Discovery Science Festival 2013

Many thanks to all the dedicated and enthusiastic student members of the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at UCC who kindly volunteered their time to host the ‘Prehistoric Colours’ exhibit at the Discovery Science Festival at City Hall, Cork from the 16th to the 19th of November 2013. Approximately 3,000 members of the public – children, teachers and adults alike – visited the festival and had a chance to meet Microraptor and a whole host of other colourful fossils and insects ‘in the flesh’, as well as take part in a fossil hunt and play our fossilisation video game! Photos below.

Session on Konservat-Lagerstätten at the 2013 GSA Annual Meeting

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Considering attending the GSA Annual Meeting in Denver this year? Xiaoya Ma (Natural History Museum, London) and I are inviting contributions to our session #T243: ‘Konservat-Lagerstätten: morphology, ecology, and taphonomy of exceptionally preserved fossils”! This session will be a forum to present frontier research on Konservat-Lagerstätten and will encompass studies focussing on the morphology, ecology, evolution and taphonomy of exceptionally preserved fossils.

Our session will feature contributions from three invited speakers (Derek Briggs, Bob Gaines and Tom Harvey) and other high-profile palaeontologists in the field. Our session is sponsored by the Paleontological Society and the Palaeontological Association (UK) and we can offer financial assistance for early career researchers (PhD students and postdoctoral researchers) to present their work at our session.

Please contact us ([maria.mcnamara@ucc.ie / maria.mcnamara@bristol.ac.uk] or x.ma@nhm.ac.uk) to express your interest or if you have any questions. Online abstract submission is now open and the abstract deadline is 11:59 p.m., Pacific Time, 6 August 2013.

Media reports and interviews on the colours of fossil feathers, structural colours in fossil insects, fossil frog death, and more!

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Media articles on fossil feather colours: live science, Smithsonian magazine, nature news, Yale news, scienceblog, wired

Media articles on fossil insect colours: wired, scitechdaily, BBC, abc

Media articles on fossil bone marrow: National Geographic, livescience, New Scientist, BBC

Video interview: using experiments to understand fossil colours (courtesy Patrick Lynch at Yale University): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA1gU-XQfEs

Radio interview on the Naked Scientist http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/interviews/interview/2234/

Podcast on Palaeocast http://www.palaeocast.com/episode-7-colouration-in-fossils/

2013 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

Read about our exhibit for the prestigious 2013 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition. The exhibit is titled ‘Prehistoric colours in fossil insects and feathers’ and is being developed by a team of palaeontologists that includes Dr Stuart Kearns, Prof. Mike Benton and Mr Chris Rogers from the University of Bristol, Dr Paddy Orr from University College Dublin, and ten postgraduate students from the University of Bristol and Yale University. Our exhibit will incorporate fossils (feathers, metallic insects, and a specimen of Sinosauropteryx), fossilisation experiments, a scanning electron microscope, and even a fossilisation video game. Read more about our exhibit here.

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