reviewed 2017")

April 2017

6 RAiN scientists (3 German, 3 South African) participate in the 21st Conference of the Southern African Society for Quaternary Research, in Johannesburg (https://sasqua.co.za) presenting results from the RAiN project in poster and oral sessions to the Southern African Quaternary community. New cooperations and ideas were the crops of this fruitfull conference.

Feb 2017

A team of RAiN scientists participate in fieldwork at iSimangaliso Wetland Park together with partners from the University of Pietermaritzburg (http://maputalandresearch.co.za) and Isimangaliso Wetlands Park (https://isimangaliso.com) in order to understand the regional climatolgy and environmental setting. Furthermore, ca. 90 fluvial samples were colletced in order to capture the signal from all major rivers draining into the Maputo Bay. The results of this study will facilitate the source to sink signal-pathway approach inherent to RAiN.

Nov 2016 - Jan 2017

Dr. Hayley Cawthra from the University of Port Elizabeth spends 2 fruitfull months at the University of Bremen for analytics, data discussion, project planning and strengthening of bilateral partnerships. 2 manuscripts in the progress of submission resulted from this DAAD - funded stay.

Oct 2016

Jens Weiser and co-authors published an article with data and results of his Master Thesis. (Journal of Nannoplankton Research; see "Outputs")

Sept 2016

In September 2016, a joint team of South African and German scientists and students (from the Universities of Cape Town and Jena) conducted two weeks of field work at Vankervelsvlei ... (more)

Sept 2016

Michael Wündsch and co-authors published an article on "The impact of changing reservoir effects on a 14C chronology for a Holocene sediment record from South Africa" in Quaternary Chronology.

Aug 2016

Nicole Herrmann and co-authors published an article on "Sources, transport and deposition of terrestrial organic material: a case study from southwestern Africa" in Quaternary Science Reviews.

July 2016

After the first three successful years, on 1st of July the second funding phase (RAiN 2) has started. Within the next two years the focus of investigations will be on sediment archives along the south and east coast.

April 2016

Together with colleagues of the GEOARCHIVES project Torsten Haberzettl convened a SPACES related session at the 2016 EGU General Assembly. RAiN was represented by 3 contributions at this meeting.

Febr 2016

During cruise M123 with the German Reseach Vessel METEOR, a team of RAiN scientists, one guest scientist and students took new sediment archives from shallow waters allong the east and south coast of southern Africa. For the first time long cores could be retrieved from all major river systems in southern Africa that flow into the Indian Ocean (e.g. Limpopo, Tugela). There is a short documentation of the cruise. link
RAiN partners from the Geophysics Department of FSU Jena and from UCT performed a geoelectric and seismic survey at Eilandvlei with the aim of finding an ancient outflow of this lake. Additionally they took samples from the catchment in order to ascribe different sediment provenances to different lithological sections found in a sediment core from Eilandvlei.

Dec 2015

Torsten Haberzettl chaired and convened the RAiN related session Limnogeology and Paleolimnology at the 2015 AGU Fall meeting in San Francisco. RAiN was represented by 2 contributions at this meeting.

Sept 2015

Caldin Higgs, MSc student at Univ. of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg), and Kirsty Spershott, MSc student at the Univ. of KwaZulu Natal, have successfully acquired DAAD scholarships for his research stay at MARUM in September and October and at the Friedrich-Schiller-Univ. in Jena from October to December. During this time, Caldin will use different lab facilities at MARUM for investigations on a sediment core he and his supervisor Marc Humphries have recovered in the northern part of the St- Lucia Lake. Kirsty will work with ostracods subsampled from lagune sediments along South Africa's east coast.

Kelly Kirsten from the UCT started her research stay at the University of Jena in September. During her stay until February 2016 she will discuss data from Eilandvlei and prepare their publication.

Nadia Du Plesis (PhD student at UCT) visited the Friedrich-Schiller-University to subsample Rondevlei sediments for pollen analyses in her home lab.

Aug 2015

Two RAiN and one RAiN accociated manuscripts are accepted to the Quaternary International AfQua special issue presenting important new insights on regional climate dynamics and intergarting the project into the well-established AfQua community (Hahn et al., Quick et al., Xueqin et al.).

