The Micropalaeontological Society 50th Anniversary Conference 2020

21st Century Micropalaeontology

Online from University College London
11th-13th November 2020


The Micropalaeontological Society was founded in 1970, as the British Micropalaeontological Group. Back then no-one was talking about Global Change, plate tectonics was still controversial, cyclic sedimentation was decidely unfashionable, we weren't sure if there was a major event at the end of the Cretaceous, Emiliani and Shackleton were still debating what controlled the oxygen isotope signal, molecular genetics had barely been thought of, and micropalaeontology was predominantly about describing species and dating rocks. Since then our knowledge of Earth History has been transformed and micropalaeontology has become a core part of modern earth-system science. Our society has grown in parallel and is now the leading European micropalaeontological society, and the society's AGM has evolved into an Annual Conference. This year's conference was to have been held in University College London but will now be online event. Such online conferences are proving very successful and we hope this will be an opportunity for micropalaeontologists from across the globe to exchange ideas and learn more of current research.


The conference is being organised on behalf of the TMS by a group from University College London. Prof. Paul Bown, Prof. Jonathan Holmes, Prof. Bridget Wade, Dr. Jeremy Young.
For general enquiries please contact

What's planned

Thematic Session on 21st Century Micropalaeontology

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the society we have organised a special session on 21st Century Micropalaeontology. For this we have invited eight outstanding researchers to give talks on current research in their fields. The speakers have been selected to span the range of microfossil groups studied by TMS members, but also to span a wide range of research approaches, and to include researchers from diverse backgrounds. These talks should each be high quality and combined they will give a sampling of the range and strength of modern microfossil research and insights into future directions for our science..

Annual General Meeting of the society

The annual conference is primarily a scientific event but it also serves as the AGM of the society. This business will now be undertaken as an online meeting. Obviously this is an experiment which has been adopted out of necessity, but we hope it will also allow a wider range of participation. The AGM will include reports of what the society has been doing over the past year and how the committee are working to support micropalaeontologists. It also will include some thoughts on our 50 year history and the presentation of various awards.

Open Oral Sessions

As usual at the conference, there will be open sessions at which any aspects of micropalaeontology can be presented. The call for abstracts is now open. Again we hope that since this is an online event participation will be wider, and we strongly welcome submissions from groups and areas which are not normally represented. Selection of abstracts may be necessary and if this is the case we will aim to maximise diversity. Talks will be 10 minutes long with 5 minutes for questions, and timing will be strictly applied. Talks will be given as live online presentations with questions submitted via portals' chat system.


We will have an online poster session running thoughout the meeting. This will be open to all participants, there is no cap on total numbers and posters are welcome on micropalaeontology-related topics. The poster area will be password protected with viewing restricted to registered participants.

Pre-Conference Workshop -Tuesday November 10th 0800-1730 UTC

A workshop on Microfossil Geochemistry is being organised before the annual conference. This will consist of three sessions each with a panel discussion and a poster session. This workshop has been designed with equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA) at the core. It will be fully closed captioned and all graphics used will be colour blind friendly. To register and to obtain more details about poster submission and panels, please go to the workshop webpage. The event will take place on Zoom (panels) and Teams (posters). The convenors look forward to e-seeing you in November! NB You are welcome to participate in the workshop without registering (or paying) for the main conference.

Social event

Following the AGM we will have an informal session for people to greet and wave at each other, with break out rooms. Bring your own drink, facemasks not needed.


How to take part

Virtual conferences have the added advantage that they widen participation for those who might not otherwise be able to participate. We strongly encourage early career researchers, amateur and part-time micropalaeotologists, and those from historically under-represented groups in STEM to attend and present.