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African Centre for Coastal Palaeoscience

18/07/2018

We from the African Centre for Coastal Palaeoscience would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest associate, Dr Lynne Quick - palynologist, who will soon be calling Nelson Mandela University her home.

Dr. Lynne Quick is originally from Cape Town where she did both her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Cape Town. She majored in Environmental and Geographical Science (EGS) and Ocean and Atmospheric Science. Her postgraduate degrees were all through the EGS department and after which she transitioned from studying geomorphology and current land use change scenarios for her Honours degree to delving further back in time for her Master's and Doctoral projects. Her main focus and interest is the development of new palaeoenvironmental records in South Africa. Her long-term research objective is to establish new palaeoenvironmental records as well as re-examine and integrate existing records within the Greater Cape Floristic Region (GCFR).

Her love of nature and the South African environment throughout time – past, present and future - has driven her life direction as well as that of her research. She compares the reconstruction of palaeoenvironments to the feeling of solving a puzzle. She is absolutely fascinated by the fact that the tiniest pollen grain provides us with a window into past vegetation and climatic conditions.

But palynology is not without its fair share of “accidents” Dr. Quick tells of one such incident: “I was teaching a student how to process pollen in the laboratory and she decided that she'd like to experiment a bit by herself. I left her to complete a step in the lab and went next door to my office to send an email. During this time she combined all the 'discarded' (poured off) chemical solutions (comprised of strong acids and bases) into one test tube "just to see what happens". She ran into my office wiping off her face - apparently what happens is that it explodes! Thankfully she was not harmed and all ended well.”

Dr. Quick is extremely passionate about the integration of the two closely related, yet currently widely separated, fields of palaeoecology and ecology – “I hope that through my new association with the ACCP (and appointment at Nelson Mandela University) I will get the opportunity to realise this goal.” With this goal in mind she hopes to head up a strong, innovative research group and make pollen great again!

The ACCP and the Botany department here at Nelson Mandela University welcomes you and hope that you will find it to be your home away from home.