Scientific Sessions

Here the list of all proposed sessions.

S1 - A Latin American and Caribbean cluster: gathering foraminiferal researchers

German D. Patarroyo, Jaime Y. Suárez-Ibarra, Lizette León-Rodríguez, Geise de Santana dos Anjos Zerfass

Latin American and Caribbean foraminiferal studies have a long and rich history. They have provided valuable data to understand the ecology and paleoceanography of the tropics. Biostratigraphic studies from this region have been widely used for scientific and industry purposes. For instance, hundreds of the species reported by the Cushman’s contributions came from expeditions and geological samplings in the Caribbean region and the tropical Pacific. Moreover, traditional planktonic foraminiferal biozonations for the Cenozoic have their origins from sections in Trinidad and Venezuela. In addition, Latin American researchers such as Pedro J. Bermudez, Esteban Boltovskoy, Hermann Duque-Caro, among others, provided significant regional data, and created the foundations for the current foraminiferal groups in the region. This session looks for a friendly niche where Latin American and Caribbean researchers can discuss former studies and scientific goals. Furthermore, this gathering looks for promoting strategies to strengthen the foraminiferal research in this region through the possible creation of a satellite platform, seeking the integration and financial support for the regional cluster, as well as its science divulgation with non-academic communities. We are also inviting other researchers from other regions to participate if interested. We hope they take advantage of other bilingual or trilingual session participants who can be their friendly-translators.


S2 - Advances and challenges in modern and fossil benthic foraminifera research: a session dedicated to Prof. John Murray

Elisabeth Alve, Andrew Gooday, Babette Hoogakker, Malcolm Hart, Irina Polovodova Asteman

This session is designed to celebrate the life of Emeritus Professor John Murray (National Oceanographic Centre, Southampton), a world leading benthic foraminiferalogist, who sadly passed away in October 2021. We invite contributions that reflect the wide range of John’s research on benthic foraminifera from both the modern and the fossil record, and from all marine environments (coastal waters to the deep sea), including (but not limited) to contributions that focus on ecology and biological-palaeontological interactions.


S3 - Advances in larger foraminiferal biostratigraphy: a framework for reconstructing shallow-water events

Cesare A. Papazzoni, Antonino Briguglio, Laura J. Cotton

Larger foraminifera are a powerful tool to determine the ages in shallow-water paleoenvironments. During the last two decades the Tethyan Shallow Benthic Zone (SBZ) system proposed by Cahuzac & Poignant (1997) and Serra-Kiel et al. (1998) for the Cenozoic demonstrated the potential of larger foraminiferal biozones. More recently, progress in the correlation of SBZs with standard planktonic foraminiferal and nannoplankton biozonations has improved both the resolution and reliability of this system, tying regional larger foraminiferal occurrences to global events. This session is dedicated to the many advances in larger foraminiferal biostratigraphy, including the attempts to extend zonations into the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic. Moreover, we warmly welcome reconstructions of evolutionary trends, biodiversity, biological crises and impact of climate change on the shallow marine environment, that have benefitted from the larger foraminiferal biozonations.


S4 - Application session: New technologies and indicators for reconstructing oceans and climate change and human activities

Yanli Lei, Tiegang Li, Zhimin Jian

Oceanographic research in the context of global change is facing rapid challenges, and the application of new technologies and new indicators will improve the accuracy of micro-paleontology for oceanographic research. From qualitative morphological indicators to quantitative geochemical indicators, from modern processes to paleoenvironmental techniques, scientists have used micro-paleontology such as foraminifera to accurately reconstruct the Paleo-oceanic and paleo-climatic changes. The new molecular and e-DNA technologies, as well as the sedimentary ancient DNA technologies, have shown special superiority, especially for the indication of human activities. This session focuses on new technologies and indicators, including modern processes and traditional technologies and indicators, which can go beyond foraminifera and use these indicators to indicate ocean change, climate change and human activities, which will be included in this session.


S5 - Applying integrated foraminifera, sedimentology and stratigraphy to refine paleoenvironmental and paleoceanographic reconstructions

Renata Moura de Mello, Lizette Leon Rodriguez, Serena Dameron

This session aims to exemplify the application of modern and fossil foraminiferal studies that integrated with other proxies provide valuable knowledge for current and past climatic and oceanographic changes. We invite innovative, integrative sedimentologic, geochemical and stratigraphic research using foraminifera that seeks to refine paleoenvironmental and paleoceanographic reconstructions throughout the geological record. We encourage young scientists to join our session and create a healthy environment to promote a high-quality discussion with our senior researchers.


