international school foraminifera:

The Lecturers

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ISF: The Lecturers

The ISF course is taught by an international team of 12 lecturers, many of whom are professors who have received prestigious awards for their research and/or teaching activities. Many of the lecturers present at the ISF course teach (or have taught) Micropaleontology at leading European and Middle Eastern universities. Scientific Director (Mike Kaminski) has 18 years experience teaching the MSc degree in Micropalaeontology at University College London, before that degree program was closed down in 2009.

Scientific Directors & Coordinators

Prof. Michael A. Kaminski, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (Saudi Arabia)

Dr. Fabrizio Frontalini, DiSTeVA, Urbino University (Italy)


Prof. Michael A. Kaminski - King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (Saudi Arabia)
Mike Kaminski is currently a professor in the Earth Sciences Department at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals. He did his undergraduate degree at Rutgers University, and postgraduate degrees at the Jagiellonian University and MIT. His research interests are focused on the taxonomy and ecology of agglutinated foraminifera. He has participated in three IODP expeditions, most recently to the North Pole. Mike has supervised 14 PhD students, and has written or edited 20 books and over 160 scientific publications on the subject of Micropalaeontology. He serves on the editorial board of several paleontological journals. At the ISF Course he lectures on the subjects of foraminiferal classification, the taxonomy and ecology of smaller benthic foraminifera, and Neogene to Recent planktonic foraminifera.

Dr. Fabrizio Frontalini - DiSTeVA, Urbino University (Italy)
Fabrizio Frontalini is a researcher in the Department of Earth, Life and Environment Sciences (DiSTeVA) at Urbino University (Italy) where he earned his graduate and postgraduate degrees. His main research activity with more than 30 publications focuses on recent benthic foraminifera as environmental bio-indicators of pollution and as oceanographic, environmental and climatological proxies. He also works on advanced statistical techniques applied to micropaleontology. His principal areas of expertise include: Environmental micropaleontology; Foraminifera of intercontinental basins (the Mediterranean and Marmara seas) and lagoons, Ecology and Paleoecology of benthic foraminifera; Foraminifera as indicators of natural and anthropogenic stress (pollution); Ecotoxicology of foraminifera; Chemical and morphological changes in foraminiferal tests related to environmental pollution. He is an internationally-known specialist in foraminiferal biomonitoring. He organized national and international courses in the field of statistics and foraminifera. He was awarded the “Stanislaw Geroch Memorial Grant” (2008) of Grzybowski Foundation and the “Brian O’Neill Award” (2009), “Maria Umberta Corrado Delmonte Award” (2010) by the Italian Society of Protistologists and the prestigious “Debut in Research Prize Eni Award” (2011). At the ISF Course, he lectures on the ecology and distribution of smaller benthic foraminifera and the application of foraminifera as bioindicators of pollution.

Prof. Laia Alegret - University of Zaragoza (Spain) - Personal Site
Laia Alegret is a Professor of Paleontology (Micropaleontology) at the University of Zaragoza in northern Spain, where she did her undergraduate and postgraduate studies. She was a postdoctoral investigator at University College London before returning to the University of Zaragoza. She has edited two books, and authored six books and 100 journal articles. Laia’s major research efforts have been focused on critical times in Earth’s History, such as the Cretaceous/Paleogene and Paleocene/Eocene boundaries and the Paleogene hyperthermal events. She has supervised 3 PhD students. She is currently the Secretary of the International Subcommission on Paleogene Stratigraphy, member of the Belgian FWO (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek) expert panel on Sciences of the Earth and Space, and an editor of the Journal of Micropalaeontology. At the ISF Course she teaches Upper Cretaceous to Paleogene smaller foraminifera, and faunal change across the critical boundaries.

Dr. Joan M. Bernhard, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Joan Bernhard is a Senior Scientist in WHOI’s Geology & Geophysics Department where she currently holds the Robert W. Morse Chair for Excellence in Oceanography. She began studying foraminifera in graduate school, where she initially studied fossils from organic-rich deposits. She included benthic foraminiferal ecology and physiology studies in her PhD research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. During postdoctoral work with Dr. Sam Bowser at the Wadsworth Center, she began investigating foraminiferal cell biology. She typically conducts laboratory experiments in an effort to determine the impacts of environmental changes on benthic foraminiferal survival, cellular responses and carbonate geochemistry. She is particularly interested in foraminifera inhabiting the oxycline, where oxygen can be absent while significant concentrations of sulfide can exist. She co-edited a book on anoxia and another describing methods to study living foraminifera. Her past studies include extant foraminifera from Antarctica, Bahamian stromatolites, cold seeps, the deep sea, silled basins and fjords. At the ISF course, she will lecture on benthic foraminiferal adaptations to chemocline living, including cell biology and ultrastructure, denitrification, and symbiosis with prokaryotes and sequestered chloroplasts.

