Research

October 31, 2017 at 12:43 am

Stigall’s Role in International Conference Part of Efforts to Improve Global Scientific Engagement

IGCP 653 meeting participants, shown here in a group shot

IGCP 653 meeting participants

Dr. Alycia Stigall, Professor of Geological Sciences, is the North American leader of the International Geoscience Programme Project 653: The Onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event, which is funded by UNESCO and built around the concept that engaging the greatest diversity of scientists collaboratively on a key scientific issue will produce the maximum amount of scientific advancement.

Stigall was on the scientific committee organizing and participated in the second annual IGCP 653 meeting “Filling the gap between the Cambrian Explosion and the GOBE” in Yichang, China. The conference included more than 60 attendees from 10 nations.

IGCP Project 653 itself has grown into a multinational, multidisciplinary group of Earth scientists that include more than 200 scientists from more than 60 nations collaboratively investigating the greatest single biodiversity increase in Earth’s history by applying approaches from paleontology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, paleoceanography, geochemistry, and related disciplines.

Stigall with a group of early career women at the Three Gorges Dam

Stigall with a group of early career women at the Three Gorges Dam

Participants in the conference exchanged scientific ideas in a variety of contexts including oral and poster presentations, shared meals, cultural explorations, and fieldwork. For many, the field excursion to two globally significant horizons, the Dapingian and Hirnantian Global Stratotype Section and Points—a GSSP is the single place on Earth that is the marker horizon for a particular interval in time—was a highlight.

Meeting participants at the Dapingian Global Stratotype Section and Points—a GSSP is the single place on Earth that is the marker horizon for a particular interval in time.

Meeting participants at the Dapingian Global Stratotype Section and Points—a GSSP is the single place on Earth that is the marker horizon for a particular interval in time.

Stigall’s role at the conference was multi-faceted. Her presentation, titled “Epibole vs. ecological turnover: Contrasting ecosystem impacts of biotic invasions on Ordovician communities,” emphasized how fossils preserved in rocks around Cincinnati, Ohio, can be used to understand the process of species invasions and the impacts of invasions on ecosystems, both ancient and modern. She also chaired a scientific session, led the student poster competition, actively participated in mentoring early career Chinese scientists, and invited the participants to GO BE in OHIO for the next annual meeting of the IGCP 653. Stigall’s personal reflections on the conference can be found on her blog entry.

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