Advanced course on foraminiferal biostratigraphy

International School on Foraminifera 10th – 19th June, 2024


Advanced course on foraminiferal biostratigraphy

The 15th Edition of the International School on Foraminifera – “Advanced course on foraminiferal biostratigraphy” is designed as an advanced and specific training on foraminiferal biostratigraphy and to provide an overview of the taxonomy, and geological history of benthic and planktonic foraminifera. This intensive course is intended for students and academic/industrial staff interested in biostratigraphy using foraminifera. The aim is to provide an in-depth knowledge on the study of foraminiferal evolution, distribution and biostratigraphy. We review the current classification schemes of the foraminifera and review their usefulness for practical biostratigraphical and paleoecological applications. We will use case studies from petroleum basins and ODP sites to investigate the geological history of the group with practical sessions. The entire course consists of approximately 40 hours of lectures and 40 hours of practical work.

Teaching Format:

The course consists of lectures and practical classes covering the taxonomy, stratigraphical distribution and biostratigraphy of foraminifera. Microscope lab sessions provide the opportunity for participants to learn the foraminiferal genera and species and view Jurassic to Neogene foraminiferal assemblages from Petroleum Exploration areas and ODP sites. At the end of each lecture session, different tasks will be assigned to participants to reinforce the knowledge learned. Course materials include the pdf lectures and numerous pdf reprints of classic papers.

  • 9 June - Icebreaker Party

    Day 1 (10 June) - Kaminski, Cetean, Waskowska, Briguglio

    • Welcoming speech and course presentation
    • Milestones in Foraminiferal Biostratigraphy and Geochronology – Grzybowski, Cushman, and correlations to the Geological Timescale.
    • Sample Preparation Techniques.
    • Introduction to Tethyan and Boreal biozonations using smaller benthic foraminifera
    • Lab Task: Carpathian/North Sea/Norwegian Sea index taxa
    • Material: Industrial Micropaleontology: North Sea smaller benthic Foraminifera

    Day 2 (11 June) - Kaminski, Cetean, Waskowska

    • Biostratigraphy and Paleoecology of benthic foraminifera
    • The ODP record, Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary, Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, Eocene hyperthermals and late Eocene
    • Lab: A review of late Cretaceous to Paleogene faunas and index taxa
    • Cenozoic Paleoceanographic events and SBF
    • Neogene of West Africa, and Gulf of Mexico:
    • Lab: The Paleogene record; North Sea, Trinidad, offshore Angola, Gubbio
    • A review of Jurassic to late Cretaceous faunas. Wellsite Micropaleontology.

    Day 3 (12 June) - Hughes

    • Early Carboniferous foraminifera and their use for paleoenvironmental interpretation
    • Late Permian foraminifera of the Middle East and their biosteering application
    • Lab and Task 1: Foraminiferal identification using thin sections (paleoenvironment study)
    • Triassic micropalaeontology of her Middle East: age application
    • Lab and Task 2: Triassic foraminiferal identification using photomicrographs (age determination)

    Day 4 (13 June) - Hughes

    • Jurassic foraminifera of the Middle East: age, paleoenvironment and implications for cycle definition
    • Lab & Task 3: Jurassic foraminiferal identification using thin sections (age determination)
    • Jurassic foraminifera of the Middle East (Oxfordian): age and paleoenvironment
    • Lab & Task 4: Jurassic (Oxfordian) foraminiferal identification using photomicrographs: paleoenvironment exercise
    • Late Jurassic hypersalinity events: foraminiferal & associated microfaunal/floral responses
    • Lab & Task 5: Jurassic hypersaline foraminiferal identification using photomicrographs: paleoenvironment study
    • Cretaceous foraminifera of the Middle East: age, paleoenvironment and implications for cycle definition
    • Lab & Task 6: Cretaceous (Aptian) foraminiferal identification using photomicrographs: age and paleoenvironment exercise
    • Neogene foraminiferal applications in the Red Sea hypersaline-associated succession

    Day 5 (14 June) - Papazzoni & Briguglio

    • Most important groups of LBF in the Phanerozoic
    • Shallow water K/T boundary and Palaeocene LBF associations

