Project News

International Paleontological Congress 5: Abstracts due

Dear IGCP 653 community,

The conveners of the 5th International Palaeontological Congress, to be held from July 9th to 13th in Paris, France, warmly invite you to submit an abstract the the IGCP 653 sponsored scientific session: The onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification (GOBE): fossils, radiations and Lagerstätten (S37).

Much more information is available on the conference website:

Abstract submission is closing in less than two weeks on on February 15th. 

We hope to see you in Paris,
T. Servais, D. Harper, B. Lefebvre, A. Hunter
(session conveners)

IGCP 653 @ Seattle GSA

Hello IGCP 653-ers,
We have a strong lineup of over 30 presentations in sessions sponsored by our project at the upcoming Geological Society of America meeting.  Please be sure to join us if you are attending the meeting in Seattle.
Our primary session “The onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event (GOBE): Testing hypotheses with diverse data sets” will convened by Alycia Stigall and Rebecca Freeman on Monday afternoon.
Please also join us Sunday afternoon for “Life and Times in the Early Paleozoic” convened by Erik Sperling, Stephen Leslie, and Matt Saltzman, Steve Leslie.  Information about that session is here:
We look forward to vibrant discussions and exciting new science in Seattle!
IGCP 653 co-organizers

Morocco 2018: Workshop and Fezouata field excursion

A regional workshop and field excursion of IGCP 653: The Onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event will be organized at Marrakech, February 12-16, 2018.


February 12-13, 2018, an IGCP 653 workshop at Marrakech University, similar to the workshop that took place at Nanjing, May 15-16, 2017 (link), will be organized for students from Morocco, but all Moroccan scientists and participants from IGCP 653 are welcome. 

After the workshop, a three-day field trip is organized February 14-16, with geological excursions to some of the classic sections of the Lower Ordovician Fezouata Fossil-Lagerstätte, allowing participants to observe the geological context of the exceptional Fezouata Biota.

Download the First Circular here.  Further information will be available at on the IGCP 653 project website.

Please indicate your interest in attending either the workshop or the excursion by sending an e-mail message to and Space for the excursion is limited, and we apply a ‘first come first serve’ basis.

We look forward to welcoming you to Marrakech.

Thomas Servais
on behalf of the organizing committee and Project 653 co-leaders

2018 Annual Meeting: First Circular

The third annual meeting of IGCP 653: The Onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event will be hosted on the campus of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, June 3-7, 2018.

The scientific sessions in Athens include a mid-conference field trip and will be preceded and followed by geological excursions to classic sections ranging from Cambrian through Katian in age, allowing participants to observe sedimentological, biological, and ecological changes across the GOBE and the resulting ecosystems.

We welcome contributions on all aspects of the late Cambrian through Ordovician earth system.

Download the First Circular.  The meeting website is

Please indicate your interests by filling in the following the form below and send to

Download fillable PDF form: click here

We look forward to welcoming you to Ohio.  GO BE in Ohio!

Alycia Stigall
on behalf of the organizing committee and Project 653 co-leaders

Abstract deadline for IGCP 653 Annual meeting approaching

The early registration and abstract deadline for the Annual meeting in Yichang, China is August 15, only two weeks away!  
Register here:

The organizers are planning a scientifically exciting and productive meeting.  We hope that you will be able to join us!

Funding is available through the IGCP program to provide partial travel support for students and scientists from developing nations participating in the Annual meeting.  To to apply for support, email Project Leader Thomas Servais ( .

More information here:
Second circular
IGCP 653 project website

We hope to see you in Yichang in October!

GSA deadline approaching and publications update

Dear IGCP 653 members,

The deadline is quickly approaching for submitting an abstract to the  “The onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversity Event (GOBE): Testing Hypotheses with Diverse Data Sets” session at upcoming 2017 Geological Society of America conference in Seattle, Washington. Abstract submission is open now and will close on August 1st.  For more information about the GSA meeting visit:

There are many other session at GSA that will be of interest to this group, and we hope to see you there!

