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metal mine. The focus included the Devonian Bahram and Shishtu Formations, the Carboniferous Sardar Formation and the Permian Jamal Formation in the Howz-e-Dorah area, and the Shishtu and Sardar Formations of Kale Sardar and the Carboniferous and Permian of Shirgesht. All were examined with ample macrofossil collecting and some significant new finds. A small breakaway group spent one half day looking at the Cambrian-Silurian of Dahaneh-e-Kolut, some 40 km N of Tabas. The return journey via the city of Ardakan had numerous cultural stops.
The scientific sessions at the University of Isfahan on December 13th and 14th was attended by 56 delegates from 10 nations with large contingents from Australia and France.Many undergraduate students from the University of Isfahan attended. Considerable interaction with postgraduate students was welcomed, and will lead to further research cooperation. 48 papers and posters were presented on middle Palaeozoic themes; Devonian ones the most numerous. Conodont faunas (14 papers) received the most attention, with brachiopod faunas (9 papers) the most frequently-discussed macrofossil group. Microvertebrate and vertebrate faunas (5 papers) and general middle Palaeozoic sedimentology and stratigraphy (5 papers) were also recurring themes. Other topics were corals, ammonites, palynomorphs, stromatoporoids, trilobites, crinoids, tectonics and diagenesis/metamorphism. The dominance of conodonts and shelly faunas in the program produced some highly useful correlations between middle Palaeozoic platform sequences. In particular there were new insights into the biochronological relationships between conodonts, brachiopods and vertebrate faunas.
Considering the aims of IGCP421, a most gratifying aspect of the scientific program was the volume of papers (21 in total) concerned with the previously poorly- known middle Palaeozoic of Iran. Iran is thought to have occupied a position on the north Gondwanaland margin, and this location is pivotal because of the dearth of modern palaeobiogeographic and taxonomic studies of material between Afghanistan and Turkey. Most of this new data will underpin the project's ambitious biogeographical analysis, and the planned volume will go a long way towards filling a lacuna for the north Gondwana margin. We can be grateful for this in significant measure to the conference organiser, Dr. Mehdi Yazdi of the University of Isfahan who has recruited an enthusiastic band of students to make important new discoveries.
The abstracts volume compiled by Ruth Mawson and others from Macquarie University, contains much new information, as well as a useful bibliography, compiled by Tony Wright (University of Wollongong) listing palaeontologic publications on the Palaeozoic of Iran. The meeting resolved to compile a

Fish papers from the ECOS volume:-



Basden, A. 1998. Early Devonian
microvertebrates from the Tyers-Boola
area of central Victoria, Australia. In G.
BAGNOLI (Ed), ECOS VII Abstracts,
Bologna-Modena, 1998, 11-12, Tipografia
Compositori Bologna.
Blieck, A., Derycke, C., Perri, M.C. &
Spalletta, C. 1998. Devonian - Lower
Carboniferous vertebrate microremains
from the Carnic Alps, northern Italy: a
preliminary report. Op. cit., 18-19. Derycke, C., Herrera, Z., Racheboeuf, P.R. &
Trompotte, R. 1998. Palaeozoic
vertebrate microremains from Mauritania:
first results. Op. cit., 29-31.
Kirchgasser, W. & Vargo, B. 1998. Middle
Devonian conodonts and ichthyoliths in an
Upper Devonian limestone in New York:
implications for correlations around the
Givetian-Frasnian boundary. Op. cit., 52-

Andrew Simpson, Macquarie University

****************************** IGCP 421 - North Gondwana Bioevent\Biogeography Patterns in Relation to Crustal Dynamics - Islamic Republic of Iran, Dec. 5-20 1998

The 4th IGCP 421 meeting was held in the Islamic Republic of Iran under the auspices of the University of Isfahan, IUGS and UNESCO. The organising hosts were Dr Mehdi Yazdi (Univ. Isfahan) and Dr Mohammad Dastanpour (Shahid Bahonar Univ. Kerman). Overseas participation was good, as numerous joint research projects with Iranian geologists are being conducted.Most overseas delegates travelling to the beautiful city of Isfahan were routed via Tehran, and the travel and accommodation arrangements were mostly free of problems, although some delegates carelessly parted from their luggage en route to Isfahan. The meeting consisted of three field trips, scientific sessions and numerous ancillary functions and events. The weather was unseasonably warm, and there were opportunities to see city sights, purchase Persian crafts and wares.
The preconference field trip (Dec. 6- 16) was to the Tabas region, in east central Iran. Palaeozoic sequences of the Shotori Range and the Derenjal Mountains were examined. This region made famous by the pioneering studies of Huckriede et al. (1962) and Ruttner et al. (1968), based on UNESCO- sponsored field work commencing with the formation of the Geological Survey of Iran in 1959. The area is now the focus of more detailed studies. Travel was by coach from Isfahan to Tabas, via Nain and Anarak, with a delightful lunch at the Kalhlak leadmine following a brief stop at a pre-Islamic base