Session Overview

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[accordion-item title=”Session I: Foraminiferal Biology in a Changing World.”]
Conveners: Joan Bernhard, Susan Goldstein

Foraminifera have evolved myriad biological responses and capabilities over their very long history. These diverse abilities underpin their enormous success, occurrences over broad environmental conditions, rapid responses to change, and the overall resilience and longevity of this rhizarian clade. This session examines the diversity of foraminiferal biological processes, including, but not limited to, responses to multi-stressor events such as ocean acidification, warming, and hypoxia; trophic processes and symbioses, reproduction and dispersal, dormancy, and biogeographic perturbations.

[accordion-item title=”Session II: Advances in Foraminiferal Geochemistry”]
Conveners: Jelle Bijma, Howard Spero

The trace, minor element and stable isotope geochemistry contained in living and fossil foraminifera encompass some of the most important sources of information for unraveling the physiological processes controlling shell biomineralisation and reconstructing the environmental and climatic history of the Earth through time. During the past 10-15 years, there has been an explosion of research that utilizes novel instrumentation to explore the geochemical composition of foraminifera. The results of such studies have been truly profound and in our opinion, have transformed our understanding of foraminifera evolution, physiology and biomineralisation as well as expanding the quality and breadth of information that we can extract from the fossil record to reconstruct past climate and environmental change on Earth. Key to this transformation has been a number of technological advancements that have yielded instrument systems such as laser ablation ICP-MS, SIMS, NanoSIMS, atom probe, synchrotron, Raman spectrometer, laser confocal microscope and atomic force microscope that can resolve geochemical variability at the micron to nanometer scale.
In this session, we invite abstracts that describe exploratory and experimental research utilizing non-traditional instrumentation to study geochemical aspects of foraminifera biomineralisation, shell and organic geochemical heterogeneity and foraminifera physiology.

[accordion-item title=”Session III: Biomineralisation and Geochemistry of Proxies-Field Calibrations Laboratory culture and Palaeo oceanographic reconstructions”]
Conveners: Jonathan Erez, Lennart de Nooijer, Takashi Toyofuku

Reconstruction of past Earth climate system relies heavily on foraminiferal geochemical proxies which are strongly affected by their biomineralisation process. Therefore, when possible, field and laboratory calibrations and the palaeo records should be compared and evaluated. Because vital effects are often observed, mechanistic understanding of biomineralisation and its effects on trace elements and isotopic proxies is needed.
In this session we invite contributions related to field and laboratory calibration of foraminiferal proxies with emphasis on how and why these proxies are affected by the calcification processes in these organisms.

[accordion-item title=”Session IV: Advances in Foraminiferal Biomonitoring”]
Conveners: Frans Jorissen, Joachim SchoenfeldSilvia Spezzaferri and Sergei Korsun

Benthic foraminifera have been proven as valuable indicators for changes of environmental conditions in near-coastal, shelf, and deep-sea environments due to human impacts or natural causes. They comprise eutrophication, physical disturbance, oxygen draw-down, and enhanced input of potentially toxic substances. Attempts have been made to standardize the methods employed for foraminiferal biomonitoring, to develop a catalogue of index species with a distinct response behaviour to environmental deterioration, to apply and to test ecological indices for environmental assessments. Any contributions are welcome reporting the implementation, results, and further developments of foraminiferal biomonitoring and environmental surveys.

[accordion-item title=”Session V: Foraminiferal Research Schools: The Past Can Inform the Future”]
Conveners: Pamela Hallock Muller, Martin Langer

The Foraminifera are unquestionably one of the most important groups of organisms in the study of Phanerozoic history. In modern oceans, they are the most abundant carbonate shell-producing organism. With relatively high but manageable diversity and a long fossil record, the morphological and chemical analyses of foraminiferal shells have played crucial roles in biostratigraphic, economic and palaeoceanographic research. This session will explore the history of our field. Presentations on earliest history can feature Herodotus who wrote of petrified lentils, d’Orbigny and others who considered them tiny cephalopods, Dujardin who recognized forams to be amoeboid microorganisms, and the Challenger Expedition, that laid the foundation for oceanography. We invite individuals in all aspects of foraminiferal research, including but not limited to, micropalaeontological, geochemical, economic and biological realms, to share the histories of their favourite historic individuals, groups, and expeditions. We shall explore the history, evolution and significance of foraminiferal schools that brought foraminiferal studies to where they are today; and can provide insights in to possible directions for tomorrow.

