The Micropalaeontological Society

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PhD position available with Michael Henehan at the University of Bristol

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Elucidating Long-term Cretaceous Atmospheric pCO2 and Climate Sensitivity

This project will involve analysis of the boron isotope composition of fossil foraminifera and radiolarians to reconstruct ocean pH and atmospheric CO2 through the last 40 million years of the Cretaceous. This period includes some of the hottest temperatures of the Phanerozoic, and as such, is increasingly seen as an important period to study, as some IPCC scenarios would see CO2 levels in the next century that is potentially higher than at any point in the last 70 million years. At the moment, CO2 proxy records for this time are sparse, uncertain, and often disagree with one another. As applied to marine microfossils, the boron isotope–pH proxy is increasingly seen as an accurate and precise proxy for reconstructing CO2. Still, as yet, the oldest application of the proxy is around the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, and so the time is ripe to extend our boron-based estimates further back into the Cretaceous. This PhD project will be at the vanguard of these efforts, providing crucial new constraints on climate sensitivity to CO2. Trace element measurements made alongside these boron isotope measurements will also allow us to reconstruct ocean temperature and major ion chemistry at this time. This work will use International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) marine drill core samples from around the Earth’s oceans. It will avail of the state-of-the-art analytical facilities housed within the Bristol Isotope Group (BIG) lab and dedicated sediment washing and micropalaeontology labs.

Full details:

Apply here!

Deadline: February 15th 2023

Obituary for Dr Harold Smith

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Dr Harold Smith died earlier this year. Harold pioneered Carboniferous palynology, coal petrology and thermal maturation studies. His early work demonstrating how the distributions of miospores in coals can be used to interpret the palaeoecological and palaeohydrological development of coal mires was of singular importance, while his subsequent work in coal-seam correlation and Carboniferous miospore biostratigraphy (some published in the Journal of Micropalaeontology) remains relevant today. The 1967 monograph ‘Miospores in the Coal Seams of the Carboniferous of Great Britain’ written with Mavis Butterworth is still a standard taxonomic reference in Palaeozoic palynology. Harold was awarded honorary membership of the International Committee for Coal and Organic Petrology in 1987. He later integrated biostratigraphy and vitrinite reflectance work to provenance coal material found at archaeological sites, such as in roman villas and on shipwrecks (notably HMS Bounty). After retiring from the Coal Survey Laboratories, Harold devoted his time to ornithology and contributed greatly to bird monitoring and conservation in South Yorkshire.

Celebrate #WomenInMicropalaeontology – 11/02/23

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This year, our social media team wants to keep our TMS commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), and to kick things off, we welcome the first edition of #WomenInMicropalaeontology! This campaign is a continuation of our previous #IAmAMicropaleontologist.

This TMS initiative aims to empower and inspire women (cis, trans and non-binary alike) from the current and next generations by highlighting #WomenInMicropalaeontology during International Women and Girls in Science Day (February 11th). Representation, role models and mentoring are extremely important to diversify the Geosciences and break the #GlassCeiling women face in the society and science. We expect this initiative to help build (new) networks between and within #WomenInMicropalaeontology.

We invite #WomenInMicropalaeontology to participate in this campaign in two ways:

Fill out this form with a short text about you and include some pictures, if you like, before February 1st, 2023. We will post them on our official Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts. If it is easier, you can send us a video!


Make a Post on your personal Twitter or Instagram accounts or in our Facebook group, telling us about you, your roots, work, etc., and include some photos, if desired. If you feel like recording a video, it is also welcome! Tag us and add the hashtags #WomenInMicropalaeontology & #TMSoc; we will proudly share it from our Social Media Channels!

On February 11, we will post your photos and short bios and/or share your posts if you tag us. Other members can help broadcast this campaign by re-sharing the posts, reacting, and leaving some nice comments.

We are excited to see your contributions, and stay tuned for our next DEI campaigns!

TMS Social Media Team (Sofía Barragán-Montilla & Jaime Y. Suárez-Ibarra)

Call for 2023 TMS AGM Host

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We’re still looking for volunteers to host the 2023 Annual Conference in November 2023!

