The Micropalaeontological Society

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Microfossil Image Competition 2021

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Diatoms are tiny, silica-shelled phytoplankton. Not only are they an important part of marine ecosystems and useful tools for studying past climate – this Asteromphalus flabellatus proves that they are also amazingly beautiful!

The Micropalaeontological Society is delighted to announce the winner of the 2020 Micropalaeontology Image Competition!

The overall image winner was submitted by Isabel Dove from the University of Rhode Island – Graduate School of Oceanography, with a beautiful image of the diatom species Asteromphalus flabellatus. Not only does Isabel win the competition’s first prize of €200, but her image is also included on the front cover of our TMSoc2021 Calendar (note these are now sold out)!

On behalf of the Society we would like to congratulate Isabel on her success. Eleven additional winners were selected from the fantastic submissions, and are on display below! A wide variety of microfossils and imaging techniques have been championed this year, and we are already looking forward to next year’s competition.

Additional winners

Odysseas Archontikis and Jeremy Young, University of Oxford and University College London

Coccolith ultrastructure of Cyclicargolithus floridanus. Each coccolith is composed of two interconnecting cycles of the same crystal units, known as the R-units. Coccosphere specimen is c. 10μm in diameter and was collected from Early Miocene dark sapropelic sediments.

Hilary H. Birks, University of Bergen, Norway

Seed of mountain chickweed, Cerastium cerastoides. This creeping arctic-alpine plant bears large white chickweed flowers, characteristic of its family, Caryophyllaceae. It grows in seepage zones from melting snowbeds usually in open gravel or stones. The bean-shaped seeds, about 1.5 mm long, have an amazing pattern of humpy interlocking cells.
Seed of sea campion, Silene maritima. The grey-leaved plants form loose mats and bear large white flowers typical of its family, Caryophyllaceae. It inhabits sea-cliffs, seaside walls, shingle banks, and drift-lines on seashores. Its bean-shaped seeds, about 2 mm long, have an amazing pattern of interlocking jig-saw cells

Damián Cárdenas, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Catching a glimpse of organic-walled microfossils

Dimitris Evangelinos, Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra – CSIC – Universidad de Granada

Diatom buried in calcareous nannofossils

Sahina Gazi, National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, India

Calcareous Nannofossils from the Indian Sector of Southern Ocean

Hannah Hartung, University of Cologne

Look, which surprise: a baby-like Radiolaria in the belly of its mother

Susan Richardson, Florida Atlantic University

Slice through shell of an ancient foraminiferan Rauserella erratica. Image shows the discoidal shape of the early shell which results from regular coiling in a single plane. In later stages, the shell becomes uncoiled as the axis of coiling shift. Shells collected from reef-associated habitats in Permian-aged rocks of North America.

Mariem Saavedra-Pellitero, University of Birmingham

During COVID-19 lockdown, I experienced a great personal tragedy. I drew these two coccospheres of Emiliania huxleyi (type A and type O) to cheer myself up. I hope this watercolor will bring a smile to others.

Nicolai Schleinkofer, Goethe University, Frankfurt

Parasitic foraminifera (Hyrokkin sarcophaga) on host organism (Acesta excavata, bivalve). The bored hole is visible as well as the defense reaction of the bivalve (callus formation to close the boring)

Yan Yu Ting, Earth Observatory of Singapore

A showcase of nature’s meticulous design skills – a handful of tropical benthic foraminifera imaged at various angles using microscope.

Microfossil Image Competition & Calendar 2020

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2020 Calendar

Following another successful year, our 2020 calendars are now sold out.

Prices are the same as last year (£10 (UK), £12 (EU) and £14 (international)). Payment is via Paypal, and prices include postage

The society will print a fixed number of these calendars in the first instance, with additional print runs possible depending on demand. All proceeds will contribute towards supporting TMSoc activities.

Details of the winners can be found on the TMSoc twitter page!


Pricing Table

  • Post to UK
  • £10
  • Post to EU
  • £12
  • Post to outside EU
  • £14

BSRG workshop: palynological applications to sedimentology, 17th-19th February 2019, Scotland

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We are pleased to announce our 2019 BSRG palynology workshop led by Dr. Adam  McArthur and Dr. Alena Ebinghaus from the universities of Leeds and Aberdeen and Dr. Manuel Vieira from Shell. This two day workshop is aimed at postgraduate students and early career geoscientists interested in gaining an introductory overview into palynology and its wide-reaching applications. This trip will also include a core workshop based on sediments from an impact crater lake fill sequence and a team exercise showcasing the power of integrating palynological data into environmental models, particularly applicable to hydrocarbon exploration.

More Info:

Microfossil Image Competition 2018

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Entries are now closed, thank you to everyone who submitted fantastic fossil images!

2018 will be the fourth year The Micropalaeontological Society runs their Microfossil Image Competition. The outstanding success of the last three years is reflected by the creation of our annual Micropalaeontology Calendar! Each year, the calendars have required two print runs and have sold out! A summary of the winning images can be found here (20142015 2016, 2017), whilst a Flickr archive of all submitted images can be found here. Read more

Microfossil Image Competition & Calendar 2018

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Buy a Calendar

The Micropalaeontological Society is delighted to announce the winner of this year’s Micropalaeontology Image Competition!

The overall image winner was submitted by Adam David Woodhouse from the University of Leeds, with his beautiful image of the planktonic foraminifera Acarinina praetopilensis from the Eocene equatorial Pacific. The image clearly displays the heavy recrystallistion of the foram test and the adherence of calcareous nannofossils with large muricae projecting through coccolith debris. The main image diameter c. 150 µm, and the image to be used within the calendar (August) will include an image of the complete foram (c. 400 µm diameter) for context. Not only does Adam win the competition’s first prize of €200, but also has his image included on the front cover of out TMSoc2018 Calendar (see above)!

On behalf of the Society we would like to congratulate Adam on his success. Eleven additional winners were selected from the fantastic submissions, and are on display below! A wide variety of microfossils and imaging techniques have been championed this year, and we are already looking forward to next year’s competition. Read more

Lyell Meeting 2018: Mass extinctions, 8th March 2018, London

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The study of mass extinctions is one of the most interdisciplinary research areas within Earth and environmental sciences. Recent, major advances have come from a broad spectrum of fields, including atmospheric modelling, high-precision age dating, volcanology, geochemistry, stratigraphy and palaeontology.

The 2018 Lyell Meeting aims to highlight these achievements and showcases the improved understanding we now have of the great environmental catastrophes of the past. The Meeting aims to encompass the full spectrum of crises seen in the Phanerozoic fossil record.

The 2018 Lyell Meeting provides a platform to assess the current stratigraphic and geochemical records of environmental change during mass extinction events and the role of atmospheric climate modelling in understanding the causes of the crises. The goal is to evaluate the relative importance of environmental changes in major episodes of species extinctions, and to further explore the mechanisms that link these proximal kill mechanisms to the ultimate drivers, such as large igneous province eruptions and meteorite impacts.

This will be a rare opportunity to hear research developments happening in diverse disciplines applied to all mass extinction events.

Abstract deadline: 1st December 2017

More info at The Geological Society webpage