    Day 6 (15 June) - Papazzoni & Briguglio

    • The Eocene biodiversity (I): Nummulitids
    • The Eocene biodiversity (II): Orthophragminids
    • The Eocene biodiversity (III): Alveolinids
    • Lab: Nummulitids, Orthophragminids, Alveolinids
    • LBF biostratigraphy, Oppelzones and applications
    • Oligo-Miocene LBF associations
    • Lab 1: Lepidocyclinids and Miogypsinids

    Day 7 (16 June) - Petrizzo

    • Mesozoic Planktonic Foraminifera
    • Biostratigraphy
    • Notes on Paleoceanography
    • Lab 1: Upper Jurassic to Maastrichtian index species
    • Task 1: Morphology of Cretaceous PF
    • Task 2: Identification of biozones

    Day 8 (17 June) Petrizzo

    • Paleogene Planktonic Foraminifera
    • Biostratigraphy
    • Notes on Paleoceanography
    • Lab 1: Paleogene index species
    • Task 1: Morphology of Paleogene PF
    • Task 2: Identification of biozones

    Day 9 (18 June) Kaminski

    • Neogene Planktonic Foraminifera
    • Miocene and Pliocene Planktonic Foraminifera
    • Pleistocene Planktonic Foraminifera
    • Biochronology and Zonal schemes
    • Biochronology and Zonal schemes
    • Lab 1: Miocene index species - Pliocene–Pleistocene index species
    • Task 1: Identification of biozones
    • Task 2: Identification of glacial and interglacial assemblages
    • Course Dinner, Graduation ceremony

    Day 10 (19 June) - Paul Britton

    • Biostratigraphic software: StrataBugs
    • Industry Applications of Micropaleontology

    Optional: Day 11 (20 June) Optional trip to Wieliczka Salt Mine or to the Jagiellonian University to view the Grzybowski Collection.

Min number of participants: 12

Final deadline May 1st, 2024

Registration fees

Early registration (registration and payment before February 28th, 2024)

  • PhD/MSc Students: Euro 650
  • Academic/Industrial staff: Euro 950

Late registration (registration and payment after February 28th, 2024)

  • PhD/MSc Students: Euro 800
  • Academic/Industrial staff: Euro 1100

The fee includes:

  • lectures 10-day course
  • lecture notes, handouts, PowerPoint, pdf of reprints
  • icebreaker party
  • refreshments
  • social dinner

Correspondence and Information:



  • Prof. Michael A. Kaminski, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (Saudi Arabia)
  • Prof. Anna Waskowska (Poland)
  • Prof. Antonino Briguglio, University of Genova (Italy)
  • Dr. Claudia Cetean, Robertson Ltd (UK)
  • Prof. Geraint Wyn Hughes, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (Saudi Arabia)
  • Prof. Cesare Andrea Papazzoni, University of Modena e Reggio Emilia (Italy)
  • Prof. Maria Rose Petrizzo, Milano University (Italy)
  • Prof. Paul D. Britton, StrataData Ltd (UK)

Scientific Directors & Coordinators

  • Prof. Michael A. Kaminski, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (Saudi Arabia)
  • Prof. Fabrizio Frontalini, University of Urbino (Italy)


The course is primarily intended for young researchers at the PhD or MSc stages of their careers and industrial staff working with Foraminifera, Micropaleontology, Paleoceanography, Paleoecology. Applicants will primarily be selected on the basis of the relevance of the course for their current work. Because the course is oversubscribed, places on the course are reserved in the order of payments received. Please register early in order to reserve your place.


The course will be held in Kraków at the offices of Micropress Europe, a short walk from the old town.


Participants will need to book accommodation at local hostels or hotels. Kraków offers a wide variety of accommodation within walking distance.


The registration fees do not include insurance of any kind. Participants are advised to take out appropriate insurance, including cover for travel, accommodation, medical assistance and personal possessions.

The second circular with detailed information about the course are scheduled to be distributed in early March 2024 and will be sent to people who replied to the first circular.