International Congress September 10‐13, 2019
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium

June 15, 2019: Deadline for abstract submission


Second Circular (.pdf)
Registration form (.pdf)
Abstract Template (.docx)

International symposium

Evolution and Paleoenvironment

of Early Modern Vertebrates

during the Paleogene

Host committee
Scientific committee
Welcome to the RBINS – Brussels
Preliminary Scientific Program
Keynote lectures
Instructions for abstract submission
Registration fees
Publication of a thematic volume in Geobios
Social Program
Field Trip
Hotel and accommodation
Important dates

How to reach the RBINS ?

PalEurAfrica Meeting 2019

In the framework of the PalEurAfrica network research project (see, we are happy to invite you to the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) for an international symposium on the evolution and paleoenvironment of early modern vertebrates. This symposium will gather specialists who work on macro- and micropaleontology, bio- and isotope stratigraphy, paleoenvironment, paleogeography, and geology of Paleogene vertebrate bearing sites.


This international meeting will also celebrate the memory of one of our PalEurAfrica partners, Gregg Gunnell (1954 – 2017), who died tragically and unexpectedly in the middle of his career, having made significant contributions to our understanding of Paleogene vertebrate evolutionary history.


Host committee

Thierry Smith (Chair) – Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium
Thierry De Putter – Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium
Stephen Louwye – Universiteit Gent, Gent, Belgium
Johan Yans – Université de Namur, Namur, Belgium
Matthew Borths – Duke University Lemur Center, Durham, NC, USA
Nancy Stevens – Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA


Scientific committee

Massimo Delfino – Università di Torino, Torino, Italy
Gilles Escarguel – Université de Lyon, Lyon, France
Annelise Folie – Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium
Emmanuel Gheerbrant – Museum national d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France
Jason Head – University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Gerald Mayr – Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum, Frankfurt, Germany
Florias Mees – Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium
Ellen R. Miller – Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
Adán Pérez-García – Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, Spain
Rajendra Singh Rana – H.N.B. Garhwal University, Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India
Hesham M. Sallam – Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt
Floréal Solé – Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium
Robert Speijer – Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Rodolphe Tabuce – Université de Montpellier, Montpellier, France


Welcome to the RBINS – Brussels

The meeting will take place in the conference rooms of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, located in the center of the city of Brussels next to the European parliament. (


Please find more information about how to reach the RBINS here.


Preliminary Scientific Program

As we are united by a common scientific interest – Paleogene vertebrates and their environments – talks shall be presented unopposed in a single venue, the main auditorium (150 seats) of the RBINS.

Theme 1: Paleogene vertebrate morphology

Topic 1. Systematics and Phylogenetics
Topic 2. Functional anatomy and Ecomorphology

Theme 2: Stratigraphy

Topic 3. Biostratigraphy: mammals, palynomorphs, foraminiferans, nannofossils, charophytes…
Topic 4. Isotope stratigraphy

Theme 3: Paleoenvironment and Paleobiogeography

Topic 5. Abiotic variables in vertebrate evolution: Geology, Tectonics and Climate
Topic 6. Biotic variables in vertebrate evolution: Floral change, Faunal change, and Dispersal


Keynote lectures

At least three invited speakers will be scheduled for plenary sessions. Prof. Dr. Hesham M. Sallam from Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology Center is scheduled for a conference on recent results from research into the Paleogene vertebrate faunas of the Fayum depression, Egypt.


Instruction for abstract submission

The template for your abstract is available here. Your abstracts must be sent before the submission deadline as an Email attachment to, together with your registration form.



All of the accepted abstracts will be compiled and edited in pdf format. The electronic version of these abstracts and the final program will be available on this website from August 31th. Oral and poster presentations will be scheduled in the final program. Oral presentations will be of 15 min or 20 min depending of the number of participants.


Registration fees

The registration fees are expressly low to encourage participation in the congress, particularly for young scientists who wish to integrate into the community of Paleogene paleontologists and geologists. Registration fees cover costs of the abstract volume, ice breaker party, coffee breaks, and guided tours. Registration and payment mode will be detailed in the second circular.

