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The 9th International Conference on Modern and Fossil Dinoflagellates held at Liverpool, United Kingdom, from August 28th to September 2nd 2011 brought a distinguished body of international scientists working with dinoflagellates on a very wide range of topics and challenged our views. The small size of the conference enabled each participant to partake of all talks and therefore to have a more complete experience. The focus on dinoflagellates permitted a greater depth of discussion that is not possible in larger meetings. It was the opportunity to meet the scientific community one usually encounters as well as others. Scientists opened our minds to what research remains to be done in respect of dinoflagellates and inspired us to develop our own ideas.

The opening of the meeting was given by Jane Lewis who emphasized the foundation of the conference series which is to unify both biologists and micropalaeontologists and to establish a climate of exchange. It was an opportunity to hear about topics such as climate change, ecology, palaeoecology, life cycles, dinoflagellate diversity, stratigraphy, and evolution. The keynote talks were occasions to review these topics in depth. All the presentations were of quality and many of them generated interests. The life cycle of Polykrikos kofoidii and parasitic dinoflagellates presented by Urban Tillmann and David Montagnes, respectively, were the occasion to appreciate the complexity of the life history of dinoflagellates. The Protoperidiniaceae is an ecologically important group that is relevant to both biologists and micropalaeontologists.

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