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Autumn 2022 filed campaign

The sixth field research campaign within the project took place in Split and its surroundings at the end of September 2022. The focus was on the middle Eocene clastic deposits known as the Split-Kaštela clastics, although the Transitional beds were also of great interest to the team. Dunja and Nikolina took care of the organization and were responsible for visiting and sampling outcrops, including the fascinating strata in the CEMEX d.d. quarry, on the Marijan peninsula and along the Kamen-Sutikva megabed. This time Željko (always present in our project, but never in public) and Ivan (student of Dunja) joined the group. Indian summer shows its best side and allows to take samples until 6 am and swim at sunset. As in the fieldwork before, the good mood and team spirit were reinforced by a new “local” member who joined the team for a short period…

BREEMECO project and education

In September, B.Sc. degree diploma and master’s thesis defenses traditionally take place. Several undergraduate and graduate students were involved in the analysis of the collected samples from mineralogical, micropaleontological, biostratigraphical and paleoecological points of view. Under the supervision of Đurđica students Martina Grbešić and Paula Leder interpreted the depositional settings of selected samples from the sections Slani potok (Kostelj) and Baška beach based on the ratio between planktonic and benthic foraminifera, Tamara Kovačić analyzed the mineralogical composition of marls from Slani potok supervised by Nenad, while Mihovil Rakarić interpreted the composition of live and dead foraminifera near the methane spring in the Northern Adriatic (mentored by Vlasta). Renata Lukić graduated with a thesis entitled “Biostratigraphy of the Flysch deposits in the Pazin Basin based on calcareous nannoplankton” supervised by Ines and Vlasta, and partly carried out in Vienna as part of the ERASMUS programme with the help of Stjepan. In addition. Two graduate students in geology (Rahela and Eric) completed their professional internship, which was held for the first time in the Department of Geology, Faculty of Science. They gain knowledge about the application of foraminifera in pollution monitoring by studying samples from the northern Adriatic Sea.

Conference activities, August – September 2022

BREEMECO team members participated in several conferences during the summer of 2022. Đurđica gave a short presentation on the project at the 12th International Conference on Climatic and Biotic Events of the Paleogene (12 CBEP) in Bremen, along with a poster presentation entitled „Biotic resilience of foraminifera on environmental conditions around the Middle Eocene Climate Optimum (MECO): Dinaric Foreland Basin”. Ines went to Avignon, where she gave a presentation on calcareous nannoplankton assemblages from Pazin Basin sediments at the 18th International Nannoplankton Association Meeting (title “Mid-Eocene thermals record in Istrian Paleogene basin (Outer Dinarides, Croatia), Neotethys”). Marija was in Plovdiv to participate in the 22nd Congress of the Carpathian-Balkan Geological Association (CBGA 2022). She presented findings on the intensity of the weathering process during sedimentation of marls after EECO and around MECO (title “Introduction to the bulk rock chemistry of the Eocene hemipelagic/pelagic deposits in the Dinaric foreland basin”).

BREEMECO na skupu IMA 2022 u Lyonu

Rezultati mineraloških istraživanja laporovitih sedimenata prikupljenih u okviru terenskih istraživanja projekta BREEMECO, prezentirani su na međunarodnoj konferenciji IMA 2022 (23rd General Meeting of the International Mineralogical Association), koja se održala u Lyonu (Francuska) od 18.-22. srpnja 2022. godine. Usmeno izlaganje pod naslovom „Mineralogy of Eocene marls of the Eastern Adriatic Coast: a proxy to climatic optima?“ je održao Nenad Tomašić u okviru sekcije  OL02 – Biomineralogy, biogeochemical cycles, environmental mineralogy.

Participation in the IASWS conference in Piran

The International Symposium on the Interactions between Sediments and Water and the International Association for Sediment Water Science (IASWS) organized the 15th Symposium, which was held in Piran, Slovenia, June 13-15, 2022. Over the past fifty years, the northern Adriatic has been the subject of intense collaborative research and dialog among geoscientists, biologists, chemists, and environmental engineers interested in sediment-water interactions. Two studies were presented as posters at the conference by the BREEMECO members ( One poster describes the diversity and abundance of benthic foraminifera at different distances from submarine sulfur springs. This work is the result of a study by Mihovil (in connection with his bachelor’s thesis supervised by Vlasta) and students Rahela and Eric, who chose to do an internship in the Laboratory of Geology and Paleontology to study changes in the benthic community in the northern Adriatic caused by frequent hypoxic episodes. The second work dealt with the composition of benthic foraminifera in relation to the granulometric properties of sediments in intertidal, restricted depositional areas along the northern Adriatic Sea and is a continuation of the studies carried out by Marina, Natali and Kristna as part of their diploma thesis, supervised by IgorF and Vlasta.


