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Workshop List & Dates

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Workshop 1. Blender for Palaeontologists

Monday 27 June, 9:00-12:00

Organizer(s): Victor Beccari

The open-source software Blender (v. 3.0) can be a powerful tool for handling, curating, and rendering ready-to-publish images from 3D data (such as photogrammetry and image segmentation derived data). The software can be overwhelming, however, as it is a multi-purpose tool that ranges from moving 3D objects, to modelling, sculpting and animating complex scenes. This workshop aims to create basic knowledge on the fundamental aspects of Blender for palaeontology. The “Blender for Palaeontologists” workshop is aimed for new Blender users (no previous knowledge required). The participants are encouraged to bring their own data, but ready to use 3D models will be provided as well for a follow-along course dynamic. The workshop is divided in 3 parts: interface and basic commands to handle 3D data; cleaning and preparing the data for rendering; and rendering images and basic animations for publication. This means that we will be looking at how to import different 3D models, move them in the 3D space, clean any geometry issues, reposition bones for 3D reconstructions (when needed), render the data with scale bars and proper lighting, and create a basic turntable animation that can be used for social media and press-releases.

Workshop 2. Mammal communities and ecosystem changes during the Quaternary

Monday 27 June, 9:00-12:00

Organizer(s): Raffaele Sardella; Alessio Iannucci; Dawid Adam Iurino; Beniamino Mecozzi; Flavia Strani

The Quaternary period witnessed major environmental and climatic changes, cyclical oscillations between glacial and interglacial phases, with associated recurrent fluctuations of ice sheets cover and sea level. Resolving the timing and pattern of the dispersal out of Africa and the earliest occupation of Eurasia by Homo is one of the most hotly debated research topics. The Quaternary is also the period in which we live, and hence investigating the climatic and environmental shifts that occurred during this period, as well as the related response of ecosystems, is fundamental for gaining insights and perspective on the changes we are currently facing. Mammals represent an important proxy, as they variously reacted to Quaternary environmental shifts, with most still living species originating during this period. This workshop aims at discussing the evolution, taxonomy, paleoecology and biochronology of Quaternary large mammals during the Early and the Middle Pleistocene, as well as promoting a fruitful and constructive exchange of ideas between delegates, especially on major European mammal turnover events.

Workshop 3. Racial Discrimination and decolonising Palaeontology

Monday 27 June, 9:00-12:00

Organizer(s): Cassius Morrison; Gabriel Ferreira

Introduction: The impact of colonisation is still being felt across the world and within the field of Palaeontology. Such legacy has the potential of severely limiting our understanding of the diversity and history of life on Earth, in turn impacting our ability to use the fossil record for establishing historical baselines, and formulating predictions related to current ecological challenges. 
Part 1: Bias and Racism with Palaeontology Currently 
  1. Exploring the idea of bias/ discrimination/ double standards present within Palaeontology:
       a. Is there a north-south hemisphere divide that puts those in the southern                                 hemisphere at a disadvantage regardless of how great their research is?
       b. Solutions.

Part 2: Colonial History and Decolonisation Palaeontology 
      2. Erasure of the roles minority ethnic within palaeontology and whitewashing of History creating            a fairytale narrative of who can be a palaeontologist.
        a. Decolonising History and collections: showing the vast array and diversity in those
            that have helped to gather and make expeditions and collections possible, such as
            Tendaguru beds Expedition, fossil collectors etc.
         b. Solutions: How to decolonise history and collections. 
     3. Parachute science, usurping specimens and prestige from different countries.
         b. Solutions to parachute science and getting fossils repatriated.
Part 3: The need for Ethics to be present within Academia 
     4. Is a paradigm shift required to reward ethical behaviour, rather than the current                     rewarding of unethical (but not illegal behaviour)? 

Open Q and A and discussion by all participants.

Symposium 1. Vertebrate trace fossils as indicators for function, physiology, behavior, ecology and character evolution

Monday 27 June, 13:00-15:30

Organizer(s): Michael Buchwitz; Lorenzo Marchetti 

Various types of locomotion, feeding and burrowing traces made by vertebrates can be preserved as ichnofossils, the subject of the vertebrate palaeoichnology. Trace fossils do not only represent a valuable source of information regarding the geological setting, palaeoenvironment and stratigraphy of trace-fossil-bearing sedimentary rocks. They also signify the presence of typical trace producer groups when body fossils are absent and represent a crucial independent data source for palaeobiological studies on the function, physiology, life style of and character evolution in fossil vertebrates. This symposium focuses on the palaeobiological interpretation of trace fossils, including actualistic studies that address the formation of traces. However, studies on ichnotaxonomy, ichnofossil taphonomy and other topics of vertebrate palaeoichnology are also welcome. 6 talks and 6 flash talks/posters.

