28-29 April, Leicester, UK
A good mixture of students, academics and consultants attended this very successful meeting of TMS Ostracod Group in Leicester. The meeting ran over a weekend, with an afternoon of talks and two morning visits to local scientific sites.
The Friday evening started with many attendees visiting the Leicestershire village of Leire where we were superbly hosted by David and Pauline Siveter; indeed it was a family occasion, several wives were present and many of us stayed with the Siveters over the weekend period, the main result of which was a serious assault on the eminent Professor’s wine and whiskey supplies (thanks David).
It was thankfully sunny for the Saturday morning fieldtrip, a visit to Groby* Pool (north of Leicester) to collect some Recent ostracods. This may have had its origins in a medieval fishpond. Today it is a SSSI to protect birds and other wildlife, but the ostracods have been rather neglected, until now that is (as far as we know there are no published records of living ostracods form Leicestershire). Leicester undergraduate Katy Gosling will be doing her third year dissertation on the ostracods from the pool. We sampled from various sites, with the knowledge of local expert Roy Clements who helped us identify freshwater gastropods and molluscs (see summary of molluscs at end of this report). Ostracods were present, although only one could be recognised in the field, a species of Herpetocypris (after all it was over 2mm long!). We look forward to learning more about the populations from Katy in due course.
There was a packed schedule of talks and discussions on Saturday afternoon at the University of Leicester, on a wide variety of ostracod related topics. Dinah Smith (University of Leicester) introduced her PhD studies on the Roddons: microfossils and Holocene palaeoenvironmental change in the Fenlands. John Athersuch (StrataData) talked about how ostracods from the Caspian Sea are used for biostratigraphy in the Petroleum Industry. Ian Boomer (University of Birmingham) discussed the fate of the Metacopina, with a new look at the early Toarcian extinction. Roy Clements (University of Leicester) gave a detailed history of Groby Pool. Alan Lord (Senckenberg Museum, Frankfurt) showed us some Middle Jurassic ostracods from Western Australia. John Whittaker (The Natural History Museum) reviewed ostracods from the Pleistocene of the Nene Valley. Vince Williams (University of Leicester) then introduced the ostracod fauna of (the recently created) Rutland Water which was initiated during a TMS ostracod Group visit to Rutland a few years ago. Carys Bennett(University of Leicester) updated us on her PhD work on Carboniferous ostracods from Scotland and the invasion of the non-marine realm. Mark Willliams (University of Leicester) showed an exceptionally preserved ostracod from the Miocene of Antarctica, and some special photos from a recent Antarctic field expedition. Finally, Ian Wilkinson (BGS) gave a talk on Cretaceous climate and ostracod distribution, David Siveter (University of Leicester) valiantly forfeiting his planned item on brood care in a Silurian ostracod, due to lack of time.
Carys Bennett & Ian Boomer