S6 - Automated image recognition in microscopic analysis for foraminifera studies

Emmanuelle Geslin, Morten Hald, Thibault de Garidel-Thoron, Steffen Aagaard Soerense, Christine Barras

Microscopic analysis and identification of benthic and planktonic foraminifera requires skilled scientists. This is a time-consuming task that can lead to expensive costs. As foraminifera are widely used for paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatological reconstructions, biostratigraphy and biomonitoring studies of marine ecosystems, it seems necessary to develop new tools to reduce the time and cost of microscopic analysis.  Image recognition through machine learning holds great potential for automating the identification of microfossils, mineral grains, anthropogenic remnants (micro plastics), and other micro particles. Therefore, automatic image recognition and sorting of foraminifera is likely to render data acquisition more cost- and time-effective, not only increasing traceability and reproducibility but also further reducing identification errors, and generating morphometric measurements. The purpose of this session is to gather experts in foraminiferal researchers and artificial intelligence communities who are collaborating to apply machine and deep learning techniques to microscopic analysis. Given the novelty of this technique, we encourage contributions addressing any development in this field, for example, production of training sets, laboratory and camera/video setups/designs, applied robotics, and algorithmic developments.


S7 - Back to the Future: Renovating old data with new techniques, new resources, and big data

Andrew J. Fraass, Adriane R. Lam

From increased usage of neural networks, to increasing interconnectedness of databases, novel techniques from computer and data sciences are changing the landscape of foraminifera research. These developments in micropaleontology have the potential to reshape our science, from how we collect our data to how we analyze it. Key among these new techniques are those which allow us to perform meta-analyses quickly and efficiently. A wealth of resources and data are contained within previous studies, and there is an even greater amount of data lying undiscovered and untapped in decades-old microfossil datasets. Such untapped potential, along with novel techniques and development of databases, can lead to re-interpretation of older data and hypotheses, or completely new hypotheses and findings. This session will highlight studies that tap into such resources, using old and/or new micropaleontological datasets in studies such as but not limited to speciation dynamics, plankton size response to climate shifts, and paleobiogeographic patterns and processes. We invite presentations discussing both novel techniques and resources, as well as studying utilizing state-of-the-art techniques and/or resources.


S8 - Coiling in foraminifera

Valeria Luciani, Bridget Wade, Roberta D’Onofrio

Coiling direction is a basic characteristic of trochospiral planktic and benthic foraminifera. Although modifications in the coiling direction within ancient and recent foraminiferal populations may reflect important changes in evolution or environment and have potential as powerful biostratigraphic tool for correlation, they remain scarcely discussed. Coiling switches can relate to ecophenotypic adaption when a single species changes morphology in response to environmental variation or genetic variance when two almost identical morphotypes have different genetic signatures representing ‘cryptic’ species. Most cryptic species of recent planktic foraminifera clearly display ecological preferences for different water-masses. Adaptation to environmental change, therefore, may enable speciation of planktic foraminifera. Data from the fossil record of benthic foraminifera are still scarcely established. Assuming an ecophenotypic response for coiling switches, controversy surrounds primary environmental parameters influencing coiling direction and a plethora of alternative explanations can be offered, such as variations in seasonality, water depth, differential predation, modification of water properties, such as temperature, salinity and density, asexual reproduction and even paleomagnetism. We expect new contributes from the fossil and recent foraminiferal record on this stimulating issue still largely unexplored in planktic and benthic foraminifera.


S9 - Determining the processes involved in biomineralisation – how do foraminifera build their shells?

David Evans, Jennifer Fehrenbacher

Foraminiferal geochemical proxy data and morphometric information underpins a large portion of our knowledge of palaeoenvironmental change in the oceans. Notwithstanding the enormous utility of the diverse tools that have been developed, achieving complete confidence in these techniques ultimately hinges on a mechanistic understanding of the biomineralisation process. However, many of the fundamental processes involved in foraminiferal calcification remain poorly constrained. For example, the pathway to the calcification site of the ions necessary for calcification is the subject of ongoing debate, and may vary between different species. This session welcomes contributions focused on how foraminifera build their shells, to better understand biomineralisation processes and to bring together those working on any aspect of foraminiferal biomineralisation. Topics could include (but are not limited to), direct observations of living foraminifera, the use of geochemical datasets to constrain biomineralisation processes, the relationship between symbionts and the host organism, and the use of laboratory cultures or natural populations to link calcification to the organism’s environment. We are keen to foster the sharing of information between subdisciplines and welcome contributions focused on linking observations to quantitative datasets, and those from early career researchers.


