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Annual Meeting 2013

57th Annual Meeting of the Palaeontological Association
University of Zurich, Switzerland
13-16 December 2013

Registration and abstract submission are both now closed.
Please address all queries to

The 57th Annual Meeting of the Palaeontological Association wlill be held at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, organised by Christian Klug, Heike Goetzmann and colleagues from the Palaeontological Institute and Museum.


Four maps have been prepared to assist delegates in navigation in Zurich. They can be downloaded as jpg files using the links below:

[Hotels Map] [Directions] [Conference Dinner Map] [Bars]

Oral Contributors

All speakers (apart from the symposium speakers) have been allocated 15 min. You should therefore prepare a 12 min talk to allow time for questions and switching between presenters. We are using a limited number of parallel sessions in adjacent theatres so this is especially important. A single A/V projector linked to two screens (i.e. displaying the same image) is available; the system is both Mac- and PC-based and PowerPoint is installed. We will try to accommodate anyone who requires other platforms/ hardware, provided they bring these with them. Your presentation should be submitted and checked the day before it is scheduled. If this is not possible, then please contact me.

Poster Contributors

Poster boards are circa 2 m tall and 1m wide; they will not be supplied with power sockets. Each will accommodate an A0-sized poster presented in PORTRAIT format. The board will NOT do so if printed at this size in landscape format.


You can, but you don’t have to.


Of course: ship it to me (allow time for Christmas post) at Christian Klug, Paläontologisches Institut und Museum, Karl Schmid-Strasse 4, CH-8006 Zürich. Email me using to advice that you have done so. It can be collected upon arrival. (You may wish to bring the poster on a USB stick in case it is lost or damaged in the post, but we do not have access to an A0-printer here, so you would have to go to a shop nearby to get it printed in the worst case).

Friday 13th: Symposium and Icebreaker reception

The meeting will begin Friday afternoon with the symposium followed by the icebreaker reception.

Please note that this scheduling is different from previous years.

The meeting will begin with a symposium on ‘Fossilised ontogenies and evolution’.

1.45-2.00 pm Welcome

2.00-2.30 pmProf. Hans Kerp, Patricia Kearney & Hagen Hass (Universitaet Muenster):
“Reproduction and early development of two plants from the Early Devonian Rhynie chert”

2.30-3.00 pm Dr. Alex Nuetzel (Bayerische Staatssammlung fuer Palaeontologie und Geologie Munich):
"Larval ecology in fossil gastropods"

3.00-3.30 pm Prof. Nigel Hughes (University of California Riverside):
“Trilobites – evodevo on a roll”

3.30-4.00 pm Coffee break

4.00-4.30 pm Dr. Zerina Johanson (Natural History Museum London) & Kate Trinajstic (Curtin University):
"Fossilized ontogenies: Gogo placoderms reveal embryonic development in 370 million year old early vertebrates"

4.30-5.00 pm Dr. Rainer Schoch (Staatliches Museum fuer Naturkunde Stuttgart):
"Life histories of early tetrapods: a diversity of ontogenies"

5.00-5.30 pm Prof. Jukka Jernvall (University of Helsinki):
“Gradualism, punctuated equilibria, and missing links in developing teeth”

7.00-8.30 pm Annual Address: Prof. Michael Coates (Dept of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago):
“Sharks and the deep origin of modern jawed vertebrates”

We are extremely grateful to the Palaeontological Association for their sponsorship of this symposium and the Annual Address.

9.00-11.30pm The icebreaker reception will be held at the Zoological museum.

Many thanks to the city of Zurich for sponsoring this event!

11.30pm - There are many pubs and bars in Zurich, several open also after midnight. See the map for bars and areas with many bars (Langstrasse, Niederdorf, Kreis 5).

Saturday 14th to Sunday 15th: Conference, Association AGM and Annual Address

The conference itself will commence on Saturday 14th December with a full day of talks and posters and the Association AGM. The lectures will be mainly in the large lecture hall KOL2-F-180, which is suspended above the Zoological Museum (see Map_direction), and parallel sessions might be held in the afternoons in the lecture hall KOL-F-118 E 5029. In the evening there will be the Annual Dinner. After the Dinner, everybody is free to go to bed or find a pub or bar

Sunday 15th December will comprise a dedicated poster session and talks. The time allocated to each talk will be 15 minutes; parallel sessions, we will try to avoid, however, they will be organised, if really required, for part of each day to accommodate as many speakers as possible.

Monday 16th: Fieldtrips

Field trip A (Dinosaur museum Aathal): £40.00

[Lunch not included]

We will take the public transport (included) from the main station of Zurich to the village of Aaathal. After a 10 minute walk, we will be at the museum. We will be guided either by the director Dr. h. c. Hans-Jakob Siber or by the vice-director Dr. Thomas Bolliger. The Sauriermuseum Aathal was founded by Dr. h. c. Hans-Jakob Siber and has become world-renowned for its world-class dinosaur-skeletons, which were excavated by Siber's team. Lunch will be either at the Italian restaurant next door or in the museum. The tour will end around 3 pm (back in Zurich around 3.30 pm), making it possible -for those who wish to travel home the same day- to catch a late flight.