[accordion-item title=”Session VI: Single-cell genomics of Foraminifera; from organismal interactions to integrative framework”]
Conveners: Kate Darling, Magali Schweizer

The session will be dedicated to all aspects of single cell genomics, from intrinsic aspects, with organismal interaction (symbiosis), intragenomic diversity or proteomics that impact the organisms during its lifetime, toextrinsic aspects as the integration of cryptic diversity into palaeoceanography and the resolution of biogeographic, phylogenetic and phylogenomic patterns. An effort will be made for the establishment of an integrative taxonomic framework that would tie the molecular data to the existing body of knowledge as it is currently done with the existing reference databases: FORAMBarcoding ( and PFR² (

[accordion-item title=”Session VII: Environmental genomics of foraminifera: From global diversity of foraminifera and beyond”]
Conveners: Raphael Morard, Jan Pawlowski

The session will focus on the –omics applications on foraminifera and their impact on fundamental and applied research. It will include global assessment of diversity, ecology, biomonitoring, and ancient DNA studies with the massive sequencing of environmental DNA and also applications at the single-cell level such as proteomics. High throughput sequencing (HTS) has made the exhaustive assessment of foraminiferal diversity a reality. It revealed an unsuspected diversity of naked and organic walled foraminifera in marine samples, allowed the detection of foraminifera in soils and freshwater and revolutionized the view of their diversity. One of the major advantages of HTS is the opportunity to process a large number of samples in a short time span. But this upheaval comes with challenges and the interpretation of HTS datasets is often difficult given the lack of corresponding taxonomic knowledge. One of the main goals of the session will be to translate the view of diversity given by the gigantic eDNA datasets into “classical” taxonomic knowledge, via building of reference databases of DNA barcodes, as well as developing taxonomy-free approaches. During this session micropalaeontologists and molecular biologists will share their experience to reconcile the traditional view of diversity given by the morphological record and the view unveiled by HTS. The session will also present other “omics” approaches applied to foraminifera, including phylogenomics, palaeogenomics and metagenomics.

[accordion-item title=”Session VIII: Planktonic Foraminifera: a bridge between ecological and evolutionary dynamics in deep time”]
Conveners: Thomas Ezard, Andy Purvis, Isabel Fenton

Planktonic foraminifera provide a uniquely detailed picture of changes in a clade’s diversity and disparity through deep time. Their exceptionally complete spatiotemporal sampling, mature taxonomy, well-understood phylogeny and large sample sizes make them, in many ways, a model system for deep time investigation of how and why lineages within a clade evolve, radiate or die out. Advances in coring technology, stratigraphic dating, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, genetic sampling, high-resolution imaging and high-throughput morphometrics are already shedding new light on old questions and opening up new research avenues. This symposium will span within-lineage microevolution through to the macroevolutionary generation, proliferation and removal of species, asking if the former predicts the latter on scales from local community assembly to the regulators of global diversity. As befits a rapidly-developing field, most speakers will be early- or mid-career researchers. We will seek to develop a synthetic review article on the potential and the pitfalls of using planktonic foraminifera as a model system for evolutionary ecology.

[accordion-item title=”Session IX: Foraminifera and ocean drilling; celebrating 50 years of discovery”]
Conveners: Brian Huber, Dick Kroon, Paul Pearson

Foraminifera studied from ocean drilling cores play a key role in contributing fundamental scientific knowledge to the topics of mass extinction, community evolution, and global environmental change. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of ocean drilling this session will highlight deep-sea foraminiferal studies that provide new insights on the causes and effects of major perturbations in Earth’s environment during the past 140 million years.

[accordion-item title=”Session X: Deep time records of climate change impacts”]
Conveners: Ellen Thomas, Daniela Schmidt

Earth history provides detailed records of climate and associated environmental changes and their profound impacts on life on Earth. Foraminifera are an ideal group to assess these impacts of warming, deoxygenation, and acidification. In this session, we are focusing on deep time records of climate change from palaeoceanographic data, the impacts on the ecosystems in general, and their synergistic/antagonist effects on foraminifers. Especially welcome are studies which compare and contrast events of different scales/magnitudes or geographic or bathyal regions to facilitate upscaling of these links through time and space.

[accordion-item title=”Session XI: Foraminifera in Quaternary Research”]
Conveners: Helena Filipsson, Karen Luise Knudsen

This session deals with Foraminifera in Quaternary Research in a broad context, comprising both benthic and planktonic foraminiferal research. We are in particularly interested on the four following aspects: i) Progress in the development of transfer functions for temperature and salinity reconstructions, as well as sea-ice cover, ii) The development of different environmental proxies based on the composition of foraminiferal tests, including stable isotopes and trace elements, using both field – and experimental approaches, iii) Palaeoceanographic reconstructions generated from deep sea records, iv) Fjords, coasts and inlets as potential high resolution sites.

[accordion-item title=”Session XII: Advances in Planktonic Foraminiferal Ecology and Population Dynamics”]
Conveners: Geert-Jan Brummer, Michal Kucera

Mode of life of planktonic foraminifera species, their habitat in the water column and factors that drive their distribution and abundance in time and space are key to unlocking the potential of their fossil record for palaeoceanographic reconstructions. There has been tremendous progress in the past years in studies of modern foraminifera on concepts like ontogenetic migration, calcification depth, symbiont diversity, reproductive behaviour, (export) productivity and seasonality. Conversely, there has been significant new developments in the study of ecological dynamics from the fossil record. We believe the two communities will benefit from an exchange and we invite both to join the session. We are looking for contributions based on biological as well palaeontological approaches, covering all aspects of the life of modern and fossil planktonic foraminifera, the success and failure of their populations, their biotic and abiotic interactions, their niche properties and strategies for coping with stress.

