2014 is a big year for Quaternary science! In January, the UK Quaternary Research Association (QRA) celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

The QRA is a research organisation which focuses on the Quaternary Period – the last 2.6 million years of Earth’s history, which is broadly synonymous with ‘The Ice Age’. Quaternary science (the study of all things Quaternary) encompasses a wide range of research fields including: oceanography, glaciology, ecology, and human evolution. These strands of Quaternary research come together to build a detailed picture of the long-term changes in the Earth’s environment. Every year the QRA hosts an Annual Discussion Meeting where academics, students, and members of the public from across the UK and beyond can discuss recent developments in Quaternary research.

At their 50th anniversary in London, experts in each of the strands of Quaternary science were invited to give an overview of their research field – who are the key players? How has the research field developed? What can it tell us about climate change? What are the major challenges?

Climatica had the privilege of speaking to these presenters and discussing their thoughts on climate change research. Summaries of their talks are provided below: