Palaeo summit delves into SA’s prehistory

Australasian Palaeontologists has hosted public symposiums in each state for the first time, seeking to encourage stronger communication between the public, students, academics and institutions about palaeontology studies.

The Finders University Palaeontology Society hosted the inaugural South Australian event on Saturday 27 April, with more than 70 people attending from around South Australia. With additional support from Flinders University Student Association and student group University of Adelaide Palaeontologists, the symposium featured a packed program of 21 talks spread across three sessions.

Students and academics from Flinders, the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Museum presented their research across subjects from Early Life, covering the Ediacaran through to the first vertebrates; Palaeoclimate and Geochronology; and Cenozoic Australia, with pre-Quaternary origins of Australia’s biota and Pleistocene climate change.

It was a rare occasion to see palaeontologists from different institutions come together to study flora and fauna spanning nearly 600 million years of South Australia’s prehistory.

“It was terrific to marinade myself in a stream of fossils and fossil topics, within a vivacious and enthusiastic and optimistic atmosphere,” said Professor Brian McGowran, from the University of Adelaide.

Beyond the talks, the audience also enjoyed a lunch of dumplings, bahn mi, cold rolls and curry puffs from Toly Vietnamese, and casual networking over a few sundowner drinks in Anchor Court to end the day.

Next year, University of Adelaide palaeontologists are planning to host another symposium with Flinders University Palaeontology Society providing support.

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