School hosts The Micropalaeontological Society Foraminifera and Nannofossil Group Meeting

Student and post-doc talk and poster presentation prize winners, including Ulrike Baranowski (second from left)

From 19 to 22 June, the School hosted the annual TMS 'foram & nanno' group meeting - a highly regarded specialist meeting for micropalaeontologists from across Europe and beyond.

This year, the meeting drew 80 delegates from around the world including the UK, Spain, Germany, Norway, Denmark, France, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Italy and the West Indies. The main sessions consisted of two days of talks (22 presentations) and poster sessions (30 presentations). Highlights included three keynote speakers: Dr Willem Renema (Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, Leiden, NL) on the resilience of reef-dwelling benthic foraminifera in SE Asia to 20/21st century perturbations, Professor Heather Stoll (ETH Zurich) on the relationships between long-term variations in atmospheric CO2 levels and the photosynthetic mechanisms of marine phytoplankton, and Professor Paul Pearson (Cardiff University) on the links between planetary temperatures, surface ocean structure and nutrient cycling.

The School was delighted to be able to 'live stream' most of the talks to YouTube, with the technical and video skills of PhD student Jack Richardson, as well as offering podcasts summarising and discussing each day with key delegates, co-ordinated and hosted by PhD student Amy Jones. 

Within the presentations, there were two oral presentations by School staff (Kirsty Edgar and Tom Dunkley Jones), as well as eight posters from School MSc and PhD students and researchers (Zainab Al Rawahi, Ulrike Baranowksi, Arianna Del Gaudio, Witty D’Souza, Charlotte Fielder, Jonathan Hall, Amy Jones, and Wilf Pearson). The School was delighted that the independent, external judging panel awarded the best student poster presentation prize to Ulrike Baranowski, for her poster 'Early and middle Eocene sea surface temperatures and water column gradients of the Rockall Trough'. 

The meeting was preceded by two one-day workshops - 'Digital Chronostratigraphy' and 'International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) drilling in the Indo-Pacific'. The later was sponsored by UK IODP and drew together UK participants in recent IODP Expeditions to the Indo-Pacific over the past four years. Major themes included new high-resolution records of the Indian, Asian, SE Asian and Australian monsoon systems, and the integration of these records with climate model simulations with altered temperature and orographic boundary conditions.  

The meeting closed with a one-day field trip to the Silurian of the Shropshire Hills, including site visits to two Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Points (GSSPs) - international markers for the division of geological time - as well as a productive couple of hours fossil collecting in the famous reefs of the Wenlock Limestone. 

The meeting, workshops and field trip were organised and hosted by Tom Dunkley Jones and Kirsty Edgar, but would not have been possible without the help of MSc and PhD students, including some non-micropalaeontologists! 

The team also wish to thank meeting sponsors, including UK IODP, GT Vision, RPS Energy, BetaAnalytic, PlosONE and Copernicus Publications.