The opening meeting of IGCP 653: Onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event held September 25- October 1st at Durham University. Dubbed “Ordovician by the Lakes” due to the proximity of the conference room to Van Mildert College lake and the field excursion to the English Lake District, participants certainly had plenty of water to contemplate both from the conference settings and the Ordovician seas.
The conference program including abstracts can be downloaded here: Durham 2016 Final Meeting Programme.
Highlights of the conference included a scientific sessions with synthesis talks on the state of knowledge in ocean modeling, paleogeography reconstruction, biodiversity estimation, climate models, and geochemical proxies, plus new research presentations, and active discussion nearly 40 scientists from nearly 20 countries; a conference banquet in the 11th century (and onward) Durham Castle; field exploration of classic Late Ordovician localities complete with rain showers and even horizontal hail. Excellent discussions, plans for future and ongoing collaborations occurred.
We are still not quite sure exactly when and how the GOBE occurred (perhaps it was in the rocks at the hailstorm?), which leaves lots of exciting developments yet to come as the community progresses in gathering new data, new analyses, and new insights into this exciting period in Earth history.