Nannotax - forum

So, the idea here is that we can use the commenting tools to discuss anything about the site or coccolithophores. If discussions get long we can split the page into different topics. If no-one says anything we may quietly remove the page.

However, we will read every comment posted here so feel free to use this for:

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If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will find a heading "Add Comment" and a form to fill in. To reply to a comment click the curvedarrow symbol below and to the right of it. The same layout is there on every taxon page. For a bit more advice you can see the guidelines.

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Alejandro Machado (STRI-CPTA, Panama)
Research Interests High resolution biostratigraphy with emphasis in foraminifera and calcareous nannoplankton. Use of calcareous microfossils as indicators of paleoclimatic, paleogeographic and paleoecological changes, during the Cretaceous to Neogene period. Current Research My research is focused in the study of foraminifera and calcareous nannoplaknton of the Neotropic region. At the present time, I am studying samples of the Cretaceous-Neogene interval from Panama and Colombia with the application of high resolution biostratigraphic methods.
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Mike Styzen (Noble Energy, US)
I've been working as a Biostratigrapher for over 30 years now. I've publishes a stratigraphic scheme for the late Cenozoic of the Gulf of Mexico which not only summarized my work but also generations of those who came before me. The conclusion I've drawn from all I've seen is that any system in this field is always a work in progress. The biggest folly one can make is thinking that one knows everything about the system. Reworking is just one problem. Depending on the case, there are numerous ways to tell if the assemblage you are seeing is likely to be reworked or in place. In the case you cite a big red flag is that you are looking at a sandstone. A process that has enough energy to emplace sand, even very fine sand, makes it unlikely that clay sized particles such as coccoliths are being extemporaneously. Even in fine sediments the possibility exists for similar age reworking. In every case one must use all the tools to make the best interpretation (don't just look at the nannos look at the other fossils too). Even then you must be prepared to be proved wrong by later observations. Reworking is a relatively easy nut to crack. When I started with the Gulf Coast equivalency project (back in the 90s) I started talking to numerous other workers who concentrated on the same section as I did. What amazed me was that each of us had observed things that all the others did not even suspect. This is not casual observers I'm talking about here. This is professionals, who spend all day every day looking down the scope and making recommendations on what they see. When these things were pointed out, these things, different taxa, overturn of dominance; minor changes with big implications, all became just obvious. It was like scales dropped from my eyes. With each new participant in the discussion, new observations were added, it never stopped, never even slowed down. I'm hoping that Nannotax can eventually produce a similar sharing of knowledge. Well, that's entirely too long?
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Enis Kemal Sagular (Suleyman Demirel University, Turkey)
Thank you for hearing my voice and commenting on the subject. I have been also working as a nanno-stratigrapher and a researcher on sedimentological means of nannofossil records in clastics since 1985. I have puzzled how could I make a generic distinction between nannofossil records in clastic rocks. I know that all the stratigraphic ranges of nannoplankton species and bioevents were truly defined in open sea and deep marine sediments. However, the most of the nannofossil researchers were used similar determination methods in marginal sea and shallow marine sediments without looking at the reworked material in investigated rock samples. Because these samples were conventionally prepared and examined by using smear-slides or SEM. Unfortunately, I calculate that the other fossil groups are not reliable for stratigraphical and sedimentological interpretations as well as nannofossils in marine clastics or extraclast-bearing sediments. It has been amazed for me to see that many definition were misleading on depositional ages of the various marine successions, without making a discrimination between synsedimentary and reworked nannofossil data (since to make a differantiation between them was not possible by only using smear-slide or SEM investigations). I am using now a new experimental method with thin sections under the polarizing microscope (with inter-related imagery under different magnifications).
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J Kell (Lincoln Nebraska, US)
Zonations schemes: I have recently joined this site and have just begun to browse around. The first I have noticed though is the use of the NN/NP zonation by Martini. It is my understanding that this is the favored system in Europe, but wondered if you might consider including the CN/CP of Okada and Bukry as well?
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Jeremy Young (UCL, UK)
In the medium term I do still aim to convert things so that ages are quoted in more than one way. For now though we will stay with NP/NN zones because that is the system we know.
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Jeremy Young (NHM, UK)
It is really encouraging that there is so much support for developing the nannotax system in general and specifically for producing Late Cretaceous coverage. The feedback I have had indicates that the current site is well-used by industrial micropalaeontologists, research students and undergraduate students and I really hope we can develop it as a prime online source of data on nannofossil taxonomy.
Wish list
1. Taxon lists Desire to have complete searchable species lists and information on all species but with authoritative information concerning validity, synonymy, useage. For example, see approach in Dinoflaj ? valid taxa in bold, synonyms, previous combinations in quotes or similar. Flag junk! - the dinflaj site is very impressive but it has been produced from the Fensome and Wiliams (2004) catalog which actually is a better synthesis of dinoflagellate taxonomy than we have for nannos. We can learn a lot from the dinoflaj system but we are not in a position to easily impement something similar.
2. Any chance of \similar species"images being opened at the same time to enable comparison, cf. nannoware? - this is not easy to add in like that automatically but a good addition to the wish list for the site. What can be done easily, as I have done to some extent for the Neogene in nannotax is to add tables comparing species to the genus pages. It would also be entirely possible to add discussion and images of similar species in species pages.
3. Quicker, easier navigation? - clearly we need to do this. The automatically generated taxonomy tree and the search box do work but they are a bit clunky. For the Neogene I have added a hand-crafted menu and multiple links in the higher taxonomy pages, which provide faster alternative navigation methods but it would certainly be useful to add fast navigation methods independent of any taxonomic knowledge - and the more content we have the more worthwhile this will be.
4. Boolean search capability, i.e. searches on multiple terms, e.g. Miocene  discoaster datums - this is at the top of my wishlist for site development (as opposed to site expansion). I want to enable searching of the database by a combination of taxonomic group and geological age. It will require some programing effort but I am trying to get the funding to implement this.
Final comment - I am sorry there are no instant solutions to any of these requests, but as we increase the content in the site then it will become ever more worthwhile to improve the functionality. In the interim a google search on the vast majority of Cenozoic nannofossil taxa will give a nannotax link on the first page, so we are not doing too badly.

[This comment was in reply to suggestions from a workshop. Not everything has been done yet but the site is vastly mproved from the state it was in then - JRY  March 2013]"""
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Shirley van Heck (Shell International, US)
Jeremy, I know of no electronic index. The only thing that worries me about the catalogue is the copy-rights of the original authors. The contract says that this is covered, but I'm not convinced that these rights can be transferred.... Does anyone have connections with a publisher who could tell us? Or do we just go ahead and if anyone complains refer back to this contract to show that we acted in good faith? cheers, Shirley
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Mike Styzen (Noble Energy, US)
Richard Howe assures me that he is getting very close to finishing the editing of the photos. When they are ready they will also be available on Nannotax.
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J Kell (Lincoln Nebraska, US)
I was reading on the INA site that the catalog was also going to be put into a CD format. I was ondering if that has been done? If so, can you please tell me where I can find it. Thanks!
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Jeremy Young (NHM, UK)

I have now put quite a bit of content up on the site and so will be announcing its existence - please do use the forum to give some feedback - any comments will be welcome.

Jeremy?

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