Samstag, 30. Oktober 2010

Palges Meeting October 2010 in Munich

The 80 th Annual Meeting of the German Paleontological Society took place from the 6th through the 8th October 2010 within the halls of the Bavarian State Collection for Geology and Paleontology in Munich.

Of particular interest for me was the session on Early Mesozoic vertebrates chaired by the Rauhut couple and Richard Butler as it united many interesting characters, such as Silvio Renesto, Martin Ezcurra, Rainer Schoch, and Daniela Schwarz-Wings and covered a variety of Triassic vertebrates including archosaurs, temnospondyls, and bony fish.

With 5 talks and 6 posters our small Freibergian working group had quite a number of contributions this year (my prof Jörg Schneider was talking about Paleozoic cockroaches from China, Olaf Elicki about Cambrian trace fossils from Africa and the Middle East, Frederik Spindler about the evolution of haptodonts and other early synapsids, Jan Fischer about oxygen isotope signals in Permian and Triassic freshwater shark teeth and I had a talk on osteoderm histology and the Chroniosuchia). My colleagues Ilja Kogan and Jan Fischer won the 1st poster prize with their poster entitled "The Madygen lake deposits: A unique multi-taxa kindergarten for Triassic fisches" - which is quite an achievement as normally the winner comes from the host institute of the Palges Meeting.

The image on the right shows me in front of a poster entitled "Paleontology in the German Wikipedia" [pdf].

Even though there are many private collectors and paleontology enthusisasts in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland you won't find much about "regional paleontology" in the German Wikipedia which was the reason for my colleagues and me to introduce some aspects of Wikipedian (Pop-)Sciencewriting.

The poster praised the advantages Wikipedia can have if it is reasonably incorporated in public outreach campaigns and we commented critically on the dinosaur focus which increases the already biased public image of what paleontology is about.

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