Dr. Antonino Briguglio - Universiti Brunei Darussalam (Austria)
Antonino Briguglio is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Petroleum Geology at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam where he teaches Biostratigraphy, Sedimentology and Micropalaeontology. He was a micropalaeontology lecturer for 7 years at the University of Vienna, Austria and collaborated with the Natural History Museum in the same city and the Austrian Geological survey. He did his undergraduate degree at the university La Sapienza in Rome, Italy where he became interest in Eocene Larger Benthic Foraminifera. During his PhD he focused on the hydrodynamic behaviour of nummulitids. His scientific interests cover mainly integrated biostratigraphy (Cenozoic), systematics, ecology and biology of Larger Benthic Foraminifera. During the last three years he focused his scientific attention on the functional morphology of Larger Foraminifera and he is routinely using computed tomography to investigate growth patterns and strategies of recent and fossil forms. At the ISF he teaches part of the systematics and the biostratigraphy of the Cenozoic Larger Foraminifera, their functional morphology and paleoecology.

Dr. Claudia Cetean - Robertson Ltd (UK)
Claudia Cetean is a Stratigrapher at Robertson in Llandudno, Wales. She did her undergraduate and Ph.D. degree at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania and had postdoctoral positions at the Polish Academy of Sciences and at the Natural History Museum, London, where she worked on the taxonomy and paleoecology of deep-water agglutinated foraminifera. At the ISF course she lectures on the subjects of industrial micropaleontology and Cretaceous smaller benthic foraminifera.

Prof. Rodolfo Coccioni, Urbino University (Italy)
Rodolfo Coccioni is a Professor of Paleontology and Paleoecology at the University of Urbino where he teaches the courses in these two disciplines as well as Micropalaeontology Applied to the Environment and Earth Resources. His research activity spans more than three decades and mainly focuses on middle Jurassic through to recent foraminifera, encompassing a wide variety of problems related to the biological, chemical, and climatic evolution of ancient and present oceans. He is the author and co-author of 220 papers (more than 100 as senior author) with 250 Conference presentations. He has been on the editorial staff of the Revue de Micropaléontologie since 2005. He has been a voting member of the International Subcommission on Paleogene Stratigraphy (ISPS) of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) and a member of the Italian Commission on Stratigraphy (CIS) since 2008. At present he works on a variety of national and international, interdisciplinary projects in collaboration with researchers from diverse Italian and foreign Universities and Research Centers. He has been the supervisor of 70 BSc and MSc theses and 6 PhD theses. At the ISF he teaches the foraminiferal response to the Mesozoic Oceanic Anoxic Events.

Danielle Foy - Blue Phoenix Geological Ltd
Danielle Foy is a Wellsite Geologist, with more than 8 years experience in rig site operations. After gaining her degree at the University of Plymouth in 2006 - she opted out of academia and into industrial micropalaeontology, taking a position as a Wellsite Stratigrapher at Robertsons. In the capacity of a well site palaeontologist, she worked on more than 30 wells in the North Sea, as well as performing routine (in office) analysis on more than 50 wells from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Danielle moved into Wellsite Geology in 2012, where she works on a freelance basis and is currently operating out of the Netherlands.

Prof Emmanuelle Geslin, University of Angers (France)
Emmanuelle Geslin is a full-time professor of Micropaleontology at the Laboratory of Actual and Fossil Bioindicators (LPG-BIAF) at the University of Angers. She obtained her PhD degree about benthic foraminifera from coastal environments in 1999. In 2000 she was rewarded with a “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft” 2 years fellowship to work about benthic foraminifera’s ecology at the University of Tübingen under the direction of Professor Christoph Hemleben. She obtained a permanent position of associate-professor at the University of Angers in 2002 and created a laboratory for benthic foraminifera culturing. In collaboration with various international institutions (e.g. Aarhus University (Denmark), EPFL (Switzerland)), she used experimental approaches to study aerobic and anaerobic metabolisms of benthic foraminifera, as well as mixotrophic pathways (kleptoplastidy). She is currently involved in different projects to determine the contribution of benthic foraminifera in biogeochemical cycles particularly in coastal environments. At the ISF course, she will lecture on the biology of foraminifera focusing on metabolism of  benthic foraminifer from coastal environments.

