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A new genus and species of fossil tubeshoulder fish

A new publication describes the first and the only articulated fossil specimen of tubeshoulder fish of the family Platytroctidae (order Alepocephaliformes). This remarkable fish inhabits deep-water environment and the specimen described has been found in the Menilitic Formation deposits (Oligocene) exposed in the vicinity of Kelč (Moravia). The specimen is housed in the collection of the National Museum in Prague. The fish represents a new genus and species. Its scientific name Vachalia moraviensis honours the outstanding Czech graphic and painter Josef Váchal, who died fifty-one years ago.

Magda Konzalová celebrated her 85th birthday

Our colleague RNDr. Magda Konzalová, CSc. celebrated her 85th birthday on February 16, 2020! She studied Tertiary sediments in boreholes from the Most Basin from palynological point of view. However, she also studied the first Proterozoic biota in cooperation with prof. Z. Pouba. She was working for the Institute of Geology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Department of Paleobiology and Paleoecology from 1969 to 2006. We wish her good health and happiness for the coming years!

35th IAS Meeting of Sedimentology held in Prague for the first time!

The 35th IAS (International Association of Sedimentologists)  annual meeting will be held in the Czech Republic for the first time in the entire IAS history. The Institute of Geology of the CAS participates in the organization. The meeting will be held in June 23–25, 2020 in Vienna House Diplomat Prague hotel.  The total number of participants is expected between 700–1 000 including leading scientists in the field of  sedimentology.  Key themes and special sessions cover different processes leading to the origin of sedimentary rocks. Modern approaches and methods will be discussed which study sedimentary rocks as archives recording environmental changes in geological past, however, with implications for the present. All information is available at the Meeting website.

Potential use of of artificial intelligence and neural networks in geosciences

RNDr. Tomáš Hrstka PhD. was invited as a keynote speaker to the international expert forum EIT Raw Materials Expert Forum of the EU (Expert Forum: Digitalisation in the Raw Materials Sector) to present the possible applications of artificial intelligence and neural networks in geosciences and sustainability. Moreover, he also presented new findings based on the project Strategy AV21 related to the use of automated scanning electron microscopes in the study of individual dust particles and environment monitoring.

Surprising evidence of Ordovician rocks in the oldest part of the Lesser Himalayas

A conclusion on the presence of Ordovician rocks was expressed by the group of Indian geologists co-operating with ichnologist Radek Mikuláš of the Institute of Geology, Czech Academy of Sciences. The Lesser Himalaya mountain belt has been as yet considered to be built from Proterozoic and earliest Palaeozoic (Cambrian) rocks. However, newly collected rich assemblages of trace fossils (i.e., traces after activity of invertebrate organisms) contained in certain portions of the tectonically isolated block of the Nigali Dhar Valley contain trace fossils from the so-called Cruziana rugosa Group, which are considered typically Ordovician in age. They have been reported from epeiric seas of the former Gondwana Supercontinent. The finds, therefore, represent evidence of prolongation of the Ordovician Gondwana sea to the Indian continental tectonic plate.

The European Pince Cone Lepidella and silver

The European Pince Cone Lepidella (Amanita strobiliformis) is a fungus hyperaccumulating silver in sporocarps, with concentrations exceeding even 1,000 mg/kg in dry weight. Despite this fact, it grows in soils with natural Ag concentrations below 1 mg/kg. In the recent paper published in the Science of the Total Environment, the team of the Institute of Geology CAS focused on two populations of A. strobiliformis in Prague in co-operation with researchers from the Nuclear Physics Institute CAS, University of Chemistry and Technology, Institute of Microbiology CAS, and Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem. The distribution of mycelium below sporocarps was investigated by the use of the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Lead isotopic fingerprinting was used to trace the metal transfer from soil to the sporocarps. According to the results, silver is likely accumulated from the 12 cm thick topsoil layer. At the site of Klíčov, a minimum soil volume of 0.006 to 0.079 m3 is required per sporocarp to accumulate the corresponding amount of Ag which represents a minimum area of 0.05 to 0.65 m2.

Research Reports 2018

Annual report on scientific activities of staff of the Institute of Geology – Research Reports 2018 – has been published.

Week of Science and Technology 2019

In mid November, the Institute of Geology participated in the 19th year of the Week of Science and Technology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The all-time highest number of visitors, i.e., 220 guests, attended the traditional tours of selected laboratories within the Open Door Days. Most of them came from primary and secondary schools outside Prague. Those showing active interest received gifts, such as mineral and fossil samples or small souvenirs provided by the Centre for Joint Activities of the Academy of Sciences.
Besides traditional visits, the Institute of Geology participated in an escape game called “Global Natural Disasters” organized by the Centre for Joint Activities of the CAS in cooperation with the Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the CAS. During the week, about 530 people, especially children, joined this game at the Institute of Geology. Some photos from the Week of Science and Technology at the Institute of Geology can be found here.

Filip Scheiner successful in defending Ph.D. thesis

On Friday 27th, Filip Scheiner successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis titled Geochemical markers from foraminiferal tests as a tool for reconstruction of paleoceanological environments: a case study from the Miocene of the Central Paratethys. His supervisor was Katarína Holcová of the Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Faculty of Science, Charles University. Congratulations!

Photogenic Science: Pavel Lisý awarded first prize in “free category”

On October 10, results of the Photogenic Science 2019 contest were announced. Pavel Lisý of the Institute of Geology CAS was awarded the first prize in “free category” with his photograph “Bílá roztahuje svoje sítě – The white spreads out its nets”. The project Photogenic Science was initiated by the collective “Fórum Věda žije!” with the aim to organize a yearly photographic contest for the staff of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The result of the project is a representative calendar with selected photographs and the Photogenic Science exhibition, which will be presented not only in Prague but also at other places in Czech Republic and abroad. The exhibition is accessible in the American Center in Lesser Town of Prague (Tržiště 366/1, Praha 1) by October 29, 2019.

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