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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:


Abstract Booklet for Download: 
Note: Underlined author denotes designated speaker. | *Candidates for the President’s Prize are marked with an asterisk.

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 faculties of Philology and Philosophy, with one held at the Natural Sciences Museum of Valencia. Several of the 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’. Following the symposium there will be a reception at the Natural Sciences Museum of Valencia, Jardines del Real. The Symposium will take place in the Salon Actos Manuel Sanchis Guarner in the Faculty of Philology (see Maps).

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. 


Sunday 15th to Tuesday 17th December

The pre-conference field-trip will depart from Valencia on the 15th of December early in the morning and return on the 17th late in the afternoon. Field-trip leader: Samuel Zamora


Wednesday 18th December

The meeting will begin with several workshops which will run concurrently from 09.00 – 12.30. Most 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.

Pre-Meeting Workshops

Locations: see Maps

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.

Location: Salon de Grados, Philology

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).

Location: Natural Sciences Museum of Valencia

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.

Location: Crystal Room, Philology

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.

Location: Room 202, Philosophy

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.

Location: Professors Meeting Room, Philology

09.00 – 12.30

Introduction to 3D data visualization 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 visualization 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.

Location: Room S03, Philosophy


12.00 – 17.30 Registration - Faculty of Philosophy

Symposium: Virtual Palaeontology

Room: Salon Actos Manuel Sanchis Guarner - Faculty of Philology (see Maps)

13.30 – 13.45 WELCOME
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 – 16.00 TEA/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)

Ice-Breaker Reception

18.00 – 21.00 Ice-breaker Reception - Natural Science Museum of Valencia (see Maps)


Thursday 19th December

08.00 – 08.45 Poster set-up in Faculty of Philosophy


Session 1A (in parallel with session 1B)

Room: Salon Actos Manuel Sanchis Guarner - Faculty of Philology (see Maps) | Chair: Emily Rayfield

09.00 – 09.15

Success of early archosauromorphs: a case of positive phenotypic selection?

*Armin Elsler, Suresh Singh, Michael J. Benton, Marcello Ruta and Alexander M. Dunhill

09.15 – 09.30

Reconstructing diets of extinct reptiles from the Solnhofen Archipelago using dental microwear texture analysis

*Jordan Bestwick, David M. Unwin and Mark A. Purnell

09.30 – 09.45

Lagerstätte effect on notosuchian palaeodiversity (Crocodyliformes, Notosuchia)

*Ane de Celis, Iván Narváez, Andrea Arcucci and Francisco Ortega

09.45 – 10.00

Palaeogene–Neogene squamates and their spatial and temporal relationships with climatic drivers and sampling biases

*Terri J. Cleary, Alex Farnsworth and Richard J. Butler

10.00 – 10.15

A late Barremian food web through fossil faeces: an isotopic insight on the ecology of the Las Hoyas fossil site (Cuenca, Spain)

*Sandra Barrios-de Pedro, Karyne M. Rogers, Paloma Alcorlo and Ángela D. Buscalioni

Session 1B (in parallel with session 1A)

Room: Salon Actos Philosophy (see Maps) | Chair: Orla Bath Enright

09.00 – 09.15

Evolution of trilobite development and global ecosystem changes

Lukáš Laibl

09.15 – 09.30

Reconstructing the feeding apparatus of Amplectobeluidae (Radiodonta: stem Euarthropoda)

Peiyun Cong, Jin Guo, Gregory D. Edgecombe, Allison C. Daley and Xianguang Hou

09.30 – 09.45

Aluminosilicate haloes fossilize complex life over 800 million years ago

Ross P. Anderson, Nicholas J. Tosca, Gianfelice Cinque, Mark Frogley, Ioannis Lekkas, Austin Akey et al.

09.45 – 10.00

Global climate changes account for the main trends of conodont diversity but not for their final demise

Samuel Ginot and Nicolas Goudemand

10.00 – 10.15

An innovative synchrotron approach to access the chemical nature of carbon in 2D or 3D in large organic fossils

Pierre Gueriau, Rafaella Georgiou, Christoph J. Sahle, Sylvain Bernard, Alessandro Mirone, Romain Garrouste et al.