Fieldtrip B (Ticino, Monte San Giorgio, Museum Meride): £110.00

[containing one night in a hotel (shared rooms) from Sunday to Monday, breakfast, museum fee, transport; dinner + lunch will have to be paid individually]

Directly after the last talk, we will take three VW-busses to Ticino. We will have lunch directly south of the St. Gotthard-tunnel and shall arrive at our hotel around 10 pm. On Monday, Dr. Heinz Furrer (curator of the Palaeontological Museum of the University of Zurich) will guide us to two localities in the Monte San Giorgio area (it might be cold, but usually, there is not a lot of snow) and we will visit the new and excellent museum in Meride, which exhibits fossils from the Triassic of Monte San Giorgio as well as spectacular models of the animals of Monte San Giorgio made by Beat Scheffold (Collection assistant, producer of palaeontological reconstructions). We will head back to Zurich around 3 pm and will be at Zurich around 7 pm (depending on the weather conditions and the traffic, the time of arrival might vary significantly).

The number of participants is limited to 24.

Registration and booking

Abstract submission is now closed.

The deadline for registration is now passed.

The cost of registration is similar to last year. Early registration is £95 (approximately €110.00, US$140.00) for ordinary and retired members; £65.00 (approximately €75.00, US$95.00) for students; and £125.00 (approximately €145.00 , US$185.00) for non-members. Persons, who register early, will obtain an original Mammut backpack with the meeting logo stitched onto it.

Registration costs include sandwich lunches on Saturday and Sunday, the reception on Friday evening, full registration package and tea/coffee breaks.

The Annual Dinner event costs £50.00 (approximately €60.00 ; US$75.00). It will be held in the Uto Kulm Restaurant on the Uetliberg (, a mountain next to Zurich (see Map_conferenceDinner). The evening’s festivities will include a drinks reception, a salad buffet and a classical Swiss cheese fondue. To get to the restaurant, we will guide you to the train and will travel to the highest mountain of Zurich, the Üetliberg (870 m). From the train station, it will still be a short walk of 500 m (60 m in altitude). The last train that leaves from the mountain is at 0.03 am, so the restaurant closes around 11.45 pm.

For those of you, who are not able to walk a short distance, please contact me for a shuttle:

Venue and travel

The conference will take place at the Universitaet Zentrum (see Map_direction), University of Zurich, which is a 10 minute walk uphill from the main station (HB = Hauptbahnhof). Accommodation we have reserved is nearby, so no further public transport will be needed to get to the lecture halls from your hotel (only if you stay in places further away, obviously). However, to get to the Conference dinner, we will use public transport. Tickets will be provided and we will guide you there in small groups (see also the preceding paragraph).

Getting to Zurich

For those who wish to avoid flying, Zurich can be reached by combining rail (e.g. via Paris, TGV usually takes about 4-5 hours to Zurich) or bus links, which might be more or less cheap but obviously time consuming. For the majority, flying will be the best option.


Zurich is served by Zurich Airport Kloten (ZRH), which is located north of Zurich City Centre. There are currently direct air links (including EasyJet from London) into Zurich from a large number of airports globally, and, in particular, from Britain, continental Europe and North America. If you want to get a good bargain, early booking is recommended. It is usually worthwhile consulting search engines such as, e.g., or, which would search several other providers and airlines.

Another option is flying to Basel/ Mulhouse airport. From there, a bus takes you to the main station in Basel city. There are fast trains to Zurich which take about one hour. So in total, the journey Basel airport – Zurich would take about 1h 30min.

Transferring from the airport

There are frequent connecting “S-Bahn” (city trains) and regular trains from the airport to the city centre (main station = Hauptbahnhof). You can use all of those, where Zurich HB is indicated (some are faster, some slower) with the same ticket from the vending machine in the airport (around 2 to 3 £; you can pay in Euros, Swiss Francs, Maestro, Postbank card, etc.). The transfer takes 10 to 15 minutes.

Getting to the Universitaet Zentrum-building (University of Zurich)

Once you’ve reached the main station (Zurich HB), leave the building towards the river Limmat. Be careful, because there is also the river Sihl, which is also close to the train station (see Map_direction). You can always ask because most of the locals speak English well and are very helpful. Cross the Limmat until you reach the large roundabout with a bus stop and a tram stop (‘Central’). From there, you can:

  • walk up the stairs:
  • take tram 6 or 10 to the stop ETH/ Universitaetsspital and then follow the directions provided; a map of all connections within the city is also available.
  • take the cable car (Polybahn; seedirections). The entry is next door from Starbucks at Central (across the river from the main station). It costs 1 CHF (it is included when you have a valid ticket for Zone 110), a vending machine is at the entry of the Polybahn. It is a short romantic ride, which takes you to the Polyterrasse, which is a large terrace providing a nice view over the town. Cross the terrace, turn left into the Karl Schmid-Strasse. The entry is between the two fish ponds. As always, we will put up signs to guide you, once you are close to the lecture halls.


