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Progressive Palaeontology 2020 - Yorkshire Museum, York, UK: Overview

Year: 2020
Location: Yorkshire Museum, York, UK
Hosted By: University of Leeds
Organised By: Bethany Allen, Andrew Mair, Adam Woodhouse, Grace Lamyman, Frances Procter, Connor O’Keefe, Ailsa Roper, Karolina Zarzyczny, Owain Fletcher Williams, Ellie Heaton, Polly Spruce
General Contact Email:


In 2020, Progressive Palaeontology (ProgPal) will be held from the 11th to 13th June, at the Yorkshire Museum in York, organised by students at the University of Leeds. We’re excited to welcome you to Yorkshire!

Hear the latest updates through our social media channels:


Twitter: @ProgPal2020, using #ProgPal2020


Thursday 11th June

We will be running two workshops on Thursday (time tbc):

  • Geochemistry for Palaeontologists, run by Prof. Paul Wignall and Dr. Robert Newton – an introduction to geochemistry as a tool for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, covering what to measure, how to take measurements and how to interpret the results

  • Sampling Bias in the Fossil Record, run by Dr. Alex Dunhill, Dr. Graeme Lloyd and Bethany Allen – an R-based workshop covering the sources and scales of fossil record bias, as well as some popular approaches to mitigating some of these biases (previous experience with R is not required!)

The icebreaker will take place on Thursday evening, offering attendees the chance to explore the museum’s ground floor galleries, including the ‘Yorkshire’s Jurassic World’ exhibit.

Friday 12th June

A full day of research presentations, in the form of full talks (12 minutes), lightning talks (5 minutes) and posters, within venues across the York Museum Gardens.

This will be followed by the conference dinner and auction (time and location tbc).

Saturday 13th June

The conference field trip will be to Robin Hood’s Bay on the Yorkshire Coast. The cliffs beneath Ravenscar include extensive outcrops of Toarcian rocks (upper Lower Jurassic, ~180Ma), rich in marine invertebrate fossils. The site is an SSSI, so no hammering is allowed, but many fossils can be found on the beach and in cliff falls. The trip will be led by Dr. Cris Little, who knows the area and its geology well and will be on hand to help with identifying finds.

Coaches will be arranged to transport attendees from York, with the journey taking approximately 1.5 hours. In order to best fit the tide times, we will arrive into Robin Hood’s Bay village to have an early lunch (there are cafes, pubs and chip shops to choose from) before walking around the bay to the fossiliferous cliffs below Ravenscar. This will allow for several hours to look for fossils before being collected by the coach, returning to York in the early evening.

We will also be arranging some stores tours in the Yorkshire Museum (date and time tbc), which will be led by Sarah King, the palaeontological collections curator. The tours will likely focus on the extensive collections from the Jurassic of the Yorkshire Coast.


The conference will take place at the Yorkshire Museum in central York. The icebreaker will be held in the museum galleries, including the ‘Yorkshire’s Jurassic World’ exhibit. Talks will take place in the Tempest Anderson Lecture Theatre on the ground floor of the museum, while posters will be in the Hospitium, a short walk across the Museum Gardens.

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Travel and accommodation

Travel by train York’s train station lies on the East Coast mainline and is also served by Transpennine, with direct trains from London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham. The station in York is a 10 minute walk from the Yorkshire Museum, and is also well served by local bus services.

By car or coach York is well connected by road and is easily accessible via the M1, A1(M) and A64. The city is served by six Park & Ride services with regular shuttle buses into the city centre, which are generally more cost effective than parking in the city centre. Alternatively, National Express ( and Megabus ( both offer coach journeys to the city, stopping outside York train station.

By plane Leeds-Bradford is York’s closest airport, 1.5 hours away by bus ( Manchester is slightly further away but is less than two hours away from York by train ( Both airports offer domestic and international flights to/from a variety of locations.


York has a range of accommodation providers, many of which are located fairly centrally in the city. Some more affordable options include:

AirBnB ( also offers properties in and around the city centre which could be a more cost-effective option for groups.

Registration, abstracts and travel grants

Registration and abstract submission for ProgPal 2020 will be free of charge and will open shortly. A small fee will apply for some of the associated activities (such as the annual dinner and the field trip). Students with limited funding will also be able to apply for travel grants to support them in presenting their work. The deadline for abstract submission and travel grant applications will be Friday 17th April, with the final registration deadline in early May. Further information will be uploaded here in due course.

Code of Conduct

By registering for Progressive Palaeontology you are agreeing to adhere to the Palaeontological Association Code of Conduct at the meeting. The Code of Conduct can be found by following the link below:

Palaeontological Association Code of Conduct

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