S10 - Environmental monitoring with benthic foraminifera: assessing the Ecological Quality Status of coastal and marine systems

Michael Martínez-Colón, Irina Polovodova Asteman, Silvia Spezzaferri

Environmental monitoring using benthic foraminifera is a rapid evolving field of study. From culturing experiments targeting physiological response to pollutants, ecological responses to natural and/or anthropogenic stressors, to the development of new indices, to the use of foraminifera provides us with a valuable sentinel species. This allows researchers to cross the bridge into policy and implementation of foraminifera in assessment strategies addressing pre-management as well as pre-impact conditions. The session aims to address advances made to establish ecological quality status and environmental health of coastal/marine systems. Contributions to this session will be based on field studies monitoring living foraminifera and/or conducting retrospective reconstruction. Also welcome are field-based mesocosm experiments addressing foraminiferal response to pollution such as population dynamics and diversity and recolonization patterns. The contributions will also include studies testing the applicability of indices against various pollution sources in different type of ecosystems from transitional (e.g., lagoon, estuaries) to coastal (e.g., reefs and carbonate platforms) and open marine areas (e.g., pelagic systems).


S11 - Evolution, Stratigraphy, and Geological Crises

Luka Gale, Rossana Martini, Katsumi Ueno

The relation between stratigraphy and biological evolution is very intimate, and at the origin of the geologic time scale. For over a century, stratigraphic and phylogenetic studies have built the foraminiferal classification. In the last decades, molecular phylogeny has highlighted limits in the understanding of the foraminiferal evolution from a paleontological/geological point of view, calling into question pre-existing taxonomic schemes. Although old phylogenetic and stratigraphic systems are still in use, recent studies have provided inspiring revisions of these systems. New information on the wall ultrastructure and morphology of major foraminiferal branches, and on diversity during geological crises and in poorly studied geological periods, ecosystems or geographic areas are fostering their modernization. This session highly encourages contributions related to i) integrative or innovative stratigraphic/phylogenetic approaches, ii) in-depth revisions of stratigraphic systems/foraminiferal groups, iii) the discovery of missing links/new morphological features, iv) the evolution of foraminiferal branches through geological crises, and v) foraminiferal assemblages from atypical ecosystems. Multidisciplinary works and research on small and large Palaeozoic-Mesozoic foraminifers are particularly welcome. We anticipate that this session will be a catalyst to develop further modern stratigraphic and phylogenetic schemes, with the ultimate goal to connect Earth and Life evolution.


S12 - Foraminifera as seawater oxygen proxies

Sebastian Garrido, Babette Hoogakker, Nicolaas Glock, Helena Filipsson, Madelyn Cook, Jeroen Groeneveld, Constance Choquel

Oxygen is an essential parameter to sustain life in marine aerobic ecosystems and their biogeochemical processes. Since the 1960s, oceanographic time series of dissolved oxygen in the seawater have documented a loss of oceanic oxygen (deoxygenation). This ongoing ocean deoxygenation is a severe yet often overlooked change affecting our current oceans and goes along with a dramatic fourfold expansion in the volume of oxygen minimum zones and an increase in the frequency of coastal hypoxia. The interaction between food and oxygen availability influences the community composition and vertical distribution of foraminifera, with some species developing a tolerance for oxygen deficiency and anoxic conditions. Several proxies for oxygen concentrations that are based on foraminifera have been proposed. These proxies include the stable isotope signature, element ratios, morphologies of foraminifera, and the composition of foraminiferal communities. For this session, we invite contributions dealing with the development and/or application of proxies to reconstruct water oxygen concentrations based on foraminifera.


