About the 2014 Annual Meeting Logo
Welcome to Berlin
The logo for the 74th annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology was designed by Sonja Kreft, communication designer at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. It features a stylized view of the upper left hand portion of the Berlin specimen of Archaeopteryx lithographica, the oldest known bird. The Berlin specimen is the most complete, and probably the most famous, of the eleven articulated Archaeopteryx fossils that are currently known. It was discovered in the mid 1870's in Upper Jurassic deposits near the Bavarian town of Eichstätt, and acquired in 1880 by the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. For more than a century it was kept in a safe, but has been put on display in the course of the major renovations of the museum's exhibits in 2007 and now can be found right next to the famous Tendaguru dinosaurs. The logo is completed by a frame that follows in shape the main entrance of the museum.
It is a great honor and pleasure for the Host Committee to welcome you to the 74th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Berlin, Germany. The meeting will take place at the Estrel Convention Center conveniently situated in the southern part of the city, in immediate proximity to Berlin’s excellently developed public transit system and the city highway, allowing you get to around quickly.
This is only the second time that the meeting takes place outside North America, and the first time it is held in continental Europe. Hosted by the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, our Committee consists entirely of staff members from this institution. Since the German reunification and especially in the last decade, the museum underwent some dramatic changes. The main parts of the exhibition were completely redone, and by now our classic dinosaur hall not only displays the largest mounted dinosaur in the world, Brachiosaurus brancai, but also, for the first time since its acquisition in 1880, the famous Berlin specimen of Archaeopteryx lithographica. In addition, the museum's East wing, which had been left as a ruin since the allied bombings from 1945, was entirely rebuilt to house the zoological wet collections, and in 2011 was awarded the renowned Prize for Architecture in Germany. We are very happy and proud to have the opportunity to showcase the museum's extensive renovations at our Welcome Reception.
Like probably no other city in the world, Berlin illustrates and reflects the history of the past century. Be it the flair of the 1920’s, the horrors of Nazi dictatorship and World War II, or the Cold War and the Wall – they all left an imprint in both the city’s structure and atmosphere that can still be witnessed today. Berlin is also famous for its arts scene and culture. Just to name but a few possibilities, there is Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site showing the cultural history of mankind from its early beginnings to the verge of modern times. The Jewish Museum and the New National Gallery are further excellent opportunities, and for those interested in classical music Berlin’s three opera houses and the world famous Berlin Philharmonic offer just another wide range of options. Berlin is also one of the greenest capitals in the world with many large parks and recreation areas. And not to forget the very international culinary landscape with diverse restaurants, bars, clubbing and nightlife!
Germany has a long research tradition in paleontology, and some of the most famous fossil sites can be found here. It is our pleasure to offer you field trips for every kind of taste, ranging from the Paleozoic to (almost) the Present and covering important localities such as the Permian Bromacker quarry, the Jurassic Solnhofen limestones, and the Eocene Messel Pit World Heritage Site. We also have a variety of workshops covering a wide range of topics that we are sure will gain your interest.
The 74th meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology represents a great opportunity for researchers from all around the world to exchange ideas and further advance our discipline. We are convinced that you will enjoy the meeting, its fieldtrips and its workshops, and that Berlin’s historical flavor and vibrant cultural life will make your stay a memorable experience. Welcome to the city where the East meets the West!
74th Annual Meeting Host Committee