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Progressive Palaeontology 2021 - Online: Workshops and Social Events

Year: 2021
Location: Online
Hosted By: University College London (UCL)
Organised By: Miranta Kouvari (co-chair), Cecily Nicholl (co-chair), Lou Andrews, Sam Bright, Shin Kang, Eryka Kritikos, Alice Leavey, Bethany Pittard, Grace Varnham, Heather White
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Workshops and Social Events

All events are free to delegates of Progressive Paleontology 2021!

Available Workshops

We are delighted to be able to offer a series of workshops for ProgPal 2021 attendees. Please note that due to the limited number of spaces available for each event, delegates are asked to select a maximum of one workshop to attend. You will be asked which workshop you would like to participate in when registering for the conference.

Title: Stepping out of Academia: why, when and how?
Leader: Dr Soledad de Esteban-Trivigno
Time/date: 10:00 BST, 17th June
Length: 2-3 hours
Spaces available: 20

EU agencies are aware that more than half of the PhDs that result from their programs (such as the Innovative Training Networks) will end up outside of academia, and promote researchers moving into the private sector. However, to be out of Academia after a PhD is still considered a "failure" by many researchers, and this translates into anxiety and depression for young scientists. This workshop is intended to support those young researchers who in the future might find themselves out of the academic system, so they can take the best from their experience and knowledge and give it back in different ways to society.

The workshop will provide delegates with some basic tools to set up their own business, so they can turn their ideas and passion into success stories. You may stop being an active researcher, but being a scientist is a life-long adventure.

ProgPal 21 are delighted to be collaborating with Transmitting Science to bring you this workshop.

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Title: The Paleobiology Database
Leader: Dr Philip Mannion
Time/date: 10:00 BST, 17th June
Length: 2-3 hours
Spaces Available: 300

This workshop will provide an introduction to the Paleobiology Database (PBDB), an online public resource with information on the distribution and classification of over 1.3 million fossil occurrences (
What exactly is the database? What data are there? How can you extract them? This session aims to explore the many benefits of the PBDB, and will also include a practical session detailing how you can contribute to its growth through the addition of new data.

Title: Reconstructing the Evolutionary History of Organisms
Leader: Dr Sebastian Groh
Time/date: 14:00 BST, 17th June
Length: 2-3 hours
Spaces available: 30

This workshop will explore two of the most common analyses that are used to reconstruct a clade’s evolutionary history – divergence age estimation, and biogeographical analyses. We will briefly explore different methods for time-scaling trees, and then take a closer look at the code and data needed to time-scale phylogenies and carry out biogeographical studies.

The workshop will be held live, and will include an initial presentation followed by an interactive Q&A session in which participants can work through the provided code. A basic knowledge of R is suggested, but is not required. 


Social Events

In place of the icebreaker and annual dinner that have been traditionally part of ProgPal (before Covid-19), we will be hosting:

  • a virtual ice-breaker, on the evening of Thursday 17th June
  • a virtual “pub” quiz, on the evening of Friday 18th June 

We will add more information soon.

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