S13 - Foraminifera in polar environments: problems of preservation, presence in different palaeoenvironments and related problem solving

Lucilla Capotondi, Romana Melis, Caterina Morigi

Foraminifera in polar regions are commonly used for reconstructing past oceanographic, climatic, and environmental conditions. Benthic foraminifera may provide a rare opportunity to reconstruct ice-proximal conditions. They are also useful for reconstructing past water temperatures and salinities using proxies based on analysing elemental ratios as well as for radiocarbon dating and biostratigraphy of pre-Quaternary sediments. In Antarctica, the most studied areas are the continental shelf and slope of the Ross Sea, the Antarctic Peninsula, and the Weddell Sea, while in the Arctic the Barents and Greenland seas. However, as paleoenvironmental proxies, foraminifera have also some weaknesses mainly related to selective preservation due to carbonate deficit in many polar regions and scarcity of actualistic data, especially for the Southern Ocean. In this session, we aim to discuss the state of the art of polar foraminifera and development prospects for future research, including emerging tools such as molecular studies.


S14 - Foraminiferal geochemical proxies: novel approaches, unique applications and facing poorly-understood problems

Lennart de Nooijer, Gert-Jan Reichart, Howard Spero

Foraminiferal shell chemistry has proven a fertile source for paleoceanographic reconstructions. Some stable isotope ratios and element-to-calcium ratios (El/Ca) have proven to provide robust and consistent estimates of past conditions and changes therein. Regularly, novel isotope ratios or El/Ca are investigated and proposed as novel proxies. With these efforts, there is growing awareness that the analysis of multiple El/Ca and/ or isotope ratios on the same specimen(s) may provide the necessary constrain on potential errors, uncertainties and biases associated with current reconstructions. This session aims at identifying and discussion the latest progress in developing and applying foraminifera-based proxies. We welcome studies reporting field-calibrations, experimental investigations, analytical advances in geochemistry, down-core applications of new and existing proxies, ecological studies on element incorporation and isotope fractionation, etc.


S15 - Foraminiferal records of climatic and oceanographic change across critical intervals during the Cretaceous

Maria Rose Petrizzo, Brian T. Huber

Planktonic and benthic foraminifera have played a key role in reconstructing climatic and paleoceanographic changes that occur across Cretaceous critical intervals such as Oceanic Anoxic Events, the mid-Maastrichtian cooling event, and the Deccan warming event. We invite talks that identify the role of changes in foraminiferal species diversity, species relative abundance, and taxonomic composition as well as stable isotope signatures in characterizing the rate and magnitude of climate and paleoceanographic changes across critical intervals of regional and global environmental during the Cretaceous.


S16 - Integrating the planktonic foraminiferal fossil and molecular sedimentary records to study plankton ecology

Flavia Boscolo Galazzo, Marina Costa Rillo, Joanna Pawlowska

Planktonic foraminifera are calcifying zooplankton with a widespread occurrence in the modern oceans. Compared to other zooplankton groups, planktonic foraminifera provide the advantage of a spatially and temporally extensive sedimentary record, from which we derive much of our knowledge about their (palaeo)ecology and evolution. Because of this extensive, population-level fossil record, they are increasingly used as model group to investigate the responses of marine plankton communities to past, current and future ocean warming. More recently, sedimentary ancient planktonic foraminiferal DNA (sedaDNA) has emerged as a new method to characterize species diversity and distribution over the last hundreds of thousand years. Together, the fossil diversity and distribution over the last hundreds of thousand years. Together, the fossil and sedaDNA records provide an invaluable combination of independent, complementary tools to study plankton (palaeo)ecology, evolution, and macroecological responses to current and past environmental changes. In this session, we bring together researchers working on the fossil and molecular sedimentary records of planktonic foraminifera to spur discussions on how to best integrate and explore these different approaches to push the frontiers of foraminiferal ecological research.


S17 - Larger Foraminifera through time and space

Lorenzo Consorti,Raquel Robles-Salcedo, Vicent Vicedo

Larger Foraminifera are among the few greater unicellular marine organisms able to fix their cell surface permanently with a mineralized shell, with a serious chance to get into the fossil record. Most larger Foraminifera shells display a complex morphology, the patterns of which can be studied and recognized over a wide range of analytical techniques for taxonomical discrimination as well as to infer functional behavior, ecology, symbiosis, reproduction, or evolution. Recent and past spatial distribution of larger Foraminifera includes tropical to warm temperate shallow-water marine and transitional domains, in which the generally limited spreading of offspring led to provincialisms. Evolution of species through time as well as dramatic assemblage turnovers get faced for geologic time, establishment of biozones, and recognition of past global environmental perturbations.  This session aims to gather contributions concerning fossil larger Foraminifera for taxonomy, high-rank classification, and works dealing with stratigraphic issues including, but not limited to, biostratigraphy, past environmental changes, paleo-bio-provinces, isotope stratigraphy, carbonate platform evolution, paleoceanography, among others.


