Ireland and the Ice Age: a public event

IQUA is delighted to invite you all to our upcoming public event; a set of talks for the general public on Ireland and the Ice Age. The event will take place on Saturday the 13th of April 2019 from 4 to 6pm in the auditorium at the National Botanical Garden in Galsnevin, Dublin.

The seminar will be chaired by the acclaimed journalist and author Lorna Siggins and will feature talks catered for the general public.

Prof Peter Coxon from Trinity College Dublin will talk about the Irish Landscape before the Ice Age and the changes that occured because of it.

Prof John Sweeney from Maynooth University will delve into the evolution of the climate that triggered and followed the Ice Age.

Dr Bethan Davies of Royal Holloway University in London will explore the importance of teaching the events of this time period, the Quaternary, and the influence it has on our modern world.

The seminar will also feature the official launch of a new IQUA booklet entitled “Giants of Irish Quaternary Science“. This publication contains profiles of a cross-section of scientists who made seminal contributions to the understanding of the Quaternary landscapes of Ireland. An associated pull-up banner exhibition on 10 of these figures will also be launched and on display.

This is a free event but registration is necessary due to limited places. To register please click here.


Associated with this event, a tour of the Herbarium in the Botanic Gardens by Dr Colin Kelleher will take place at 2:30 pm and will be repeated at 3pm. The visit will focus on Alpine species of Ireland and their arrival in Ireland after the Ice Age. The visit will only cater for a limited number of people and will operate on a first come first served basis. For those interested, please meet 5 minutes prior to either of the tour by the cafe entrance outside the visitor reception area.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

The IQUA committee are pleased to confirm that ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: A Quaternary Science Retrospective’ will take place in the Hunt Museum on Saturday 21 April.  This one day symposium will consist of a series of retrospective talks in celebration of key Quaternary scientists known for their trailblazing work investigating how the Irish landscape was shaped during and since the Ice Age.  Please find poster below.

Alongside the day of talks, the Granary Library will feature a free family-friendly exhibition of extinct and contemporary Irish mammals on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 April from 11am – 5pm. Please find poster below.

Please feel free to bring these events to the attention of anyone you feel may find them of interest.


  1. The closest parking to the Hunt Museum and Granary Library can be found at the following link:
  2. A list of local accommodation is also below.


Spring Meeting 2018 Core Programme

IQUA are planning on a range of new initiatives this year, the first of many in the lead up to INQUA 2019 (

Spring Meeting

The core of programme for IQUA Spring Meeting in the Hunt Museum, Limerick on April 21st is with a selection of talks celebrating key Quaternary Scientists:

  • The challenges face by Women Quaternary Scientists Bettie Higgs (University College Cork)
  • Robert Lloyd Praeger (1865-1953) Timothy Collins (NUI, Galway)
  • Sydney Mary Thompson (1847-1923) Antoinette Madden & Catherine Dalton (Natural History Museum & Mary Immaculate College)
  • Bill Watts (1930- 2010) Keith Bennett (St Andrews University)
  • Valerie Hall (1946-2016) Gill Plunkett (Queens University Belfast)
  • Frank Mitchell (1912-1997) Fraser Mitchell (Trinity College Dublin)

Our spring meeting is generally focussed on postgraduate research – so we would also like to invite postgraduates who would like to make a presentation (oral or poster) to let me know (

Exhibition and Booklet

IQUA has applied for funding to translate these talks into a pull-up banner exhibition and a booklet to be published by IQUA.

We are seeking further expressions of interest from IQUA members for a range of other written contributions.  Quaternary scientists included in the booklet paper should have carried out Quaternary-related research in (or relevant to) Ireland, but do not necessarily need to be from Ireland.

Names that have been suggested in conversation with members include:

  • Francis Synge
  • Jean (Jeanne) Margaret White
  • Hilda Parkes
  • Susan Geraty
  • Anthony Farrington
  • Nick Stephens
  • Anthony Orme
  • William King
  • Wood Martin
  • JB Whittow
  • Mary Sommerville (nee Fairfax)
  • Barbara Miller
  • Sybil Watson
  • Mary Patricia Happer Kertland

We propose include papers between 500-1000 words in length to maximise the range of individuals included in this booklet.  Author guidelines will be forwarded to contributing authors.

