IGCP 653 session at GeoBonn 2018

IGCP 653 recently hosted a very successful session at the 2018 GeoBonn meeting.  The large German geoscience meeting, bringing together the three major societies (geology, mineralogy, palaeontology) of Germany and its umbrella federation, was held in the former capital, Bonn, from September 2-6, under the heading ‘GeoBonn 2018.’

Among the 16 topics (plus an additional open session), the palaeontology sessions were very numerous (and partly overlapping and running in parallel).

Session10a  ‘The early Explosion of Life – from the Cambrian innovations to the great Ordovician radiations’ was organized by Oliver Lehnert (Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany) and IGCP co-leader Thomas Servais (CNRS – Université de Lille, France). The session was organised as a regional (European) meeting of IGCP 653 in 2018, a few months after the main annual meeting in Athens, Ohio, USA.

The session, although taking place during the last half day – and after the conference dinner running under ‘open bar’ conditions, was well attended by over 50 scientists (mostly, but not only, palaeontologists).

The session started with the keynote lecture of David Harper (Durham University, UK) entitled “The Early Palaeozoic marine diversifications: some causes and consequences.” Other talks included contributions concerning the impact of climatic events on the different distinct pulses of biodiversifications that are observed during the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event, GOBE (by Oliver Lehnert and co-authors), the emerging phytoplankton at the base of the food chains triggering the early Palaeozoic marine biodiversifications (by David Kröck and co-authors), and ecophenotypical morphology changes of Ordovician acritarchs (by Thomas Servais and co-authors). An eye-catching talk was surely that by Brigitte Schönemann (Cologne University, Germany) and Euan Clarkson (Edinburgh University, UK), who illustrated that trilobites developed a much better vision only during the Ordovician. After that talk, everybody was convinced that trilobites had a clear view on the GOBE!