Tuesday 29th September - Thursday 1st October 2020
The Etches Collection: Museum of Jurassic Marine Life Kimmeridge, Dorset



Update due to coronavirus

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the committee took the decision to poll registered delegates to determine a new format for the conference. As a result of the poll, the conference will now take place from the 29th September to the 1st October 2020.

In the event that by the end of July social distancing still looks like it will prevent the conference from taking place at the Etches Collection, the conference will 'go virtual' and take place from 29th – 30th September online. Confirmation of this decision will be made by the 1st of August 2020. The information below is based on a physical conference, but will be amended to a virtual format, if necessary.



Delegates already registered

Due to the unavoidable change of dates, we understand some delegates will sadly be unable to join us in September. Please let us know by the 31st May 2020 if you are unable to attend, and we will process a full refund.


Delegates who wish to register for the September dates

If you would like to attend the conference in September, but are not yet registered, please get in touch with the committee ([email protected]) so we can add you to the waiting list. We will allocate places on a first come first served basis. Due to the slightly unusual circumstances (!) we will not be taking any payment until a final decision about the format of the conference has been made on the 1st August 2020.


The Meeting

This meeting will consist of two days of oral platform presentations, discussions, and posters. This conference is open to all, and we invite professionals, amateurs and enthusiasts in the field of marine reptiles to attend. The primary focus will be on the fossil record, covering both marine reptiles and other organisms which formed part of their ecosystems, however a session will also take place on modern marine reptiles, and we welcome abstracts from researchers studying all aspects of this field.


The presentations will take place on the 29th and 30th September, with an optional conference meal at Springfield Country Hotel and Spa on the evening of the 29th September. An optional field trip will be led to the fossiliferous Kimmeridge Bay area on the 1st October. Two field trips will run on the Thursday, one after another, with a maximum of 30 people on each.


The Venue

The conference will be held at The Etches Collection in Dorset, UK. This incredible museum holds a world class collection of Jurassic marine material, with numerous holotypes and newly discovered marine reptile species, well worth a visit for any marine reptile enthusiast. It also has a comprehensive range of fossil material that represents the wider marine ecosystem of the Jurassic, including many fascinating specimens showing evidence for predation.



For those delegates coming by car, there is free parking at the museum, including parking reserved for the disabled, however space is limited. There is also parking at Kimmeridge Bay, which is a 15 minute walk away. Please be aware that the Smedmore Estate charge a £5 toll to use the car park down at Kimmeridge Bay.


For those delegates coming by public transportation, the conference organisers will put on a minibus to act as a shuttle between the conference venue and Springfield Country Hotel and Spa (approximately a 20 minute walk from the centre of Stoborough Green). The exact logistics are to be confirmed and will depend on how many people require it. The shuttle bus will also serve the main train station in Wareham:


Please note, the shuttle bus will only serve Wareham station at the following times:


29th September morning only (pre-conference)
30th September afternoon only (post-conference)
1st October afternoon and evening (to accommodate the field trip)


If you require the use of the shuttle bus, you will need to ensure you let the organisers know when you register for the conference.



The conference dinner will take place at Springfield Country Hotel and Spa (located in Stoborough) where delegates are invited to stay. Delegates of the Marine Reptile Conference are being offered discounted room rates (between 10% and 30% off depending on the room type and occupancy) for the nights of 29th and 30th September and 1st October 2020 as follows:


Standard Room – Single Occupancy £89.00 – Double £120.00

Superior Room – Single Occupancy £99.00 – Double £140.00

Executive Room – Single Occupancy £119.00 – Double £160.00 

Terms include: Full English breakfast and full use of the Leisure Club & Spa, Ample Free Car Parking and Free Wi-Fi.


The minibus shuttle put on by the conference organisers, for those without their own means of transportation, will run between Springfield Hotel (20 minute walk from the centre of Stoborough Green), and the conference venue (The Etches Collection).



The registration cost will include lunch, as well as teas and coffees on both conference days, to be hosted at The Etches Collection. If the weather is favourable, teas and coffees may be taken on the veranda, so fingers crossed! You have the option of booking the conference dinner, to take place on the evening of the first day, 29th September, at Springfield Hotel in Stoborough, after which there will be a presentation by our keynote speaker. Please let us know about any dietary requirements at the time of registration. Those staying for the fieldtrip will need to make their own catering arrangements for the day.



The conference venue has a maximum capacity of 100 people (to include staff, organisers, and delegates) and at present is sold out. However, due to the change of dates we expect some delegates will no longer be able to attend. Therefore if you would like to be put on the waiting list, please contact the organisers as soon as possible: [email protected].





Regular delegate



Student delegate



Conference dinner (inc drinks)





The first ten students to submit an abstract will receive a £30 discount off the registration cost! Due to the way our payment system works, students are required to register at the normal student rate at the outset, once the abstract has been submitted we will be in touch to organise a refund of the £30.


NB/ Students must be in full or part-time education in May or October 2020 (due to the postponement of the conference the committee recognises that some students will have graduated by the new dates, and similarly some delegates may be beginning courses in autumn 2020. We will therefore honour the student rate for both periods), and a scan of valid student ID will be required to book a student place. This is not held on record by the organisers.



If you are not currently registered for the conference but would like to submit an abstract for the September dates, please get in touch with the committee by email [email protected] to be added to the waiting list (see Bookings). The deadline for abstracts for the September conference is 31st July 2020.


Abstracts for platform presentations and posters should be no more than 250 words, and not include references. In the event the conference goes virtual (following a decision to be made by the committee by the 1st August), help and advice on how to provide presentations for an online conference will be given to all delegates. 


Please note, by submitting an abstract, you are agreeing to abide by the MRC2020 Code of Conduct.


Session Themes

The conference will have several sessions across the two days. Proposed themes for these sessions are outlined below, however we welcome abstracts covering all aspects of marine reptiles, whether they slot into the following themes or not.

    • Recent Discoveries
    • Fieldwork, conservation, and preparation projects
    • The origins of Mesozoic marine reptiles
    • Taxonomy of fossil marine reptiles
    • Faunas of the Kimmeridge Clay
    • Diet, foodwebs, and predation
    • Extant marine reptiles as analogues: The physiology and diets of today’s marine reptiles
    • Fleshing out the bones: Palaeoart (2D and 3D)


The Organisers

Nigel Larkin [email protected]
Emma Nicholls [email protected]
Mark Evans [email protected]
Dean Lomax [email protected]
Richard Forrest [email protected]

General contact email: [email protected]


Cancellation Policy

We are sorry that the change of dates will cause some delegates to be unable to attend, though feel sure you will all appreciate the difficulty of the situation. We ask that any registered delegates no longer able to attend the conference get in touch with the committee by the 31st May 2020, to arrange for a full refund; [email protected]. After this date, our normal Cancellation Poliy will apply:
If after you have registered you find you are no longer able to attend, please let the conference organisers know by email as soon as possible. Cancellations received on or before 22nd August 2020, will be refunded in full. Cancellations received between 23rd August and 22nd September 2020, will have 50% of the registration cost refunded. Cancellations received after 22nd September will not be refunded. This is due to the outgoing costs to third parties that cannot be recouped by the organisers.