Call for Chapters: Palynology and Human Ecology of Africa


Emuobosa Orijemie, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
SYLVESTER OBIGBA, Palynology Laboratory, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Call for Chapters

Proposals Submission Deadline: January 16, 2023
Full Chapters Due: March 13, 2023


This book project is aimed at documenting new evidence of the environmental history and human-ecology (human-environmental history and interactions) in Africa using a suite of traditional and complementary novel approaches. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the knowledge of long-term Pleistocene-Holocene environmental (vegetation and climate) histories in the African continent. However, in the last 300ka yrs BP, the period during which modern humans evolved, the environment in Africa and many parts of the tropics was characterised by episodes of climatic variabilities. These historical events have had short to long-term impact on the Earth systems particularly the human and non-human components. However, the scope and magnitudes of some of these events have not been well understood, neither have their effects on human evolution and migration been properly elucidated. Similarly, the nature and dynamics of some of these environmental events in Africa and their impact on humans have not received attention comparable to those in Asia and South America. This is despite the continent’s position and role in human evolution, her floristic and geographic diversity as well as having contained major centers of plant and animal domestication and agricultural expansion in the Holocene. Understanding the environmental history of Africa’s past, and elucidating records of human responses to past environmental changes are critical to the adoption of appropriate mitigation measures for addressing current and future challenges of climate change, global food production and security, the management of non-renewable resources and the formulation of relevant and knowledge-driven policies. The magnitude and impact of changes in the Earth are usually archived in natural sedimentary deposits (such as those found in oceans, lakes, and peats) as well as in biota including insects, arthropods and mollusks. Often times, changes in the environment are represented in artefacts, domestic spaces and industrial sites, which are a reflection of human-environmental interactions, behaviour and choices and palynological tools can be used to elucidate these interactions. Palynology is a global science that entails the study of fossil and extant palynomorphs (pollen grains and spores) with application in several facets of human endeavor. It offers invaluable evidence including environmental history and palaeoecology, climate variability, environmental quality monitoring, biostratigraphy, plant taxonomy, honey quality assessment and human-ecology interactions. Palynology is a Science in approach; however its application in understanding the complex interactions between humans and their social, economic or natural environment—human ecology--situates its relevance within the humanities. There is still a wide gap in knowledge regarding human impacts on tropical rainforests, with human subsistence and land use decisions elsewhere demonstrated to have major impacts on forest structure and extent in Africa. To understand current environmental dynamics, and future trajectories of change, knowledge of the historic roles humans play in ecological process in Africa is essential. We invite students, early career, senior and established researchers whose works address topics such as (i) environmental history of landscapes in Africa from the Quaternary to present, (ii) the response(s) of vegetation communities to past natural and anthropogenically induced environmental changes, (iii) the impact of such environmental fluctuations on human culture, behaviour, food production, technological innovations and societal (in)stability, and (iv) the role of artificial intelligence, and machine learning in understanding and exploring the dynamics of the environment and their impact on humans of Africa. We welcome proxy data from innovative and traditional sources including but not limited to palaeo evidence from artefacts, rocks and sediments such as plants (fossil pollen and spores, seeds, charcoal, wood and parenchyma fragments), animal and insect-based sources, isotope and leaf-wax isotope analyses, geochemistry and SedDNA, in the broadest sense.


The study and application of palynology in human ecology research in Africa is essentially an area with fragmented records. The book aims to provide, practical, theoretical and empirical findings on palynology and human ecology specifically in Africa. The book will serve as a compendium to students and researchers of environmental and human-environmental history in Africa. It will be a guide to those who seek to understand the nexus between palynological research and their role(s) in elucidating human ecological concepts through the presentation of relevant unequivocal evidence. It will also serve as an atlas for pollen, spores and other microscopic elements from media within the African continent. It may also provide useful information on the application of artificial intelligence, mathematical models, machine learning and technological advancement in palynology, palaeoecology and human ecology research in Africa.

Target Audience

The target audience includes students, fieldworkers and researchers in the broad field of the palaeoscience. Precisely, the book will be of relevance to scientists and professionals in the fields of human ecology, palaeoecology and palynology. The specific subject areas of target will include but not limited to anthropology, archaeology, archaeobotany, palaeobotany, human history, palynology, taxonomy, pollen and non-pollen based climatology investigations, Quaternary vegetation dynamism, environmental archaeology, botany, biostratigraphy, palaeoecology, mathematics, computer science, biogeography public health, as well as the impact of human on their environment.

Recommended Topics

• Pollen and spore morphology of African plants • Archeopalynology and environmental archaeology in Africa • Palaeoecology and palaeopalynology of Africa • Palynology, aerobiology and public health • Trends in forensic palynology in Africa • Aerobiology of the African continent • Pollen and spore-induced immunological response among Africans • Pollen induced allergenicity of Africa plants • Palaeoenvironment of Africa in the late Quaternary • Machine learning, artificial intelligence, mathematical models and their application in palaeoecology • Palynology in plant taxonomy • Palynochemistry, • melissopalynology • Environment and Human-environment history • Climate variability: using fossils, pollen and spores in Africa • Vegetation change in African ecosystems • Climate change, human societies and sustainability • Vegetation history during the Stone Age • Pre-historic vegetation dynamism in the Sahara • Vegetation change and land use in Africa • The Anthropocene and Human ecology of Africa • State and empire formations in Africa • African food production, diets, agriculture and food security. • Hunter gathering in Africa • Early human occupation in Africa • Human and cultural adaptations in the last 50,000 yrs BP • Palynology and prehistoric subsistence in Africa • Theory, practices and principles of environmental archaeology • Food, shelter, warfare and economics of African nations in prehistory • Recent advancements in palynology and human ecological studies in Africa.

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before January 16, 2023, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by January 30, 2023 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines.Full chapters are expected to be submitted by March 13, 2023, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions at prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Palynology and Human Ecology of Africa. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.

All proposals should be submitted through the eEditorial Discovery® online submission manager.


This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), an international academic publisher of the "Information Science Reference" (formerly Idea Group Reference), "Medical Information Science Reference," "Business Science Reference," and "Engineering Science Reference" imprints. IGI Global specializes in publishing reference books, scholarly journals, and electronic databases featuring academic research on a variety of innovative topic areas including, but not limited to, education, social science, medicine and healthcare, business and management, information science and technology, engineering, public administration, library and information science, media and communication studies, and environmental science. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit This publication is anticipated to be released in 2023.

Important Dates

January 16, 2023: Proposal Submission Deadline
January 30, 2023: Notification of Acceptance
March 13, 2023: Full Chapter Submission
April 2, 2023: Review Results Returned
May 14, 2023: Final Acceptance Notification
May 28, 2023: Final Chapter Submission


Emuobosa Orijemie
Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Ibadan

Sylvester Obigba
Palynology Laboratory, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Ibadan


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