S18 - Linking Morphogenesis and Biomineralization

Zofia Dubicka, Yukiko Nagai, Lennart de Nooijer, Takashi Toyofuku, Jarosław Tyszka

Over 100 years ago D’Arcy Thompson published the first edition of his magnum opus On Growth and Form that inspired generations of scientists studying universal patterns of biological morphogenesis based on ideas from mathematics and physics. He was aware that development of foraminiferal growth proceeds by alternations of rest and activity, representing the chamber formation and the protoplasm increase, respectively. Thompson already knew that “the shell is formed at the outer surface of the protoplasmic organisms” and that successive chambers of the shell represent successive ages. Since 1917 modern imaging and analytical tools have progressed our understanding of shell formation. What do we know on foraminiferal growth and form today? This session is focused on self-organization of complex processes involved in shell development expressed by chamber morphogenesis and its successive biomineralization. We welcome all contributions on ultra/microstructural organization of pseudopodial and cytoplasmic structures, shell growth and biomineralization patterns investigated in vivo, in fossili and in silico, as well as contributions on molecular phylogenetic vs phenotypic trends.


S19 - Modern and Past Tropical Belts Assessed by Foraminifera

Mike Kaminski, Maria Virginia Alves Martins, Silvia Helena Mello Sousa

The Earth’s Tropical Belts are located between the subtropical and subequatorial belts. They are a consequence of the differential heating of our rotating planet and are influenced by atmosphere-ocean interactions, which can influence precipitation, wind systems, and the position of the tropical rain belt, among other factors. These processes can cause climate changes and variations in oceanic circulation, allowing the development of faunas adapted to these conditions. The boundaries of the Tropical Belts and their definitions are poorly known through foraminiferal assemblages, and this knowledge is important to define climate change and oceanographic circulation in modern and ancient geological records. In modern tropical protected coastal areas, frequently disorderly and densely urbanized, deforestation, mining, industrial activities, continental inputs of high levels of nutrients, organic matter, and pollutants in the hydrographic network, or sewage often generate marked environmental degradation. In these regions, biogeochemical processes are intense and rapid and, therefore, the diversity and structure of the foraminiferal assemblages present characteristics that are distinct from other climatic belts. The diversity and ecology of foraminiferal species in these regions is poorly known, which hinders the application of these organisms in environmental and paleoenvironmental studies. Thus, this section aims to share and disseminate knowledge about the diversity, ecology and paleoecology of foraminiferal species from the fossil and modern Tropical Belts, in onshore and offshore regions, and to discuss methodological procedures so that more reliable and useful data can be obtained for comparative studies with the other climatic belts.


S20 - Neogene-Quaternary Planktic Foraminifera: Needs and Basis for Taxonomic Revision?

Vikram Pratap Singh

The planktic foraminifera are important indicators of the variation in the seawater properties. They possess unique morphology and exhibit latitudinal provincialism. Several extant species have encountered genetic variations over the last 6 million years. It seems quite prudent to exercise taxonomic revision up to species level on the basis of genetic studies but the extinct forms can be studied only with regards to their morphology, which makes it difficult to re-assign them to new genera or species. Recently quite a good number of studies have been conducted, resulting in revision of taxonomic nomenclature for several planktic foraminifera. Is regrouping of forms really required and if yes, what should be the principle and basis of revision of those forms for which morphology is the only means of comparison?


S21 - New insights to the evolution and phylogeny of Mesozoic planktonic foraminifera

Brian T. Huber, Maria Rose Petrizzo

The taxonomy of some Cretaceous planktonic foraminifera lineages has been considerably revised during the past decade with the goal of eliminating polyphyletic taxa and to improve understanding of ancestor-descendent relationships based on stratophenetic observations of morphologic changes. Study of well-preserved specimens has greatly improved characterization of differences in test wall textures, surface ornamentation, and porosity as well as stable isotope paleoecology and ontogenetic morphometry. We invite talks that provide an overview of recent taxonomic and phylogenetic revisions of Cretaceous lineages, present new insights on lineages that have traditionally been poorly understood, and characterize planktonic foraminiferal depth ecologies based on comparison of stable isotope signatures for co-occurring planktonic and benthic species. We also invite talks that discuss changes in Cretaceous speciation rates and taxonomic diversity and identify species groups whose taxonomy and phylogeny are still in need of revision.