July 2015

Peter Frenzel visits the UKZN cooperation partners in Pietermaritzburg for coordinating collaboration including PhD thesis by Kate L. Strachan and Master thesis by Kirsty Spershott. (link)

The RAiN community submitted the prolongation outline of the research network RAiN (2), containing a research plan for two additional years (07.2017-06.2019).

June 2015

Robyn Granger, student at UCT, starts her second two-month research stay at the MARUM to finalize a manuscript on results from a sediment core recovered from the mud belt along the west coast of South Africa.

March 2015

A team of RAiN scientists participate in a sampling campaign along the east South African coast in order to capture the signal from all major rivers draining into the Indian Ocean between Cape Agulhas and the Limpopo Mouth in Mozambique. The results of this study will facilitate the source to sink signal-pathway approach inherent to RAiN. press link

Feb 2015

The DFG Senatskommission für Ozenanographie grants our proposal for ship time in coastal waters off southern Africa. According to preliminary planning stage, the expedition will take place in the spring of 2016.

Jan 2015

Capacity building is an important part of RAIN, and the exchange of students and young an essential project aim. Within the framework of RAIN Robyn Granger, Shannon Dixon and Annette Hahn have successfully acquired DAAD scholarships for 2 3-months research stays at the Marum facilities and an AfQua (African Quaternary) 2015-conference participation.

winter 2014/2015

Three participants of RAiN cruise M102 complete their master/bachelor projects using marine sediment cores from southern Africa to reconstruct regional climatic variability and pollution history.

Oct 2014

From October 20-22 the Mid-term Workshop of the project took place at the MARUM. The focus was on the presentation of the new results, their comparison, discussion, and first interpretation. (more)

Oct 2014

Different results from the project were presented on the international conference GeoFrankfurt 2014. Here the five abstracts:

June 2014

Within RAiN Project 2, a joint training course in palaeoenvironmental analysis using micro- and macrofossils was held from 9 to 12 June 2014 at the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) in Pietermaritzburg. (more) (link)

May 2014

A team of South African and German scientists and students from the University of Cape Town and the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena successfully conducted a two-week coring campaign at Verlorenvlei, a coastal lake located on the west coast of South Africa. (more)

March 2014

A team of MARUM scientists and partners from South Africa conduct an expedition to sample modern river systems in the Western Cape area, including a detailed survey of the Orange River in northern South Africa and southern Namibia. (more)

Nadine Abramowski and Annika Willomeit, two students from the Institute of Geosciences in Jena, conduct three weeks of field work at the Knysna Lab studying recent microfaunas from the Knysna estuary, South Africa.

February 2014

Hydroacoustic survey with a parametric sub-bottom profiler and a boomer sub-bottom profiler in Verlorenvlei and Eilandvlei. (more)

December 2013

Together with six students in geosciences Annette and Andrew participated on RV Meteor expedition M102 (06.-23.12., Reunion - Walvis Bay). During this training cruise 8 sediment cores were recovered from three sites arround South Africa; representing the three South African climate zones - each one in the proximity of a RAIN SP2 lake coring site. Three cores were retrieved from the east coast summer rainfall zone off Durban, Four cores from the southern year round rainfall zone near Mossel Bay and one core, from the west coast Spoeg River mouth, will compliment the existing marine archives from the winter rainfall zone.

Impressions an further information form a student perspective can be found:
- on GEOLOG (the official blog of the European Geoscience Union) and
- an onboard blog published at the Center for Marine Tropical Ecology (ZMT) in Bremen (ZMT M102 Blog)

November 2013

The start-up workshop in RAiN took place in Capetown. In addition to fruitfull scientific discussions, the major outcome of this meeting were arrangements for substantive orientation and time planning of further work. A press release can be found here: UCT press release.

October 2013

Field work in the area of the Wilderness lakes was successfully completed. (more)

September 2013

End of September we have submitted a proposal for a joint RAiN expedition in 2014/15 to the South African coastal waters. The scientific program would be dominated by the sampling of sediment cores after accoustic surveys to find most suitable sites with continuously accumulated, high resolution deposits.