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Book Review: Penguins: The Ultimate Guide

Reviewed by Ephraim Nissan (London, England)

 
De Roy, T., M. Jones, and J. Cornthwaite, eds. 2022. Penguins: The Ultimate Guide. Second edition. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 240 pp. ($28.00 cloth, $19.60 e-book with 20% PS discount.)

This lavishly illustrated, large-format book provides a full-rounded treatment of all extant penguin species, but it also is an eye-opener on fossil and subfossil penguin species. Part 1 is by Tui de Roy, and covers their life cycle, the “jackass” group of braying penguins, Antarctica’s three long-tailed species (the Adélie, chinstrap, and Gentoo penguins), the crested penguins, the rockhoppers, the Little penguin of Oceania, and finally the King and Emperor penguins of Antarctica.

Julie Cornthwaite authored Part 3, surveying all species one by one, in profiles sharing their structure. Part 2 instead, “Science and Conservation”, is edited by Mark Jones, and comprises 17 chapters (all but the first, of just two pages) by different scholars. For example, “March of the Fossil Penguins” by Daniel Ksepka (pp. 158–159), and Matthew Shawkey’s “Penguin Colours and Pigments” (pp. 162–163), which also discusses their evolution (a glitch chopped off its last line): “melanosomes from [the 36-million-year-old] Inkayacu [giant penguin found mummified (p. 159)] were smaller than those from modern penguins, and more similar in size and shape to those of other birds” (p. 162): perhaps larger melanosomes make feathers stiffer. “Second, Inkayacu’s plumage lacked countershading. Instead it had a brown underside and grey back” (162). Seals were diversifying, and countershading may have evolved as a response to increasing predation pressure.

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Book Review: Dragons’ Teeth and Thunderstones: The Quest for the Meaning of Fossils

Reviewed by Andrej Spiridonov (Vilnius University, Lithuania & Nature Research Centre, Lithuania)

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2022 Paleontological Society Fellows

We are delighted to announce the newest Paleontological Society Fellows:  Annalisa Berta (San Diego State University), Carlos Jaramillo (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute), Johnny Waters (University of West Georgia and Appalachian State University), and Lisa White (UC Museum of Paleontology). 


Annalisa Berta (San Diego State University) is recognized for her numerous wide-ranging and impactful contributions to our understanding of marine mammals, including their anatomy, physiology, ontogeny, sensory biology, phylogenetics, and evolutionary history; for her outstanding record of teaching and mentorship; and for her extensive service to the profession, including her pioneering efforts promoting the work of women in paleontology most notably through her book Rebels, Scholars, Explorers: Women in Vertebrate Paleontology.

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Paleontological Society Conference Travel Grants to Support Inclusion

The Paleontological Society recognizes the importance of educational and research practices that foster diversity and inclusion. We value the contribution of diverse opinions, strategies, and experiences at the sessions, short courses, and workshops that we sponsor at meetings of the Geological Society of America and the North American Paleontological Convention and other conferences (such as SACNAS and NABG) as they are an integral part to the advancement of our field. However, many of our colleagues who work extensively on inclusive educational and research practices might not qualify for research-based funding for conference travel from their home institutions. In addition, colleagues from groups underrepresented in paleontology, in a career transition (between undergrad and grad, grad to post-doc, post-doc to position), or in adjunct, teaching, museum, or part-time positions are often the most vulnerable and most likely to leave paleontology and science. It is crucial that we ensure that these members are able to attend and participate in our meetings as well as network with community members who can provide the support and mentorship that is needed in these critical transitions or positions. Thus, the Paleontological Society is offering competitive conference travel grants to help offset the expenses PS members from underrepresented and/or at-risk groups who would be unable to attend these meetings without travel support.

Funding Amount
$1200 per award for in person attendees and $250 per award for online attendees

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2022 GSA Sessions Endorsed by Paleo Society

There are 20+ Topical & 8 Discipline Sessions at GSA Connects 2022 that are endorsed by the Paleo Society! 

T102. Comings and Goings of Proterozoic Global Glaciations - (Posters Sunday a.m.)
Leaders: Bing Shen; Maoyan Zhu; and Xianguo Lang
Endorsers: Geochemical Society; GSA Geobiology and Geomicrobiology Division; Paleontological Society
Description: This session focuses on global glaciations and geology-geobiology in the Proterozoic.


