INA NEWS UPDATE FROM INA 16, ATHENS, GREECE Summer 2017 From the INA Committee




The best way to get an idea of the Athens conference is probably to visit the INA Facebook page where there are now hundreds of photographs and comments, or take a look at an edited selection of photos here. As these show the conference was enjoyed by nanno specialists from across the globe and was a memorable cultural, social and gastronomic experience, as well as a scientific one. Greece is an amazing country and Maria and her team made sure we enjoyed our visit, not least with excursions to the Corinth canal and Mycenae before the conference and to Santorini after it. If you have never been to Santorini then looking at those photos should persuade you to start planning how to go there.

Presidential Election

Giuliana Villa is our new President. The election organised by Sebastian Meier worked very well with in the end about 80% of the membership voting. Both candidates were very well supported but Giuliana had significantly more votes. We are very grateful to Jason Crux, Sudeep Kanungo and Simonetta Monechi for taking the role of search committee and to Ric Jordan as the alternative candidate.

Choice of venue for INA 17 in 2019

We received two fine propsals for holding our next conference. On the one hand Rich Denne proposed, with the support of many colleagues in Texas, holding the meeting in Dallas-Fort Worth area, with excursions to classic Cretaceous localities. On the other hand Felipe Toledo passionately argued that INA should make its first excursion to the southern hemisphere and come to Santos, a beautiful seaside city near Sao Paolo. As is traditional in these cases both proposers gave presentations in the public business meeting and then we voted. It was a difficult decision and the membership were divided, but after two recounts the vote went, very narrowly, to Santos.

Student Awards

Another INA tradition is to have student presentation awards, with a nice certificate and a useful cash prize. The oral presentations were judged by a committee (excluding anyone supervising eligible students), while for the posters we followed the precedent set in Reston and allowed everyone to vote. The committee had a difficult job since there were numerous commendable student presentations in terms of both style and scientific content so in the end the chose two winners. These were Deborah Tangunan for her fine talk on Indian Ocean palaeoceanography and Charlotte Walker for an exceptional piece of experimental work on calcification in living coccolithophores. For the posters the public vote was also close but the winner was a poster by a pair of masters students - Nele Vollmar and Anne Strack for a nice study on Emiliania huxleyi morphotypes.




As an organisation INA has tended to be more concerned with getting things done - such as organising conferences and workshops and publishing the Journal than with organisational processes, bureaucracy, milestones and mission statements. Indeed we did not have a constitution for the first 25 years of our existence, until Woody Wise introduced one as President in 2002. This constitution was a useful step forward, nonetheless INA business continued to be largely conducted by officers working in isolation, punctuated by brief and busy committee meetings held every couple of years at INA conferences. To try to improve on this we have introduced some changes in our operation as outlined below.

INA Secretary

In most scientific societies the secretary is a key officer, responsible for recording decisions, ensuring that procedure is followed, co-ordinating the actions of the officers of the society, and communication with the membership. Historically INA has not had a secretary with the duties being undertaken on an ad-hoc basis by other officers. To rectify this Jackie Lees was appointed as acting secretary in 2016, after consultation of the INA Council. Proposals to make this a permanent post and to elect Jackie as Secretary were put to the INA Business meeting and agreed (nem con). Hopefully this will also make a clear point of contact for all INA Members.

INA Summer School organiser

A proposal was made that INA should organise a summer school to provide training for students undertaking research on nannofossils and industrial biostratigraphers at early stages of their careers. More specifically it was agreed that this should be hosted by Emanuela Mattioli in Lyon. To endorse this the post of Summer Scholl Organiser was proposed as an INA Committee post and Emanuela was proposed for this post - both proposals were accepted by vote (nem con) at the INA Business meeting.

Officers' reports

Officers' reports have traditionally been given verbally at the INA Business meeting, with a rather sporadic record of publishing them. To improve on this all officers were asked to provide written reports before the Athens meeting, these were reviewed during the committee meeting and corrected copies will be available here shortly. For the future it is intended that reports will be produced and compiled annually, in late summer, issues arising from them will be summarised by the Secretary and President and these will then be discussed the committee - either face to face at a committee meeting during an INA meeting, or via email.


