The recording of May 2021’s monthly UHI Archaeology Institute research seminar, which took place on Friday, June 4.
The seminar, entitled Seeing the woods for the trees: a palaeoecological investigation of native woodlands to inform present and future woodland conservation management strategies in Northern Scotland, was led by recent UHI PhD graduate Dr Jasmijn Sybenga.
During her studies, Dr Sybenga investigated three areas in Caithness and Sutherland. Using pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs and microscopic charcoal she identified the native woodland once present.
In her talk, Dr Sybenga outlines the causes of the woodlands’ demise and explores evidence of past woodland disturbances, such as those caused by people and climate.
In addition, she identified the best tree types for reafforestation in the study areas by modelling her research results against predicted climate change.
Her research highlights the importance of using past vegetation studies and past woodland management for present and future woodland conservation.