The Annual Meeting of the Palaeontological Association will be held between 15–21 December 2019 at the University of Valencia, one of the oldest universities in Spain, founded in 1499. The organizing committee is chaired by Dr Carlos Martinez-Perez, with help from members of the Botany and Geology department at the University of Valencia, as well as collaborators from the University of Alicante and the Spanish Geological Survey. An abstract booklet with details of the AGM will be distributed at the Meeting and is available online.
Outline conference programme
The 63rd Annual Meeting will be held from 18th to 20th December 2019, with a pre-conference field-trip from 15th-17th December, and one day post-conference field-trip on the 21st December. The meeting will take place in the faculties of Philosophy and Philology on the Blasco Ibañez Campus of the University of Valencia. The Symposium will take place in the Salon Actos Manuel Sanchis Guarner in the Faculty of Philology. The main meeting will take place in this and a nearby lecture theatre (Salon de Actos Philosophy Faculty). There is a Metro stop just a few metres from the campus that connects with the centre of the city in 5-10 minutes (Line 3-Facultats). Alternatively, the campus is a 20-25 min walk from the ‘old town’. Given the volume of participants, parallel sessions will be held in the main halls of these faculties, located just 100 m away from each other.
Workshops and symposium
The meeting will begin with several workshops during the morning of Wednesday 18th December at the Faculty of Philology. Several workshops supported by specialists from Transmitting Science are planned; these will be on the application of analytical techniques for the study of fossils, The meeting will continue in the afternoon with a symposium focusing on ‘Virtual Palaeontology’, consisting of six invited talks by recognized international researchers on topics including 3D acquisition techniques, tomography, photogrammetry, morphometrics, computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis and multi body dynamic techniques.
Conference and Annual Address
The main conference will begin on Thursday 19th December with a full day of talks and posters, followed by the Annual General Meeting and the Annual Address given by Dr Maria McNamara (University College Cork) during the afternoon. At the end of the working day, the Annual Dinner will be held in a village on the outskirts of Valencia, at the nature reserve of La Albufera, with a live ‘paella cooking show’ and a disco party. Friday 20th December will be a full day of posters and talks in parallel sessions. Talks for both days will be allocated 15 minutes including time for questions.
Both pre-conference and post-conference field-trips have been scheduled. A three-day pre-conference field-trip will visit the Palaeozoic series of the Iberian Range, visiting numerous palaeontological sites ranging from the Lower Cambrian to the Middle Devonian in the neighbouring provinces of Teruel and Zaragoza. We will depart on the 15th of December early in the morning from Valencia, and return on the 17th late in the afternoon, arriving in time for checking in and relaxing before the beginning of the Annual Meeting. The field-trip fees include three days of meals, transport, the field-trip guide and accommodation for the duration (including Saturday 14th to facilitate the early departure of the group). The number of participants will be limited to 30 due to the characteristics of the outcrops.
The post-conference field-trip will entail a one-day visit (21st December) to the Miocene of the Province of Alicante, visiting the ichonological record of the Cabo de las Huerta close to Alicante, the Messinian coral reef of Santa Pola and the unique Palaeontological Museum of the province in Elche. The field-trip will be limited to 45 participants (coach capacity), departing from Valencia and returning there during the late afternoon. The price includes a meal.
Getting to Valencia and the venue
Valencia is well connected with the rest of Spain and Europe, with its International Airport (VLC) being the destination for several Ryanair and Easyjet flights. From this airport you can easily reach the city centre by taxi or metro (Lines 3-5) in a short period of time. Valencia is also connected by high speed train (AVE) to Madrid, Barcelona and Alicante, and these can easily be reached from most cities within Europe, as well as non-European destinations. AVE trains arrive into Joaquín Sorolla Station, situated a 10-minute walk from the city centre.
The conference is being held at the Blasco Ibañez Campus where all venues are a short walk from one another. Valencia is a relatively small city; the campus is located just a 20-25 min walk from the ‘old town’. In addition, the city is well connected with public transport, including bus (EMT), tram and metro lines. There is a metro stop just a few metres from the conference venue that connects to the centre of the city in 5-10 minutes (Line 3-Facultats), within the A Zone.