In other news, the first papers from the Lethaia special volume stemming from the Durham meeting are now available in Early View.  A list of IGCP 653 related publications is maintained on our website here:

We are eager to document all papers related to the project. Please make Alycia Stigall ( aware of any IGCP 653 related papers you publish so she can keep the list updated.  We encourage all members to identify related work as part of this project in the acknowledgements section using the sentence “This paper is a contribution to the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) Project 653 – The onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event.

Best wishes,
IGCP co-leaders

Second circular for Annual IGCP meeting in Yichang, China

The second annual meeting of the International Geoscience Programme Project 653 “Filling the gap between Cambrian Explosion and the GOBE” will be held in Yichang, China from October 8 through 18, 2017.


The second circular is now available with details of registration, abstract submission, publication venue, field trip itineraries, travel and accommodations, and visa information.
Key dates:
  • August 15, 2017: Deadline for submitting abstracts or extended summary through the web of the Yichang meeting ( or to the e-mail box of the meeting (
  • September 15, 2017: Distribution of Third (last) Circular
  • October 8, 2017: Icebreaker of the meeting
  • October 13, 2017: Start of the post-conference field excursion
  • December 31, 2017: Deadline for submitting proceeding paper to Palaeoworld
Contact information
Any questions or suggestions related to the meeting and field trips should be directed to the e-mail box of the meeting:
or if necessary, to:Dr. FAN Junxuan (Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology):

Dr. ZHANG Yuandong (Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology):

For further and updated information of the Yichang meeting, please visit the website of the meeting:

IGCP 653 theme session at Geological Society of America Meeting in Seattle

Dear All,

We are convening a topical session entitled “The onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversity Event (GOBE): Testing Hypotheses with Diverse Data Sets” at the 2017 Geological Society of America conference. The conference will be held 22-25 October in Seattle, Washington. For this session (T60) we invite contributions testing hypotheses concerning the Late Cambrian to Ordovician biotic and abiotic drivers of marine diversification in all contexts. We welcome diverse data sets illuminate the timing, initiating conditions, stratigraphy, and paleontology of this significant event in Earth’s history.  Our invited speakers include Katherine Marenco (Byrn Mawr University), Seth Young (Florida State), and Jesse Carlucci (Midwestern State University).

This session is a regional meeting of IGCP Project 653, The Onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiverisifcation Event The goal of this project is to better constrain the triggering causes leading to establishment of modern marine ecosystems and also to the identification of the reasons of the first collapse of these environments during the Late Ordovician mass extinction. Our GSA session will be the first opportunity for project participants to meet in North America.

The goal of this session is to bring together geoscientists from a diverse set of fields including palaeontology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, geochemistry, palaeooceanography, palaeoclimatology to present new research bearing on the initiating factors and timing of the GOBE.  By assembling a diverse set of speakers and topics, it is our hope that all participants will develop additional capacity to consider and ultimately integrate additional data streams within analyses and interpretations of their own data.

If you have a current project that fits the scope of our session we hope that you will consider submitting an abstract. Abstract submission is open now and will close on August 1st.  For more information about the GSA meeting visit:

Please contact either of us if you have any questions and forward this announcement to others who may be interested in contributing.

Best wishes,

Alycia Stigall (Ohio University,

Rebecca Freeman (University of Kentucky,

Meteorite impacts and the GOBE?

A new paper published in Nature Communication by a group of IGCP 653-realted authors, led by Anders Lindskog is bringing global media attention once again to the Great Ordovician Biodiversity Event.  Their article (here) indicates that the timing of maximum diversification does not overlap with the significant Middle Ordovician meteorite peak.

Lindskog, A.L., Costa, M.M., Rasmussen, C.M.Ø., Connelly, J.N. & Eriksson, M.E. 2017. Refined Ordovician timescale reveals no link between asteroid breakup and Biodiversification. Nature Communications 14066Online

Original press release

Over 50 news outlets have covered the story, a partial list is here

Some notable coverage:  ResearchGate blog  Science News Science

Note: We are compiling a list of all official IGCP 653 publications on the website publications page.  Please email Alycia Stigall ( whenever you have papers that acknowledge IGCP 653 published so we can keep our list as up to date and inclusive as possible.