Breakout Sessions

This workshop session will be organized into three main topics. Each participant will choose a workshop session. The objective is to establish a debate and concrete advances in the following sessions. This year, the focus was made to built shared tools that would benefit the microbialites communities. The experience and their approach in the different thematics of all the participants are welcome.

Workshop 1

Creating new microbialites databases: atlases, bibliographies, and beyond
More than a century of microbialite research has produced a staggering quantity of data, including chemical, biological, and geospatial datasets, to name just a few. This session will discuss ongoing and future database initiatives within the microbialite community, and will cover both ancient and modern samples. Actionable goals of the session will primarily focus on 1) identifying facets of microbialite research that require new or updated databases to advance the field, 2) determining the proper collection and organization methods for such datasets, and 3) nominating and/or contacting researchers who are interested in starting the proposed database projects. Related topics will include discussion on previous microbialite databases, current initiatives in fields such as paleontology and biology, and balancing data accessibility with potentially sensitive information. The session will present a unique opportunity to shape the framework of future microbialite research and data collection. animated by Dylan Wilmeth, Emmanuelle Gérard, Elodie Muller

Workshop 2

Building a Microbialite Educational Kit towards a general audience and the youngest
Microbialites are one of the most emblematic examples of the interactions between the biosphere and the geosphere on Earth and fossil stromatolites dated this relationship back to the origin of life near at least 3.5 Ga. The objective of this afternoon is to conceptualize a Microbialite kit that includes various teaching materials (e.g. hand samples, field pictures, thin sections) than can be manipulated by high school students (age 15-18 years) and any educational institution wishing to popularize geoobiology and microbialites. With these materials we seek to raise awareness on the fact that strong interactions between the geosphere (rocks, sediments) and the biosphere (organisms, especially microbes) have shaped our planet Earth and are central to our future. animated by Camille Thomas, Christophe Thomazo

Workshop 3

Exhibiting microbialites
On the occasion of M-FED 2021, the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle offers us the unique opportunity to design the permanent exhibition of microbialites in the Galery of Paleontology and Compared Anatomy. From the selection of the most representative and significant samples to the elaboration of associated labels, explicative texts and posters shown in 7 display cases, the group will take a significant part in popularizing microbialites and their importance in the evolution of earth systems. All illustrations chosen will be drawn by MNHN artists and graphic art students. This workshop is organized in close collaboration with the person in charge of exhibition and is in the continuity of the current project of renovation of this old historical gallery. animated by Marie Béatrice Forel, Pierre Sans-Jofre, Cécile Colin Fromont