[accordion-item title=”Session XIII: Foraminifera in Applied Micropalaeontology (Industrial and Academic)”]
Conveners: Haydon Bailey, John Gregory

It has been convened to highlight the range of applied techniques using Foraminifera. This session will include presentations from academic and industrial/petroleum system researchers who have used applied micropalaeontology to provide innovative solutions to geological problems and to test hypotheses.
These techniques have been applied to extant and fossil foraminiferal assemblages (planktonic and benthonic) to interpret taxonomy/phylogeny, biostratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy, stratigraphic correlation, (palaeo)ecology, (palaeo)environments, (palaeo)climates and (palaeo)oceanographic systems.
This is an open invitation to scientists working in both industry and academia who use foraminifera as practical tools to submit a title and abstract for either a presentation or poster. We would particularly like to see presentations highlighting examples where an applied technique has been used to solve a specific problem.

[accordion-item title=”Session XIV: Foraminifera; Bridging the Gap between ecology and palaeoecology”]
Conveners: Elisabeth Alve, William Austin

There is currently an increasing interest and policy-driven imperative to understand how the environment on Earth changes; therefore, our ability to understand and interpret palaeoecology has never been more urgently required. As well as the need to understand the processes and the short- as well as long-term changes that have taken place, an ability to interpret possible human impacts on our recent past is essential. Foraminifera represent one of the key fossil groups, providing information about past marine environmental conditions from pole to pole and the intertidal to the abyss. However, in order to fully utilize their potential, it is crucial to understand how the present-day ecology and faunal characteristics of foraminifera can be used to support palaeoecological interpretations.
This session welcomes any contributions which will enhance our understanding of foraminiferal ecology; the taphonomic processes which may act upon them under different geochemical/physical conditions; approaches (qualitative or quantitative) to improve the interpretations of fossil assemblages; and how all this information in concert may broaden our view on and improve our understanding of the Earth as an ever changing system.

[accordion-item title=”Session XV: Advances in Foraminiferal Experimental Studies”]
Conveners: Sigal Abramovitch, Emmanuelle Geslin, Petra Heinz, Hiroshi Kitazato

Today’s field of foraminiferal research is extremely diverse, and the number of experimental studies that answer (palaeo-)biological, (palaeo-)ecological, biogeochemical and (palaeo-)oceanographic questions is growing rapidly. Living foraminifera can ideally be used as new model organisms for many multidisciplinary fields and laboratory-based experimental studies that involve innovative state-of-the art techniques. In this session, we invite foraminiferal researchers to present and share their experimental approach, methods, results and ideas. Our major aim is to update knowledge on the potential, applicability and limitations of foraminiferal experimental studies, allowing development of future ideas to promote this growing field.

[accordion-item title=”Session XVI: Larger Benthic Foraminifera as historical archives of deep time changes”]
Conveners: Antonino Briguglio, Wolfgang Eder, Cesare Andrea Papazzoni

Larger Benthic Foraminifera (LBF) are and have always been among the major components of shallow water carbonates. They are constantly used in biostratigraphy and, in the last years, a great deal of progress has been made to integrate their occurrence with index planktonic organisms. Since they can live for many years, they are powerful archives of geochemical information on climate variation and provide useful data to model high-resolution shifts in palaeoceanography. In the last years, more data from remote regions have become available and we are heading toward a more complete palaeo-biogeographical compilation, with a clearer understanding of oceanic migrations of taxa and their diversity hotspots. In this session, we welcome contributions from all these aspects of LBF research spanning through the entire Phanerozoic and, possibly, using multidisciplinary approaches.


[accordion-item title=”Session XVII: Evolution, Stratigraphy, and Geological Crises”]
Conveners: Rossana Martini, Roberto Rettori, Sylvain Rigaud

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 Paleozoic-Mesozoic foraminifers are particularly welcome.

We anticipate that this session will be a catalyst to further develop modern stratigraphic and phylogenetic schemes, with the ultimate goal to connect Earth and Life evolution.



Conveners: Mary McGann, Ahuva Almogi, and Martin Langer

The accidental or intentional introduction of invasive species in the world’s estuaries and coastal regions is considered to be the most important threat today to marine biodiversity. The Lessepsian migration, considered the largest marine invasion in the world, is a particularly good example. Invasive species originating in the Red Sea have been introduced into the Mediterranean Sea by the construction of the Suez Canal, the results of which have profoundly changed the ecosystem of the receiving waters. Other invasion scenarios are occurring throughout the world, including the introduction of microorganisms due to shipping, aquaculture, bait, and aquarium or live trade releases, among others. All of these severely impact the local and endemic species. Port managers are looking for guidance regarding the vectors, rate, magnitude, and timing of invasions as well as methods for mitigating their impact.

We welcome any presentation focusing on foraminiferal invasions: timing (historic and current), vectors, impact, mitigation, DNA, etc., using established or novel investigational techniques. We are planning on organizing a special issue on the “Magnitude and Impact of Invasive Foraminifera” in the journal Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie resulting from contributions to this session and others.