Summer Symposium

Please check back soon to watch the video of the keynote address.

Welcome! Please join us on the weekend of August 1st and 2nd, 2015 for the 9th Annual Summer Symposium at the Paleontological Research Institution!

Saturday, August 1st will feature posters and presentations by professionals, students, and amateurs whose research covers paleontology, earth science, biology, environmental science or science education.. Breakfast, lunch, and the evening barbecue are included with registration.

This year’s keynote address will be given by Dr. Mark Uhen from George Mason University. Dr. Uhen’s research primarily focuses on the origin and evolution of marine mammals and the relationship of fossil organisms to climate change. Read more about Dr. Uhen’s work here.

Sunday, August 2nd Dr. Carlton Brett from the University of Cincinnati will lead a field trip from PRI focused on the Finger Lakes’ Devonian geological history. The field trip will run all day (9am to 5pm). Field trip registration will include lunch, but guests are encouraged to bring their own snacks and water. Please be sure to bring hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc. and wear closed toe shoes.

Proceed to the registration page to sign up for one or both of these exciting days. If you are doing research, please also sign up to share it with us in a talk or a poster presentation! Both talk and poster session slots are limited, so sign up today!

We look forward to seeing you this summer at PRI!

For information, contact

2015 schedule

9:00: Breakfast
10:15: Welcome (Paula Mikkelsen)
10:30: Latitudinal patterns of lifespan and growth rate in modern marine bivalves (David Moss)
10:45: Biodiversity and paleoecology of giant megalodontoid clams from the Triassic (Christopher McRoberts)
11:00: Spinosity and regeneration in Middle Paleozoic crinoids confirm predator preference (Valerie Syverson)
11:15: Moon snails: What’s for dinner? Trophic position investigations for reconstructing ancient food webs (Leigh Fall)
11:30: Break
11:45: Morphology and biomechanics of the Eucalyptocrinites “root” system (Chris Ebey)
12:00: The interior castles of turritelline gastropods (Brendan Anderson)
12:30: Coming to terms with macroevolution: What, if anything, does 'tempo and mode' mean? (Warren Allmon)
1:00: Lunch; Museum and Collections Tours
2:00: Educational reform initiatives fail for the same reasons that we fail to respond appropriately to climate change (Don Duggan-Haas)
2:15: Unintended carbon consequences of Colorado River water management (Jansen Smith)
2:30: A comparison of oyster growth between the Late Pleistocene and Recent (Steve Durham)
2:45: Break
3:00: "Molluscan live-dead agreement in Barnegat Bay, NJ: preliminary results" (Annalee Tweitmann)
3:15: Captive breeding of the Endangered Chittenango ovate amber snail (COAS) (Cody Gilbertson)
3:30: Poster session
4:00: Keynote (Mark Uhen)
5:00: Drinks followed by dinner


  • Decades of Divergence in Dino Depiction (Chris Wildrick)
  • Conservation paleobiology: Using the past to inform coastal and estuarine restoration (Dietl, Durham, Smith, and Casey)
  • An examination of size fluctuation and relative abundance among Middle Devonian brachiopods of CNY with a focus on Strophomenida, Chonotacea, and Productacea (Martin Welych-Flanagan)
  • High latitude seasonality in a greenhouse Earth: variations in Eocene temperature and precipitation inferred from Antarctic bivalves (Emily Judd)
  • Growth Rate and Ecology of the Giant Heteromorph AmmoniteDiplomoceras maximumUsing Stable Isotopes of Accretionary Shell Carbonate (Artruc, Ivany, and Junium)
  • I/Ca evidence for global ocean deoxygenation during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) (Xiaoli Zhou)