Tea/coffee break and posters

10.15 – 11.00 TEA/COFFEE BREAK and POSTERS


Session 2A (in parallel with session 2B)

Room: Salon Actos Manuel Sanchis Guarner - Faculty of Philology (see Maps) | Chair: Duncan Murdock

11.00 – 11.15

Biogeography of conodonts in the Early Triassic

*Pauline Guenser, Gilles Escarguel and Nicolas Goudemand

11.15 – 11.30

Albalimulus: the oldest limulid

*Russell D. C. Bicknell and Stephen Pates

11.30 – 11.45

Biogenic iron liberated during decay initializes highly detailed soft tissue pyritization in Burgess Shale-type biotas

*Farid Saleh, Allison C. Daley, Bertrand Lefebvre, Bernard Pittet and Jean Philippe Perrillat

11.45 – 12.00

Soft tissue associations reveal the influence of preservation on biodiversity in Burgess Shale-type fossil deposits

Allison C. Daley, Farid Saleh, Bertrand Lefebvre, Bernard Pittet, Lukáš Laibl, Francesc Perez Peris et al.

12.00 – 12.15

A giant sediment-sifting hurdiid from the Burgess Shale illuminates hurdiid carapace diversity and highlights competition for prey resources

Jean-Bernard Caron and Joseph Moysiuk


Session 2B (in parallel with session 2A)

Room: Salon Actos Philosophy (see Maps) | Chair: Soledad de Esteban-Trivigno

11.00 – 11.15

A finite element model on vibrations of Weberian ossicles of cypriniform fish using harmonic analysis

Jordi Marcé-Nogué and Juan Liu

11.15 – 11.30

Stable isotopes of rodent tooth enamel provide new evidence on Miocene ape environments in the Vallès-Penedès Basin (Catalonia)

Isaac Casanovas-Vilar, Yuri Kimura, Lawrence J. Flynn, David Pilbeam, Salvador Moyà-Solà and David M. Alba

11.30 – 11.45

Untangling the fossil record of Rhinocerotidae

Oscar Sanisidro Morant and Juan López Cantalapiedra

11.45 – 12.00

The nature, evolution and ecology of nonavian and avian egg colour

Jasmina Wiemann

12.00 – 12.15

The impact of the resurgence of carbonate platforms on the re-diversification of level-bottom faunas after the end-Permian mass extinction

Evelyn Friesenbichler, Michael Hautmann and Hugo Bucher


Lunch, posters, and diversity meet-up



Session 3

Room: Salon Actos Manuel Sanchis Guarner - Faculty of Philology (see Maps) | Chair: Soledad Domingo

13.30 – 13.45

Exploring the topological impact of paleontological data in phylogenetic hypotheses

*Nicolas Mongiardino Koch and Luke A. Parry

13.45 – 14.00

Disentangling taphonomic and ecological signals in fossil food webs

*Jack Shaw, Kate Wootton, Emily Coco, Dries Daems, Andrew Gillreath-Brown and Anshuman Swain

14.00 – 14.15

Poor spatial sampling coverage obscures our understanding of the latitudinal biodiversity gradient in deep time

Lewis A. Jones, Christopher D. Dean, Philip D. Mannion and Peter A. Allison

14.15 – 14.30

Unique locomotor habits in Early Palaeogene mammals provides ecomorphological insight into evolution after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction

Sarah L. Shelley, Stephen L. Brusatte and Thomas Williamson

14.30 – 14.45

The early diversity dynamics of the great evolutionary floras

Eliott Capel, Christopher J. Cleal, Philippe Gerrienne and Borja Cascales-Miñana


Annual General Meeting

Room: Salon Actos Manuel Sanchis Guarner - Faculty of Philology (see Maps)

14.45 – 15.30 Annual General Meeting (AGM). All members of the Association are asked to attend.


Tea/coffee break and posters

15.30 – 16.00 TEA/COFFEE BREAK and POSTERS

Annual Address

Room: Salon Actos Manuel Sanchis Guarner - Faculty of Philology (see Maps)

16.00 – 17.00

Not just skin deep: probing the secrets of fossil melanin using taphonomic experiments and analytical chemistry

Maria E. McNamara

Poster Session

Location: Faculty of Philosophy (see Maps)

17.00 – 18.00 POSTER SESSION

Reception and Annual Dinner

Location: Albufera nature reserve

19.30 Transport from Faculty of Philosophy
20.00 – 20.30 Reception
20.30 – 01.00 Annual Dinner


Friday 20th December

Session 4A (in parallel with session 4B)