Dr Andrew Gooday, National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton (UK)
Andrew Gooday is a senior scientist working within a deep-sea benthic biology group at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton, UK. He did his undergraduate degree in geology at the University of Exeter followed by an MSc at the University of Wisconsin, returning to Exeter for a PhD on Palaeozoic ostracods. He then joined the UK Institute of Oceanographic Sciences (a precursor to NOC) where he transitioned from fossil to modern ostracods and then to modern deep-sea foraminifera. His main research interests are on the taxonomy and ecology of deep-sea agglutinated foraminifera, particularly the poorly-known, often soft-bodied, ‘primitive’ monothalamids. He has participated in numerous research cruises in different oceans, supervised 11 PhD students, and published over 200 scientific publications, mainly on foraminifera. At the ISF Course he lectures on the taxonomy and ecology of monothalamous foraminifera.

Prof. Felix Gradstein, Natural History Museum of Oslo (Norway)
Prof. Felix M. Gradstein has a long career in micropaleontology and biostratigraphy, both with petroleum industry, the Geological Survey of Canada, Dalhousie University (Halifax, Canada) and Oslo University, Norway. He has supervised/co-supervised over 20 PhD and Master Degree students in stratigraphy and micropaleontology. Gradstein is author or co-author of over 150 scientific publications (including 15 books) in the fields of the standard geologic timescale, quantitative stratigraphic methods, stratigraphy and sedimentology of petroleum basins, plate tectonics and paleoceanography, and deep-water micropaleontology. From 1985 - 1993, he was chairman of IGCP Project 181 on Quantitative Stratigraphy, and its successor in ICS-IUGS. From 2000 – 2008, he was chair of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS); under his leadership ICS became very active and visible. Gradstein has received many scientific awards, including the Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal from the European Geosciences Union for outstanding achievements in the field of Stratigraphy

Prof. Johann Hohenegger, University of Vienna (Austria)
Johann Hohenegger is a retired professor of the Department of Palaeontology at Vienna University, Austria, where he got his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. His main interests with more than 150 publications are focused on population dynamics, taphonomy and carbonate production of larger foraminifera in the present and past, recognition of species in the present and past based on population genetics, morphogenetic programs and their phylogenetic implication in comparison to molecular genetic trees, democoenoclines and morphocoenoclines along environmental gradients and their importance to decipher paleoenvironmental conditions, integrated stratigraphy in the Neogene of the Paratethys (Central Europe) and spatial distributions on a micro- and macroscale. He started his scientific work on Late Palaeozoic to Early Jurassic foraminifera. In 2012 he was awarded the Grzybowski Award for his life work on benthic foraminiferal ecology. At the ISF Course he lectures on the biology of foraminifera, on the biology, functional morphology and distribution of living Larger Benthic Foraminfera and on the stratigraphically important Palaeozoic Larger Foraminifera, the Fusulinids.

Prof. Geraint Wyn Hughes, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (Saudi Arabia)
Geraint Wyn Hughes is an Adjunct Professor at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and honorary associate of the Natural History Museum, London. He earned hisBSc. (Spec. Hons.), MSc, PhD and DSc degrees from the University of Wales in Aberystwyth. He worked for the Solomon Islands Geological Survey and Robertson Research International before joining Saudi Aramco in 1991. While at Saudi Aramco, he taught evening courses at KFUPM. He is Director of Applied Microfacies Limited, a consultancy based in Wales. Wyn’s professional activities are focused on integrating micropaleontology with sedimentology to support exploration activities and assist with reservoir characterization. He is an associate editor for AAPG and the Saudi Journal of Earth Sciences,and lectures at Birmingham University, UK as well as in various consultant companies. He has received numerous awards for his scientific papers and conference presentations. At the ISF course he lectures on the topic of Mesozoic larger foraminifera from carbonate platform environments and their industrial application.

Dr. Sev Kender, British Geological Survey (UK)
Sev Kender is currently a Teaching and Research Fellow in the Department of Geology at the University of Leicester, and an Honorary Researcher at the British Geological Survey. He did his undergraduate degree at Leicester University, and postgraduate MSc and PhD degrees at University College London. He has previously worked as a biostratigrapher for the British Geological Survey and at Chevron in Houston, and as a petroleum geologist at Halliburton. His research is focused on Cenozoic foraminiferal micropalaeontology, stable isotope geochemistry, palaeoceanography and palaeoclimatology. He supervises postgraduate research students, and has authored numerous publications. He currently serves as the Secretary of The Micropalaeontological Society. At the ISF Course he lectures on the subjects of Cenozoic benthic foraminiferal biostratigraphy, palaeontological statistical analysis, palaeoecology and shell geochemistry.

