At the present time, the SPPC organising committee cannot offer much information regarding the 2020 conference, as it is very much dependent on the organisation of SVPCA 2020 in London. SVPCA is currently planned to take place 16-18th September 2020, and SPPC dates will fit around this. 

Please watch this space for further information from the organisers.

Titles of talks and posters presented over the years at the Symposium on Palaeontological Preparation and Conservation (SPPC)

1992, Bristol:

  • Authigenic minerals within vertebrate fossils from the Wealden, Isle of Wight. Jane Clarke.
  • The conservation of the Sedgwick Museum Quaternary Hippopotamus skeleton. Caroline Buttler.
  • Helping with the jigsaw! How preparators can help conservators. Chris Collins.
  • Rubbers, resins and replicating Baryonyx. Lorraine Cornish.

A review of preparation techniques used in the Geology Conservation Lab at Bristol Museum. David Hill.

  • Preparation, art or science? David Hill.
  • Westlothiana: seeking evidence for the earliest amniote. William Lindsay.
  • Preparation of the A303 ophthalmosaur. Richard Twitchett

1993, Cambridge.

Was there no SPPC?

1994, Le Havre

  • Conservation of a giant Irish Elk skull and antlers for Kendle Museum, an award winning project. Kate Andrew.
  • The Evolution of Wales. Caroline Buttler.
  • Fishes of the Kimmeridge Clay. Steve Etches.
  • Mounting the Rhynchosaurian Stenaulorhynchus or -The Correction of an Anatomical Disaster. Dino Frey and Susanne
  • Preparation for the people. Steve Hutt.
  • Embryonic dinosaurs and their importance. Terry Manning.
  • Objects and Objectives. John Martin
  • Important sites in Western Canada. Richard Twitchett.

1995, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Was there no SPPC?

1996, University College London:

  • Conserving Crinoids - Problems and Solutions. Chris Collins.
  • Giant Wings in Small Halls or so. Alexandra Anders.
  • The Fayum collection at the Natural History Museum: What Conservation Lessons can be Learned? David Gray
  • The Compsognathus Cast. Peter Griffiths
  • Excavating and Preparing Peloneustes - a Recent Pliosaur Discovery from Oxfordshire. Juliet Hay.
  • Its Fragile? Why not Cast it? - Formalose as a Moulding Medium (followed by a practical demonstration). Susanne Henssen.
  • A Wild Goose: Preparation for the After Life. Angela Milner.
  • Bone Diagenesis: The Early Stages. Christina Nielsen-Marsh.
  • Ethanolamine thioglycollate and Pyrite Decay: Does it Work? Adrian Doyle and Cyn Ring.
  • Mounting lchthyosaurs. The Natural History Museum. Glenys Wass

1997, Derby:


  • Collecting problems in the Kimmeridge Clay. Steve Etches.
  • Modelling a damselfly at a scale of 20:1. Michaela Forthuber.
  • Scymnognathus: how a disarranged skeleton can be a 3D model. Susanne
  • Video and talk - the appeal of reproductions. Susanne Henssen
  • Cracking up. William Lindsay.
  • Building a conservation database. Glenys Wass.


  • Tertiary vertebrate fossils from Bavaria, South Germany. Lissy Biber.
  • Simple tests for a new PVA. Adrian Doyle
  • Model of a hatching hornet on a scale of 50:1. Michaela Forthuber.

1998, Bournemouth

  • Sorting fossils from sediments-practical Workshop, and Discussion. Adrian Brokenshire.
  • The Deeping Elephant - excavation and conservation Alan Dawn.
  • Moving an Elephant. Adrian Doyle.
  • Extracting and preparing fossils-practical workshop. Steve Etches.
  • Casting the recently dead. Michaela Forthuber.
  • Rock cutting in the High Andes: a backpacker's generator, lecture and demonstration. Dino Frey.
  • Myth or Monster the Komodo dragon. David Gray.
  • Attempts on Oilshale Preservation. Sabine Gwosdek.
  • Sediment-transfer preparations with different resins in the Permian of Germany. Jutta Hussen.
  • A new small Theropod Dinosaur from the Isle of Wight. Penny Hutt

1999, Edinburgh:

  • CT and MRI of a mouldic fossil. Neil Clark.
  • 16 museums, 1 man and his computer. Paul Davis.
  • Environment and microclimate. Adrian Doyle.
  • Grasping the past. Michaela Forthuber.
  • David Gray.

