NEOTOMA(TILIA)/OCTOPUS and Pollen Data Analysis

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Event description
Introduction to Neotoma(Tilia) and OCTOPUS

About this event

CABAH Thematic Workshop - online event

Please note that due to restrictions in place as a result of COVID-19, this event will be held online. The workshop program and access link will be circulated prior to the start of the workshop.

NEOTOMA(TILIA)/OCTOPUS and Pollen Data Analysis 

Hosted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage

Dates: 08:00 AEST, Wednesday, 15th July to 16:00 AEST, Friday, 17th July

Coordinator: Professor Simon Haberle


Professor Eric Grimm

Professor Jessica Blois

Dr. Henry Munack

Dr. Tibi Codilean


This workshop will be delivered over three days and will comprise a series of morning and afternoon sessions. This workshop will provide training, discussion and decision making on the current and future state of palaeoecological data management in Australia – with a focus one using the global NEOTOMA Database. We are very fortunate to be able to invite Prof Eric Grimm and Prof Jessica Blois to this event and they will be providing expert advice and training in TILIA, NEOTOMA and in using the R package for palaeoecological data analysis. We will also be using this time to explore the future of palaeoecological data management in Australia with the guidance from CABAH database experts Dr Henry Munack and Dr Tibi Codilean (building an Australian palaeoecological database that integrates with NEOTOMA - OCTOPUS).

This workshop is open to all interested academic staff, students and practitioners who produce or are engaged with palaeoecological data (focus on pollen and charcoal datasets, but others also welcome).The workshop is sponsored by CABAH so there is no registration fee. Anyone interested in attending should register with their details using the registration link on this Eventbrite page.

General topics addressed in this workshop will be:

  1. The use of the Tilia program for managing, analyzing, and graphing pollen and other stratigraphic or paleo data
  2. Using the Neotoma Paleoecology Database for your data sets
  3. The potential for data analysis (using R) through NEOTOMA (e.g. using the R package and API to retrieve datasets; CONISS cluster analysis; and creating a pollen diagram using R and more)
  4. Prioritisation and approach to uploading Australian (and regional) datasets into NEOTOMA/OCTOPUS.

Outline of Course Content (may be subject to change)

Day 1: Introduction to the Neotoma Paleoecology Database and Tilia. Entering data and metadata. (Jessica and Eric)

Day 2: Using Tilia to format data for upload (Eric and Jessica) 

Day 3: Age Models


Participants should have administrative rights to install new software on their own laptop. Software will be made available to participants before the workshop for participants to install. Ideally, R should be installed in advance of the workshop. Prior knowledge of R is not needed. Tilia is a Windows program, and laptops must be running Windows. If a participant has a Mac, it must be configured to run Windows either through e.g. Parallels or by booting to Windows, and the participant must know how to run and install Windows programs in advance. Participants are encouraged to bring their own data to work with throughout the workshop (example data will be made available). 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Perform pollen analysis and produce pollen diagrams using the software package TILIA
  • Use the NEOTOMA Paleoecology Database for palaeoecological data sets
  • Use the R package to retrieve datasets in NEOTOMA, run CONISS cluster analysis and creating a pollen diagram using R
  • Gain a greater understanding of how to develop a community lead database through networking and consensus

Image courtesy of  Zoё Taylor, CABAH Communications and Media Coordinator

Date and time


Online event

Organiser CABAH Irinjili Research Training and Ethics Program

Organiser of NEOTOMA(TILIA)/OCTOPUS and Pollen Data Analysis

CABAH's Irinjili Research Training and Ethics Program aims to foster future generations of researchers skilled in ethically appropriate methods, tools and technologies of the key disciplines in the Centre, and to develop career pathways towards secure leadership positions.  Irinjili is a multi-layered research training and mentoring strategy, incorporating thematic professional development workshops, CABAH theme focused introductory short courses and targeted collaborative masterclasses.  Irinjili also offers CABAH funded Researcher Exchanges incorporating cross-node collaboration and mentoring.  Training is also offered in conjunction with CABAH's Annual Symposium.

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