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TBFC’s End of the Season Banquet
June 11th Date and venue change
Please click here to read our president's special message for more information.

President's Message

TBFC’s 2015-2016 Season Comes to an End, Almost!

It seems like just yesterday that we were busy making plans to start TBFC’s 2015-2016 season, and just like that, it’s nearly over. We are beginning to wrap things up, but there are still plenty of events left before TBFC takes a much deserved summer hiatus. If you’re new to TBFC you need to know that we shut down for the summer. TBFC’s last regular meeting of the season is May 7th and our end of the season dinner will be held on June 11th. There will be no regular monthly meetings held in June, July, or August. This will be your last edition of the Chronicles for the 2015-2016 TBFC season, so be sure to check the calendar for the remaining TBFC events!

May 7th Meeting
Dr. Ronny Leder
New Techniques for the Classification of Shark Teeth

Dr. Leder is an expert on fossil sharks and is coordinating the interface of the FOSSIL on-line collection gallery with the 25 million natural history specimens in the Cloud (including a few million fossils) hosted by the IDIgBio project. In addition to his interest in digital paleontology, Dr. Leder has extensive experience working with the amateur community.

For almost ten years he was a member of the paleontological staff under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Arnold Müller at the University of Leipzig – one of the most historic and a leading universitiy in Germany. The fieldwork of that team focused on places where marine and brackish sediments covered the middle German landscape during the Eocene-Miocene. His research focused primarily on sharks; however, he also studied broader fish faunas, mollusks and coral reef communities and was the sole member of the team to work with fossil plants. The Eocene-Miocene flora of Germany is pretty well comparable to the extant Florida flora of today (and the past), making Florida an excellent place to study such an ecosystem. He also studied sinkholes, a feature not unknown to paleontologists working in Florida.

In recent years Dr. Leder has focused on developing new techniques for the classification of fossil shark teeth by comparing their morphometric attributes with a dataset of several thousand teeth of their modern descendants. As part of this study, he created a novel automatic morphometric analysis program based on simple 2D images. This automated program greatly reduces subjectivity in the classification process. This program is also able to classify other objects like skulls, bones or shales. It is adaptable to a great spectrum of morphologies. Modifying that analysis tool for other objects and integrating it with myFossil and iDigBio is part of Dr. Leder’s current activities.

Dr. Leder has extensive experience working with Bachelor and Masters students in Geology and Paleontology. Over the past ten years, He has taught a variety of courses in Paleozoology, general Geology and Paleobotany at the Institute of Geophysics and Geology of the University of Leipzig. Furthermore, he takes pride in having created a major exhibition at the Museum der Westlausitz (MWL), Kamenz, one of the leading regional Natural History Museums in Middle Germany where he worked as the Collection Manager and Administrative Scientist in the fields of general paleontology and paleobotany. The exhibition, “A Tropical Paradise Lusatica? – Climate Change in Tertiary Times” transported thousands of visitors to the time of the Miocene, when Germany’s flora and fauna looked just like those in Florida. The exhibition was based on the research he conducted on the Miocene flora of the world famous Wiesa-Thonberg clay deposit and the Tetta-Buchholz clay deposit.

“Some of my most satisfying experiences as a museum scientist have come from helping visitors of all ages grasp difficult concepts through a combination of traditional personal interaction, class activities and group discussion—plus modern tools like interactive 3D projections. I believe that a good scientist should always act as ambassador to the public. I am proud of my public outreach activities to date and very eager to pursue such activities with the FOSSIL Project and iDigBio.” - Dr. Leder

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The date and location have changed! Please read for new information.
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TBFC’s End of the Season Banquet
June 11th Date and venue change, see below!

Don’t let the “banquet” thing impress you too much. It’s just a fancy word for TBFC’s annual end of the season informal dinner and get together (with a scholarship presentation, fossil auction, and some door prizes thrown in for good measure). It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a member of TBFC for ten years or ten minutes, everyone’s invited. The dinner is a great opportunity for fossil friends old and new to get together for a final evening of fun and fossil tales as we wrap up the 2015-2016 season. And there’s always a bunch of great fossils and “paleo” related items in the auction (if you have anything you’d like to donate, just bring it along to the dinner). This is a great event for the entire family and cheap too!

We’ll cater in spaghetti, pizza, wings, salads, dessert and drinks. The cost is just $7 per adult, $4 kids 12 and under, which makes for an inexpensive family outing.

TBFC’s End of the Season Banquet will be held at the:
American Postal Workers Union Hall
4409 West Alva Street
Tampa, FL 33614
at 4PM on June 11th.
This is about a mile from Raymond James Stadium which is a central location for everyone.

RSVP is not required, just show up and pay at the door. But… If you do know in advance that you will be attending, please send me an email to let me know (fossilnerd@msn.com). This will help out a lot with knowing how much food to have on hand when everyone arrives. Don’t miss it! This really, really, is the last event of the season, whew!

Closed for Summer...

As I close this edition of the Tampa Bay Fossil Chronicles, the 2015-2016 season comes to an end for this publication. As I have reported to you many times in the past, it is an honor and a privilege to serve and represent the Tampa Bay Fossil Club and its fine members. I am proud of the work we do each season.

I want to thank the great support staff I have in the Officers, Directors, and the members who volunteer to help TBFC excel to the exceptional level it has in both the public and scientific communities. Without all of you, none of what TBFC accomplishes each season would be possible.

Thanks for the adventure TBFC!

Michael Searle
President 2001- Present