50 Years of Vertebrate Palaeontology Working Group

Since 1974, paleontologists from Germany and neighboring German-spaeking countries have been meeting annually for the Vertebrate Palaeontology Working Group (Arbeitskreis Wirbeltierpaläontologie). In the first two years, the meeting took place as part of the annual conference of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft (German Palaeontological Society). Since 1976 it has been organized as an independent meeting. The aim of the regular event is to bring together scientists with a research focus on vertebrates on a weekend in spring (usually in mid-March) and to provide a platform for exchanging the latest research results in a relaxed atmosphere. Colleagues take turns organizing the event on a voluntary basis. The numerous meeting locations include Mainz, Göttingen, Reisenburg, Gwatt (in Switzerland), Salzburg (in Austria), Eichstätt, Laimering near Augsburg, Münster and Berlin.

The 49th meeting of the Vertebrate Palaeontology Working Group took place from March 15-17, 2024 in Kiel. The venue was the Zoological Museum and the event was organized by the Zoology and Functional Morphology of Vertebrates working group (PI: Prof. Dr. Christine Böhmer) of the Zoological Institute of Kiel University. Supported by a hard-working team of student assistants, Dr. Daniela Winkler (postdoc in the Böhmer group) and I put together a varied program. This began on Friday afternoon with a guided tour of the museum.


The scientific program continued on Sunday. In two lecture blocks, the phenomenon of insect evolution, new findings on biomechanics and what ecological information can be obtained from fossil teeth and internal bone structure were discussed. Even the identification of fossil feces (so-called coprolites) was reported on. The varied contributions and the lively, constructive discussion contributed to an all-round successful event.

A serious topic was also addressed: during a minute’s silence, the long-standing and active members who passed away last year were remembered: Prof. Dr. Norbert Schmidt Kittler (Professor at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz), Prof. Dr. Oldřich Feijfar (Professor at Charles University in Prague) and Dr. Angelika Hesse (Curator of Geosciences at the Museum of Natural History and Prehistory Dessau).

For the next meeting of the Vertebrate Paleontology Working Group of the Paleontological Society in 2025, under the general topic „Behavior“, Dr. Ilja Kogan has invited to the Museum of Natural History in Chemnitz. We are very much looking forward to it!

Das könnte Dich auch interessieren …