Zurich is served by one main railway station: Zurich HB (main station = Hauptbahnhof). There are TGVs from Brussels and Paris, ICEs from Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Berlin and the Cisalpino from Milano. They are all rather comfortable and fast. Make sure whether you need reservations or not.

Local public transport: Tram and bus

Public transport is excellently organised in Switzerland and the costs are reasonable. In Zurich, there is roughly each 300 m a tram stop or a bus stop. You can get short distant tickets (‘Kurzstrecke’; only to the destinations listed on the vending machine), 1 hour tickets (in Zurich for Zone 110, which is the majority of the city) and 24 hour tickets for Zone 110. Zurich is not a very big town, so many places can easily be reached walking. Bear in mind, however, that there are many hills and walking through Zurich might involve climbing many stairs.


There are usually abundant taxis in operation in the city centre at any given time. Zurich taxis belong to the most expensive taxis worldwide, so I recommend using them only if you are rich or lack another choice. It is possible to hail a taxi from the street, but convenient taxi ranks in the city centre are located on the Hauptbahnhof and around other bigger train or tram stations. You may also call one under +41 (0) 44 4444444 or +41 (0) 43 4555885 or +41 (0) 44 4504242.


Rooms in a variety of hotels, hostels and guest-houses at a range of prices are available in Zurich city centre and can be reserved through the usual channels. In addition, we have organised discount rates at some hotels close to University.

Accommodation must be booked separately; bookings can be made individually (for students: why not try couch-surfing?) or via the following link (some hotels, where we made reservations and where we obtain a cheaper rate; BOOK EARLY, because these rates are available ONLY UNTIL NOVEMBER 6TH):

Zürich Tourismus, Hotelreservation
Im Hauptbahnhof
CH-8021 Zürich
Tel.: +41 44 215 40 40
Fax: +41 44 215 40 44

A credit card number is required at the time of booking as a guarantee for room.

Here are the included hotels (see map):
  • Hotel St. Georges, Weberstrasse 11, 8004 Zürich, single room 129.50 CHF double room 166 CHF
  • Hotel Limmathof, Limmatquai 142,8001 Zürich, single room 145 CHF double room 178 CHF
  • Hotel Scheuble, Mühlegasse 17, 8001 Zürich, single room 150 CHF
  • Hotel Astor, Weinbergstrasse 44, 8006 Zürich, single room 155 CHF double room 185 CHF
  • City Hotel, Löwenstrasse 34, 8021 Zürich, single room 165 CHF double room 230 CHF
  • Comfort Hotel Royal, Leonhardstrasse 6, 8001 Zürich, single room 175 CHF
  • Hotel Alexander, Niederdorfstrasse 40, 8001 Zürich, single room 180 CHF double room 240 CHF
  • Hotel Adler, Rosengasse 10, 8001 Zürich, single room 195 CHF double room 275 CHF
  • Rütli, Sorell Hotel, Zähringerstrasse 43, 8001 Zürich, single room 200 CHF double room 230 CHF
  • Leonardo Boutique Hotel Rigihof, Universitätstrasse 101, 8006 Zürich, single room 300 CHF double room 310 CHF

Think about sharing a room to save costs, if necessary!

The hotel costs are not so different from British towns.

PhD and master students might prefer staying at the youth hostel:
Jugendherberge Zürich, Mutschellenstrasse 114, 8038 Zürich, Tel: +41 43 399 78 00,

There are several other hotels (some indicated in the map), which are in a reasonable distance and NOT in this list (Hotel Sunnehus, Design Hotel Plattenhof, Hotel Foyer Hottingen).

Travel grants to student members

The Palaeontological Association runs a programme of travel grants to assist student members (doctoral and earlier) to attend the Annual Meeting in order to present a talk or poster. For the Zurich 2013 meeting, grants of less than £100 (or the € equivalent) will be available to student presenters who are travelling from outside Europe. The actual amount available will depend on the number of applicants and the distance travelled. Payment of these awards is given as a disbursement at the Meeting, not as an advance payment. Students interested in applying for a PalAss travel grant should contact the Executive Officer, Dr Tim Palmer ( once the organisers have confirmed that their presentation is accepted, and before 1st December 2013. Entitle the e-mail “Travel Grant Request”. No awards can be made to those who have not followed this procedure.

A rise of the granted amount depends on the amount of money that will come in from sponsors.

Why not make a stay of it?

Switzerland at any time of the year is an excellent destination for a short break; why not come a few days early and see what the country has to offer? Alternatively, if anyone travelling with you is not enthralled by the idea of three days at a PalAss conference there is plenty to do.

We look forward to seeing you in Zurich in December!

Sponsors and Collaborators

University of Zurich
Springer Taylor and Francis

Created by Alan R.T. Spencer on the 2010-08-03. (Version 2.0)