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Symposium

SVP 2019 Podium and poster Symposia (Invited speakers only)



SVP 2019 will feature three podium symposia:
Origin of a sunburnt country: development of the modern Australian vertebrate fauna from the late Miocene onwards (organiser Robin Beck). One half morning session (eight talks).
 
Australian ecosystems underwent a fundamental shift from the late Miocene onwards, with the progressive spread of drier, more open habitats, culminating in the development of the widespread arid environments that characterise much of the continent today. This shift is reflected in the vertebrate fauna, with evidence of a middle Miocene–late Miocene extinction event, the radiation of many modern Australian vertebrate clades, and the appearance in different lineages of adaptations associated with increased aridity. The later Neogene saw other key events in Australian faunal history, including the emergence of New Guinea, and the arrival of several major vertebrate clades from Southeast Asia. This symposium focuses on research into the causes and consequences of this key period in Australian vertebrate history and that takes advantage of both the neontological and palaeontological records.

 

Quaternary extinctions in the Asia-Pacific: causes and consequences (organisers Gilbert Price, Larisa DeSantis, Julien Louys & Jillian Garvey). One afternoon session (10 talks).
 
There is great debate over the impacts humans had on ecosystems as they dispersed during the Quaternary. Large scale geographic and temporal analyses have provided unique insights into Quaternary ecosystems and their responses to perturbations, both climatic and anthropogenic, in North America and Europe. However, there has been a dearth of similar studies in the Asia-Pacific region and the paleobiology and paleoecology of numerous taxa are poorly understood in this region. Coupled with a paucity of fossil sites with firm geochronological control, we are far from a consensus on the causes, consequences, and implications of extinctions across the Asia-Pacific during the Quaternary. This symposium brings together researchers from paleontology, archaeology, and geochronology, who will explore the history and impacts of humans and climate change on Quaternary vertebrates and their ecosystems across Southeast Asia, Australia, and the Western Pacific.

From molecules to macroevolution: paleobiological applications of vertebrate soft tissue preservation (organisers Jasmina Wiemann and Derek Briggs). One full morning session (16 talks).
 
Recent progress in the field of biomolecular taphonomy has drawn attention to fossil soft tissues as an underexplored resource of paleobiological information. Few other topics in vertebrate paleontology have sparked as much controversy over the past three decades as molecular paleobiology. With the validation of fossil soft tissues as endogenous compounds, the field has gained a new tool to analyze the evolutionary history of vertebrates. Here, we will showcase the latest applications of data gained from these soft tissues and how they have advanced the science of vertebrate paleontology. This symposium includes a diverse set of presenters who are pioneering novel analytical methods and using their results to extract novel information on relationships, physiology, reproduction, and behavior from long extinct animals.