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From Naples 1963 to Rome 2013 - A brief review of how the International Research Group on Ostracoda (IRGO) developed as a social communication system
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
The 1st International Symposium on Ostracoda (ISO) was held in Naples (1963). The philosophy behind this symposium and the logical outcome of what is now known as the International Research Group on Ostracoda (IRGO) is here reviewed, namely ostracodology over the last 50 years is sociologically analysed. Three different and important historic moments for the scientific achievements of this domain are recognised. The first one, between about 1963-1983, is related to applied research for the oil industry as well as to the great interest in the better description of the marine environment by both zoologists and palaeontologists. Another important aspect during this period was the work by researchers dealing with Palaeozoic ostracods, who had their own discussion group, IRGPO. Gradually, the merger of this latter group with those dealing with post-Palaeozoic ostracods at various meetings improved communication between the two groups of specialists. A second period was approximately delineated between 1983 and 2003. During this time-slice, more emphasis was addressed to environmental research with topics such as the study of global events and long-term climate change. Ostracodologists profited also from the research "politics" within national and international programmes. Large international research teams emerged using new research methods. During the third period (2003-2013), communication and collaborative research reached a global dimension. Amongst the topics of research we cite the reconstruction of palaeoclimate using transfer functions, the building of large datasets of ostracod distributions for regional and intercontinental studies, and the implementation of actions that should lead to taxonomic harmonisation. Projects within which molecular biological techniques are routinely used, combined with sophisticated morphological information, expanded now in their importance. The documentation of the ostracod description improved through new techniques to visualise morphological details, which stimulated also communication between ostracodologists. Efforts of making available ostracod information through newsletters and electronic media are evoked.
Ostracodology-developments, Ostracodologists scientific-community, Sociologic analysis
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