If you are interested in hosting the AGM then please contact Information on previous TMS AGMs is available here.

Obituary for Dr William Winn Hay

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William Winn Hay was born in Dallas, TX on October 12, 1934, the second son of Stephen J. Hay Sr. and Avella Winn Hay. He died on 27/10/2022 at the age of 88. Bill graduated from St. Marks School of Texas class of 1951. He received a BS in Biology from Southern Methodist University (1955), an MS in Geology at the University of Illinois at Urbana (1958) and a PhD in Geology at Stanford University (1960). The focus of Bill’s research was on fossilized nannoplankton. He was a pioneer in using nannoplankton for age-dating rocks using fossil evidence (ie, a high-resolution microscope). During this period, he spent a good amount of time doing field research in Mexico. Bill also studied at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the University of Zurich. He started his academic career at the U of Illinois at Urbana (1960). Then he was a joint Professor of Geology at the University of Illinois and Professor of Marine Geology and Geophysics at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS) of the University of Miami (1968 -1974). During this period, he was an early leader in a deep sea drilling project (DSDP) on the vessel Glomar Challenger funded by the National Science Foundation. The goal of this research was to understand planetary history through ocean science. He continued this focus on marine geology as Chairman of the Division of Marine Geology and Geophysics at RSMAS for two years, and then Dean from 1976-1980. He was President of Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling, Inc. (JOIDES), in Washington, D.C. (1979 to 1982).

In 1982, he became Director of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Natural History Museum, and then became a Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and joined the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES). In the 1990s, Bill was Visiting Professor at GEOMAR, part of the marine geological research institute at Christian-Albrecht’s-Universität, Kiel, Germany.

From 1991-96, Bill also held positions at the Institute for Baltic Sea Research (Warnemünde, Germany); University of Vienna’s Institut für Paläontologie; Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University’s Geologische Institut (Greifswald, Germany); and as L. C. Donders Professor at the Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Utrecht, (The Netherlands).

After retiring from the University of Colorado (1998), he became a Professor of Paleoceanology at GEOMAR, until 2002. He was most recently Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado and received an honorary doctorate from the Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel. Bill loved to teach and mentor. During his tenure, he supported and started careers for approximately 50 graduate and doctoral students.

Bill also authored or co-authored approximately 250 publications during his career. Over the past few years, Bill authored a seminal publication on climate change (Hay, William W., 2016. Experimenting on a Small Planet – A Scholarly Entertainment. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, 3rd edition). He has received numerous national and international awards in recognition of his contributions to the geological and oceanographic sciences.

While he was passionate about his students and research, Bill travelled extensively, where he developed his love of art, music and opera. His fluency in German, Swiss German, Spanish and French enabled him to travel seamlessly around Europe and Asia. He also loved being at his home in Estes Park, Colorado where he would entertain friends and neighbours with a gourmet meal, tend to his fish and rescue cats, debate current politics or just sit and watch the ever-changing climate of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Bill is survived by his nephew, Stephen J Hay III (Debbie) and niece, Mary Hay (Dave Smith). Bill also played a significant role in the lives of Gustav Clarence-Rossby Wold, Nikolai William-Rossby Wold and Tegan Bryn Wold, who still consider him their Opa. In addition to his family, Bill is remembered by many friends and neighbours in Estes Park and the hundreds of students he reached over the years. One neighbour who has been very close to Bill for the past few years characterized him as a Capital “S” Scientist, a Capital “N” Neighbour, and a Capital “F” Friend.

In lieu of flowers, Bill’s family and friends ask that you please consider sending a donation to Rocky Mountain Conservancy Philanthropy, P.O. Box 3100, Estes Park, CO 80517

Written by Alan Lord and John Steinmetz

2023 TMS Calendar – SOLD OUT

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The 2023 TMS Calendar has sold out and is no longer available to purchase. Thank you to everyone that has bought one and supported the society and apologies to those that missed out!

Happy Holidays!

The Journal of Micropalaeontology Special Issue: Deadline Extension

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The Journal of Micropalaeontology has a special issue on:

Advances in Antarctic chronology, paleoenvironment, and paleoclimate using microfossils: results from recent and legacy coring campaigns.