2000, Portsmouth:


  • Cleaning fossil material with Lasers. Lorraine Cornish.
  • Managing a barrier film 'microclimate enclosure'. Adrian Doyle.
  • Skeleton in the cupboard: using dermestid beetles for cleaning bones. Michaela Forthuber.
  • One solution to producing a replica of a large specimen on display in the Natural History Museum. David Gray.
  • New technology to reveal the past. Sabine Gwosdek.
  • Dinosaur trackways in Oxfordshire. Juliet Hay.
  • Messel pit: Research excavations in a World Heritage Monument. Norbert Micklich.

2001, York:


  • Relative humidity induced physical responses in fossil material. Adrian Doyle.
  • The amateur's perspective. Steve Etches.
  • Workshop: Colouring casts with powder pigments. Michaela Forthuber.
  • Liopleurodon and pyrite; a case study. David Gray.
  • Exhibiting techniques. Steve Hutt.
  • Caught short in the field - emergency field techniques for the unprepared. Jeff Liston.

2002, Cambridge:


  • My beautiful Laudrette - preparation with tensides. Elizabeth Biber.
  • A Virtual Tour of the Brunswick Museum. Michaela Forthuber.
  • The preparation of a new Iguanodon found in Surrey. David Gray.
  • Megafauna support versus adulteration. Nigel Larkin.
  • Preparation down under! Ian Macadie
  • The making of the geology map of Scotland. Vicen Carrio.


  • Reeling in a big Jurassic fish. Jeff Liston and Dave Martill.
  • What lies beneath the CAT scanner digital images? Part II. The application of the technique. Structures likely to be compatible with a new dinosaur embryo discovery. Roberta Montesdeoca.
  • The re-discovery of a lost holotype Stenopterygius acutirostris - its acquisition and conservation history. Sandra Chapman and Adrian Doyle.

2003, Oxford:


  • Conservation of a Jurassic Marine Reptile. Caroline Buttler.
  • Mechanical preparation techniques: a review of modern equipment. Adrian Doyle.
  • Running noses - lifesize reconstruction of Nasobema lyricum. Michaela Forthuber.
  • The preliminary preparation of a Tendaguru brachiosaur. David Gray.
  • Constructing a diorama: The landscape of north Hesse State about 250 million years ago. Susanne Henssen.
  • Building a model of Psittacosaurus on the basis of a beautifully preserved specimen. Bernd Herkner.
  • Conservation of proboscidean tusks. Nigel Larkin.
  • Old glue and old bones, or how the Leeds collection was stuck together. Sarah Finney and Leslie Noè.
  • Virtual fossils: 3D digital reconstructions from serial sections. Derek E G Briggs.


  • Long term preventive conservation of the Shropshire County Museum Service geological collections - the geological elements of the Ludlow Museum resource Centre. Kate Andrew.
  • A review of modern palaeontological preparation equipment.
  • S. Airflow S1 airbrasive machine. Eric Milsom.
  • Deep in Grube Messel. Eric Milsom.
  • Base camp to Summit Team. Eric Milsom.
  • From Dragons to Sparrows: The media and the evolution of the dinosaur image. Luis Rey.
  • Palaeoart exhibition. Bob Nicholls.