Student: 30 EUR (on or before July 31 2019), 40 EUR (on or before August 31 2019)
Regular: 50 EUR (on or before July 31 2019), 70 EUR (on or before August 31 2019)

Payment via bank transfer to the RBINS account (preferred) or in cash at the meeting.
Bank: Bpost
IBAN: BE09 6792 0058 2357
Communication/Message: Your name + Paleurafrica2019


Publication of a thematic volume in Geobios

The Chief Editor of the international journal Geobios, Dr. Gilles Escarguel, offered us the opportunity to publish papers dedicated to the general theme of the PalEurAfrica congress in a thematic volume (i.e., part of the regular series of the journal). There are no fees if the rules are respected. Eight to twelve papers are needed to edit the volume. The submission deadline is set at December 31, 2019. After a complete review the volume is estimated for printing Autumn 2020.

Authors instructions are available on:


Social Program

An icebreaker party will take place on the evening of September 10th 2019 in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.

A congress dinner will be organized, for which the price should be limited to 35 EUR.

A guided tour of the RBINS exhibitions will be organized during the meeting.

A second visit of exhibitions will be organized at the renovated Royal Museum for Central Africa (Tervuren), which is only at 14 km from RBINS.


Field Trip

Richard Smith & Thierry Smith (Leaders) – Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium.

Ninety five percent of the persons who returned the completed pre-registration form marked their intention to attend the field trip. Therefore, after requesting permission for access, we are happy to announce that we will visit the vertebrate localities of Maret (middle Paleocene, MP1-5), Dormaal (earliest Eocene, MP7), and Hoogbutsel-Boutersem (early Oligocene, MP21) in eastern Belgium.

Outcrop section at Boutersem-TGV in the early Oligocene Boutersem Sand Member of the Borgloon Formation (MP-21).

Outcrop section at Maret with the marls of Gelinden sandwiched between the middle Paleocene Heers Formation (MP1-5) and the late Paleocene Hannut Formation.

The sunken path of Dormaal along which the fluvial deposits of the earliest Eocene Tienen Formation are exposed (MP7).



Annelise Folie (Curator of paleontology collections) – Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium.

Of the 38 million specimens housed at RBINS three millions are in the paleontology division ( Among these are famous Paleogene collections, such as the mammals of Hainin and Dormaal (European MP reference levels), the Thanetian champsosaurs of Erquelinnes, the Ypresian crocodiles, turtles, and birds, Casier’s Lutetian sharks, and Leriche’s Rupelian fishes. For access to collections, please contact

Skeleton of Champsosaurus dolloi Sigogneau-Russell, 1979 from the latest Paleocene (Thanetian) of Erquelinnes.

Leaf imprint of Quercus loozi Saporta and Marion, 1877 from the middle Paleocene (Selandian) Heers Formation of Gelinden.

Lectotype dentary of primate Teilhardina belgica (Teilhard de Chardin, 1927) from the earliest Eocene (Ypresian) of Dormaal.

Skull of carangid fish Belgocaranx luypaertsi Taverne et al, 2006 from the early Oligocene (Rupelian) of the Boom Clay.


Hotel and accommodation

Hotel reservations shall be arranged by the participants by contacting and booking directly. Brussels has many possibilities of accommodation, including hotels of different categories, youth hostel and campsites (Hotels list).


Important dates

June 15, 2019 Deadline for abstract submission
June 30, 2019 Evaluation of abstracts and e-mail of acceptance
July 31, 2019 Deadline for early registration
August 31, 2019 Deadline for late registration, Final program (3rd circular), including abstracts available on website
September 10-13, 2019 PalEurAfrica meeting
Tuesday Sept. 10: Registration, Technical session, Guided tour RBINS, Icebreaker party
Wednesday Sept. 11: Technical session, Visit RMCA
Thursday Sept. 12: Technical session, Guided tour RBINS (additional?), Conference dinner
Friday Sept. 13: Fieldtrip in eastern Belgium