S22 - New threats on foraminifera from climate change to emerging environmental contaminants: innovative methodological approaches and opportunities

Vincent M.P. Bouchet, Fabrizio Frontalini, Hidetaka Nomaki

Marine and transitional marine ecosystems have been progressively affected by new threats like persistent organic pollutants, plastic and extreme weather events due to global warming. These emerging threats have been reported to seriously affect many marine organisms including foraminifera, though their effect is mostly unknown. This session aims to share current knowledge on the effects of emerging pollutants (e.g., plastics, nanoparticles, persistent organic pollutants) and/or extreme weather events including the identification of a wide spectrum of methodological approaches (environmental, palaeo-environmental and experimental ones) on foraminifera at biological, physiological, behavioral, community and ecosystem functioning level, and discusses future works on this topic.


S23 - Novel physical and geochemical foraminiferal proxies: Assessing foraminifera biomineralization using novel physical and geochemical proxies and their efficiency in paleoceanographic reconstructions

Sonal Khanolkar, Nazik Ogretmen, Antje H. L. Voelker, Stergios Zarkogiannis

Foraminifers are agents to develop tools to decipher the past climate and oceanographic conditions since they encode within their shells the chemistry as well as the physical properties of the seawater in which they calcify. Their physical (e.g., volume, weight, pore-size) and geochemical (e.g., trace elements, isotopes) properties are proxies to assess the atmosphere-hydrosphere systems through decadal to orbital time scales and can shed light into the biomineralization process of the foraminiferal calcite. Thanks to novel approaches and advanced analytical techniques new foraminiferal proxies are emerging. With this session, we encourage contributions focusing on new foraminiferal proxies in modern times (e.g., biomineralization, culturing, core top calibrations) and/or their application in the fields of paleoclimate and paleocenography.


S24 - Oceanographic records from K/Pg to Recent: A session dedicated to the research interests of Dick Kroon

Bridget Wade, Silvia Spezzaferri, Stephanie Stainbank

Dick Kroon’s research interests spanned the whole Cenozoic, with publications ranging from the K/Pg to monsoon evolution, high-resolution stable isotope records and the genetics of modern planktonic foraminifera. He was a dedicated and major advocate for the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and its predecessors. He sailed as a shipboard scientist on Legs 133, 166, and Expedition 359 and as co-chief scientist of Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 171b and Leg 208. He has been leader of the Science Evaluation Panel (SEP) and Chair of the IODP Forum. Dick passed away on 24 May, 2022 and we will all miss him immensely. This session is dedicated to him and will bring together presentations covering the whole scope of Dick’s research interests.


S25 - Palaeo- and biogeographical dynamics of benthic foraminifera

Davide Bassi, Meena Förderer, Jere H. Lipps, Johannes Pignatti, Willem Renema

Warming and changes in ocean carbonate chemistry are stressors to benthic marine ecosystems. Climate change impacts benthic foraminifera by changing their biogeographical distributions. Predicting how organisms will respond to climate change requires a unified framework capable of integrating climatic data with systematic, ecological, and biostratigraphical traits.This session, assembling a roadmap of recent advances in palaeobiogeography and biogeography, is targeting to palaeobiogeographers and biogeographers interested in linking large-scale climate data to benthic foraminiferal responses. We aim to highlight distribution patterns of benthic foraminifera of the present and past oceans. Discussing information that fundamentally integrates how benthic foraminifera interacted with their palaeo-depositional settings improves our capacity to predict their future geographical distribution and their response to climate change.