2004, Leicester:


  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Palaeontology. Adrian Doyle.
  • Improving consolidant effectiveness: A capillary based method for evaluating and monitoring consolidant concentration. Tim J. Fedak.
  • A new preparation tool - the Split-V. James Fletcher.
  • Curation history and mineralisation of a highly degraded pyrite fossil collection. Emily Hodgkinson.
  • The dismantling and cleaning of the Sedgwick Museums Iguanodon. Sarah Finney and Leslie Noè.


  • The history and preparation of the enigmatic dinosaur Hylaeosaurus armatus BMNH R 3375. Sandra Chapman and David Gray.
  • Mineralisation of highly degraded pyrite fossil collection. Susan Martin

2005, London:

  • The Blaschka Glass Models - The Conservation Issues. Bolton.
  • Cleaning Natural History Material with Lasers. Lorraine Cornish.
  • Preventive Conservation; barrier films, anoxia and fossils. Adrian Doyle.
  • Lifesize Reconstruction of Longisquama insignis. Michaela Forthuber
  • A Life of Grime: Excavating 20th Century Deposits. Nigel Larkin.
  • And here's one I prepared earlier. Moore
  • A Pliosaur Travels: The Transport and Packaging of a Unique Cretaceous Marine Reptile from Northern South America. Leslie Noè.


  • Palaeoart exhibition. Luis Rey.
  • Important plesiosaurs in the National Museum of Ireland (Natural History). Adam Smith.
  • Analysis of spheniscid tarsometatarsus and humerus morphological variability using DAISY automated digital image recognition. Stig Walsh.
  • Finding the Minimum Sample Richness (MSR) for multivariate analyses: implications for palaeoecology. Michael Bedward.
  • A re-description of the postcranial skeleton of the primitive stegosaur Huayangosaurus taibai. Susie Maidment.
  • Palaeoart exhibition. Bob Nicholls.
  • Lured by the rings: growth structures in Leedsichthys. Jeff Liston.
  • Skull evolution in the Rhynchocephalia (Diapsida: Lepidosauria). Jones.
  • Kimmeridge fishes. Steve Etches.

2006, Paris:

  • Finding the Minimum Sample Richness (MSR) for multivariate analyses: implications for palaeoecology. Michael Bedward.

2007, Glasgow:

  • Creating the vertebrate palaeontological displays for the Kelvingrove Museum. John-Paul Sumner.
  • Historical gluemaking, and implications for conservation.
  • The rather naive idea of forming a museum on the Jurassic Coast. Steve Etches.
  • Fake Rock, Real sand: The making of the exhibition ‘Sahara - Living Desert'’. Michaela Forthuber.
  • The virtual and physical preparation of the Collard Plesiosaur. Nigel Larkin.
  • Palaeontological preservation with 21st century documentation: using photogrammetry to produce highly detailed 3D image models.  Neffra Matthews
  • The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Preparation from the Wild West. Cindy Howells.
  • Emergency remedial conservation of homeless mammoth material. Emma Nicholls.

2008, Dublin.


  • A preliminary investigation into the removal and remedial conservation of labels from fossil specimens. Felicity Bolton.
  • Environmental damage to palaeontological specimens. Ana Citores.
  • Blood, sweat and scars for life- the complications of comparative shark material. Emma Nicholls.
  • A Triceratops skull in Birmingham at 50 and 100: discovered 1908, transported 1958. Leslie Noè.
  • The effectiveness of Synocryl 9123s during the acid preparation process. Melissa Schiele.
  • Fossil preparation skills: available information for both ‘amateur’ and pro. Remmert Schouten.
  • The pilot conservation of two Blaschka glass models of micro-organisms. Liesa Stertz.


  • A new suit for the Dublin pliosaur.

2009, Bristol (SVP, SVPCA and SPPC meeting):

Adhesives, choice and reason:

Presentations by Velson Horie, Amy Davidson, Chris Collins, Nigel Larkin, Suzanne Henssen and Dick Mol.