Can I encourage IQUA academic members to encourage your postgraduates to suggest and prepare contributions on key individuals.

Please send your suggestions to or or  by April 1st 2018.

Deadline for submissions of papers will be June 30th  2018.

IQUA Spring Meeting 2018 – ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’

As indicated before Xmas we plan on having the IQUA Spring Meeting in the Hunt Museum, Limerick on April 21st

Our spring meeting is generally focussed on postgraduate research – so we would like to invite members who would like to make a presentation (oral or poster) to let me know.  We are also planning on a few new initiatives this year, the first of many in the lead up to INQUA 2019 (

To this end we plan on adding a selection of talks celebrating key Quaternary Scientists to the Spring Meeting programme (including Frank Mitchell, Sydney Mary Thompson, Bill Watts, Valerie Hall and Robert Lloyd Praeger).  These talks will subsequently form the core of a booklet to be published by IQUA.

We would like to invite IQUA members to contribute short papers on OTHER Quaternary Scientists to this booklet.

Please send your suggestions to or by April 1st 2018.

Deadline for submissions of papers will be June 30th  2018.



2017 Spring Meeting

The 2017 IQUA Spring Meeting and AGM was hosted by the School of Archaeology in UCD on Saturday the 22nd of April at the Ardmore Annexe, Belfield, Dublin.
The meeting was open to all and consisted of short (20 mins) presentations on any area of new or ongoing Quaternary research. Postgraduate and post-doc students were especially welcome and were encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to present in an informal and friendly setting. Both oral and poster presentations were invited and there was a prize for best postgraduate talk which went to Sabrina Renken for her talk entitled ‘Foraminifera: More than ONE proxy: An example from the north-eastern Atlantic’.

The meeting was followed by the IQUA AGM on the Saturday afternoon. It ws decided that the Autumn Field Meeting this year would be held in Donegal and will be organised by Malcolm McClure and Ellen O’Carrol.


The IQUA 2016 Spring Meeting was held on Saturday 9th April at the School of Geography and Environmental Science, Ulster of University (Coleraine campus). The meeting consisted of presentations on new and ongoing Quaternary research, and included a poster session. See the full meeting schedule and speaker line-up.

The meeting was followed by the IQUA AGM on the Saturday afternoon and a field trip along the North Coast on Sunday morning (April 10th). The field trip was led by our colleagues Peter Wilson and Colin Breen and visited several sites along the North Coast from Portrush to Ballycastle to look at records of sea level changes, Dunseverick castle and some glaciolacustrine/marine landscapes.


IQUA is pleased to report upon a succesful Spring Meeting and AGM on Saturday the 27th of April, 2013, in the Moore Institute Seminar Room of the National University of Ireland Galway. The meeting was hosted by the Palaeoenvironmental Research Unit in the School of Geography and Archaeology, and comprised a series of short talks focusing on new and ongoing Quaternary research taking place in Ireland and abroad. R egistration commenced at 9.30am and attendance was free. Prof. Michael O’Connell (Palaeoenvironmental Research Unit, School of Geography and Archaeology, NUIG) delivered the keynote address. IQUA’s AGM followed at 3pm. IQUA passes its sincere thanks to the conference organizers, Aaron Potito and Karen Molloy, for their excellent work.

IQUA’s Spring Meetings, in particular, are designed to be a venue for postgraduate and postdoctoral members to gain valuable experience and feedback in a friendly, informal setting. The IQUA Spring Meeting 2013 – Programme & Map can now be downloaded, as can the IQUA 2013 Spring Meeting Poster. Our thanks to all the conference participants and attendees.

The meeting also featured an optional fieldtrip, led by Michael Gibbons, on Sunday 28th April. This focused on a range of sites, including a group of cairns on Ballyvaughan Bay, a seaweed farm visible in the inter-tidal zone on Aughinish Island (the best preserved example in the country) and a complex of midden sites on Kinvara Bay. The middens stretch over hundreds of metres and are found on both sides of Kinvara Bay (for images see pdf, 1.44mb). Some contain bone. The trip departed Galway c.10.30 and finished c.15.00 hrs.