S26 - Phylogeny and taxonomy of Neogene and Quaternary Planktonic Foraminifera

Tracy Aze, Helen Coxall

This session will introduce and showcase the work of the Neogene and Quaternary Planktonic Foraminifera Working Group following up on the efforts of the Paleogene Planktonic Foraminifera Working Group, who were active for over 30 years and produced three comprehensive revisions of the taxonomy, phylogeny, and biostratigraphy of the Paleogene planktonic foraminifera. The Neogene and Quaternary Planktonic Foraminifera Working Group aims to establish an integrated and clear taxonomy for all Neogene and modern planktonic foraminifera, which will include scanning electron microscope images of all holotypes and paratypes, where available. The group also aims to assess the biogeographic and stratigraphic distribution all species, provide a synthesis of all available stable isotope palaeobiological data, and will permit the construction of a species level phylogeny that aims to integrate fossil and molecular data.


S27 - Quaternary planktonic foraminifera: tool for paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic studies

Giulia Margaritelli, Fabrizio Lirer, Francisco Javier Sierro, Lucilla Capotondi, Isabel Cacho Lascorz

The paleoclimate reconstructions are essential to understand the natural variability and contribute to discriminate the human influence on climate changes. Planktonic foraminifera dominate the surface ocean from the tropic to the polar zones, and in the fossil records their tests are abundant in marine sediments, as a consequence they are ideal tools for paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic reconstruction. The distribution pattern of planktonic foraminiferal species, assemblage composition, diversity, and shell size are strongly used to analyse past climate oscillations in the Quaternary. Moreover, the planktonic foraminifera were used since more than forty years ago as one of the first paleothermometers in paleoceanographic reconstructions. Geochemical information in planktonic foraminiferal shells encompass some of the most important sources of information for the Sea Surface Temperature estimation. In this session, we invite contributions related to micropaleontological and geochemical studies carried out on Quaternary Planktonic Foraminifera. 


S28 - Recent benthic foraminifera in extreme environments

Luisa Bergamin, Letizia di Bella, Elena Romano

Marine systems, due to the overlap of several anthropogenic factors to natural variability, have been undergone to major changes in the last century. Global warming, sea-level rise and ocean acidification are among the main issues to be studied and monitored, due to their strong social consequences at a global scale. As a result, the development of innovative methods to highlight the temporal variability of these phenomena and their effects on marine ecosystems is of great importance. In this context, the study of habitats affected by high environmental variability represents a basic research for recognizing dynamics of changes of chemical physical parameters in marine environment and their effects on the above-mentioned environmental issues. Extreme environments in the marine system are characterized by hostile conditions due to stable life-threatening values or wide variability of physical and chemical, requiring specific adaptation strategies to inhabiting organisms. Several habitats may be recognized as extreme environments in the marine realm: from transitional zone to deep sea, including the intertidal belt, marshes and lagoons, hydrothermal vents, marine blue holes, but also extremely oligotrophic, anoxic or highly contaminated areas. These environments, where benthic foraminifera commonly live, represent ideal laboratories where wide changes of chemical physical parameters are recorded in short time and space; this allows a more effective evaluation of the impact of these changes on the benthic communities. Any research which highlights these aspects is welcome.


S29 - Molecular advances in foraminiferal research: from phylogenomics and molecular systematics to environmental monitoring and paleogenomics

Maria Holzmann, Inès Barrenechea-Angeles, Raphael Morard, Jan Pawlowski

Molecular research on foraminifera is an integral part of foraminiferal studies since the 1990's when the first foraminiferal sequences were published. In this session, we will present recent advances in molecular studies of foraminifera, including the fields of foraminiferal DNA barcoding, metabarcoding, transcriptomics and paleogenomics. In particular, we will present the contribution of various “omics” to a better understanding of the evolution and ecology of foraminifera, their interactions with other organisms and their response to environmental pressures. We will highlight the importance of DNA barcoding as a tool of species identification, especially to solve problems related to cryptic species or species that cannot be reliably identified through lack of morphological characters. We will also present the perspectives opened by foraminiferal metabarcoding and metagenomics to monitor past and present environments, and to provide a complementary insight into the evolution of marine biodiversity and its response to climate change and anthropogenic impacts.