2010, Cambridge:


  • Infacol – if it’s good enough for babies, it’s good enough for ammonites. Christian Baars.
  • The joy of steel: How to master your awkward fossil in the field. Nigel Larkin.
  • Mechanical and chemical preparation methods used on the lower Eocene cementstone concretions from the Mo-Clay of northern Denmark. Frank Osbaeck.


  • Preservation potential of elasmobranchs. Trine Sørensen.

2011, Lyme Regis:


  • Bringing sea dragons back to life: 200 years on from Anning, Conybeare and De La Beche. Mark Evans.
  • Accessing palaeontology in a local museum. Phil Hadland.
  • The UK continental shelf on the move: transferring two major core sample collections. Mike Howe.
  • Resourcing palaeontological collection care in a time of crisis: the legacy of the Earth Science Review 20 years on. Jeff Liston.
  • How long? Preparation of the Weymouth Bay pliosaur. Lu Allington Jones
  • Acid preparation of a pond turtle from the Eocene Mo clay formation of northern Denmark. Frank Osbaeck.
  • Simplifying extraction and cross sectioning of microfossils in unlithified sediment. Martin Abrahamsson
  • The Bristol Dinosaur Project – preparation methods. Pedro Viegas.


  • Building conservation grade support systems for the long-term storage of fossil vertebrates. Mark Graham

2012, Oxford:


  • The Dorset Fossil Code database. Richard Forrest.
  • Virtual palaeontology: an introduction. Russell Garwood


  • Bad Influence - Acetic Acid Preparation of a Pterosaur in Metamorphosed Limestone. Lu Allington Jones.
  • Going to The Other Side– Acid Preparation of Dinosaur Bones from Atherfield Bay. Lu Allington Jones.
  • Mechanical Preparation of Oligocene Fishes. Mark Graham

2013, Edinburgh:


  • Special care for historical collections – The Timor collection at Naturalis Biodiversity centre (the Netherlands). Natasja den Ouden.
  • The use of expansive demolition agents for the extraction of large and delicate dinosaur fossils from the Upper Cretaceous of South-central Pyrenees (Catalonia, Europe). Galobart Lorente.
  • Estimating the volumes and masses of big plaster field jackets. Donald Henderson.
  • Why look at fossils in infra-red? Nigel Larkin.
  • ‘King Long Dan’: Excavation, export and experience. Jeff Liston.
  • The Trento experience: Building life-size models of extinct species and shipping them 1,000 miles to Italy. Bob Nicholls.
  • The new palaeobiology store at National Museums Scotland. Andrew Ross


  • Pros and cons of restoration. Vicen Carrió
  • Storage enhancement of the Palaeontological collection at Facultad de Ciencias (Uruguay): Quaternary vertebrates make the first move. Alejandra Rojas. 

2014, York:


  • Opening up the dipnoan brain: new insights from the cranial endocast of Dipterus valenciennesi. Tom Challands.
  • Challenges encountered during the preparation by acid-resin transfer of fossil fish from Monte Bolca, Italy. Mark Graham.
  • Evolutionary history of antlers in Cervidae (Ruminantia, Artiodactyla, Mammalia). Nicola Heckeberg.
  • GB/3D fossil types online – not only the largest collection of 3D digital fossils, but also of major format, schema and vocabulary conundrums. Mike Howe.
  • Resourcing palaeontological collection care in a time of crisis: The legacy of the Earth Science Review twenty years on. Jeff Liston.
  • Preparation of Ardiolus sp? From the Eocene Mo clay in Denmark: New approaches in acid preparation. Frank Osbaeck.
  • The Upper Jurassic marine reptiles from Spitzbergen: from field conservation to laboratory preparation. Aubrey Roberts.


  • A tale of two Mysticeti. Nigel Larkin
  • Using infrared thermal imaging as a collections management tool. Nigel Larkin.
  • The NHM Kimmeridge Clay Ichthyosaur Collection Project. Sandra Chapman.

