Field trips




ME2 and ME3 excursions will leave at 7.30 from Piazza Quattro Novembre, near Central Train Station

(Metro Lines M2 and M3) (see the map below).



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ME1) Survey of the collections of Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano and of Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra “A. Desio” (only through early request).


ME2) Field trip to Arda River Pleistocene marine succession. (Read more)

Organized by: Gaia Crippa, Fabrizio Felletti, Mattia Marini (Università di Milano), Gianluca Raineri (Parco Regionale dello Stirone e del Piacenziano)

This mid-congress excursion will lead you to a Pleistocene marine succession in the wonderful natural landscape of the Arda River in western Emilia, northern Italy. The excursion will be complemented by the visit to the geological and palaeontological museum in the medieval town of Castell’Arquato. Participants will enjoy scientific and historical sites and, of course, very good Italian food.


ME3) Field trip to Grigna Mountains Triassic marine successions. In honour of Maurizio Gaetani. (Read more)

Organized by: Andrea Tintori (Università di Milano), Guido Agostoni (C.M. Vice president), Francesco Mazzeo (Director of Parco Grigna Settentrionale)

This mid-congress excursion will allow you to see the transgressive carbonate succession of the Grigna Mountains. Participants will be able to see the Tetractinella and Piarorhynchella beds of the Northern Grigna Mountain and have spectacular views of the Southern Alps and Lake Como.







With the exception of the field-excursion in the Dolomites, which will start from Milano, for the other pre- and post-congress excursions participants will have to purchase their own flight ticket (transport) to reach the locality where the excursions start (Sicily, UK and Spain). You can book it yourself online from many European airlines or ask for a quote to the travel agency ERAVEL (;


E1) Spain: Palaeozoic and Mesozoic Brachiopods of East Spain. (Read more)

Organized by: Fernando García Joral (Complutense University of Madrid), Enrique Villas (University of Zaragoza), José Francisco Baeza-Carratalá (University of Alicante).

Dates: pre-congress, 4 days (6–9 September 2018)

Field trip highlights: This is a 4-day-excursion to visit several localities in Central-East Spain. We will witness the drift of the Gondwana Mediterranean margin from subpolar to subtropical latitudes along the early Palaeozoic. We can also be able to compare NW-European and Mediterranean Jurassic brachiopod assemblages, and to observe the extinction and recovery of brachiopods across the Early Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event. Besides brachiopods, we will also have the opportunity to visit some places of great historical and heritage value, such as Molina de Aragón, Daroca, Albarracín or Teruel, this last city regarded as the "town of Mudéjar" (Moorish-influenced architecture) a World Heritage Site of the UNESCO.

1st day – Participants will be picked up from Madrid City Centre and airport and driven to Molina de Aragón (Central Iberian Range), to visit a key locality with rich assemblages of  Lower Jurassic brachiopods of the NW-European province.

2nd day – Visit to Ordovician to Devonian outcrops with brachiopods in the Eastern Iberian Chain, changing from orthid-dominated during the Ordovician to spiriferid-strophomenid dominated during early Devonian.

3rd day – Visit to see Lower and Upper Jurassic assemblages of brachiopods close to the village of Albarracín and in the Jiloca Valley.

4th day – Drive to Alicante. Visit to see Lower Jurassic brachiopod assemblages of the Mediterranean Province in the Eastern Subbetic Range. End of field-Trip at afternoon in Alicante, with the possibility to take a bath in the Mediterranean.




Left: Lower Jurassic brachiopod shell bed in the Eastern Subbetic. Right: Mudéjar Tower at Teruel.


E2) Southern Alps (Italy): Upper Permian to Middle Triassic brachiopod beds of the Dolomites. (Read more)

Organized by: Renato Posenato (Università di Ferrara), Maurizio Gaetani and Lucia Angiolini (Università di Milano), Davide Bassi and Michele Morsilli (Università di Ferrara), Massimo Bernardi (Muse, Trento), Simonetta Cirilli, Roberto Rettori and Amalia Spina (Università di Perugia), Maria Cristina Perri (Università di Bologna), Herwig Prinoth (Museum Ladin Castel de Tor, Bolzano).

Dates: post-congress, 4 days (15–18 September 2018)

Field trip highlights: This is a 4-day-excursion to visit some key-sections of the Dolomites recording the last Palaeozoic marine assemblages, including the large sized shells of Comelicania species (Bellerophon Formation), the Lower Triassic disaster taxa survived to the end-Permian mass extinction (Lingulids beds, Werfen Formation). Museum collections with rhynchonelliform brachiopods recording the Middle Triassic recovery of stenotopic marine organisms will be also visited.

1st day – Visit to the MUSE (Museum of Natural History of Trento) and the Geological Museum of the Dolomites (Predazzo), exhibition and discussion on Upper Permian – Middle Triassic brachiopods from the Dolomites.

2nd day – The Tesero and Bulla sections (Bellerophon and Werfen Fm, Changhsingian, Upper Permian – Induan, Lower Triassic): the effects of end-Permian mass extinction on the marine biota (e.g., Orbicoelia and lingulid beds of Werfen Formation).

