Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Museum Exhibit opening soon!

This is my most exciting blog to date …. I am delighted to announce the launch of a new museum exhibit at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh – Fossil Hunters: Unearthing the Mystery ofLife on Land. The exhibit is open on 19th February and is on until mid August 2016.

The exhibit is based on the work of the TW:eed Project and it will feature many of our new tetrapod fossil discoveries from Scotland. There will also be a section about the scientists and what techniques we have used to investigate the tetrapod world such as palynology and sedimentology. The exhibit is free to attend and I hope that many of you can visit.

Today we were filming interviews at the University of Leicester for this part of the exhibit. Sarah Davies, Tim Smithson and myself did interviews and this will be used alongside other footage from Team TW:eed members to explain our project. I was a bit nervous but it was great fun and a pleasure to talk about the project and explain its significance. It was a bit like receiving an early Christmas present!
Filming at the University of Leicester for the upcoming museum exhibit

Also this week some of the TW:eed Team were presenting at a conference at Keele University, the annual meeting of the British Sedimentological Research Group. Janet and I gave talks about the Ballagan Formation sedimentology in the Tweed and Northumberland basins and had some great discussions with others about our findings. 

Tim, Janet, Carys and Sarah at the BSRG conference 2015
From all at Team TW:eed I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Until next time

Friday, 18 December 2015

TW:eed Project at PalAss 2015

This week four members of Team TW:eed presented their research at the annual general meeting of the Palaeontological Association. I gave a talk on the sedimentology and palaeoenvironments of 5 of the new tetrapods discovered during this project. They occur in a really distinctive rock type that tells us a lot about the floodplain environment. More to come on this in upcoming publications! It was great to bring this together and to show off the new tetrapod specimens to a palaeontological audience.

Three posters from the team described our new discoveries from Romer’s Gap in terms of shark fossils (Kelly Richards, University of Cambridge), tetrapods from Nova Scotia (Tim Smithson, University of Cambridge) and lungfish from Tantallon (Tom Challands, University of Edinburgh). It shows just how wide the scope of this project is; we have moved out from Scotland and found material at many new sites!
Team TW:eed at PalAss 2015: from left to right: John Marshall, Rob Clack, Jenny Clack, Tim Smithson, Carys Bennett, Tom Challands, Sam Giles and Kelly Richards.

We are delighted that Professor Jenny Clack was presented with the most prestigious award of the Palaeontological Association, the Lapworth Medal – for her lifelong achievements in palaeontology. You can see some wonderful photos of the medal itself on the TW:eed ProjectFacebook page.
Jenny Clack with the Lapworth Medal

Also at the conference I spoke to some students about an exciting new PhD opportunity we have at the University of Leicester for 2016 – Evolution of Late Palaeozoic Floodplains. This PhD will follow on from the TW:eed Project’s work to examine the sedimentology and micropalaeontology of floodplains from the late Devonian to mid-Carboniferous, aiming to understand more about the habitats in which tetrapods evolved.

I am now preparing for the next conference – BSRG2015 at Keele University – starting this Sunday, where Janet Sherwin and I will be presenting talks.

Until next time