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Don’t Miss our Talks and Poster at the 56th AASP Conference in Montpellier

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Dont Miss our Talks and Poster at the 56th AASP Conference in Montpellier

The American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists (AASP) is hosting its 56th annual meeting. The conference will take place at the world-renowned Institut de Botanique in Montpellier, France, from June 24th to 28th, 2024. The conference will feature a variety of scientific talks, posters, and workshops covering various aspects of palynology and palaeobotany. In addition to the scientific program, the meeting will also include pre- and post-conference field trips that offer a first-hand chance to learn about the geology and palynology of the Montpellier region.

AASP is a non-profit organisation, dedicated to promoting the study of palynology and its applications across a variety of fields. They have been strong supporters and promoters of the palynological community since 1967.

We are thrilled to share this sneak peek at our two presentations, in addition to a scientific poster we will be displaying. We proudly share a brief introduction to two of our amazing palynology team members who will be sharing this work at the upcoming conference.

Conference: 56th Annual Meeting AASP

Location: Montpellier, France

Venue: 163 Rue Auguste Broussonnet, 34090 Montpellier, France

Date: 24 -27 June 2024

Meet our budding palynologists who will be presenting at 56th AASP Conference

Michael Amoo

Michael Amoo joined us in November 2023, and works out of our Conwy office. Michael completed his PhD at Northumbria University, where he researched the Eocene-Oligocene palynology and climate of New Zealand and Australia. He was very excited to join our team and will be working out of our office in Conwy. He is a scientist through and through and is fascinated with the microscopic world as glimpsed through a microscope. He revels in that special feeling of being the first person to look upon these tiny fossils.

Talk Title: Some advantages of digital slide technology for palynological research: morphometric and palynofacies case studies

Presenter: Michael Amoo

Session: General Palynology

Date: 25th June 2024

Time: 9.35am

I am very happy to have been given the opportunity to be part of the team working on the DigiPaly R&D project. Considering we started working on this project a couple of months ago (~3 months), I’d say we’ve made a lot of progress harnessing the efficient use our digital scanning technology and streamlining internal workflow (especially for Palynofacies).

Coming from academia, there is a popular misconception that working in industry takes you away from research. For me, this couldn’t be further from the truth working here at PetroStrat. Aside working on routine projects, I have come to realise that the R&D culture in PetroStrat is very strong.

PetroStrat Careers Michael Amoo

Some key points from Michael’s talk;

  • Advanced computational methods applied to palynological studies is rapidly gaining traction in recent years
  • Routine labour-intensive processes and bottlenecks can be streamlined. In some cases, automation can augment workflows.
  • We test the efficacy of digitally scanned, high resolution slides for:
    1. conducting morphometric analyses of Early Eocene dinoflagellate species
    2. assessing the palynofacies of Early Eocene samples
    3. their effectiveness for Palaeozoic and Mesozoic samples
  • We demonstrate that digitally scanned slides streamline the collection, storage, and use of substantial amounts of data for morphometric and palynofacies analyses.

Martha Gibson

Martha Gibson joined our Conwy office team in April this year, and is one of our newest palynologists! She completed her PhD in 2021, which focused on Palaeoecology and palaeoenviroments of the late Permian Zechstein Sea and its Hinterlands. Since then, she has worked extensively on Palaeozoic Euramerican palynology as well as extending her knowledge of Cenozoic taxa. Her interests also extend to far-ranging topics like palaeobotanical-based climate modelling, and wall ultrastructure analysis of gymnosperm pollen grains.

Martha Gibson Palynologist At PetroStrat

Talk Title: Keynote : A 3 body of water problem

Presenter: Martha Gibson

Session: General Palynology

Date: 27th June 2024

Time: 3.00pm

“It is an honour to be invited to give a keynote speech on the palynology of salt minerals in a part of the world where salt has special geological, historical, and economic significance. I will also be presenting a poster on determining palaeoaltitude from palaeoclimate reconstruction data that are derived from pollen. I have been attending the AASP-The Palynological Society meetings for almost 10 years as a PhD student, postdoctoral researcher, Lindemann Research Fellow, and am excited to continue presenting my ongoing academic research with the support of PetroStrat.”

Some key points from Matha’s talk;

  • Salt minerals form in a variety of depositional settings and can be excellent repositories for environmental data. As they grow they trap waters, gas, crystals, and any organic material from their surroundings and create a “snapshot” of the world around them.
  •  Several long-lived assumptions mean that many geoscientists overlook the preservation potential of salt minerals. These are;
    1. salt minerals cannot preserve organic material
    2. all salt minerals form in marine environments
    3. salt minerals represent non-habitable environments.
  • Recent studies show how unaltered salt minerals can preserve microfossils, microorganisms, organic compounds, and other environmental data for hundreds of millions of years.
  • Using 3 bodies of water across time and space we will explore how these assumptions are untrue.
    1. Permian Zechstein Group (~258-252 Ma) of Central Western Europe
    2. Halite and gypsum from modern acid saline lakes in Western Australia, and ancient acid saline lakes of the Permian Nippewalla Group, USA.
    3. a Mars-analogue sulphate salt, from Great Salt Lake, USA
  • These examples, which combine original data with representative literature, will highlight the diversity of life trapped inside salt minerals. We will also talk about the characteristics of salt minerals that allow for exceptional preservation, the difficulties and approaches involved in examining organic material trapped in salt minerals, and the consequences for palynology’s future.

Poster Title: Running Lapse: Palaeoaltitude estimates from pollen-based climate reconstructions

Author: Martha Gibson

Here is an overview of Martha’s poster;

  • Reconstructing past mountain elevations (palaeoaltitude) is difficult due to eroding landscapes
  • However, geographical distribution and altitude of orography is crucial for modelling past climates.
  • Pollen in a lowland depositional setting is typically a mixed assemblage of local and regional taxa, likely reflecting multiple sources.
  • During global reconstructions of Miocene climate, we came across a number of bimodal distributions. Typically these were from regions with mountainous topography.
  • By splitting these bimodal assemblages into their lowland (warmer) and upland (cooler) groups, and by then applying lapse rates it is possible to derive a palaeoaltitude.
  • We also validated the technique with modern surface samples.
Brazil Aerial Coastline

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