S30 - The loss of algal photosymbiosis (bleaching) in the foraminiferal fossil and recent record: evolutionary and environmental control

Valeria Luciani, Bridget Wade, Roberta D’Onofrio

The symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic algae is a key strategy adopted by many modern and fossil planktic and benthic foraminifera inhabiting the photic zone. Algal photosymbionts are crucial for life and calcification processes. Size restricted carbon isotopes (d13C) have demonstrated photosymbiotic relationship in both modern and extinct foraminifera. However, the complex mechanism of photosymbiosis role and the role of photosymbionts through geological time are still not well understood. Recent studies have shown that the photosymbiotic relationship may be more dynamic than previously thought. The loss of photosymbionts (“bleaching”) has been documented in many modern organisms and fossil species, possibly caused by photo-oxidative stress due to high irradiance or normal irradiance with elevated sea surface temperatures and decreased pH. Calcification decrease in marine species is a critical issue in the perspective of the ongoing climate changes. Our planet already experienced similar conditions in the past. The knowledge of marine calcifiers resilience that include bleaching episodes can be used to figure out what we have to expect in the next future. We solicit new contributions on the record of bleaching episodes from both recent environments and the huge archive of the geologic record.


S31 - The use of foraminiferal assemblages and their tests taphonomic signature for characterization of submarine mass wasting events

Orit Hyams-Kaphzan, Giulia Margaritelli, Oded Katz

Foraminifera are widely used as bioindicators due to their high sensitivity to climate and environmental changes, bathymetric preference and mode of life. Although their tests are usually preserved in the sedimentary record, this group was rarely used in reconstructing mass transport events (e.g. turbidity currents). Recently, studies used their assemblages to identify mixed sediments of different sources as a result of submarine mass wasting, e.g. where typical shallow-shelf and continental slope benthic species co-appear or last-glacial and Holocene planktonic species are mixed in the same sediment-interval. In addition, by characterizing and quantifying the test breakage and preservation degrees, foraminiferal taphonomy can be utilized to identify the sediment transportation distance. We invite contributions from diverse scientific disciplines (natural-hazards, sedimentology, ecology, geochemistry) that use foraminiferal assemblages and taphonomic characterization to study submarine mass wasting events and related hazard (e.g. Tsunami). Abstracts may present: (i) Case studies utilizing foraminifera assemblages and/or tests taphonomy to analyse submarine mass wasting; (ii) Proxies for sediment transportation using foraminiferal analysis; (iii) Correlation of foraminifera assemblages and/or taphonomy with other measures of submarine mass wasting; (iv) Time modelling of mass wasting activity using foraminifera assemblages; (v) any other related work.


S32 - Biology, metabolisms and behavior: role of benthic foraminifera in ecosystem functioning

Joan Bernhard, Vincent Bouchet, Emmanuelle Geslin, Edouard Metzger

Foraminifera may represent up to 50% of the benthic eukaryotic biomass and they can play key roles in benthic ecosystem functioning. As carbonate-producing organisms, they contribute to more than 21% of the annual global ocean carbonate production making them a key group in the CaCO3 budget of the world’s oceans. Benthic foraminifera occupy a major trophic position through bacterivory, herbivory and carnivory. They also actively contribute to the functioning of benthic ecosystems via sediment mixing and bio-irrigation, hence enhancing the fluxes of particulate and dissolved elements at the sediment-water interface. In addition, they can accumulate large quantities of nitrate in their cell and reduce it through denitrification under low-oxygen conditions; their contribution to the nitrogen cycle ranges from 1.4% in the Bering Sea to 100% in the Gullmar Fjord (Sweden). Also, the contribution of benthic foraminifera to CO2 storage is not yet fully explored. Noticeably, symbiont-bearing and kleptoplastidic (photic zones) foraminiferal species may play a significant role in C storage via the photosynthetic activity of micro-algae in the former and sequestered chloroplasts in the later. Further, the role of foraminiferal kleptoplasts in dark habitats is not fully understood. This session invites researchers using experimental and/or in situ approaches to resolve the role of foraminifera in ecosystem functioning.


S33 - Honoring Martin Buzas: Innovative approaches to analyzing distributions of benthic foraminifera

Pamela A. Buzas-Stephens, Laurel S. Collins, Stephen J. Culver, Lee-Ann C. Hayek

We celebrate the research of Dr. Martin A. Buzas, who passed away in November 2022. Marty was a benthic foraminiferal researcher at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and an influential mentor and friend to many of today’s foraminiferal researchers.  He explored distributions of benthic foraminifera with quantitative analyses of species diversity and occurrence, species durations, communities through geologic time, biogeography, environmental associations, caging experiments, and large data sets. We invite contributions that reflect Marty’s innovative spirit and that focus on benthic foraminiferal assemblages and communities.