Probably the most important outcome of our review of the reports is that we find that the INA is in a rather better financial position than we had expected. This is both because our expenditure has been lower than we expected and because our income has been higher. Our prime expenditure has been on the JNR and the costs for publishing each part of the JNR have gone down as a result of transfer of publication from the UK to the USA. This is because (1) postage costs from the USA are substantially lower than from the UK. (2) With the aid of Stacia Spaulding we were able to print the journal at significantly lower cost. (3) Jamie Shamrock was able to organise typesetting at lower costs. So, although we have produced significantly more and longer journal parts over the past two years the cost of doing so has been less than we expected when we planned expenditure in 2015. n parallel our income has increased because our membership has increased income has increased. This reflects both the excellent efforts of Sebastian Meier as membership secretary and, we believe, the general success of the Association in providing more journal issues, improved web communications, and memorable meetings and workshops. The result is that the Treasurer, Matt Hampton, was able to propose to the INA Committee that expenditure should increased by at least $5000 per year, whilst also considering worthwhile proposals for use of the capital funds of the Association. We plan to do the following:

A. Increase expenditure on the JNR. It was agreed to (1) Increase colour publication in the journal, especially for light micrograph images. In particular colour publication of type images will be provided whenever requested by authors. (2) Pay for DOI registration. Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are increasingly used to provide stable weblinks to journal articles. To provide these for past and current JNR articles we need to register as a DOI provider at a cost of $300/annum. (3) Allow publication of an increased number of articles in the next 2 years. Through the work of Jamie Shamrock (editor), Rich Howe (reviews editor) and Ric Jordan (guest editor on volume in preparation) a strong publication programme is in hand and it as agreed we could fully fund this.

B. Encourage requests for INA support for local meetings, workshops and sessions at meetings organised by other societies. INA has traditionally spent rather little on meetings but it was agreed that we would be more open to requests and suggestions from INA members for support of meetings, workshops etc. If you are interested in this please do submit a request to the Secretary. Request can be made at any time and there is no specific process but we would expect an outline of the motivation of the meeting, why it is relevant to INA and how the money would be used. Requests can be in the region $200-500.

C. Support an INA Summer School. It was agreed that an INA summer school would be very worthwhile - see below. It was agreed to provide ca. $2000 support for this, primarily to subsidise registration fees for students who do not have access to training funds.

D. Support the Katharina von Salis fellowships of the INA Foundation. The INA Foundation has initiated a fellowship scheme for students and made a first award of $2500 in 2017. It was agreed that support for this scheme should also come from regular INA funds, and that, subject to review of finances, we would support one additional award per year.


For some time there have been suggestions that a summer school should be organised to provide training, along similar lines to the Urbino summer Schools in Palaeoceanography and in Foraminiferal Taxonomy, or the Advanced Phytoplankton Courses. The INA Committee agreed that this was an excellent idea, strongly supported by the incoming President, and agreed specifically to support Emanuela Mattioli in establishing a summer school to be held in Lyon. This is an ideal venue since an adequate supply of high quality light microscopes are available here along with other training facilities. Moreover, as we found during INA12 and the Jurassic workshop in 2016, Lyon is a beautiful city, a very accessible one, accommodation is affordable and their are excellent fieldwork opportunities in nearby Vocontian Trough.

Plans are at any early stage of development but the concept is that this would be a one week course with about 12-15 places primarily for research students and early stage industrial biostratigraphers. There will be a registration fee for the course to cover the costs of organising it and the expenses of the participating lecturers. We will, however, endeavour to keep the costs in the order of $500-750 and to provide some INA subsidy for participants who do not have access to training funds. A central focus of the course will be nannofossil taxonomy and biostratigraphy although other aspects will be covered and courses may have different focuses in subsequent years. We also hope that we can use the course to produce training materials and sample sets for use in similar courses outside Europe, and in particular we hope to be able to support Kyoko Hagino to run a course in Kochi, Japan.

CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW - clarification of roles of INA Council and INA Committee

As noted previously INA has tended to be a pragmatic organisation and we have regularly introduced new officers to achieve specific objectives. There is a longish and variable list of INA officers, as documented on the website and in the inside cover of the JNR. This set of officers forms the INA Committee and by common consent INA Presidents have often invited other active INA members to join committee meetings and email discussions on an ad hoc basis. This is a flexible system which normally allows us to work reasonably smoothly by informal consensus.

To balance this the INA Constitution provides some guidelines and principles under which we should work. It is a documented set of rules and safeguards which can be used in the event of difficult or controversial decisions needing to be taken. It also provides documentation of our legitimacy as needed, for example, to obtain tax-free status (we are a registered foundation within the USA) or open bank accounts. Fundamental to this is that there is defined set of people who have legal responsibility for the Association and its assets. Under US foundation law these would be the "Board of Directors" and under UK charity law they would be the "Trustees". We have traditionally used the term INA Council and this term is defined in our constitution.

We proposed to the INA Business Meeting that the constitution should be revised to allow clear and stable definition of the INA council and after some useful debate this was agreed subject to detailed drafting being approved by the INA Council. We will provide full details on this shortly.