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.
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. All scientific sessions, workshops and the symposium will take place on the Blasco Ibañez Campus of the University of Valencia, in the Philosophy and Philology faculties. Given the volume of expected participants, several 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 proposed. 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 relax before the beginning of the Annual Meeting. The field-trip fees will 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.
In addition, the post-conference field-trip will entail a 1-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 will include a meal.
Getting to Valencia
The conference will be 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’, where abundant hotels are available. 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).
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). 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.
Registration and booking
Registration, booking and abstract submission will commence in June 2019. Abstract submission will close in September (date to be confirmed) and abstracts submitted after that date will not be considered. Registration after that date will incur an additional administration charge, with the final deadline for registration in November 2019, unless capacity is reached earlier. Registration and bookings will be taken on a strictly first-come, first-served basis. No refunds will be available after the final deadline. Registration, abstract submission, booking and payment (by credit card) will be available online via the Palaeontological Association website (<www.palass.org>) from June 2019.
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.
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 Valencia 2019 meeting, grants of up to £100 (or the euro equivalent) will be available to student presenters who are travelling from outside Spain. 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 Jo Hellawell (e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>) once the organizers have confirmed that their presentation is accepted, and before 1st December 2019. Entitle the e-mail “Travel Grant Request”. No awards can be made to those who have not followed this procedure.
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 in December!