The Micropalaeontological Society

TMS Microfossil Geochemistry Workshop, 10th November 2020, virtual

Tuesday 10th November 2020

We are holding a 1 day virtual microfossil geochemistry multi-panel discussion prior to The Micropalaeontological Society’s 2020 Annual Conference

The aim of the workshop will be to bring together the micropalaeontological and geochemical communities, so that they can learn from each other and understand how they can collaborate to understand data from microfossils. 

The three panels will have the following themes, and will be comprised of 5-7 panellists from a range of micropalaeontological and geochemical backgrounds from various career stages.

1. The Influence of Taphonomy and Diagenesis

Geochemical data is undeniably influenced by the preservation of specimens used. To understand and use (palaeo)ecological, -climatic and -limnological geochemical proxies to their fullest we need to investigate the impacts of preservation (including how taphonomic bias in the fossil record affects the construction of long term proxy records), explore potential mitigations and develop thorough protocols for analysis.

Chair: Dr. Tracy Aze (University of Leeds, UK)

Dr. Chris Hollis (GNS Science)
Professor Moriaki Yasuhara (University of Hong Kong)
Professor Christina Riesselman (University of Otago)
Dr. Andrés S. Rigual Hernández (Universidad de Salamanca)
Professor Rachel Wood (University of Edinburgh)
Dr. Stephen Stukins (Natural History Museum, London)

2. Biology and Ecology – the Effect of Life 

Geochemical proxies are usually empirically calibrated because biological processes often impart large fractionations. In addition, seasonally varying production rates and adaptation to specific ecological niches mean that interpreting proxy signals in fossil material can be challenging. This session aims to highlight current approaches used to transfer ecologically- and biologically-dominated signals into robust environmental reconstructions.

Chair: Dr. Takashi Toyofuku (JAMSTEC, Japan)

Dr. Clara Bolton (CEREGE)
Dr. Patrick Frings (GFZ Potsdam)
Dr. Eleni Anagnostou (GEOMAR)
Professor Kaustubh Thirumalai (University of Arizona)
Dr. Kara Bogus (Camborne School of Mines) 
Dr. Yama Dixit (Earth Observatory of Singapore)

3. Learning from Microfossils on the Microscale

The closer we look at microfossil structure, mineralogy and composition, the more complex it appears. How does this complexity affect their ability to record palaeoenvironmental information? This session will consider structural, biological and geochemical complexity of biominerals in context of their use as palaeoclimate archives. 

Chair: Professor Jennifer Fehrenbacher (Oregon State University, USA)

Dr. Pallavi Anand (Open University)
Dr. Assaf Gal (Weizmann Institute of Science)
Dr. Thomas Chalk (University of Southampton)
Dr. Anne Jantschke (TU Dresden)
Professor Emi Ito (University of Minnesota)

We’re so excited to host all these fantastic researchers and are super excited for the discussions and presentations! All panels will be made available for asynchronous viewing to widen participation. 

Provisional schedule

Time (UTC)Session #EventTitle
0645-0700ECR-ASign in begins for ECR-A breakout sessionECR Breakouts A (provisional)
0745-0800Session 0Sign in begins for posters
0800-0900Session 1Poster session 1Taphonomy / diagenesis
0900-0905Panel 1Intro
0905-1035Taphonomy / diagenesis
1100-1200ECR-1ECR-1ECR Breakouts 1
1200-1300Session 2Poster session 2Biology/ecology
1305-1435Panel 2Biology/ecology
1445-1545Session 3Poster session 3Microscales
1550-1720Panel 3Microscales
1720-1730Closing remarks
1735-1830ECR-2ECR-2ECR Breakouts 2/Posters all


You can register here. Registration closes on November 1st!

Early career researchers and those from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to attend and present. All participants at this event must additionally adhere to the TMSoc Code of Conduct.

Technical logistics and accessibility

The panel discussions will take place via a Zoom webinar, and the poster sessions will take place on Teams. We will additionally have dedicated breakout sessions for ECRs at various times. 

If you would like to view the poster sessions, please indicate this on your registration form.

We have designed this event with equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility at the core, and measures will be in place including closed captioning and colour blind friendly graphics. If you have any particular requirements, please get in touch on and we will do our best to accommodate!


There is no charge for this event, however we are encouraging donations (“pay what you can” approach) to a fund which we intend to distribute 50:50 to the 500 Women Scientists Fellowship for the Future and TMSoc Awards Fund. To donate, please use the link below, and enter “Geochemistry Workshop 2020” as the explanation of donation.

Hope to e-see you in November! 

Sending happy micropalaeo vibes your way,

The Microfossil Geochemistry Workshop Organisers

David Evans (Frankfurt), Lorna Kearns (NOCS), Lucy Roberts (Nottingham), Katrina Nilsson-Kerr (Heriot-Watt), Oscar Branson (Cambridge) and Rehemat Bhatia (TMS Publicity Officer)