By Cody Hefner
Paleontologists from around the world will descend on Cincinnati this fall for the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP). As the lead on bringing the prestigious meeting to Cincinnati, Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) will host the opening reception on October 18. The meeting will take place from October 18–21.
Following the opening reception at CMC, the SVP meeting will take over the Duke Energy Convention Center where paleontologists, preparators, writers, artists and enthusiasts will convene to share the latest research, attend workshops and go on field trips to view some of the region’s paleontological resources.
Colleagues at the University of Cincinnati are also instrumental in organizing the SVP annual meeting.
“Having 1500 scientists come to Cincinnati from around the world highlights our status as a center of excellence in paleontological research and collection care,” says Glenn Storrs, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Science & Research and Withrow Farny Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at Cincinnati Museum Center. “The meeting caps a nearly 200-year history of paleontological investigation and study here and Cincinnati Museum Center is proud to host this signature event.”
The location for the 2023 SVP annual meeting couldn’t be more perfect, both from an ongoing research and historical perspective. CMC houses one of the largest vertebrate paleontology collections in the country with over 30,000 specimens from a broad range of geographic areas and time periods. The collection has a particular emphasis on Paleozoic and Quaternary fossils from the Ohio Valley tri-state region, in addition to specimens of Jurassic dinosaurs, Mesozoic marine reptiles and Cretaceous/Paleocene microvertebrates. The collection is showcased in CMC’s Dinosaur Hall inside the Museum of Natural History & Science, where six rare dinosaurs are on display, including a 60-foot Galeamopus fully excavated by CMC and the world’s only exhibited Torvosaurus skeleton, a fierce 35-foot carnivore.
CMC also has a robust invertebrate paleontology collection that includes approximately 110,000 specimen lots and is internationally-known for its Ordovician fossil collection. Many of these will be featured in CMC’s newest permanent gallery Ancient Worlds Hiding in Plain Sight, opening in late September and sure to draw plenty of interest from SVP meeting attendees.
Cincinnati sits just miles away from Big Bone Lick, the birthplace of American vertebrate paleontology, where mastodon bones were first discovered in 1739. Big Bone Lick was also the site of the first American paleontological excavation in 1807, led by William Clark of Lewis & Clark fame on the orders of President Thomas Jefferson. The existence of such large bones led to revolutionary theories on extinction, evolution and climate change.
Professor Margaret Lewis, President of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, said, “The year 2023 represents the 83rd annual meeting of the SVP. We’re delighted that the society we will be holding the meeting in a venue that is historically important for American and global vertebrate paleontology and a vibrant center for paleontological research.”
The 2023 SVP meeting logo also has a Cincinnati connection. The logo features the Cretaceous Period dinosaur Daspletosaurus, which can be seen on display in CMC’s Dinosaur Hall. The blue border symbolizes Cincinnati’s location on the banks of the Ohio River and the lower boundary features a silhouette of the city’s skyline, including prominent architectural icons Union Terminal, Music Hall and the Roebling Bridge.
The SVP is the world’s foremost forum on vertebrate paleontology. The society is made up of scientists, students, artists, preparators, advocates, writers and scholars around the globe dedicated to the study, discovery, interpretation and preservation of vertebrate fossils. Visit vertpaleo.org for more information.
The 2023 SVP Annual Meeting Host Committee includes:
- Glenn Storrs, Ph.D., Cincinnati Museum Center
- Joshua Miller, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati
- Jonathan Calede, Ph.D., The Ohio State University at Marion
- Brooke Crowley, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati
- Brenda Hunda, Ph.D., Cincinnati Museum Center
- Takuya Konishi, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati
- Carlos Peredo, Ph.D., Miami University
- Julie Reizner, Northern Kentucky University
- Cameron Schwalbach, Cincinnati Museum Center