Episode 96: Decapods

Decapods are a group of crustaceans that include such well-known families as crabs, lobsters and shrimp. Whilst crustaceans are known from as early as the Cambrian, we don’t see the first decapods until Devonian. Over the course of their evolutionary history, decapods have remained relatively conservative in their morphology with the exception of some interesting forms in the Mesozoic. In this episode, Dr Carrie Schweitzer, Kent State University, gives us a run-down of the taxonomy…

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2018 – Year in Review

Seems like yet another year is drawing to a close. How do they keep passing so quickly? Stop that! Since it’s the end of the year again, I guess it’s time for another year in review about what I’ve been up to. 2018 was a bit of a mixed bag for me. Nothing particularly bad, but also nothing amazingly awesome. The good stuff: A couple of good things that happened this year – I published…

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PalAss 2018

This year, The Palaeontological Associations AGM is being held at the University of Bristol. We’ll be live for all three days of the conference and recording of the talks will be available here shortly afterwards. You can put your questions to the presenters via the chat function on YouTube. If you experience any issues with the live stream, please refresh your browser. If problems persist, tweet us @Palaeocast. You can also join in on the…

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Why I don’t want to move country

Recently, Nature published an article titled ‘Why you should move country‘, about the advantages of moving countries as academics. A study has shown that those who are more mobile get more citations, better collaborations, etc. This article sparked a discussion on Twitter about advantages and disadvantages of moving for academia, and there were many opinions and thoughts about it. While I agree that there are advantages to moving labs in order to work with new…

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SVPCA 2018

We are very happy to be able to present the 66th Symposium on Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy, held at the Universities of Manchester and Salford, September 5th-7th 2018. Robert Sansom SVPCA opening remarks Mike Coates Sharks uprooted – new perspectives on early chondrichthyans Katie Davis Shaping the avian (super)tree of life Sam Giles Unravelling osteichthyan relationships: evolutionary tales from the head of forgotten fishes Rob Asher Confidence in palaeontological systematics: lessons from mammals …

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Early tetrapod feeding

Well, I’ve managed to fail at my scicomm resolution for the year, which was to write at least one blog post a month. I missed out on September, but I’m back on it in October with an update on what I’ve been up to in the past few months. As some of you know, I’ve been spending a lot of the past year since finishing my PhD working off-and-on in an arthritis research lab, looking…

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Episode 95: Plants and Atmosphere

The interaction between plants and atmosphere forms the basis of the carbon cycle and is amongst the most important processes for maintaining life on the planet today. Photosynthesis removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and in return forms the base of the food chain and produces the oxygen we, as animals, need to breathe. Equally, the composition of the atmosphere influences the climate and thus the availability of resources, governing where plants are able to…

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Palaeocast is up for a People’s Choice Award in Canada!

Science Borealis, a Canadian science blog community, along with the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada have announced the short-list for the 2018 People’s Choice Award: Canada’s Favourite Science Online, and Palaeocast has been nominated! We are honoured to be short-listed, and thanks to those at Science Borealis that . Please help us out by voting for us here. You can also read about the other nominations here. Although we’re not strictly Canadian, you do…

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Episode 94: Joggins Fossil Cliffs

The Carboniferous was a time of huge swampy forests, big trees, and lots of life both on land and in the ocean. One world-renowned fossil site from approximately 300 million years ago is the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, located on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia Canada. Joggins is one of Canada’s five palaeontology-based UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is one of the best places in this world to find fossils from this time period.…

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Flugsaurier 2018 – Los Angeles

I’ve just returned from a 2 week stint in California, where I had a bit of holiday visiting some family, and also attended Flugsaurier 2018, the semi-annual pterosaur conference. Held every 2-3 years, Flugsaurier focuses on the up-and-coming pterosaur research from around the world. It’s a small, specialist conference with 40-70 people typically who work on pterosaurs. I was involved in a minor capacity with the 2015 conference held in Portsmouth, and got sucked in…

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