By the national delegates: Stefan Wastegård (Sweden), Inger Greve Alsos (Norway) and Niko Putkinen (Finland)
The XXI INQUA Congress was held in Rome, 14-20 June 2023 during a heatwave with temperatures up to +42ºC. The Congress started July 13 with the Ice-breaker party at the Botanical Garden of Rome followed by the Opening Ceremony (July 14) at the Aula Magna of Sapienza University of Rome, attended by the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella and the Minister of University and Research Anna Maria Bernini. Almost 3000 participants, including more than 1300 Early Career Researchers, attended the Congress with 1480 oral and 2114 poster presentations.
Sweden, Norway and Finland are National members of INQUA and pay membership fees to INQUA and are entitled to send one delegate and one observer to INQUA International Council meetings. Denmark and Iceland are associate members, do not pay membership fees, and have limited rights and may not vote at council meetings or propose candidates for election to office in the Executive Committee. There were three two-hour meetings of the International Council during the congress.
INQUA is led by an Executive Committee with 8 members. Thijs van Kolfschoten, Leiden University, the Netherlands has served two periods as president and a new president was elected during the meetings, Laura Sadori, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
INQUA’s basic goal – promoting improved communication and international collaboration in basic and applied aspects of Quaternary research – is achieved mainly through the activities of its Commissions, Committees and Working Groups. There are at present five commissions, CMP, HABCOM, PALCOM, SACCOM, TERPRO. There was a suggestion to increase the number of commissions to 10-12 commissions in 2025 with leaders with diversity (nationality and expertise) and include at least one ECR. It is, however, unclear how the new commissions will be formed and the timeplan for that.
INQUA has a healthy economy, partly due to the pandemic when many activities were cancelled or interrupted. About 45% of the incomes are from membership fees and ca 55% from royalties from Quaternary International.
A new INQUA journal was launched at the congress: Quaternary Environment and Humans, published by Elsevier, see: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/quaternary-environments-and-humans
There is funding available in different INQUA grants and fellowships:
INQUA Grants (deadline 30 September 2023) and INQUA Fellowships (deadline 15 September 2023), see https://inqua.org/funding
INQUA Fellowship Program financially supports early-career scientists (ECRs), as well as scientists from low- and middle-income countries/developing countries (DCRs), to gain international Quaternary research experience at a foreign institution for the duration of 3-6 months.
For INQUA Grants, see https://inqua.org/funding/grants
The XXII INQUA Congress will be held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India, probably 20-28 February 2027 at the Indira Ghandi Pratishthan venue.