Moderators: Bryan Shirley1 and Carlos Martínez-Pérez2

1Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

2Universitat de València, Spain; University of Bristol, UK

The increasing ease of access and technological advances of equipment such as scanning electron microscopes (SEM), synchrotron light sources and micro CTs have revolutionised microanalysis in a number of fields. Although in the past these techniques have been primarily utilised by material scientists, they have become increasingly applied within palaeontology. Techniques like Secondary Electron Microscopy (SE), Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX/EDS) and Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) are utilised to help decipher physical and chemical characteristics of fossils on a micro scale. These applications allow observations of chemical composition and structure, which have helped address several enigmas revolving around the ecology, function, biomineralisation (crystal structure/composition) and ontogeny of various taxa.

The objective of this workshop is to give the attendees an introduction to methods of preparation and fossil micro analysis using various techniques. We plan on providing practical information and case studies of fossils from various ages and states of preservation with experts in microanalysis to outline the advantages and pitfalls alongside providing advice on correct procedures.

Examples of topics to cover:

  • Preparation techniques for microanalysis
  • Secondary Electron Microscopy (SE) / Back-Scattered Electron (BSE)
  • Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX/EDS)
  • Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD)
  • High-Resolution micro-CT (HRCT)
  • Synchrotron X-ray Microtomography (SXRM)
  • Candoluminescence (CL)
  • Case studies