The Micropalaeontological Society

TMS Microfossil Geochemistry Workshop

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. We will announce our panellists soon, but in the meantime please enjoy this sneak-peak:

1. Understanding the influence of taphonomy and diagenesis on microfossil data 

Chair: Professor Tracy Aze (University of Leeds, UK)

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. 

2. Biology and Ecology – the effect of life 

Chair: Dr. Takashi Toyofuku (JAMSTEC, Japan)

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.

3. What can we learn from microfossils on the microscale?

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

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. 

Timing for the event will be 0800 – 1730 UTC. Poster sessions will be incorporated throughout the workshop, scheduled before discussion panels. If you’d like to join us please fill in this Google Form by November 1st at 2359 PST. . 

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 (more details to follow).

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.

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 and we will do our best to accommodate!

If you have any questions, please email us on

We look forward to e-seeing you in November!

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