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The European Modern Pollen Database (EMPD) project Stage 2

On this page: Details about the plan for Stage 2, how to participate and how to submit data

EMPD Stage 2

The European Modern Pollen Database (EMPD) has now been established and currently holds almost 5000 samples. This first stage of the database has been an enormous success thanks to the help and participation of over 80 individuals and labs from across Europe.

We are now initiating stage 2 of the EMPD to build an even bigger database!

We have heard that there are still a lot of samples out there, and a lot of people who would like to contribute to this community effort. We are therefore attempting to increase the size of the database through a second appeal for data.

The plan for stage 2:

1. Appeal to pledge data (July 2016)
2. Appeal to submit the pledged data (August 2016)
3. Workshop to process the data, expand the database and discuss potential publication/s (December 2016?)
4. Work on jointly authored paper (Winter-Spring 2017)
5. Submit jointly authored paper (May 2017?)

We are also looking for volunteers to participate through the EMPD working group within the EPD. This group will help process the data as well as discuss potential research projects and publication plans. Note that everyone who participates in stage 2 in any form will have the chance to participate as a co-author of the final paper.


If you would like to help, or wish to submit data, please contact Basil Davis: basil.davis(at)

Data Submission

We need surface sample data and we need people to help in the compilation process

If you have surface samples or core-top samples you are willing to share, from 1 to 1000, then please send them in. We need the following information with the pollen data:

1) Author/Analyst and contact address & email
2) Any references/publications relating to the samples
3) Location (Latitude, Longitude, Altitude)
4) Type of sample (eg core top from lake/bog, moss polster, soil sample etc)

The following would also be useful:

5) Site description (type of site eg lake or bog etc, physical setting eg valley bottom, mountain top etc)
6) Size of site (eg hectare of lake or bog)
7) Surrounding vegetation
8) Collection method (eg trap, corer, assimilation of multiple-samples from area etc)

We welcome any data from Europe (including Russia), the Middle East and North Africa, and including marine data.

If at all possible, please download a copy of the metadata file and fill in all relevant fields accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of samples (tauber trap, core top, moss polster etc) are you looking for? We are looking for any sample that represents a composite picture of vegetation cover over decadal timescales comparable with most fossil pollen samples, such as a core top, moss polster etc. The sample should represent a time window of around 10+ years. For annual or sub-annual data, we suggest that you contact the Pollen Monitoring Program

How many samples do I need to submit? There is no minimum to the number of samples you can submit. Even just one sample can be very valuable, especially if it comes from a region that is currently under-represented in the database.

What is the geographical area of the database? for instance is Greenland included? We are accepting samples from Europe and Northern Eurasia including the whole of Russia, North Africa and the Middle East. Iceland and Svalbard are included, but Greenland is the responsibility of the North American Pollen Database []. If in any doubt, please just ask.

Where can I download the current database? Just follow the link Take me to the data

I don’t have any samples to share/I gave you all of my samples last time- can I still participate? Yes. We are also looking for volunteers to help process the submitted data files

Can you provide funding? Unfortunately the EPD cannot provide funding. Everyone working on the project is an unpaid volunteer. However, we could help for instance write a letter of support if you wanted to apply for funding from a different source.

What is the European Pollen Database (EPD)? The EPD is a freely accessible scientific database for late Quaternary fossil and modern pollen data, maintained largely through the voluntary efforts of the scientific community. You can find out more about the EPD from the wiki here.

What is the Neotoma database? Neotoma is a new global multi-proxy palaeocological database. The EPD is in the process of being absorbed into Neotoma, along with all of the other regional pollen databases that used to form the Global Pollen Database.

I also have fossil pollen data from a core, what should I do with it? Please

In the first appeal for data in 2011 we received almost 5000 surface samples from around Europe. It has been made clear however that many people did not have the chance to participate in the last appeal, or if they did, they subsequently found they had more data

Basil Davis, 23 June 2016; University of Lausanne (UNIL) Switzerland (contact basil.davis at

empd_database.1467376908.txt.gz · Last modified: 2016/07/01 14:41 by bdavis
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