3rd day – The Sass de Putia succession (Bellerophon Fm, Changhsingian, Upper Permian) representing the very last moment of Palaeozoic life  (e.g., Comelicania and Ombonia beds); visit to the Museum of Castel de Tor (Val Badia).

4th day – Visit to the Similaun Man Mummy (Holocene, Bolzano Museum).




Left: Sass de Putia Mt. The sedimentary succession from the Upper Permian Bellerophon Fm to the Middle Triassic carbonate platform is here exposed. This locality provided rich Changhsingian brachiopod faunas including, among other, Comelicania, Janiceps and Ombonia. Right: Comelicania dalpiazi from the Bellerophon Fm (Changhsingian).


E3) United Kingdom: Palaeozoic brachiopods of England and Wales. (Read more)

Organized by: David Harper (University of Durham), Lucia Angiolini and Giovanna Della Porta (Università di Milano) and Vanessa Banks and Michael Stephenson (British Geological Survey)

Dates: post-congress, 4 days (15–18 September 2018)

Field trip highlights: This is a four-day-excursion to visit some key and historically-important geological sections in England and the Welsh Borderlands. It includes the spectacular Gigantoproductus beds of exceptionally-large brachiopods that colonized the Palaeotethys shores during the Mississippian together with reef brachiopods associated with Carboniferous mud-mounds and the abundant and diverse brachiopod faunas of the classic Upper Ordovician and Silurian successions of the Shropshire region, dominated by orthides and strophomenides, within the Anglo-Welsh province.

1st day –  Departure from London Stansted. Drive to Derbyshire. Panoramic view of the Derbyshire Palaeozoic succession and reef-knoll. Overnight stay in Buxton.

2nd day – Visit to Ricklow, Once-a-Week and Brick quarries, where the inner to middle ramp facies of the Eyam Limestone overlie the mud mounds of the Monsal Dale Limestone and contain spectacular Gigantoproductus assemblages. Overnight stay in Buxton.

3st day – Drive to Shropshire. Visit classic localities within the Upper Ordovician (Caradoc) and the lower Silurian (Llandovery), containing rich brachiopod faunas. Discussion of their historical context in the battle for the ‘middle ground’ between Roderick Murchison (Silurian) and Adam Sedgwick (Cambrian). Overnight stay in Much Wenlock.

4th day – Visit to Soudley Quarry (Caradoc), and The Iron Bridge, near Coalbrookdale, together with quarries in the Wenlock limestone on Benthall Edge (with well-preserved brachiopod faunas) and possibly Ippikins Rock. Departure from Shropshire to London Stansted in the afternoon.




Left: Gigantoproductus bed at Ricklow Quarry. Large specimens occur in dense life and neighbourhood assemblages forming thick (2m) and laterally persistent shell beds (likely over several square km). Right: Gigantoproductus bed occur in picturesque Derbyshire countryside.


E4) Sicily (Italy): Triassic to Pleistocene brachiopod beds of Sicily. (Read more)

Organized by: Carolina D’Arpa (Museo G.G. Gemmellaro), Pietro Di Stefano (Università di Palermo), Antonietta Rosso (Università di Catania), Mauro Agate (Università di Palermo), Carolina Di Patti (Museo G.G. Gemmellaro), Rossana Sanfilippo (Università di Catania), Giovanni Surdi (Museo G.G. Gemmellaro), Agostina Vertino (Università di Milano-Bicocca), Emma Taddei Ruggiero (Università di Napoli)

Dates: post-congress, 4 days (15–18 September 2018)

Field trip highlights: This is a 4-day excursion to visit Lower Jurassic to Pleistocene sections where the most important brachiopod assemblages of Sicily have been collected. These successions crop out along the North-Eastern side of Sicily across different landscapes with beautiful sea views. In addition, this excursion offers the possibility to visit the Gemmellaro brachiopod collection stored in the homonym museum in Palermo; the excursion will end with an exciting ascent of the Mount Etna volcano.

1st day – Visit of Pliocene-Pleistocene succession (Palermo) with shell beds of molluscs and brachiopods. Visit to the G.G. Gemmellaro Museum of Palermo University where the rich Upper Permian to Upper Jurassic brachiopod collections of Gemmellaro are kept.

2nd day – Visit of Monte Kumeta, an example of the complex synsedimentary dynamics with Pliensbachian brachiopod associations. In the afternoon, visit the historic centre of Cefalù.

3rd day – Upper Miocene (upper Tortonian) to Holocene successions of Capo Milazzo (Messina); many of the taxa established by Philippi, Costa and Seguenza (Sphenarina, Terebratula, Terebratulina) were collected in these successions. Visit the La Montagna outcrop near Messina.

4th day – Visit of Mount Etna, one of the largest active volcano in the Mediterranean region and Europe. Visit of Taormina, one of the most important international tourist centre of Sicily, and end of the field trip in Catania.





Left: View of the Gulf of Palermo. Right: Etna volcano.





8th International Brachiopod Congress: "Brachiopod in a changing planet: from the past to the future".