You can find detailed metro information on the metrovalencia website: https://www.metrovalencia.es/page.php?idioma=_en
There are different one-way tickets and transport fares available for travellers. However, an economic option is the 10-journey underground Travel Card, which is rechargeable and can be shared, or, for several days, the T1 Card (for 24, 48 or 72h) with unlimited travel on trams, the metro and bus lines within the A Zone (airport is not included) is a good option.
Registration and booking
Registration is now closed due to maximum numbers being reached. The registration fee includes the icebreaker reception on Wednesday evening, the full registration package and tea/coffee from Wednesday through to Friday, plus lunch on Thursday and Friday. Accommodation must be booked separately (see below). The Annual Dinner costs €45 and will be held in the Albufera nature reserve; transport will be provided. The evening will begin with a drinks reception followed by a Paella ‘cooking show’ and dancing. Additional dinner bookings can be taken until we reach capacity; however, no further bookings will be taken after the end of November.
Valencia has an accommodation capacity of more than 18,000 rooms in hotels and youth hostels, plus apartments and Airbnb. Accommodation is available within walking distance of the university, with plenty of options in the nearby old town, where there are numerous bars, restaurants and pubs. Accommodation should be booked separately through the usual online resources (see for example <www.booking.com>), although we aim to provide a list of suggestions in due course.
All speakers (apart from the symposium speakers) have been allocated 15 minutes. It is therefore expected that you prepare to speak for no more than 12 minutes to allow time for questions and switching between presenters. We have a number of parallel sessions in adjacent lecture theatres so timing will be especially important. All lecture theatres have an AV projector linked to a large screen. All presentations should be in PowerPoint or PDF format. These should be submitted prior to the meeting to Carlos Martínez Pérez (email@example.com) after compressing the presentation to minimize file size. Alternatively, you can bring the presentation to the meeting on a USB stick. During the meeting there will be a volunteer with a computer outside the lecture rooms who can upload your presentation.
Poster boards will accommodate an A0-sized poster presented in portrait format only. Pins to affix your poster to the boards will be available at the meeting. Posters will be displayed in the Faculty of Philosophy and can be put up during Wednesday afternoon or on Thursday morning (between 08.00 and 08.45).
Travel grants to student members
Students who have been awarded a PalAss travel grant should see the Executive Officer, Dr Jo Hellawell (e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>) to receive their reimbursement.
There are baby changing facilities on campus, and a nursing room can be made available as required. A nearby nursery can accommodate some young children (between 1 and 5 years of age) during the days of the main meeting for those who enquired during the registration period.
All buildings within the university are accessible via ramps and/or lifts.
The city of Valencia
Valencia is located on Spain’s eastern coast, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in the centre of the Gulf of Valencia. Its architecture dates from the first century BC to the most futuristic 21st century designs, combining history, tradition and modernity in an unusual way. Beaches bathed by the Mediterranean Sea are just 15 minutes from the city centre, near to the Marina Real Juan Carlos I, where an abundance of restaurants, pubs and music await. In addition, the city boasts wide-ranging environmental aspects due to its proximity to the Albufera nature reserve (cradle of the most famous Spanish dish, ‘la paella’) and more centrally its green lung, located in the old Turia riverbed that crosses the city centre from east to west. Valencia is a city experienced in accommodating all kind of events, with a reputation as one of the most complete and versatile destinations on the continent.
The City of Arts and Sciences (CAC), designed by Santiago Calatrava, is the most iconic example of modern architecture in the city. The complex includes several fantastical buildings that house a science museum, the opera house, an IMAX cinema and an aquarium, all of them built in the old Turia riverbed surrounded by gardens and pools. Our logo was designed by Hugo Salais (HSilustration), a young scientific illustrator from Valencia, using some of these iconic buildings as a template with their reflections in the water that surrounds Valencia appearing in the shape of a nautiloid, a trilobite and the ostreid Tridacna.
We look forward to welcoming you to Valencia!