The original deadline was 31st December 2022, but this has been postponed to 30th June 2024.

Obituary for Doctor Marin Buzas

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Martin A. Buzas, 1934-2022

It is with profound sadness that we share the news of the death of Martin A. Buzas, Curator of Foraminifera in the Department of Paleobiology. Marty was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, received his B.S. from the University of Connecticut, his M.S. from Brown, and his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1963. He arrived at NMNH that same year and occupied his office in the northeast corner of the first floor of the East Wing for the next 59 years. Throughout his career as Curator, then Senior Scientist, then Curator Emeritus, Marty used “big data”, much of it generated by his own observations, along with rigorous statistical techniques, to understand the ecological structure of benthic foraminiferal communities and species distributions in space and time. He used experiments, long-term surveys, and fossils to study forams from the salt marshes to the deep-sea, from scales of millimetres to thousands of kilometres, and over time periods from seasons to tens of millions of years. He showed how the same quantitative techniques could be applied to other groups of organisms not blessed with such ubiquitous fossils and large sample sizes. His work, including his book Surveying Natural Populations (written with Lee Ann Hayek), has been highly influential in both palaeontology and biology. Marty’s many accomplishments, and his role as one of the first to bring quantitative methods to palaeontology, were recognized by his peers with the presentations of the Brady Medal of the Micropalaeontological Society (2016), the Paleontological Society Medal (2004), and the Joseph A. Cushman Award for excellence in foraminiferal research (2004).

Although Marty devoted himself to research, he also played an active role in shaping NMNH culture. He was one of the young curators in the 1960s who advocated powerfully for academic freedom and independent basic research at the Smithsonian – arguments that found a receptive target in Secretary S. Dillon Ripley. Marty and others founded the NMNH Senate of Scientists to uphold these ideals’ importance. Marty remained a strong and sometimes sharp-tongued defender of freedom of research throughout his time as Paleobiology’s Chair (1977-1982) as well as later in his career. Marty influenced the wider field not only through his research but also through teaching and mentoring. He was unstintingly generous with his younger colleagues, taught classes at the Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University, and was a primary mentor or thesis committee member for many grad students and postdocs. Marty hosted a regular lunch around a table in his lab for decades, the conversation sprinkled with the dry witticisms and wisdom of this brilliant but unpretentious ‘regular guy’ from Bridgeport. Marty’s career advice to his colleagues was this: “Seize a new space and weld seemingly disparate disciplines together…This approach…runs a higher risk of failure, but the thrills it provides are well worth the risk. Should I search carefully for collaborators, paying attention as to how their expertise would benefit my research? No, interesting colleagues with fascinating ideas surround you at this very moment.” Marty, and his confidence in his colleagues, will be greatly missed.

Written by Brian Huber

TMS Calendars 2023

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The 2023 TMS calendar features twelve fantastic microfossil images which were sent in by members and were voted on. The best twelve photographs/montages are featured in the calendar, which Publicity Officer Leeza Pickering expertly put together.

The calendars will be available for delivery from around 21st November. The price per calendar is £10.00 plus postage and packing.

To order:

  • For UK purchasers, please remit £12.50 (this is £10 plus £2.50 postage and packing)
  • For purchasers in continental Europe and Ireland, please remit £13.50 (£10 plus £3.50 postage and packing)
  • For purchasers from the rest of the world, please remit £14.00 (£10 plus £4.00 postage and packing)
You can pay using PayPal:
(please select your postage option – you can pay by card by selecting the “pay without a PayPal account” button)
Post to UK £12.50 GBP Post to Europe £13.50 GBP Rest of World £14.00 GBP

OR you can make a direct payment to our (Barclays) bank account:
Sort code: 20 80 14
Account number: 60214825
IBAN: GB23 BARC 2080 1460 2148 25

Please support the society, and the twelve photographers, and buy one: you will be reminded every day just why you love micropalaeontology

When you have paid, please email Jim Riding (, with your mailing address and how many calendars you have ordered, and you will be sent your calendar(s) post-haste!

This is strictly a limited edition (100 only) so place your order very soon!


TMS Newsletter 2022

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We are pleased to announce that the TMS Newsletter for March 2022 is now available to download here.