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The Irish Quaternary Association (IQUA) is a voluntary organisation of academics, amateurs, governmental and industrial partners with interest in Irish landscape change during the most recent period of Earth history (the Quaternary). Its members have diverse interests including agriculture, archaeology, climatology, ecology, engineering, geography, geomorphology, geology and hydrology.

IQUA promotes Quaternary studies through its publications, conferences and symposia, awards and field meetings. It represents a unique pool of expertise in climate and landscape change capable of providing critical information on past and present Earth surface processes. It is an ideal forum for exchange of information between scientists, managers and interest groups concerned with the many contemporary issues associated with future climate change.


IQUA is pleased to announce details of our upcoming 2014 Field Meeting, entitled "Quaternary & Culture in Limerick". The meeting will take place from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st September. Places are still available. See page with full details, or download the event poster (pdf format).


IQUA's 2014 Autumn Symposium will take place on Friday November 28th in the Geological Society of Ireland's Lecture Theatre, Beggar's Bush, Dublin 4. The symposium theme is entitled, "Lakes: Reflections of our past", and will feature a range of speakers from Ireland and the UK covering different aspects of lacustrine research. See more details.


IQUA's Annual Spring Meeting (2014) took place on Saturday 29th March. The Meeting was free to all and was held in the School of the Human Environment, University College Cork. IQUA's AGM followed, during which we discussed (and decided to undertake) an IQUA bid to host INQUA in 2019 and a joint field trip with the QRA in 2015, as well as plans for 2014's Field Meeting and Autumn Symposium. IQUA also congratulates the winner of the Best Postgraduate Presentation Prize of €100, Alwyne McGeever for her presentation on bog pines in Ireland. Follow the link for further information on this year's Spring Meeting.


IQUA's is pleased to announce the creation of a new Facebook page to help better communicate with members and spread news of interesting Quaternary-related research and projects for Ireland and beyond. Check out IQUA's Facebook page, and don't forget to hit "Like" whilst you're there!


IQUA's 2013 Autumn Symposium took place on Friday November 29 from 9.30am in the Geological Society of Ireland's Lecture Theatre, Beggar's Bush, Dublin 4. The symposium theme this year was "Dating the Quaternary" and featured a range of speakers from Ireland and the UK who covered the latest developments and challenges in Quaternary dating. The keynote speaker was Prof. James Scourse, who spoke on "Annually-resolved records of marine climate change from the longest-lived animals on earth". See full details, and also the conference poster and programme.


The weekend of IQUA's 2013 North Mayo Field Meeting took place from Sept 20-22. IQUA last visited this fascinating area in 1991, but since then several field seasons of detailed excavations, surveys and environmental work have greatly deepened our understanding of this beautiful stretch of coastline, in particular regarding the Mesolithic and Neolithic inhabitants of the area and the environmental context of their settlements. IQUA was fortunate to have leaders with the expertise of Graeme Warren, Steve Davis, Seamus Caulfield, Steve McCarron and Mike Philcox for the weekend. Click here for full details and the trip schedule, and here for a pdf of the field meeting's poster.


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. Click here for full details as well as the meeting's programme.


The full programme and abstracts booklet for the recent 2012 IQUA Annual Autumn Symposium is now available for download here.

The Sympoisum theme was: "Remote sensing: Applications in Quaternary Science, Archaeology and Landscape Management". For full details, see our Symposia page.

Thank you to all the participants and those who supported the symposium with their attendance.

IQUA proudly organises the Bill Watts 14CHRONO Awards, named in memory of W. A. Watts, a founding member of IQUA who passed away in 2010. The Awards are generously supported by the 14CHRONO Centre at Queen’s University Belfast. The Awards pay for a number of AMS radiocarbon dates for current postgraduate members of IQUA, with each winner describing their research and the use of their free dates in short articles in the IQUA Newsletter. Winners of the 2013 Awards were Seamus McGinley of the National University of Ireland, Galway and Alwynne McGeever of Trinity College Dublin, each awarded three dates.

We are also pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural round of IQUA Research Awards. The awards are open to all paid-up IQUA members of at least one year’s standing. They consist of four AMS radiocarbon dates sponsored by the 14CHRONO Centre of Queen's University Belfast and an additional IQUA grant designed to fund a further two radiocarbon dates, but which can alternatively cover other dating methods or laboratory fees (e.g. for DNA or isotope analyses).

The winners for 2013 were announced at the IQUA Symposium on November 29th, 2013, and were as follows: Michael Philcox of Trinity College Dublin and Karen Molloy of the National University of Ireland, Galway, were each awarded 2 dates. Steve Davis and Graeme Warren of University College Dublin were awarded 1 date, and Anthony Beese of Carraigex Ltd was awarded 1 date. Congratulations to the winners.


IQUA is delighted to announce the availability (as of January 2013) of Wicklow in the Grip of an Ice Age - A Self-Guided Tour of the Evidence of an Ice Age in Wicklow, hosted on the excellent Our Wicklow Heritage website, developed by the Wicklow Heritage Forum as an action of the County Wicklow Heritage plan (click here for the tour webpage).

The Virtual Tour retraces the May 2012 IQUA field trip to Wicklow, led by Profs. Pete Coxon, Fraser Mitchell and Patrick Wyse Jackson, which took place as part of the Dublin City of Science 2012. The trip comprised a tour to the northern Wicklow Mountains. There was a peat coring demonstration and an explanation of why the landscape now looks the way it does, considering the forests of the last 10,000 years and their clearance, and what the future may hold. Glacial features in the landscape including glacial corries, huge glacial lake basins and other features were explored.

The Virtual Tour locates and describes each of the key stops on the trip, with references to the IQUA field guide companion to the trip, which is available to buy in print for just 7 on our Field Guides page. Arguably the highlight of the Virtual Tour is a free interactive Google Maps tour (a version can also be downloaded and opened directly in Google Earth).

We thank the efforts and support of Benjamin Thebaudeau and Wicklow County Council in the production of the Virtual Tour.