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Annual Meeting Annual Meeting Home

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Each year, vertebrate paleontologists, preparators, writers, artists and enthusiasts convene to share the latest research, attend workshops and field trips, and meet new fossil fans as well as old friends. It’s the world’s foremost forum on vertebrate paleontology: the Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. It’s usually referred to simply as “SVP”.

The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the United States, October 14th -17th, 2020

The 2020 meeting logo features the dinosaur Daspletosaurus from the Upper Cretaceous Judith River Formation of Montana set within an elliptical border. The blue color symbolizes the position of Cincinnati on the banks of the Ohio River. The lower boundary is composed of a silhouette of Cincinnati architectural icons, featuring from right to left, the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, Cincinnati Music Hall, the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, and Cincinnati Union Terminal, home to Cincinnati Museum Center and site of the 2020 SVP opening reception. Following a nearly three-year period of extensive renovation, Cincinnati Museum Center reopened to the public in November 2018 in one of the country’s most important Art Deco buildings. Preeminent among the new exhibit galleries is Dinosaur Hall, where the skeleton of Daspletosaurus welcomes visitors.

If you would still like to download a free pdf copy of the SVP 2019 abstract book, click here.
To buy an abstract book from, please click here.

SVP Statement on Coronavirus

We wanted to share a brief message regarding the emerging public health concerns posed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We are closely monitoring updates from local and national public health authorities regarding the situation in communities where cases of the virus have been confirmed.

In this time of uncertainty, it’s important to monitor updates and news from reputable sources. SVP is looking to three major reputable health organizations to provide guidance on events and activities during this period:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    World Health Organization (WHO)

    European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is working with state and local governments to implement aggressive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In addition, there are several easy steps that we can all take to help minimize the risk of exposure. These are the same basic steps we should be taking every day to help prevent the spread of illnesses such as the flu and the common cold:

•    Wash your hands frequently. Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. In addition, having hand sanitizer readily available is always a good idea.

•    Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Put your used tissue in a waste basket immediately and wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.

•    Follow the recommendations of your home country with respect to self-isolating after travel or appearance of symptoms, and restrictions on travel.

While we all hope that the COVID-19 crisis will be behind us by October, we recognize the possibility that it could greatly impact SVP’s ability to execute our planned Annual Meeting in Cincinnati. To address this, SVP’s leadership is working hand in hand with staff and the host committee and program chairs to engage in scenario planning. Our aim is to deliver the annual meeting in some format, ideally in person, with the potential for virtual elements. We encourage you therefore to please go ahead and submit your abstract. Note that we’ve added an option to the abstract submission site for you to indicate your willingness to present virtually, should that be the format. We will continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 crisis and potential impacts on the meeting. At this juncture, we simply don’t know what is the best solution for SVP and our membership, but we are committed to keeping you informed as we navigate through this evolving situation together. The abstract submissio deadline has been moved to May 14, 2020 and we now plan to open attendee registration on June 1. 

We will of course continue to provide updates as the situation develops and new information becomes available.

October 14 – 17, 2020

The Host Committee of the 80th Annual Meeting is delighted to welcome all participants to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s 2020 meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. The meeting will take place at the Duke Energy Convention Center, located just blocks from the banks of the Ohio River.
This will be the first annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology held in Cincinnati and we are excited for your arrival. This year’s meeting is co-hosted by Cincinnati Museum Center and the University of Cincinnati. Cincinnati is a hub of paleontology in the Mid-West of the USA with more per capita professional paleontologists in the metro region than any other area of the country. The Cincinnatian Series of Late Ordovician rocks underlying the city is internationally known for the abundance, diversity and preservational quality of its fossils. After 150 years of intensive study, it continues to be a natural laboratory for scientists interested in the history of our planet and questions of deep time, biodiversity, climate change, and evolution.
Cincinnati Museum Center has a legacy of discovery 200 years in the making, from the founding of the Western Museum Society in 1818 to today’s award-winning multi-museum complex. Housed in Cincinnati Union Terminal, an art deco train station and National Historic Landmark, Cincinnati Museum Center continues to bring the world to Cincinnati through its millions of specimens, artifacts, archival materials and artworks. Its first employee was a relatively unknown artist, John James Audubon, who was hired in 1819 as a taxidermist and background painter. During his brief time in Cincinnati, Audubon began his multi-volume masterwork Birds of America, cementing himself as a world-renowned wildlife artist. After two years of fundraising and collections acquisition, the Western Museum, the predecessor to CMC’s Museum of Natural History & Science, opened in 1820, the first public science museum west of the Alleghenies.
The Vertebrate Paleontology Collection of Cincinnati Museum Center is housed at the Geier Collections & Research Center and comprises over 20,000 specimens, with special emphasis on Paleozoic and Pleistocene material from the middle Ohio Valley tri-state area (Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana), but with historic comparative materials from around the world. Also represented are significant holdings from Mesozoic marine deposits of the US Western Interior and mid-continental terrestrial fossils, notably from the Morrison and Hell Creek formations.
Cincinnati is also home to the world’s longest continually operating amateur paleontology society, the Dry Dredgers Association of Amateur Geologists and Fossil Collectors, founded in 1942. The Kentucky Paleontological Society, based in Lexington, Kentucky, operates in the area and collaborates with the Cincinnati community on numerous projects. The collaborative approach and atmosphere of mutual respect that exists between the amateur community, university scientists, and museum professionals in Cincinnati makes our city an excellent venue for the dissemination of paleontological knowledge and the continued understanding of, and respect for, evidence-based approaches to science and public policy.
A short drive from downtown is Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, rightly described as the birthplace of American vertebrate paleontology. It was here in 1739 that European explorers were first made aware of the existence of Pleistocene fossils that would later figure prominently in the history of science, documenting for example, the concepts of extinction, comparative morphology, climate change and evolution. William Clark, at the behest of Thomas Jefferson, conducted the first organized paleontological excavation in the Americas here in 1807.
Cincinnati is a fun, dynamic, quirky, sophisticated, thriving city with old-world charm on the banks of the Ohio River and a metro population of over 2 million. Nine Fortune 500 companies and 14 Fortune 1000 companies call the area home. To celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, the University of Cincinnati hosted the 2009 North American Paleontological Convention.
Cincinnati is in the midst of an exciting renaissance with a convergence of developments, entertainment districts, historic architectural renovations, parks, restaurants, museums and a growing residential population downtown. Cultural attractions of interest to visitors include the Cincinnati Art Museum, Taft Museum of Art, Music Hall, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Contemporary Arts Center, 21C Museum Hotel, Aronoff Center for the Arts, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, The Banks, Over-the Rhine historic and entertainment district, Newport Aquarium, and of course, Cincinnati Museum Center, all in or in close proximity to downtown. A new public streetcar system is a convenient way to access dining and entertainment in the urban core.
We invite everyone to attend the Welcome Reception at the Cincinnati Museum Center where we will highlight the city’s rich heritage of paleontological research, collections, and education. We hope you will enjoy all that Cincinnati has to offer during the 80th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology!

2020 Annual Meeting Host Committee
Glenn Storrs, Cincinnati Museum Center (co-chair) 
Joshua Miller, University of Cincinnati (co-chair) 
Carlton Brett, University of Cincinnati,
Jonathan Calede, The Ohio State University at Marion
Brooke Crowley, University of Cincinnati
Brenda Hunda, Cincinnati Museum Center
Takuya Konishi, University of Cincinnati
Julie Reizner, Northern Kentucky University, 
Cameron Schwalbach, Cincinnati Museum Center