Room: Salon Actos Manuel Sanchis Guarner - Faculty of Philology (see Maps) | Chair: Javier Alvaro

09.00 – 09.15

The origin of modern birds: new information from the Cretaceous stem bird Ichthyornis

*Juan Benito, Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar, David Burnham, Laura E. Wilson and Daniel J. Field

09.15 – 09.30

Comparison of modern and fossil Forcipulatacea (Asteroidea, Echinodermata) skeletal ossicles reveals the early diversification of this major order

*Marine Fau, Loïc Villier and Timothy A. M. Ewin

09.30 – 09.45

To the bitter end: do planktonic foraminifera actively change their niche habit prior to extinction?

*Adam D. Woodhouse, Sophie Jackson, Philip F. Sexton, Paul N. Pearson, Stewart Knott, Alexander M. Dunhill et al.

09.45 – 10.00

Phylogenetics of true crabs, and the early origins of crab-like forms

*Javier Luque, Heather D. Bracken-Grissom, Javier Ortega-Hernández and Joanna M. Wolfe

10.00 – 10.15

Interpreting colour patterns in aquatic vertebrates: decay-induced changes to the distribution and morphology of melanosomes throughout pigmented tissues

*Christopher Nedza, Mark A. Purnell, Jakob Vinther and Sarah E. Gabbott

Session 4B (in parallel with session 4A)

Room: Salon Actos Philosophy (see Maps) | Chair: Kenneth de Baets

09.00 – 09.15

The Cambrian evolution of Chelicerates

Rudy Lerosey-Aubril and Javier Ortega-Hernández

09.15 – 09.30

The forgotten latest Cambrian nautiloid cephalopods from Black Mountain (NW Queensland, Australia)

Alexander Pohle, Peter A. Jell, Yong-Yi Zhen, Christian Klug

09.30 – 09.45

Prey fractionation in the Archaeocyatha and its implication for the ecology of the first animal reef systems

Jonathan B. Antcliffe, William Jessop and Allison C. Daley

09.45 – 10.00

Somatic versus reproductive investment in Antarctothoa tongima over two million years

Emanuela Di Martino and Lee Hsiang Liow

10.00 – 10.15

Impact of digenetic and metamorphic overprint on our view of Cambrian Lagerstätten: a case study from North Greenland

Morten Lunde Nielsen, Mirinae Lee, Philip R. Wilby, Hong Chin Ng, Katharine R. Hendry, Arne T. Nielsen et. al

Tea/coffee break and posters

10.15 – 11.00 TEA/COFFEE BREAK and POSTERS

Session 5A (in parallel with session 5B)

Room: Salon Actos Manuel Sanchis Guarner - Faculty of Philology (see Maps) | Chair: Mike Benton

11.00 – 11.15

Was complex life excluded from tropical latitudes in the aftermath of the Permo-Triassic mass extinction?

*Bethany J. Allen, Paul B. Wignall, Daniel J. Hill, Erin E. Saupe and Alexander M. Dunhill

11.15 – 11.30

Aragonite-calcite sea effects on calcifying organisms and reefs

*Kilian Eichensee1, Uwe Balthasar, Christopher W. Smart, Julian Stander, Kristian A. Haaga and Wolfgang Kiessling

11.30 – 11.45

New insights into the vital effect during brachiopod shell formation and its relevance to the geochemical record

*María del Mar Simonet Roda, Andreas Ziegler, Erika Griesshaber, Daniela Henkel, Vreni Häusermann et al.

11.45 – 12.00

The phylogenetic history of the armoured dinosaurs (Ornithischia, Thyreophora)

*Thomas J. Raven, Paul M. Barrett and Susannah C.R. Maidment

12.00 – 12.15

Bone fusion and morphological change: an unexplored relationship in tetrapod macroevolution

Aitor Navarro Diaz, Diego Rasskin Gutman and Borja Esteve Altava

Session 5B (in parallel with session 5A)

Room: Salon Actos Philosophy (see Maps) | Chair: Alex Liu

11.00 – 11.15

Arm waving in stylophoran echinoderms: insights into the function of the aulacophore through 3D imaging and digital modelling

