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Personal Note on the "2nd International Course on Benthic Foraminifera" at the University of Urbino 20-25 April 2009    

Fabrizio+Luca                    Spiroplectammina spectabilis      Stratigraphy of Monte Conero       Kim+Mike                             Renata+Olga             Bigenerina ? nodosaria

Fabrizios course is an outstanding event in my "foraminiferal career" from the deeper understanding till the feeling to be part of an enthusiastic and caring community. As a result my webpage will undergo a mayor revision regarding taxonomy and more content will be added as the description of species. I am planning to add in the database the criteria "class"+"subclass" as used in the morphogroup-approach by Mikhalevich in order to overcome the outdated Loeblich and Tappan wall-structure-approach.

Michael A. Kaminski gave in his intensive lectures an excellent overview on the recent understanding and applications of foraminifera. Each lecture was accompanied by all slides and which is outstanding by the relevant papers. So it is possibile to undertake a deep study in the next months.

Excursions to nearby outcrops of mayor extinction events as the boundaries of Cenomian/Turonian, K/T, the Paleocene/Eocene (all Contessa) and Eocene/Oligocene (Massignano) were prepared by specific lectures given by Claudia G. Cetean, Luca Giusberti and Simone Galeotti based on their recent research. Prof. Rodolfo Coccioni led the excursion to Massignano and explained its setting.

the course is listening to Rodolfo Coccioni at the Massignano outcrop, Michael Kaminski in front

me leaning on the Cretaceous at Contessa with my hand in the K/T-boundary after picking up rock from lowest Danian hopefully containing Reophax using impact-diamonds to build their test

       Fabrizios concept of lectures till lunch and working on thousands of specimen (quite a few even from Cushman) accompanied by personal advice and literature in the afternoon was brilliant. Though from all over the world all of us 20+ participants could easily socialise. I am in touch now with many participants on different issues. I will receive quite a lot of high-quality images and got so many important hints, literature ... that I don't know, where to start with. OK, the images of the lectotypes from the "Brady Collection" of the Museum of Natural History in London I will do first :).      

Urbino is a cute medieval town and the rainy season didn't prevent us to explore all the gelaterias, bars, restaurants and the special exhibition on medieval, urbino-born painter Raphaello with his brazing colors.

Thank you all for my outstanding week in Urbino and in particular Fabrizio:
Mille grazie per tutto. Michael

Urbino in the fog and rainy season

Did I really take this photo? Maybe in that one minute it stopped raining