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PS 2022 Short Course on Ecological Niche Modeling

Ecological Models Applied to Fossil Data

When: Saturday, October 8th from 8am to 5pm.
Where: Denver, CO Convention Center 
Who:  Everyone interested in learning about how to use and understand niche modeling methods for paleontological datasets. 
Registration: Not required, Free to everyone!
Instructors: Cori Myers, Alycia Stigall, Erin Saupe, Marlon Cobos, Jenny McGuire, Hannah Owens



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Through a glass darkly: citation rankings in paleontology

- Roy E. Plotnick, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago.

In the old days, before the advent of the internet and the personal computer, you kept up on the scientific literature by going to the library and examining the stacks of new journals that had just arrived. If you wanted to pursue an area of research and write your own paper, you searched the library stacks, guided by the list of references in the back of published papers and the huge published volumes, such as the Bibliography and Index of Geology, that catalogued the papers on the subject. You may also find out, perhaps guided by more senior scientists, that there were certain critical papers in your area that you needed to read. 

All this, of course, has changed. You can receive emails from journals announcing newly published, or about to be published papers. The development of massive online reference databases, such as Web of Science, GeoRef, and Google Scholar have made searching for papers on a topic lightning fast, with the ability to immediately download the publication and enter it into a personal bibliographic database. And most usefully, the databases have links to both the papers in the paper’s reference list and those that, in turn, cite the publication in question, with each papers number of citations being tabulated. To a first approximation, one can assume that the more citations a paper has, the more important it is to read. 

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PS Journals Editorial Intern Positions

The Paleontological Society Journals are seeking two Editorial Interns to attend the 2022 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting and assist our editorial boards in recruiting new paper submissions. Interns will get an inside look at academic publishing and assist Journal of Paleontology and Paleobiology in diversifying our content and our authorship. Each intern will receive a $2000 stipend to cover the costs of attending the 2022 GSA Annual Meeting. 

Program Description
Prior to the GSA meeting, and with guidance from the editorial boards for Paleobiology and Journal of Paleontology, interns will scan abstracts for presentations that fit within the scope of the two journals, have the potential to be high impact, and are written by students and early career scientists. Interns will then attend presentations and write up short summaries of promising submissions for each editorial board. Journal editors can then contact presenters and encourage them to submit to the appropriate journal.

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The Paleo Society Announces the Implementation of NAVEX and Vault for Reporting Alleged Code of Conduct Violations

The Paleontological Society has entered into agreements with two services to facilitate the reporting of alleged violations to our Code of Conduct. These go under the names of NAVEX and Vault.

Both services have secure web-based portals that are now accessible from the PS website. Instructions on how to access and use these platforms can be found here.

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Punctuated Equilibrium Survey

The year 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1972 paper by Niles Eldredge and Stephen J. Gould that introduced the concept of punctuated equilibrium to the fields of paleontology and evolutionary biology.

In honor of this anniversary, I am conducting a survey-based study to better understand how people define the concept of punctuated equilibrium and to what extent they use it in their research and teaching.

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Future Leaders in Paleontology at GSA Connects 2022

The Paleontological Society is pleased to announce the fourth annual “Future Leaders in Paleontology” topical session at the 2022 GSA Annual Meeting. The goal of the session is to showcase the outstanding work of our student members in a high-profile setting. The Society will limit the number of paleontological sessions running concurrently with this special session, in order to have a prominent platform for our student members.

The Society invites all of its student members and recent graduates receiving a degree within the last year, particularly those nearing completion of their projects, to submit an abstract to GSA and fill out this Google Form. The session will bring together all types of paleontological research, spanning the full range of taxonomic groups, methods, and disciplines within our field. While advisors and other study participants are permitted to be co-authors on the presentation, the work must primarily reflect intellectual contributions of the student submitting the abstract.

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PS is proud to support the Tröger Memorial Inoceramid Workshop

The Karl-Armin Tröger Memorial Inoceramid Workshop (supported in part by the Paleontological Society) will be held this year in Warsaw, Poland during the 11th International Cretaceous Symposium (August 22-26, 2022). Inoceramids are an extinct family of marine pteriomorph bivalves which ranged from the Early Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous. While inoceramid bivalves are a powerful and increasingly used tool in Cretaceous biostratigraphy and paleoecology, their underlying systematic hierarchy, phylogenies and macroevolutionary trends have proven difficult to define and standardize.  