The “spring fieldwork campaign 2022” took place in early July on the island of Rab. The hot days and the desert-like environments (especially on the Lopar peninsula) did not prevent the BREEMECO team, this time assisted by PhD student Igor, from searching for good outcrops, making the sedimentary logs and sampling the Middle Eocene carbonates and clastics. Finds such as large echinoids, “carpets of Nummulites tests,” cross-bedded sandstones or isolated geomorphological structures were the reward for the unfavorable working conditions… 

BREEMECO at the EGU2022

One of 12 332 talks at the first-ever fully hybrid conference General Assembly EGU2022 (Vienna & online, 23-27 May) was the BREEMECO talk. In the Open Session in Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Paleontology, the virtual presentation entitled Preservation of Nummulites tests in shallow-water limestones regarding the Middle Eocene Climate Optimum (Dinaric foreland basin, Croatia) was given by the whole team.

BREEMECO at international Symposium of Doctoral Students

In their doctoral research on the Middle Eocene deep-marine deposits from the island of Hvar, Marina and Igor faced problems when they wanted to isolate planktonic foraminifera from the matrix. They have tried different techniques to find out which one is the best (it yields the best-preserved specimens, consumes less time). They also questioned the old doubts about representative fraction size for further analysis, because one fraction is particularly good for observation, and the other can be very taxing on the eyes and confronted them to see how much interpretation of the paleoenvironment depends on it. They both presented their findings in the form of micro-lectures at the 6th Faculty of Science PhD Student Symposium, held April 23-24, 2022. For more details see

Spring 2022

There are some news regarding the BREEMECO project: 1) Igor F. got a position of Assistant Professor at the Department of Geology, Faculty of Science Zagreb; 2) currently two students of Graduate Study of Geology (Rahela and Eric) are doing practice (practice work take places at the Department for the very first time), studying foraminiferal assemblages from the Northern Adriatic sediments; 3) one undergraduate and two graduate thesis are in progress, whereas Katja successfully completed her graduate thesis on the Eocene planktonic foraminifera in February; 4) first papers related to the project have been accepted for publication; 5) Igor P., PhD student is going to attend the Faculty of Science PhD Student Symposium in April; and 6) in a wake of getting the results of geochemical analysis we are preparing presentations of our findings regarding Eocene sediments.

Welcome, Igor, to the BREEMECO team! 

It took almost five months to complete the process of recruiting a PhD. Candidate to join the BREEMECO team. Since December 1, Igor Pejnović, mag. geol. has joined the team as a Research Associate – Assistant at the Faculty of Science, Department of Geology. We wish him good luck! 

Members (as co-authors) of the BREEMECO project participated in the 6th Regional Scientific Meeting on Quaternary Geology – Seas, Lakes and Rivers, held in Ljubljana. Marina Čančar et al. and Ana Hlebec gave two short presentations on the interaction of foraminifera assemblages and depositional conditions from the Northern Adriatic, the topics of their theses.

Fieldwork Pelješac peninsula, autumn 2021

Since Bartonian sediments crop out in southern Dalmatia, we visited Pelješac peninsula and the adjacent area. This time we were accompanied by Nikolina, Dunja’s PhD student. We took samples from Nummulite beds/banks (whose depositional history remains to be clarified) and deep marine marls at several places. It happened that sometimes it was not easy to get to the outcrops, sometimes the outcrops are heavily karstified, sometimes the best outcrops are under the wire mesh of the road protection…On our way, looking for outcrops, “we stumbled upon” places that are the trademark of the peninsula and Ston area and we made a new friend (named him Hans).

After two years, the group WOLF, Working On Larger Foraminifera met in the eco-village of Torri Superiore (Liguria). It was the 11th workshop, perfectly organized by Professor Antonino Briguglio and PhD student Sulia Goeting and sponsored by the Department of Earth, Environment and Life Sciences of the University of Genoa. Those who did not manage to come participated online. A total of fourteen presentations were given, mainly dealing with Nummulites occurrences, their age attribution, depositional conditions and interpretation of Nummulite beds. Fieldwork included visits to MECO outcrops: Capo Mortola, Sealza and Olivetta San Michele. We missed such interactions and we showed in a very lively discussion after each lecture, during the breaks and common meals, but especially during the fieldwork about the identification of the bank-forming Nummulites species, the interpretation of their origin, the depositional history, and the causes of the banks themselves. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Tyrrhenian Sea encountered the gardens of Hanbury GBH.