2015, Southampton:

  • Fossils, Footprints and fakes. Mark Graham.
  • A brief history of the best collection of fossil fish in the world ‘probably’. Emma Bernard.
  • ‘Breaking bad’ bone beds: processing the Downton Bone Bed. Luke Hauser.
  • Moulding dinosaur tracks on the banks of the St. Mary River in southwestern Alberta. Donald Henderson.
  • Leviathan Rising: A new collections curation initiative from the Star Pit dig. Jeff Liston.
  • Preparation of a uniquely preserved turtle from the early Eocene Mo clay formation of northern Denmark. Frank Osbaeck.

2016, Liverpool:


  • Psycho knives and Withers wedges – Excavating a plesiosaur. Richard Forrest.
  • Moulding, casting and laser scanning of dinosaur trackways from the Late Cretaceous of Southern Alberta, Canada. Donald Henderson.
  • Part seen, part remembered: the preparation, conservation and curatorial challenges of virtually raising Leviathan. Jeff Liston.
  • Preparation of vertebrate fossils from the Miocene clay pit in Gram, Denmark. Frank Osbaeck
  • A documentation mystification. Emma Nicholls.


  • A ton of trouble: cleaning, conserving and mounting a large 300 million year old giant clubmoss plant fossil from north Wales for display. Nigel Larkin & Caroline Buttler.
  • The discovery in a museum collection of the largest known skeleton of Ichthyosaurus in the world and its re-display, including 3D printing missing bones. Nigel Larkin, Dean Lomax, Steven Dey, Luanne Meehitiyia & Laura Porro.
  • Journal of Palaeontological techniques: a free, open access journal exchanging knowledge between technicians, preparators and researchers. Tschopp. 

2017, Birmingham:


  • Project airless: addressing the problem of pyrite oxidation in a large fossil collection. Kieran Miles.
  • Replicating the 1.8m long skull of Pliosaurus carpenteri for display. Nigel Larkin & Steven Dey.
  • The remedial conservation and support jacketing of the neotype of the dinosaur Massospondylus carinatus. Mark Graham
  • Finding and collecting a dinosaur in an open pit mine - the Fort McMurray nodosaur. Donald Henderson.
  • Blood, sweat and vinegar: acetic acid preparation of cetacean fossils yields exceptional results. Tim Ziegler.


  • Recording the uncollectable with low cost low tech: Successful photogrammetry in the field using a mobile phone to create digital 3D models. Nigel Larkin & Steven Dey.

2018, Manchester:

  • The Biddulph Grange geology gallery project: restoring a unique display from 1862 that encapsulates an important stage in the history of the development of geological thinking. Nigel Larkin.
  • From China to Nottingham: the making of Dinosaurs of China. Adam Smith.
  • Using theatre skills in a science exhibition: Dinosaurs of China in Nottingham. Martin Nunn.
  • Challenging preparation of a plesiosaur skeleton from a stressed nodule. Richard Forrest.
  • The air-abrasive technique: re-evaluation of its use in fossil preparation. Mark Graham.
  • Rescuing an early Cretaceous plesiosaur from an active tar sand mine. Donald Henderson.
  • An introduction to ‘The Association for Materials and Methods in Palaeontology’ (AMMP) Meeting. Vicen Carrio.

2019, Isle of Wight:

  • Controlled excsiccation of fossilised remains ion waterlogged marl: Slowly, slowly, dryee squiddie. Lu Allington-Jones
  • Palaeontological preparation facilities in UK universities: The north south divide? Tom Challands.
  • A combination of air abrasion and ultrasonic preparation reveals fine details ahead of scanning electron microscopy in fossil ophiuroids. Mark Graham.
  • Cold climate collection of Cretaceous creatures in Canada. Donald Henderson.
  • 13 years of preparing Danish fossils, a retrospective. Frank Osbaeck.
  • A new technique for sampling plant debris beds from the Early Cretaceous Wealden Group of southern England. Simon Penn.