Prof. Michal Kucera (Bremen, Germany)
Michal Kucera currently holds the chair of Micropalaeontology and Paleoceanography at the University of Bremen in Germany. He finished his undergraduate studies at the Charles University in Prague and obtained a PhD in marine geology from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. His research combines studies of biological processes in planktonic foraminifera with the investigation of their fossil record as archive of evolution and climate change. He has published over seventy peer reviewed articles; edited three special issues and served on several editorial boards. As past president of The Micropalaeontological Society, current co-chair of a SCOR Working Group on Modern Planktonic foraminifera and Ocean Change, and member of the steering boards of PAGES and PMIP3, he strives to promote community engagement in research and education on micropalaeontology and its applications. At the ISF Course he lectures on the diversity, biology and ecology of planktonic foraminifera.

Prof. Jeno Nagy Natural History Museum of Oslo (Norway)
Jenö Nagy is professor emeritus at the Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo (Norway). He did his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the same institution. His research career includes: field geology mapping (with Norwegian Polar Research Institute), ammonite stratigraphy, modern foraminiferal ecology, foraminiferal sratigraphy and palaeoecology. He supervised 51 master students. During the last five years, he published 20 research papers and 17 conference abstracts dealing mainly with foraminiferal stratigraphy and palaeoenvironments. He has received three awards for his scientific achievements, and acts as referee for numerous geological journals. At the ISF Course, he lectures on the subject of sequence stratigraphic application of foraminifera.

Prof. Mariano Parente Federico II University of Naples.
Mariano Parente is associate professor of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy in the Department of Earth Sciences, Environment and Resources at the Federico II University of Naples. He received his undergraduate degree in Geological Sciences and his PhD in Sedimentary Geology from the University of Naples. His research interests focus on the micropaleontology (larger foraminifera and calcareous algae), biostratigraphy and sedimentology of Meso-Cenozoic carbonate platforms. During recent years he specialized in integrating biostratigraphy and isotope stratigraphy to increase stratigraphic resolution and chronostratigraphic calibration of Jurassic and Cretaceous shallow-water carbonate sequences. He is also active in researches on the response of ancient carbonate platform ecosystems to extreme palaeoenvironmental perturbations like Oceanic Anoxic Events and episodes of ocean acidification. He has been the main instructor of short courses on Mesozoic Larger Foraminifers and Calcareous Algae for the oil industry. At the ISF Course he lectures on the subjects of Taxonomy, Morphology, Biostratigraphy and Paleoecology of Mesozoic Larger Foraminifera.

Prof. Cesare Andrea Papazzoni, University of Modena e Reggio Emilia (Italy)
Cesare Andrea Papazzoni is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences at Modena and Reggio Emilia University, Italy. He graduated at the Modena University, where he also achieved his PhD in Paleontology. His research interests focuses mainly on Paleogene larger foraminifera (Nummulitids, Discocyclinids, Orbitoclypeids, Alveolinids) as palaeoecological and stratigraphical tools. He also works on vertebrates, mainly marine reptiles from the Cretaceous of Northern Italy. He also studies fossils contained in archaeological materials as tools to determine the provenance of rocks. He served as Secretary Editor of the Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana. At the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia he teaches the course “Applied Micropaleontology” for the Msc degree. At the ISF Course he lectures on Paleogene larger foraminifera classification, paleobiology, paleoecology, and biostratigraphic use.

Prof. Jan Pawlowski, University of Geneva (Switzerland) - Personal Site
Jan Pawlowski is Professor of Biology at the Department of Genetics and Evolution, University of Geneva. He is leading the research group on molecular evolution and ecology of microbial eukaryotes (protists). His scientific interests include evolutionary history of protists, origin of their diversification and their symbiotic interactions. His group is involved in several projects dealing with phylogenomics and metagenetic analysis of marine eukaryotes diversity, using next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. He is particularly interested in genetic diversity of bottom-dwelling organisms in the deep-sea and polar regions, focusing on foraminifera, which constitute one of the major groups of marine meiobenthos, commonly used as bioindicators of marine pollution. Large part of his activities is devoted to DNA barcoding: he coordinates the Protist Working Group of the International Barcode of Life (iBOL), is leading the Swiss Barcode of Life Network and acts as a founding member of the International Scientific Collaboration Committee. Currently, he is working on NGS-based assessment of foraminiferal richness and its applications for biomonitoring and survey of marine environment.

