Project News

Abstract deadline for the annual meeting (online!)

Dear IGCP 653-ers,  

Have you submitted your abstract for the Annual Meeting of the IGCP 653: “Zooming in on the GOBE” to be held online September 7-10, 2020?

Over 50 colleagues from 19 countries have already registered for our first-ever online conference. We are excited to be able to provide a platform for our members to share their science and collaborate with our international community.  We hope that you will be able to join us!  

If have have not yet registered or submitted an abstract, visit the meeting website at to learn more.  There is no cost to register for this Zoom-based conference, but registration is required to participate.

Due to the strong response, we are extending the abstract submission deadline to August 7th.  The abstract template is available here: We look forward to seeing you online!

–Christian Mac Ørum Rasmussen, Alycia Stigall and rest of the Project 653 team

GOBEnhagen Postponed. Annual meeting now Online!

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are moving the Copenhagen meeting once more. The new dates are yet to be finalised but provisionally we aim for late May, 2021.

On the announced September dates (7th–10th) we will instead organise a virtual Annual Meeting of IGCP 653 via Zoom. This meeting, entitled ”Zooming in on the GOBE” will have no registration fees, but registration is required .

For more details on registration and abstract submission for this new virtual meeting, please click here.

–Christian Mac Ørum Rasmussen and rest of the Project 653 team

New September, 2020 dates for GOBEnhagen

Dear All,

The Closing Meeting of IGCP 653 in Copenhagen, scheduled for June 2020, is officially postponed to September 7th–10th, 2020.

Unfortunately, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has had a deep impact on nearly all countries, forcing governments to take precautionary measures. In Denmark, the government has imposed bans on gatherings of more than 10 people, closed all shops except for grocery stores, as well as schools, and universities. Even the borders are currently closed. Essentially the whole country has been in a lockdown since March 10th

Because of these bans, we initially postponed the deadline for abstract submission from March 15th to April 15th in the hopes that those extra weeks would give us time to see whether the precautionary measures had the intended effect and maybe would be lifted.

Although a positive effect is seen – the country is slowly reopening again this week – the government has decided to maintain the restrictions on larger gatherings of more than ten people until August 31st. Therefore, we have no other option than to postpone the GOBEnhagen meeting until after that date.

We are therefore provisionally moving the technical sessions of the meeting to September 7th–10th, with the pre-excursion to Öland scheduled for the 3rd–6h of September and the post-excursion toBornholm the 11th–12th of September. The dates are obviously provisional given the global situation at the moment, pending how the pandemic evolves globally.

Deadline for abstract submission and Early Bird registration, including registrations for the excursions, will be July 24th, 2020 and the late registration deadline exclusively including the technical sessions will be August 14th, 2020.

On behalf of the organizers, I wish you all the best, stay safe, and we do hope to see you all in Copenhagen in the early Autumn!

Christian Rasmussen

GOBEnhagen update: Abstract extension to April 15 and Coronavirus update

Dear all, 

Due to the developing coronavirus outbreak, we are extending the abstract submission and Early Bird registration deadline for the Closing Meeting of IGCP 653 until April 15th, 2020.

The Danish authorities have taken precautionary measures to delay the outbreak here. This includes a ban on all flights from ‘high risk areas’ until further notice, and a general advice to avoid larger gatherings as well as avoiding public transport if possible. At the university level, this further means groups larger than 50 people are not allowed, and all social gatherings should be avoided until further notice. Therefore, we advise all participants to postpone making travel and accommodation bookings in connection with the conference unless reimbursement is guaranteed.

We are monitoring the situation closely and will follow the guidelines provided by the national public health authorities.

We obviously hope that the GOBEnhagen meeting will take place in June as planned and we thus continue our efforts to organize the meeting in line with our original schedule. But, in the event that we will have to cancel, or postpone, the conference, all paid fees associated with the conference via the online registration system will be reimbursed.

On behalf of the organizers,
Christian Rasmussen

Annual Meeting: Second Circular for GOBEnhagen

Dear all,

The 2nd circular for the closing meeting of IGCP653 in Copenhagen is now available for download at the conference website.

The circular – and website – is now updated with additional information on the venue, registration costs, as well as information on how and where to register and how to submit conference abstracts.

We hope to see you all in GOBEnhagen in June!

–Christian Mac Ørum Rasmussen and rest of the Project 653 team

IGCP 653 at the Annual Paleontological Association meeting in Valencia, Spain

This year the annual meeting of the Palaeontological Association moved to the Mediterranean City of Valencia, organised by Dr. Carlos Martinez-Perez and his colleagues.