You’ll have the option to submit your abstract to this symposium in the registration form.


Symposium 2. Macroevolution: using quantitative methods to understand large-scale processes in fossil vertebrate evolution

Monday 27 June, 13:00-15:30

Organizer(s): Celeste Perez-Ben; Roland Sookias; Silvia Castiglione

Macroevolutionary studies encompassing fossil taxa reveal patterns that cannot be recovered from extant species alone and are essential to understand how evolution proceeds at larger taxonomic and temporal levels. Fossils show that the present morphological diversity represents a small proportion of the wide range of morphologies that have evolved over the history of life. The macroevolutionary study of fossils in phylogenetic context also offers new perspectives about long-term evolutionary trends in phenotypes, what shaped diversity, and the appearance of novel morphotypes. Furthermore, fossils allow testing of hypotheses on how ecosystems evolved over millions of years in response to extrinsic factors, shedding light on speciation and extinction events involved in the origins of biodiversity. Over recent years, the improvement of quantitative methods and data has greatly boosted the study of macroevolution incorporating extinct taxa.
We aim to organise a symposium on macroevolution with three main goals. Firstly, we aim to showcase new advances in the study of macroevolutionary patterns and processes in fossil vertebrates. Secondly, to offer a networking opportunity where researchers can establish future collaborations and ask for advice on implementing analytical methods. Finally, to bring together vertebrate palaeontologists interested in macroevolution to discuss future ideas and perspectives.
We would invite and hope to bring together contributions based on any vertebrate taxonomic group, epoch or question, but united by a broad taxonomic and temporal scope, and a quantitative, hypothesis-driven approach. We would hope to include at least one invited talk by a major international expert. Methodological studies would be welcome, but solely phylogenetic/taxonomic or descriptive studies would generally not be appropriate. We encourage submissions of early career researchers and are committed to achieving a gender balance in oral communications.

You’ll have the option to submit your abstract to this symposium in the registration form.


Symposium 3. Paleontology of insular mammals

Monday 27 June, 13:00-16:30

Organizer(s): Blanca Moncunill-Solé; Chiara Angelone; Tassos Kotsakis

Islands are natural laboratories of evolution, that hosted unbalanced and endemic biotas. Since the 19th century, endemic insular fossil taxa have gotten the attention of paleontologists, due to their unique and special biological and morphological features. During the last decade, there has been a noticeable, further focus on the research devoted to extinct mammals from insular environments, resulting in the description of new genera and species, novel approaches to their phylogeny, and “revolutions” in the established paleogeographical settings. In addition, the most cut-edging technologies have been applied, and recent studies provided previously unthinkable advances in the biology, ecology, and evolution of these extinct biotas. 
Due to these advances, the present symposium has the main aim to reunite researchers and groups specialized in paleontology of insular mammals, in order to share their latest findings and results, and to promote further collaborative efforts and networks. We propose this symposium as a set of talks and posters centered on fossil insular mammals. In addition, we wish to include as a special activity the visualization of the documentary “Dorothea and the Myotragus” (in Spanish, 2020; (pending the approval of the film production company). Thus, we will only need a room with projector, and boards to hang the posters.

You’ll have the option to submit your abstract to this symposium in the registration form.


Roundtable 1. EAVP Women in Palaeo Annual Roundtable

Monday 27 June, 15:30-17:00

Organizer(s): Femke HolwerdaVeronica Diez DiazElla TeschnerAna Gomez CanoJudit Marigo; Ella Vorderwuelbecke

In this workshop we will be discussing issues experienced by women in (Geo)sciences, and in Palaeontology in particular. We will provide a friendly open atmosphere to talk about a variety of topics, and you're welcome to bring anything to the table. Perhaps of special interest this year is the topic of harassment, after recent events made it abundantly clear Academia and Palaeontology have a long way to go. We also want to improve our inclusivity, and so if there are any issues with our workshop regarding this, please come forward! We may very well do an online poll before our workshop takes its final form, and we would like to emphasize we're here to listen and to learn. 
We'll try to provide a drink and a snack, and all genders are of course, as always, very welcome!
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