Prof. Maria Rose Petrizzo, Milano University (Italy)
Maria Rose Petrizzo is Researcher and Assistant Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Milano (Italy) where she also held post-doctoral appointments. She had a Research Fellow appointment at the Smithsonian Institution before returning to the University of Milan. Maria Rose participated on ODP Leg 198, and serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Foraminiferal Research since 2005, and of the Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana. She is Secretary of the ISSC (International Subcommission on Stratigraphic Classification) of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS). She is an active member of the Mesozoic Planktonic Foraminifera Working Group. Maria Rose’s current research interests are focused on Cretaceous and Paleogene planktonic foraminifera with emphasis on biotic changes during times of high pCO2 and/or globally warm climates, and on the revision of the Cretaceous planktonic foraminifera taxonomy, biostratigraphy and biozonation for updating the Geological Time Scale and for the definition of the GSSPs. On these subjects she has authored and co-authored over 40 papers and 3 Practical Manuals for post-graduate courses on Paleogene to Recent planktonic foraminifera. Maria Rose has supervised 29 BSc and MSc and 3 PhD students at the University of Milano, where she teaches Micropaleontology and Laboratory. At the ISF Course, she lectures on Mesozoic and Paleogene Planktonic Foraminifera.

Dr. Anna Sabbatini, Marche Polytechnic University (Italy)
Anna Sabbatini is currently a research postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (Di.S.V.A) at the Polytechnic University of Marche where she also achieved her PhD in Ecology and Marine Biology. Her main research concerns the ecology and biodiversity of modern benthic foraminifera and she developed a particular expertise with soft-shelled species (e.g. “allogromiids”), an often neglected but extremely important component of faunal benthic communities. The main part of her PhD work was based on Arctic and Antarctic shallow water faunas but she also worked on samples from bathyal, abyssal and hadal depths in the NE Atlantic, SE Pacific and Southern Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. The sensitivity of foraminifera to environmental conditions has stimulated her interest in their biology as well as taxonomy. Since the middle of last century, foraminifera have been studied extensively by geologists, biostratigraphers and paleontologists in order to provide proxies for use in paleoecological and paleoceanographic reconstructions and climate change models. This has led her to explore linkages between biological studies and the use of foraminifera in interpreting the paleoceanographic record. Later post-doctoral work has been wide ranging, both scientifically and geographically and it included the following components: better comprehension of the biocoenoses including “allogromiids”, experimental ecology of foraminifera, interpretation of paleoenvironnements and evaluation of the geochemical proxies. She won the prestigious Joseph A. Cushman Award for student research, the MarBEF award for taxonomic facilities, a CNR Short Mobility Grant and the “Luigi e Francesca Brusarosco” Award, which facilitates research in environmental sciences by Italian researchers in foreign countries. She collaborates as invited researcher at the Natural History Museum of Paris (MNHN) where she focus her scientific attention on the molecular mechanisms of biomineralization in foraminifera. At the ISF Course, she lectures on the taxonomy, distribution and ecology of monothalamous foraminifera better known as “allogromiids”.

Prof. Rudolf Röttger, University of Kiel (Germany)
Rudolf Röttger has retired from his position as Professor of zoology at Kiel University.

After studying biology, chemistry and geography at the University of Marburg (Lahn) Rudolf qualified as a grammar school teacher. Then, at the Institute of Zoology of the University of Kiel, he started his scientific career as a marine biologist with a doctoral thesis on copepods parasitic on star fishes.

Next, at the Institute for Geology and Palaeontology he began thirty years of research on the biology of the larger benthic foraminifera, using living specimens from laboratory cultures. A Postgraduate Scholarship from the Max Kade Foundation, New York, led him to the University of Hawaii at Manoa where, by making ecological studies in the natural habitat of the foraminifera and by collecting specimens for cultures, he was able to improve his laboratory culture conditions. Rudolf Röttger's qualification for teaching Zoology (habilitation) was supported by a grant from the German Science Foundation. His teaching focused on protozoology and included courses on invertebrates. His research comprised chamber formation, reproduction processes, functional morphology and physiology (the algal symbiosis) of the nummulitid Heterostegina depressa. This work was documented by films produced by the Institute for Scientific Film, Göttingen, Germany. These films will be shown at the School on Foraminifera. Rudolf Röttger was lead editor of the book, "A Course in Protozoology", and has written “A Dictionary of Protozoology”.