Elizabeth Clark, John R. Hutchinson, Peter J. Bishop and Derek E. G. Briggs

11.15 – 11.30

Juvenile skeletogenesis and implications for body plan evolution in echinoids

Jeffrey Thompson and Paola Oliveri

11.30 – 11.45

Constraining morphological disparity in rangeomorphs

Charlotte Kenchington, Frances S. Dunn, Alexander G. Liu and Philip R. Wilby

11.45 – 12.00

Ediacaran life close to land: coastal and shoreface environments of the Ediacara biota of South Australia

William McMahon, Alexander G. Liu and Maarten Kleinhans

12.00 – 12.15

The Ediacaran–Cambrian transition: the emerging record from small carbonaceous fossils (SCFs)

Ben J. Slater, Thomas H. P. Harvey, Romain Guilbaud, Sebastian Willman, Graham E. Budd and Nicholas J. Butterfield

Lunch and posters

Location: Faculty of Philosophy (see Maps)

12.15 – 13.30 LUNCH and POSTERS

Session 6

Room: Salon Actos Manuel Sanchis Guarner - Faculty of Philology (see Maps) | Chair: Christian Klug

13.30 – 13.45

Overcoming the challenges of studying the earliest macrofossils: a case study from the middle Ediacaran (pre-Gaskiers) of Newfoundland

Alexander G. Liu and Benjamin H. Tindal

13.45 – 14.00

Tracking the origin of an ancient genome duplication in teleost fishes using fossilized bone cell spaces

Donald Davesne, Armin D. Schmitt, Matt Friedman, Per E. Ahlberg, Vincent Fernandez, Sophie Sanchez and Roger B. J. Benson

14.00 – 14.15

Breathing new life into the earliest soft-bodied animals: computed tomography of early Cambrian fossils from South China

Joanna M. Wolfe, Javier Ortega-Hernández, Dayou Zhai and Yu Liu

14.15 – 14.30

Molecular developmental genetics, homology and ancestral organisms: what about fossils and morphology?

Arsham Nejad Kourki, Jakob Vinther and Philip C.J. Donoghue

14.30 – 14.45

Moms: how to measure occupancy in multidimensional space (disparity)?

Thomas Guillerme, Mark Puttick, Ariel Marcy and Vera Weisbecker

14.45 – 15.00

A novel Bayesian phylodynamic approach to estimating diversity from the fossil record

Rachel C. M. Warnock, Marc Manceau, Timothy G. Vaughan and Tanja Stadler

15.00 – 15.15

New insights into early terrestrial environments using high resolution 3D imaging and chemical techniques

Christine Strullu-Derrien, Alan R.T. Spencer and Paul Kenrick

Tea/coffee break

15.15 – 16.00 TEA/COFFEE BREAK - Take down posters.

Session 7

Room: Salon Actos Manuel Sanchis Guarner - Faculty of Philology (see Maps) | Chair: Laura Domingo

16.00 – 16.15

Putting the AI into Palaeontology: using new methods of machine learning to capture evolutionary history

Jennifer Hoyal Cuthill and Nicholas Guttenberg

16.15 – 16.30

A time to be born and a time to die: the life and death of stem groups

Graham E. Budd and Richard P. Mann

16.30 – 16.45

Will marine animals become smaller with continued global warming? Deep time tests of the ‘shrinking seafood’ hypothesis

Richard J Twitchett

16.45 – 17.00

Early Palaeozoic diversifications and extinctions in the marine biosphere: onwards and upwards

David A. T. Harper, Borja Cascales-Miñana and Thomas Servais

17.00 – 17.15

Should meristic characters be ordered in phylogenetic analysis?

Neil Brocklehurst and Yara Haridy

17.15 – 17.30

Evolutionary simulations demonstrate punctuated equilibrium

Mark D. Sutton, Nicole L. Barnes and Russell J. Garwood

Closing Business

Location: Salon Actos Manuel Sanchis Guarner - Faculty of Philology (see Maps)

17.30 – 18.00

Presentations from the organizing committees of PalAss 2020 (Manchester) and Progressive Palaeontology 2020 (Leeds/York)


Presentation of the President’s Prize and the Council Poster Prize followed by closing remarks.


Saturday 21st December

Post-conference field-trip

Departure time is 08.00 from the Faculty of Philology. We are expecting to arrive back in Valencia around 19.30 but will be able to stop at Alicante Airport in route around 17.00-17.30 if needed. Field-trip leader: Hugo Corbí

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