Archive for June, 2018

FLUGSAURIER 2018 Circular

At the University of Southern California and the LA County Museum, Los Angeles, USA from August 10-14, 2018.

 

Dear all,

Here are some updates and details on the upcoming conference. Apologies for the delays but things are now racing forwards. The abstracts are under review and we hope to get these back to people soon. In the meantime, here are various updates about the events and the conference.

 

Icebreaker

There will be an ice breaker coffee session and welcome address on the morning of August 10th (and not on the evening of the 9th as we’d originally hoped. If enough people are arriving on the 9th though we can arrange an informal meet up at a local venue). The first technical session will be that afternoon. On the evening of August 10th there will be a welcome social at the Traditions Bar on the USC campus.

 

Workshops

There will be two workshops, each two hours in length. Each workshop will have two chairs/moderators. They will provide opening remarks, and then the sessions will proceed primarily as a Q&A based discussion. The topics will be:

Workshop #1: A brief guide to accessing pterosaur specimens worldwide: laws, regulations, and expectations. Chaired by Taissa Rodrigues and Mike Habib.

Workshop #2: Azhdarchoid paleobiology: reviewing the latest in studies of systematics, ecology, and functional morphology. Chaired by Mike Habib and Liz Martin.

 

Accommodation

Mike is still trying to work with USC to reserve less expensive options on campus. However, this has become problematic, and his recommendation at this late stage is that delegates book other options so that they have a fallback. Many of the area hotels can be booked and cancelled without penalty (so long as cancellation is at least a week prior to arrival). The light rail network is extensive and quick and also has a station right outside the LACM and main USC campus so it should be possible to find accommodation some way from the venues that is still a relatively short and simple commute in. Some options:

The Freehand Los Angeles will run about 140 USD/night during the conference period. It is waking distance from the light rail, which will transport delegates to the conference location in about 15 minutes.

The Radisson at USC is an expensive option immediately across the street from USC. It will run about 300 USD/night.

The Vagabond Inn – Los Angeles at USC is also walking distance and runs 200 USD/night.

There are some small motels and AirBnB options in the area that run around 80 USD/night, but some are in questionable neighborhoods. We highly recommend contacting Mike if you are looking at a possible cheap lodging option and are unfamiliar with Los Angeles.

If people want to share rooms to cut costs further, we suggest they contact each other via the Facebook group. We’re happy to facilitate this.

 

Palaeoart exhibition

We will be hosting a paleoartist exhibition on the USC campus, and there will be a combined art and poster session for Q&A and informal discussion with the artists. We will have a projector for playing videos and animations available.

 

Specimen viewing

On August 13th, we will have a specimen viewing event, collections tour, and exhibit hall tour at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, hosted by Dr Luis Chiappe. There will be a lunch provided. Tours will take place after lunch. There will be time to browse the museum exhibits as well.

 

Field Trip

On August 14th, we will be taking a field trip to the Alf Museum in Claremont, CA. There will be new pterosaur material available for viewing, collections tours given by Dr Andy Farke, and information on local geology of interest. Those extending their stay may wish to visit some of the local Mesozoic formations. Transpiration to the Alf will be by coach, leaving at 7:30AM, return time TBC.

 

Introducing the Queen Mary Biological Collection

A year or so after I joined queen Mary, I discovered a fairly extensive, and also effectievly abandonned collection of specimens in various storage sites in the department. We have pressed plants, fossils, casts, models, skeletons, dried skins, pickled animals, drawings and more. It’s virtually a miniature museum, but all of it uncatalogued, unsorted and unlabeled. It was pretty soon clear that there were some real gems, a lake Baikal seal skeleton, a whale fetus, several tuataras, casts of the holotype of Pterodactylus and the Berlin Archaeopteryx, some rare seeds and plenty more.

I applied to the university’s Westfield fund for student development and this was happily granted, giving me some funds to work with. So for the last couple of summers I’ve been getting my students to help work out what things are, repair and preserve them and critically, to catalogue them. We now have a provisional database up and running and a photo index of every specimen. It needs work to check for some errors and we also have more still to add but the basics are there.

Critically, I want this to be used for research as well as making thios accessible for teaching. We already have loaned a number of specimens out to colleagues and others have been photographed or measured for papers and I hope that’s only the start. If you want access to anything, please let me know. We have been using the code QMBC for Queen Mary Biological Collection and given my work, you can see why I picked the specimen I did for QMBC 0001.

CATALOGUE

PHOTOS

 

 

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