Three days of talks and posters were preceded by an excursion to the Palaeozoic rocks of the Iberian chains and followed by a day trip to the Miocene rocks of the Alicante region. The first day was devoted to a workshop on analytical techniques for the investigation of fossils and Maria McNamara (University College Cork) presented the annual address on taphonomy.

There was a strong presence of members of IGCP 653 throughout the conference, and on the first night some 25 project members met at a local restaurant to discuss aspects of the programme and enjoy some good food and wine from the region. Many young, early-career researchers attended together with a number of stalwarts of Lower Palaeozoic research. And later in the final, plenary session of the conference, two project leaders, Harper and Servais together with Cascales-Minana presented their own take on Early Palaeozoic diversity.

It was a wonderful setting for the annual conference, and a great opportunity to present some of our results from IGCP 653.

-synopsis by D.A.T. Harper, photos by Juan Carlos Gutiérrez Marco

First Circular for the 2020 Closing meeting in Copenhagen

Dear all, 

The 1st Circular of the Closing Meeting of IGCP Project 653 is now available online. The conference entitled ‘A Baltic perspective on the role of the GOBE: High resolution stratigraphy through early Palaeozoic ecosystems change’ will take place from June 8–12, 2020, in the center of Copenhagen.

Field-excursions to destinations in southern Scandinavia are planned in connection with the technical sessions as pre- and post-excursions. As the meeting organizers would like to get a rough overview of the number of participants potentially attending the meeting, they kindly ask you to fill in the preliminary interest form online here.

We hope to see you all at GOBEnhagen 2020!
–Christian Mac Ørum Rasmussen and rest of the Project 653 team

IGCP 653 meeting and dinner at the PalAss meeting in Valencia

We are planning to have one final additional meeting of IGCP 653 participants in this fourth year of our project: IGCP participants will meet during the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Palaeontological Association at Valencia, Spain. The meeting will take place December 18th-20th. There will be no separate IGCP653 symposium, but several talks and posters are related to the onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event. IGCP 653 will organize an informal business meeting during a dinner to which all participants are invited.

Please email Thomas Servais ( if you are attending the PalAss meeting in Valencia by December 1st. 

This will allow us to include you for the IGCP 653 dinner. There is also support available for students and participants from developing countries who present IGCP 653 related results.

Please do present your papers (talks and posters) at the PalAss meeting with acknowledgements to our project with our logo (available here) on your presentation and/or a sentence such as “This paper is a contribution to the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) Project 653 – The onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event.”

Request for Information for 2019 Annual Report

Hello IGCP 653 participants,

The fourth year of our project has been both an excellent and productive year. Our members had the opportunity to present and learn about cutting edge science at IGCP 653 sponsored meetings, network, develop new collaborations, and publish new findings related to the onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event.

It is time already to compile our fourth annual report. Throughout the year, we have compiled a partial list of publications associated with our project here:
However, recognize this list in highly incomplete, and we need to fully document the project publication output for the annual report.  

Thus, please email Christian Mac Ørum Rasmussen ( a list of any publications resulting from IGCP 653 efforts in which you have cited the project in the acknowledgements section by December 1st. If you have project related publications, that did not explicitly cite the project, we would also appreciate a list of those.

Also, please do remember to prepare your future papers with acknowledgements to our project with a sentence such as “This paper is a contribution to the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) Project 653 – The onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event.”

We are looking forward to another highly productive year in 2020 with the Main Annual (and Closing) meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark in June 2020. The technical sessions are fixed and scheduled for the period 8-12 of June. Geological excursions will be organized as pre- and post-congress field-trips.  The first circular will be in your mailbox soon.

There will also be a regional meeting in North China, including a ceremony at the new ASSP for the basis of the Ordovician System at Dayangcha from May 14-16, 2020. 

Please email Thomas Servais ( with sponsorship proposals for additional meetings or symposia.

Thanks and best wishes,

IGCP 653 co-leaders

IGCP 653 session at the 2019 Geological Society of America Meeting

In September 2019, IGCP 653 joined IGCP 652: Reading geologic time in Paleozoic sedimentary rocks to host Topical session T116: The Ordovician Earth: Integrated Perspectives on the fossil and rock records at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America in Phoenix, Arizona.

The session included fifteen oral presentations (link here) and five posters (link here). The session included broad coverage of all things Ordovician from chemostratigraphy, to paleooceanography, to patterns and processes of biotic diversification. Alexandre Pohl’s keynote focused on paleoclimate reconstructions, and Alycia Stigall’s keynote focused on improving understanding of the timing and duration of the GOBE by synthesizing sample-standardized diversity data with a broad suite of paleoenvironmental data.

IGPC 653 project members had many opportunities to collaborate and discuss their science during the week in both the formal setting of the session and informally during breaks and at the busy social calendar of GSA.