International Plant Taphonomy Meeting

Next phytotaphonomy meeting:
! The Institute of Environmental Biology, Faculty of Science of Utrecht University, Laboratory of Palaeobotany & Palynology: The 19th Plant Taphonomy workshop, to be held in Utrecht, The Netherlands the 27th of March, 2009.

The purpose of the International Plant Taphonomy Meetings is to stimulate scientific research and to promote contacts among scientists engaged in the study of plant taphonomy including living and fossil plants of all geological periods.

Because they are sedentary, plants can only survive in those places where the climate is suitable. It therefore follows that plant remains are in principle one of the best proxies for palaeoclimates. However, depending on the selective processes acting prior to deposition and during diagenesis, a plant assemblage may differ significantly from the plant communities from which it was derived. The 1980's witnessed increasing interest in these taphonomic processes. One of the leading lights in this field was and still is Professor Robert A. Gastaldo (then at Auburn University, Alabama, USA). While he was on sabbatical leave in Paris in 1988/1989 he was invited by Professor David K. Ferguson to give two talks at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). Colleagues from Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands were invited to attend and present some of their own results. This workshop was considered to be such a success that it was decided to hold similar gatherings on a regular basis. Further meetings have since been held in:
Austria (Vienna, 2008; Altlengbach, 2001);
Belgium (Liège, 1993);
Czech Republic (Pilsen, 2005);
England (Cardiff, 2006; Leeds, 1999; Cardiff, 1997);
Germany (Chemnitz, 2003; Bonn, 2002; Bonn, 1994; Münster, 1992);
The Netherlands (Leiden, 2004; Utrecht, 1998; Texel, 1995; Utrecht, 1991; Heerlen, 1990);
Spain (Barcelona, 2000).

At some of these get-togethers certain themes were highlighted for round-table discussion, at others the participants were free to present a topic of their choice. In the course of the years an enormous range of interesting issues have been discussed (see Titles of presentations). Discussion is one of the primary aims of these meetings. As a result most people go away with the feeling they have actually learned something! Another goal is to make the sessions as informal as possible. Moreover, we attempt to keep the cost of the workshops to a minimum. In some cases no registration fee has been required. So if you are interested in taphonomy and plant taphonomy in particular, why not come to our next reunion. Those interested in receiving information about future meetings, please contact


The 18th Plant Taphonomy Meeting 2008, Vienna, Austria

The 17th Plant Taphonomy Meeting 2006, Cardiff, Wales, UK (abstracts not available)

The 16th Plant Taphonomy Meeting 2005, Pilsen, Czech Republic (abstracts not available)

The 15th Plant Taphonomy Meeting 2004, Leiden, The Netherlands

The 14th Plant Taphonomy Meeting 2003, Chemnitz, Germany

The 13th Plant Taphonomy Meeting 2002, Bonn, Germany

The 12th Plant Taphonomy Meeting 2001, Altlengbach, Austria

The 11th Plant Taphonomy Meeting 2000, Barcelona, Spain

The 10th Plant Taphonomy Meeting 1999, Leeds, UK

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