Fieldwork, July 2021

A break between two summer heat waves served us well for fieldwork near Novi Vinodolski (known as Vinodol Valley). The team was assisted by the PhD student (Marina), the graduate student (Matej) and project associate from GBA – Geologische Bundesanstalt für Österreich (Stjepan). We hope that the collected samples will give answers not only to the biotic response of EECO and MECO in both the platforamal and deep-marine environments, but also, to the problems we raised about the formation of the Nummulitic breccia and Transitional beds we sampled, and the age of the clastic deposits.

One of the 13,643 presentations at the vEGU2021 online conference (19-30 April) addressed the greater frequency of unusual test morphologies of Larger Benthic Foraminifera  (alveolinids, orbitolitids and nummulitids, in particular) found in sediments deposited in the Dinaridic foreland basin between the EECO and MECO. The talk was given as part of the Session SSP1.3 Mass extinction, volcanisms, impacts and extreme environmental changes.

In the framework of the manifestation Day and Night at the Faculty of Science, dedicated to Tokyo Olympics, a presentation entitled A Current Ranking of the Marathon Race of Life on Earth ( posted by the BREEMECO member.

Croatian Geological Society for 2021 are planning a series of lectures on prominent paleontologists from Croatia. Professor Josip Benić was the first paleontologist to be talked about. His scientific work was related to the study of Cretaceous – Paleogene sediments, based on calcareous nannoplankton from the Dinarides. He pioneered the study of coccolithophorids in the region, recognizing their potential in paleoecological studies, especially for the Eocene sediments. His results are very important for the interpretation of the sediments to be studied in the BREEMECO project. Therefore, the BREEMECO project member presented his scientific results, and from 19 March 2021, the presentation is available at the following link

The BREEMECO annual meeting was held virtually on December 15, 2020. The objectives of the meeting were to discuss the activities that we have undertaken in this challenging year 2020 and those that we have to postpone, aware of the uncertainty of planning participation in the conferences and workshops, scientific visits to collaborative institutions abroad for 2021 due to the global health crisis.

The autumn fieldtrip

From 30 September to 3 October 2020 we visited the island of Hvar. The aim was to find, log and sample the Middle to Late Eocene deposits (Foraminiferal limestones and Flysch) along the southern island shore. This field trip will be remembered because of the „modified” outcrops (by natural and human activities) we encountered, extreme weather conditions at the end of the campaign (strong jugo) and last but not least because of the nice company in which we got along.

Understanding the Middle Eocene for understanding the future?

Finally (two months later then we planned), the fieldwork in Istria took place! The objectives were to find and to sample the shallow-marine carbonates and hemipelagic clastic deposits in the area Pićan – Pazin in order to study their sedimentological, petrographic, geochemical, mineralogical, and micro- and nano-paleontological characteristics in relation to two Eocene hyper-thermal events. Search for suitable outcrops, personal observations, sampling was accompanied by intensive (sometimes very vivid) discussion.

Istria, July 2nd – 4th 2020.

Following the easing of the lockdown restrictions, on June 24th 2020 at the Division of Geology and Paleontology, Faculty of Science, the BREEMECO team members met. The purpose of the meeting was to reschedule the scientific program for 2020 due to the cancellation of international meetings and workshops, postponed fieldwork and application for a young researcher (Ph.D. student).

The BREEMECO team at the Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, during February 2020 welcomed two Ph.D. students. Michaela Berensmeier (University of Vienna) stayed two weeks and worked on the identification and taphonomic categorization of foraminiferal species from a shallow-sedimentary core collected in the North Adriatic. Sulia Haji Muhamed Salim (University of Genoa, mentored by team member, prof. A. Briguglio) during her five weeks long stay dealt with the ecological interpretation of benthic foraminiferal assemblages from shelf areas in the South China Sea.

On 14th February 2020, the public presentation of the BREEMECO project took place at the Division of Geology and Paleontology, Faculty of Science, Zagreb. After welcome words, the principal investigator gave an overview of the whole project’s structures and objectives.

On 14th February 2020, the public presentation of the BREEMECO project took place in the Division of Geology and Paleontology, Faculty of Science, Zagreb.
After welcome words, the principal investigator gave an overview of the whole project's structures and objectives.
The kickoff meeting followed this presentation. Almost all project team members participated in the meeting, which encompassed discussion on project tasks, activities, deliverables, and milestones, particularly as planned for the first project year.

The kickoff meeting followed this presentation:

Almost all project team members participated in the meeting, which encompassed discussion on project tasks, activities, deliverables, and milestones, particularly as planned for the first project year.

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