Wednesday, 9 September 2015

TW:eed Project Meeting – new discoveries!

Last week we held our 8th TW:eed Project team meeting, this time at the University of Southampton. It was a two day meeting, with one day of talks and another day of round-table discussions and workshops. Every time we have a project meeting it gets more and more exciting, with more results coming in and many publications being prepared.

This time I presented my work on the ‘microfossil month’ and it was a pleasure to discuss our results and our first interpretations of them, after 3 years of working on this every summer with a volunteer team. We also heard for the first time the detailed palynology work of Emma Reeves, who has been studying hundreds of samples from the Norham Core for their spore content. This work is vital in that it can generate a biostratigraphy which we can use to ‘tie in’ our isolated tetrapod field exposures and give them an age range. Andy Ross summarised the findings of the excavation near Chirnside, and Tim Smithson explained some of the new finds from West Virginia. We heard the findings of Master’s research student Fiona Williams from the University of Southampton, who has been studying the evaporite sequences from the Norham Core.

Tim Smithson talking about his recent fieldwork in West Virginia, USA
In the discussion part we talked about our upcoming museum exhibit at the National Museum of Scotland (April 2016), and ideas for the display style and content. We also discussed forthcoming collaborations and research in terms of isotopes and sedimentology. The team are also presenting at a number of conferences this autumn and winter. What will happen after the project finishes in a year’s time? No single answer as yet, but there are many ideas, and it was great to discuss how we are going to take the project forward with future research directions.
Some of Team TW:eed assembled on the library staircase in the National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton

This week I have been finalising my work on cementstones, writing up manuscripts and spending a little more time in the lab finishing up some of the fascinating microfossil work.

Until next time

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