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The Association

The Palaeontological Association was founded in 1957 to promote the study of palaeontology and its allied sciences through publication of academic journals (Palaeontology, Special Papers in Palaeontology, and Papers in Palaeontology), the Newsletter, and Field Guides; holding regular meetings and field excursions; and funding a program of annual grants and awards.

The Association is based in the UK and is registered as a UK charity, but its members are drawn from all over the world. The interests of members of the Association encompass all aspects of palaeontology, including macropalaeontology, micropalaeontology, palaeobotany, vertebrate palaeontology, palaeoecology, and biostratigraphy. There are currently about 1000 professional, amateur and student members.

The Palaeontological Association is committed to providing equality of opportunity. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in palaeontology and its allied sciences, regardless of colour, ethnic or national origin, race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, religious or other beliefs, marital status or family circumstance. The only membership requirement is payment of the appropriate annual subscription where applicable. More details of the aims and the nature of the Association are listed below and in the constitution.

The activities of the Association include up to four thematic review seminars each year, the Progressive Palaeontology meeting at which early career researchers (mostly postgraduate students) present their work, and the Annual Meeting. For many, this meeting is the high point of the Association calendar. It takes place in mid-December in a city somewhere in Europe (usually the UK two out of every three years, e.g. Lille 2004, Oxford 2005, Sheffield 2006, Uppsala 2007, Glasgow 2008, Birmingham 2009), and brings together palaeontologists from across the world for two or three days of talks, a short field excursion, the Association’s AGM, and a vigorous social programme with an Annual Dinner. Presentations at the meeting cover the latest developments in palaeontology, and the standard of presentation is very high. Many talks are given by early career scientists competing for the prestigious 'Presidents Prize'. The abstracts from the Annual Meetings give an indication of the nature of this meeting, but in addition to the formal content, the meeting also provides a relaxed setting in which a great deal of enthusiastic palaeontological discussion takes place. Invariably this continues late into the night in bars and restaurants.


The Palaeontological Assoication membership is open to anyone.

Key Points

  • Membership of the Palaeontological Association is open to anyone.
  • Subscriptions are kept low so as to allow as many people to join as possible.
  • In addition to other benefits, members receive Palaeontology NewsletterPalaeontology (journal) and Papers in Palaeontology (journal), plus generous discounts on other Association publications.
  • Membership is required for those applying for awards from the Association such as the annual Small Grants Scheme Awards.

New/Renew Membership

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Contact Us

Please use our online form to contact members of the PalAss Council, the Executive Officer, and Publications Officer. Alternatively check the current council list under this section of this website for futher individual contact details.

Contact Form

Governing Documents and Structure

The Palaeonological Association (PalAss) is governed and structured under rules and regulations set by the The Charity Commission. Below you will find documents relating the day to day running of our organisation.


History of the Association at 60

"The story of the Palaeontological Association starts on a Wednesday in the Autumn of 1954. Bill Ramsbottom and I emerged from the, then, Geological Survey Museum into Exhibition Road to bump into Gwyn Thomas coming down from Imperial College, and the three of us caught up with Bill Ball leaving the Natural History Museum. We were all on our way to the South Kensington tube to attend a meeting of the Geological Society of London at Burlington House. It seemed a reasonable economy, important in those days, to share a taxi..."