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Midcontinent Paleobotanical Colloquium 2018

Midcontinent Paleobotanical Colloquium June 1-3, 2018, at the Athens, Ohio, campus.

About the Midcontinent Paleobotanical Colloquium

The Midcontinent Paleobotanical Colloquium is a small, relaxed meeting that emphasizes student participation through formal research presentations and informal interactions with others in the paleobotanical community. Since 1983, the MPC has been held annually (typically in the spring) and hosted by a different institution each year. The 35th MPC is at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, from June 1-3, 2018. Students, postdocs, and professionals involved in or interested in paleobotanical research are invited to attend. We look forward to seeing you in Athens!


Friday June 1

  • Informal Social (location TBD)

Saturday June 2

Scientific Sessions
Keynote speaker: Dr. Kathleen Pigg, Arizona State University

Note: Activities take place in Ohio University, Porter Hall 104, unless otherwise noted. Tickets will be provided for breakfast and lunch with the registration packet; these meals will be provided at Nelson Court, which is a 10-minute walk from Porter Hall.

7:45 AM Registration (Porter Hall) and breakfast (Nelson Court). Continental breakfast service starts at 8:00 AM.
9:20 AM Opening remarks
Elizabeth J. Hermsen
9:30 AM Invited keynote: Forty years of fun with paleobotany
Kathleen B. Pigg
10:00 AM Permian gigantopterid from western equatorial Pangea exhibiting evidence of basal pinnules
Rebecca A. Koll and Dan Chaney
10:15 AM Coffee break
10:45 AM Mesozoic conifer diversity: Peculiar pollen cones from the Lower Jurassic of Antarctica
Brian A. Atkinson, Rudolph Serbet, Timothy J. Hieger, and Edith L. Taylor
11:00 AM The need for taxonomic certainty in the use of stable carbon isotope fractionation to reconstruct paleoclimate conditions
Rebekah Stein, Nathan D. Sheldon, and Selena Y. Smith
11:15 AM Following in the footsteps of the great Chester Arnold; reexamining the Late Cretaceous Parataxodium wigginsii flora of Alaska’s north slope
Gar W. Rothwell and Ruth A. Stockey
11:30 AM Lunch (Nelson Court). Explore campus & uptown Athens. Note: Nelson Court is open for lunch from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
1:30 PM A permineralized taiwanioid cupressaceous seed cone from the Cretaceous of Hobetsu, Hokkaido, Japan
Ruth A. Stockey, Gar W. Rothwell, and Harufumi Nishida
1:45 PM Are large leaves underrepresented in the paleobotanical record?
Eric Hagen and Dana L. Royer
2:00 PM Leaf mass per area provides clues about plant ecological strategies around the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction and the Eocene-Oligocene transition
Matthew Butrim and Dana L. Royer
2:15 PM Azolla sporophytes with attached sporocarps from the early Paleocene (Danian) Salamanca Formation, Patagonia, Argentina
Nathan A Jud, Facundo De Benedetti, Elizabeth J. Hermsen, and Maria A. Gandolfo
2:30 PM Investigating anatomical disparity within leaves of Metasequoia
Molly Ng and Selena Y. Smith
2:45 PM Coffee break
3:00 PM Neogene Corylopsis Seeds from eastern Tennessee
Zack Quirk and Elizabeth J. Hermsen
3:15 PM Structure and affinities of a novel type of endocarp from the Gray Fossil Site, Tennessee
Caroline Siegert and Elizabeth J. Hermsen
3:30 PM Fleshy propagules do not necessarily mean animal-dispersed seeds: experimental data from Ginkgo biloba
Andrew G. Simpson
3:45 PM Making the Invisible, Visible: Using Scicomm to Increase the Visibility of an Underutilized Paleobotanical Collection
Elizabeth Reinthal
4:00 PM The Digital Encyclopedia of Ancient Life (DEAL): An open-access, online paleontology textbook
Elizabeth J. Hermsen and Jonathan R. Hendricks
4:15 PM Closing remarks
Elizabeth J. Hermsen
4:30 PM Discussion & break. Relocate to Ohio University Inn.
5:00 PM Mixer & banquet (Galbreath Room, Ohio University Inn)
Dinner presentation: Eighty years of paleobotany at Ohio University
Gar W. Rothwell

Sunday June 3

Registration Rates

June 2: The registration fee for June 2 includes all meals, coffee breaks, and tickets for two drinks (beer, wine, or soda).

  • Professional/postdoc: $135
  • Student: $75
  • Family member or companion: $60. This rate is for people accompanying colloquium participants, but who do not wish to participate in the scientific session. The rate covers the evening mixer and banquet on June 2 (including dinner and two drink tickets for beer, wine, or soda).

June 3 (field trip): Fee includes breakfast, lunch, and transportation.

  • All participants: $45

Travel & Directions

Driving & Campus Parking

Free on-campus parking is available on the weekend (5 p.m. on Friday to 7 a.m. on Monday) in dark green and purple lots. The lots nearest Porter Hall (lots 120 and 122) do not offer free parking, but have metered spaces. Lots are signed at entrances.

About Flying

John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) is the nearest airport serving commercial airlines. The distance between CMH and Athens is about 80 miles.

Transportation between Athens and Columbus International Airport: Go Bus, Athens Airport Express.


Residence halls rooms are available at a cost of $45 (single) or $26 (per person, double) per night. There is an additional $15 fee for linens. Attendees can reserve a residence hall room with their registration through May 11, 2018.

For those not wishing to stay in the residence halls, a small block of rooms has been held at the Ohio University Inn, which is within walking distance of Porter Hall. Call Ohio University Inn at 866-593-6661 and request for one of the rooms held for the Midcontinent Paleo Conference to reserve.

Other accommodations are available in the Athens.

Contact Us

If you have questions or wish to added to the e-mail list, contact Liz Hermsen at

Staff support: Eileen Schulz, Connie Pollard, Connie Vargo

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