Last week, members of our research group travelled to Oxford to attend the Progressive Palaeontology conference. Opening the event were two workshops, one of which was led by Roger Close on palaeontological and phylogenetic methods in R. Afterwards an ice breaker was held in the spectacular surrounds of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
The following day, Pedro Godoy was the first of the Birmingham PhD students to take to the stage to present his current work on the ecological diversity of crocodylomorphs. Next up was Dan Cashmore taking on the challenge of talking about his research on the completeness of the fossil record in the lightning time of only four minutes. During the poster session, Juan Benito Moreno presented and took questions on his poster illustrating his work on a new basal rhynchocephalian from the Late Triassic of Wales. The final session of the day saw Andy Jones talk about his PhD work on phytosaur form and phylogeny, and, during the penultimate lightning talk of the event, Emma Dunne described her work on early tetrapod biodiversity.
(Click on each speaker’s name to view a Palaeo Cast recording on YouTube)
The annual conference dinner was held at the magnificent Exeter College, alma mater of that famous Brummie J.R.R. Tolkien, where it was announced that a number of our group had won prizes for their performances:
Best talk (winner): Andy Jones
Best lightning talk (runner up): Emma Dunne
Best poster (runner up): Juan Benito Moreno
Overall, Birmingham managed to scoop three out of the six prizes awarded!
After all the delegates were done dining, David Button took on his infamous role as auctioneer for the annual auction, which proved to be a huge success in raising travel grant funds for next year’s meeting. Huge congratulations to all at Oxford for a fabulous conference, we’re already looking forward to next year wherever it may be!