The Micropalaeontological Society 50th Anniversary Conference 2020

Keynote Lectures on 21st Century Micropalaeontology
Broadcast from University College London, 10th-11th 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 ended up as an online event.

A core part of the conference was a set of invited keynote talks by leading micropalaeontologists from across the globe. The speakers were selected to provide coverage of the range the microfossil groups but also of a wide range of science. We asked the speakers to give a review talk on aspects of modern research in their field but left them free to approach this however they felt would be useful. The result was an exceptionally good set of talks. Each of the talks is well worth watching again and taken together they meet our objective very well, providing an excellent overview of 21st century micropalaeontology.

The TMS is pleased to make the recordings of these talks available here and we hope people will find them useful as reviews of research, for teaching and for learning. The files are high resolution and so rather large (150-600Mb) but they can be downloaded for offline viewing. Please remember all original material is copyright of the authors, who should be asked before it is reused in any way other than for personal viewing or showing to students.

Captions and subtitles. Closed captions were provided by zoom and these are available here on the website, modern browsers will automatically give you the option of displaying these, though you may need to go to full screen mode to see the controls. The captions were generated by speech recognition software and do very badly with science terms. The captions have been edited for the talks of Celli Hull and Samantha Gibbs and these could be translated into other languages. If you have a special need for a reliable file, or for subtitles in your language (e.g. if you want to use them for teaching) please contact us. If you would like to volunteer to edit one (or more) of the files, again please contact us. Email to

Playing and downloading the files. If you have a modern browser you should see a triangular play button in the images below and this will play the video. Alternatively click the "video" links under the title. To download a file right click the video link.

Wednesday 11th November

Session A - keynote talks: 14.00-16.00

Chairs: Jonathan Holmes, Jeremy Young 30 minute presentations (25 minutes talk + 5 mins questions/changeover)
Ann Holbourn Kiel University, Germany
Reconstructing Neogene climate from a benthic foraminiferal perspective
Abstract, Video, Q&A
Pincelli M. Hull Yale University, USA
Protists in protean seas
- recent advances in understanding the biology, ecology and morphology of planktonic foraminifera

Abstract, Video
Samantha Gibbs Southampton University, UK
Surviving impact winters and reconquering the oceans: Tales from ancient coccolithophores
Abstract, Video
Jakub Witkowski University of Szczecin, Poland
What next for Palaeogene diatoms? Lessons from the North Atlantic
Abstract, Video

Annual General Meeting of the TMS, and party 16.30-18.30

Presentation of the Brady Meal to Dr. Joyce Singano
presented by Jennifer Pike (President of TMS), with Paul Pearson and Paul Bown

Thursday 12th November

Session B - keynote talks: 10.00-12.00 am

Chairs: Paul Bown, Claire Routledge. 30 minute presentations (25 minutes talk + 5 mins questions/changeover)
Charles Wellman University of Sheffield, UK
Spores, Evo-Devo and the nature of the first land plants.
Abstract, Video, Q&A
Francesca Sangiorgi Utrecht University, NL
Dinoflagellates and their cysts: Exploring new avenues in paleoclimate research and (past) harmful blooms.
Abstract, Video, Q&A
Isa Schoen & K. Martens Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Molecules and fossils - how DNA data contributes to our knowledge of ostracod evolution and history
Abstract, Video, Q&A
Noritoshi Suzuki Tohoku University, Japan
Revising Radiolarian systematics: Combining traditional and integrative taxonomy with molecular phylogenetic analysis
Abstract, Video