Published on January 1st, 2013 | by David Marshall


Episode 9: The Palaeontological Association AGM

The 16th to the 18th December 2012 saw University College Dublin host  The Palaeontological Association (PalAss) 56th annual general meeting. PalAss are a UK based organisation and registered charity, set up in 1957 to promote the study of palaeontology and its allied sciences through publication of the journal Palaeontology and a whole suite of other publications, meetings  and charitable activities. There are about 1000 members, not just from the UK, but worldwide, with diverse research interests, which are reflected in their journal Palaeontology and also in the talks over the three days of the conference.

Palaeocast were present at the conference for quite a few reasons: firstly, it’s always good to try and keep on top of the latest research in the field and conferences are the places to be for hearing a lot of ideas, covering a diverse array of topics, in a short period of time; secondly, we wanted to promote ourselves to the delegate in the hope of securing further interviews for the coming year; and thirdly, we wanted to drum up support for our ‘Palaeo101’ initiative which should finally be taking off this year.


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The Palaeontological Association annual general meeting was held in the University College Dublin from the 16th-18th December 2012.

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Palaeocast had a stand from which we promoted our podcast and the palaeo101 initiative to the palaeontological community. We also had a festive robin.


The conference dinner was to be held at the Old Jameson whiskey distillery in the heart of Dublin where delegates were greeted by a champagne reception.

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Some of the world’s greatest ever whiskeys were on display.

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The bar of the distillery sat above some of the foundations of the original fermentation chambers.


The Palaeontological Association dinner proved to be the perfect place to network with the other delegates. We were treated to good food, good wine and live music.


PalAss president Professor Mike Benton hosted the award giving ceremony.


Dr Jakob Vinther of the University of Bristol received the Hodson award.


The President’s Medal was awarded to Dr. Harry Dowsett of the USGS.


Alice Rasmussen of the Oestsjaellands Museum was presented with the Mary Anning award.


Professor Euan Clarkson of the University of Edinburgh was presented with the Lapworth Medal.


Professor Clarkson received the award for his significant contribution to the field particularly for his work with trilobite visual systems. This was a particularly popular choice for which he received a standing ovation.

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Sam Giles of the University of Oxford who spoke to us about the early evolution of ray-finned fishes.


James Lamsdell from The University of Kansas who’s been looking at the problems of comparing juvenile and adult morphologies.

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