Annual Meeting > Workshops

Four workshops will be offered in conjunction with the Annual Meeting.  Advance registration is required for all Workshops.  Onsite registration will not be accepted.  SVP reserves the right to alter or cancel a workshop due to low registration.  In the event of a workshop cancellation, SVP will refund fees in full.


Phylogeny, Evolution, and Biochronology of the Arvicolidae

This workshop represents an extension of previous conferences on arvicolids, held first in Rohanov, Czechoslovakia (1987) and later in Moscow, Russia (1997).  New fossil material, molecular phylogenies, and phylogenetic analyses of this important group require collaborative efforts to develop modern phylogenetic, evolutionary, and biostratigraphic/biochronologic hypotheses.

Proposes outcomes of the workshop will include: 1) helping investigators identify fossil arvicoild samples through collective viewing and discussion, 2) helping investigators develop modern and consistent biostratigraphic and biochronologic sequences for their paleontological systems through collaborative discussion, 3) making initial attempts at solving some difficult taxonomic and biochronologic problems and 4) a published volume resulting from the workshop.


Begins: Monday, November 3

Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Location: Museum für Naturkunde
$20 per person (plus Value Added Tax)

Cost Includes: Photocopy of compiled documents from participants

Minimum Number of Participants: 30

Maximum Number of Participants: 30



Robert A. Martin
Murray State Univeristy

Lutz Christian Maul
Naturmuseum Senckenberg

Alexey Tesakov


Paleopathology - Establishing Criteria for Recognizing Bone Pathologies

Based on demonstration and examination of identified skeletal material housed in the Museum für Naturkunde and the Museum of Medical History Berlin, the workshop will address the various ways in which pathological bone alterations can be recognized macroscopically. Attendees and organizers will discuss definitions and specific disease processes that are likely to be found in the fossil record. The proposed outcomes will include:
1) Helping investigators to diagnose various bone disease, the assessment of confident evidence for those diagnoses and direction for further analysis; 2) Clarification of the vocabulary/semantics of the description of bone pathologies and the processes which produce them; 3) It is expected that attendees will address implications and areas for collaborative or future investigation.


Date: Tuesday, November 4

Time: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Location: Museum für Naturkunde
$30 per person (plus Value Added Tax)

Minimum Number of Participants: 10

Maximum Number of Participants: 30



Bruce M. Rothschild
University of Kansas

Florian Witzmann
Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Thomas Schnalke
Berlin Museum of Medical History at the Charité

Inferring Diet and Dental Function from Dental Microwear Textures

Dental microwear texture analysis is a relatively new and powerful
technique with potential to clarify dental function and dietary habits of vertebrates through time.
The development of an automated, 3-D approach to characterizing microwear textures can help
us better resolve the diets of vertebrates, living and extinct, ranging from marsupials to placentals
and fish to reptiles. The purpose of the workshop is two fold: 1) to familiarize participants with
dental microwear texture analysis, including the basic principles behind the approach, all
methods (including the acquisition of initial molds, casting procedures, analysis, and data
processing), 2) to discuss standardization of the metrics used to characterize dental microwear
(e.g., International Organization for Standardization roughness parameters, Scale-Sensitive
Fractal Analysis parameters). Expert users of confocal profilers, focus variation microscopy, and
developers of 3-D dental microwear analytical methods will present on these topics, including:
Thomas Kaiser and Ellen Schulz, Hamburg University; Mark Purnell, University of Leicester;
Peter Ungar, University of Arkansas; and Larisa DeSantis, Vanderbilt University. Presentations
will also consist of a synthesis of recent advances in dental microwear texture analysis, including
lessons learned about the function and/or diet of vertebrates. Additionally, all presenters will
engage in a panel discussion driven largely by participant questions. Participants will leave the
workshop with a detailed understanding of the principles, methods, key findings, and research
opportunities via the analysis of 3-D dental microwear textures.


Date: Tuesday, November 4

Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm 
Location: Estrel Berlin
Cost: Free
Cost Includes: USB flash drive with presentation materials, relevant pdfs

Minimum Number of Participants: 10

Maximum Number of Participants: 40



Larisa R.G. DeSantis
Vanderbilt Univeristy

Peter S. Ungar
University of Arkansas

Tip-Dating: Estimating Dated Phylogenies Using Fossils as Terminal Taxa

This workshop will introduce participants to new computational methods that allow joint
inference of phylogenetic relationships and divergence times. In older dating methods, fossil
relationships were estimated with an undated cladistic or Bayesian analysis, and then these fossils were
converted, usually subjectively, into prior probability distributions on the dates of certain nodes. These
calibrations were then used in molecular clock analyses to date molecular trees. This procedure
essentially “threw away” hard-won fossil data (and any living morphology data as well) once the dating
calibration was produced.

However, in the last two years, several methods have become available that allow the addition of
fossil and living morphology, as well as fossil dates, to dating analyses. In these methods, the
phylogenetic relationships of the fossils and living taxa are estimated simultaneously with the dating of the
tree. These methods have the potential to revolutionary for paleontologists. First, because character and
dating data from fossil specimens are a requirement for the method, paleontologists and morphologists
will have an increased role to play in future divergence time analyses, previously the domain of molecular
biologists. Second, the joint estimation of fossil relationships and the divergence times of fossil taxa is of
intrinsic interest, and many phylogenetic comparative methods can be applied to fossil data once
statistically-estimated, time-scaled trees of fossil taxa are available.

The two main methods in use currently are BEAST (Pyron 2011; Wood, Matzke et al. 2013;
Alexandrous et al. 2013) and MrBayes 3.3 (Ronquist et al. 2012). Both take more skill and background
than traditional phylogeny-estimation and dating methods. Therefore we will guide participants through
tutorials and then help them to set up analyses of their own data.


Date: Tuesday, November 4

Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Location: The Leibniz Headquarters (Chausseestr. 111, 150 meters away from the Museum für Naturkunde and next to the UBahn station Naturkundemuseum)

Cost: Free
Minimum Number of Participants: 10

Maximum Number of Participants: 40



Nicholas J. Matzke
National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis
University of Tennessee

April Wright
Univeristy of Texas, Austin
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