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Annual Meeting 2019 - Valencia, Spain: Programme

Number: 63rd Annual Meeting
Year: 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Hosted By: University of Valencia, Spain
Organised By: Organizing committee chaired by Dr Carlos Martinez-Perez
General Contact Email:


Summary of schedule

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.

Sunday 15th - Tuesday 17th December: Pre-conference field-trip 

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. This trip 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.

Wednesday 18th December: Workshops, Sympoisum 

The meeting will begin with several workshops during the morning of Wednesday 18th December in the Faculty of Philology. Several workshops will be run by specialists from Transmitting Science on the application of analytical techniques for the study of fossils. In the afternoon the Annual Symposium will focus on ‘Virtual Palaeontology’:

Thursday 19th December: Conference, AGM, Annual Address and Dinner

The main conference will begin on Thursday 19th December with a full day of talks and posters, followed by the Annual General Meeting. The Annual Address will be given by Dr Maria McNamara (University College Cork) during the afternoon on the topic ‘Not just skin deep: probing the secrets of fossil melanin using taphonomic experiments and analytical chemistry’. At the end of the 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. The dinner and party are subsidized thanks to the generosity of our sponsors.

Friday 20th December: Conference and Posters

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. Lunches will be provided to delegates on both the 19th and 20th of December and are included in the registration fee.

Saturday 21st December: Post-conference field-trip

The post-conference field-trip will entail a one-day visit on 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. 

Wednesday 18th December

The meeting will begin with several workshops which will run concurrently from 09.00 – 12.30 in the Faculty of Philology. These will be led by specialists from Transmitting Science on the application of analytical techniques for the study of fossils. They will be followed by the symposium.


09.00 – 12.30

Introduction to biomechanics and Finite Element Analysis

Dr Jordi Marcé-Nogué (University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, USA)

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a great tool for biologists, palaeontologists, doctors, veterinarians, and other life sciences specialties in which researchers face questions about biomechanics of living and extinct organisms. Elements like bone, arthropod exoskeleton, mollusk shell, or the stems and leaves of plants can be analysed using this technique. In this workshop there will be an introduction to Biomechanics and FEA.

09.00 – 12.30

First steps into Geometric Morphometrics

Dr Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno (Transmitting Science, Spain)

This short workshop will introduce some basic concepts in Geometric Morphometrics. It will consist of some theoretical explanations followed by software demonstrations. We will cover the following topics: Comparing forms, what is it all about?; What is a landmark?, differences between landmarks and configurations; Let´s do it!: translation, rotation and scaling; Removing size: Centroid Size (CS) and allometry; Generalized Least Squares (GLS), why this and not other techniques?; Visualization: Thin Plate Spline, Lollipop Graphs; Taking the general picture: Principal Components Analysis (PCA).

09.00 – 12.30

Essentials of Anatomical Network Analysis

Dr Borja Esteve-Altava (Instituto de Biología Evolutiva, Barcelona, Spain) and Dr Diego Rasskin-Gutman (University of Valencia, Spain)

Network analysis allows one to quantify and compare disparate forms (extinct and extant) by focusing on the topological features of anatomical systems. In this course, you will learn the essential tools to perform an anatomical network analysis of your system of interest.

09.00 – 12.30

Using phylogenies in palaeobiological studies

Dr Juan L. Cantalapiedra (Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Spain)

Phylogenetic methods that integrate fossil information are a powerful tool to reconstruct macroevolutionary patterns. In this workshop, we will review some of the palaeobiological questions that we can address using fossil-rich phylogenetic trees.

09.00 – 12.30

Introduction to graphic design for scientists

Dr Oscar Sanisidro (Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Spain)

Palaeontological research is often supported by graphics like photographs, schemes, or graphs. They make use of technical and aesthetic criteria to transmit scientific information. During this workshop, we will learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator© and Adobe Photoshop©, the tools of the trade of many modern technical illustrations. As a result, the attendants will be able to produce their own figures in an efficient and professional way, streamline the process of figure creation for scientific publication and optimizing them for their final publication.

09.00 – 12.30

Introduction to 3D data visualisation and segmentation using Avizo

Dr John Cunningham (University of Bristol, UK) and Dr Carlos Martinez-Perez (University of Valencia, Spain)

Following the previous year’s workshop and the topic of the Annual Symposium, this workshop will provide a practical introduction to the Avizo 3D software package for working with 3D tomographic datasets. These include datasets generated by synchrotron- or computed-tomography imaging techniques that are used widely in palaeontology. There will be a brief introduction to 3D tomographic techniques, followed by hands-on introduction to using the software for image visualisation and segmentation. The workshop is suitable for researchers at any level with no, or limited, prior experience of working with 3D data. This workshop is developed in the frame of the UNESCO-IGCP-652.

Symposium: Virtual Palaeontology

13.30 – 13.45Welcome
13.45 – 14.15

Digitizing the vertebrate palaeontology collection of the Museum für Naturkunde of Berlin: preserving our natural history heritage by assessing different digitalization techniques

Dr Verónica Díez-Díaz (Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany)

15.15 – 14.45

Virtual footprints: simulation and digitization elucidate deep track formation

Dr Peter L. Falkingham (Liverpool John Moores University, UK) and Prof. Stephen M. Gatesy (Brown University, USA)

14.45 – 15.15

Synchrotron X-rays: new developments to reveal fossil bone microstructures in three dimensions

Dr Sophie Sanchez (Uppsala University, Sweden)

15.15 – 16.00Tea/coffee break
16.00 – 16.30

Computational fluid dynamics as a tool for testing functional and ecological hypotheses in fossil taxa

Dr Imran A. Rahman (Oxford University Museum of Natural History, UK)

16.30 – 17.00

Finite elements, morphometrics, extant animals, and accuracy

Dr Jen A. Bright (University of South Florida, USA)

17.00 – 17.30

Multibody dynamics analysis (MDA) as a tool to reconstruct the function and palaeobiology of extinct organisms

Dr Stephan Lautenschlager (University of Birmingham, UK)


Thursday 19th December


Friday 20th December


Saturday 21st December


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