In this framework, we cordially invite you to participate in the Karl-Armin Tröger Memorial Inoceramid Workshop. We welcome contributions related to all topics related to inoceramids, including taxonomy and systematics, biostratigraphy, paleoecology, paleobiology and functional morphology, taphonomy, geochemistry, macroevolutionary dynamics, and the history of inoceramid studies – essentially, if it’s related to inoceramids, we’d love to see you here! During the workshop, we intend to prepare a comprehensive review of inoceramid paleontology for the wider paleobiological community.
Karl-Armin Tröger (1931-2020) was one of the great luminaries of Cretaceous geology, especially with regards to the Inoceramidae: his work set the foundation for much of our present understanding of inoceramid taxonomy, diversity, biostratigraphy, and paleobiogeography. As such, we find it only fitting that this workshop be devoted to his memory.
For more information, visit the Cretaceous Symposium website (https://www.cretaceous2022.com/) or contact the workshop organizers, Jordan Todes and Irenuesz Walaszcvzyk. Additional information, including registration and abstract details, will be provided on the symposium website in the near future.

Palaeontological Association's Annual Meeting 2022

The Palaeontological Association's Annual Meeting: Cork, Ireland (July 18-24, 2022)


The Annual Meeting of the Palaeontological Association will be held at University College Cork (UCC). The meeting will consist of various events targeted at the general public on Monday 18th July and an early career researcher event on Tuesday 19th July. Workshops, laboratory tours and the symposium will take place on Wednesday the 20th of July, followed by the core scientific sessions (July 21 & 22). There will be a two-day post-conference fieldtrip on (July 23 & 24). 

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Support The PalSIRP Sepkoski Grants!

The Paleontological Society International Research Program, or PalSIRP, is the Paleontological Society’s answer to disparities in funding for basic research in low- and middle-income countries around the world. While the program has expanded in important ways over the past two and a half decades, it has the potential to do more to address global inequities in the funding of paleontological research. Please read on for a description of this vital initiative and, if you are interested in supporting its goals, you can donate at: https://www.paleosoc.org/donate and choose PalSIRP Sepkoski Grants. 

PalSIRP was established in 1994 through the efforts of J. John (Jack) Sepkoski, Jr., after the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union and demise of the Warsaw Pact saw funding support for paleontological research in those countries all but vanish. As originally conceived, PalSIRP was a small grants program ($500 in most cases) for paleontologists living in Eastern Europe and republics of the former Soviet Union. Seed money for PalSIRP came from internal Society resources. 

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Call for Applications: Paleontological Society Funding for Meetings

Due: 5 PM (Pacific time zone), Friday March 4, 2022

Paleontological Society funds are available to support meetings or sessions organized by society members. Our first priority is to provide up to US$1000 to support stand-alone meetings, where your group is organizing the entire conference. If additional funds are available, we can also support speakers at individual sessions within larger meetings. If you are organizing a topical session within a larger meeting, we can provide US$400 per invited speaker for up to two presenters.

The Paleontological Society has a Code of Conduct that applies to society events and members, including at meetings sponsored by the society. Anyone witnessing prohibited behavior should file an allegation report with the ethics committee. We also encourage conference organizers to take proactive steps to create an inclusive meeting; many specific actions are described here.

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NAS Announces Dr. Mary Droser as Charles D. Walcott Medal Recipient

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Mary Droser has received the National Academy of Sciences Charles D. Walcott Medal for her studies of early animal evolution and ecology. 

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Droser, a Paleontological Society member who has contributed greatly to the Paleontological Society through her numerous service activities, and to the discipline of paleontology through her teaching, mentorship of students, and exemplary good will. 

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Call for Nominations - Fellows of the Paleontological Society

Please consider nominating one of your colleagues for Paleontological Society Fellow. Any PS member can nominate, though the nomination letter needs support from at least one PS Fellow. The deadline for nominations is February 28th. Click here for more information.

Note that the nomination process has changed. Multiple letters in support of a nominee will no longer be accepted; rather, nominators should submit a single, integrated letter, no more than three pages long, signed by at least two and no more than three PS members, at least one of whom must be an active Fellow.

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Paleo Society Student Rep Application Period Now Open

The Paleontological Society is soliciting nominations for the 2022–2024 Student Representative! The new representative will serve a two-year term that overlaps with our current Student Rep Jood Al Aswad.

What do the Student Representatives do?
Student Representatives serve as voices for student needs in the Society and play leading roles in student activities including organizing student events at the Geological Society of America Conference. Student Representatives are further encouraged to develop and lead new student initiatives. In this role, students gain knowledge of the inner-workings of an international organization and experience in professional service.

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UCMP's New "Understanding Evolution" Website

Check out the new and updated Understanding Evolution website, the brainchild of the team at the University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP)! We encourage you to utilize these great lessons and resources in your own classrooms, and share them with educator colleagues.

Announcement of 2021 Paleontology Society Fellows

Congratulations to our 2021 slate of distinguished Paleontology Society Fellows!

 

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