The 175th anniversary of the Maastrichtian Stage – a celebratory conference 


Maastricht, September 8-11, 2024 

Dear colleagues and friends – 

We are pleased to inform you that we shall be organising a celebratory conference to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the introduction of the Maastrichtian, from 8 to 11 September 2024. The venues are the Centre Céramique (Maastricht-Wyck, across the River Maas) and the Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht, the Netherlands. 

The système maestrichtien was first used as a stratigraphical unit in the summer of 1849 by Professor André Hubert Dumont of Liège (Belgium), when mapping the Belgium/Netherlands border area, just south of Maastricht. The present-day stratotype of the Maastrichtian Stage (72.1-66.0 Ma) is below the Lichtenberg farmstead, adjacent the main office building of the former ENCI-HeidelbergCement Group company. The adjoining quarry is now being turned into a nature reserve by Natuurmonumenten. 

In 1999, we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the introduction of the Maastrichtian and had a travelling exhibit on Maastrichtian fauna and flora that was staged in New Jersey, Poland, Romania, Oman and, naturally, at Maastricht. Now, 25 years later, the time is right to have another scientific meeting dedicated to the stratigraphy and palaeontology of this stage. In recent years, a lot of progress been booked, inclusive of the first detailed chemostratigraphical interpretation of Campanian and Maastrichtian rocks in the area, and of numerous papers on animal and plant taxa that had not been recorded previously from the area. 

The 2024 celebratory conference will be co-hosted by Maastricht University (UM – Maastricht Science Programme, MSP), Natuurmonumenten and the Oertijdmuseum (Boxtel), and during the meeting a special issue of the journal Netherlands Journal of Geosciences (Cambridge University Press), covering various aspects of the Maastrichtian stratigraphy and palaeontology, will be presented. 

Key dates

  • Preliminary registration – January 8, 2024 
  • Final registration and abstract deadline – April 1, 2024 
  • Registration desk – September 8 (evening) and 9 (morning), 2024 
  • Start of meeting (opening and talks) – September 9, 2024 
  • Fieldwork – September 11, 2024 



Meeting location

The meeting will be held both at the Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht (registration, icebreaker) and Centre Céramique (Maastricht-Wyck). Both locations are within walking distance from the city centre (and most hotels) and the railway station – they are about 15 minutes’ walk apart. Registration, coffee/tea breaks, oral presentations and poster session will take place at Centre Céramique (souterrain). Further details will be posted on this meeting website in due course.

Preliminary schedule and meeting details

  • Icebreaker reception – September 8, 2024 (evening – venue: Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht, De Bosquetplein 6, phone: 00-31-(0)43-350 5490) 
  • Oral presentations and poster session – September 9 and 10, 2024 (Centre Céramique, Maastricht-Wyck) 
  • Symposium dinner – September 10, 2024 (evening) 
  • Fieldtrip by coach to type Maastrichtian and Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary – September 11, 2024



The icebreaker party is scheduled at the Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht (De Bosquetplein 6) for September 8, 2024, starting at 18.30 and ending at 21.00. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served.


Please note that the schedule below is tentative and subject to change; a detailed programme of talks and posters will be provided once all abstracts are in. 

September 9, 2024 (venue: Centre Céramique) 

  • 8.30 – registration desk open (entire day) 
  • 10.00 – welcome speech and introductory notes 
  • 10.30 – start of oral presentations (for now, no parallel sessions are planned) 
  • 12.30 – lunch break 
  • 14.00 – oral presentations and coffee break 
  • 17.00 – end of day 1 

September 10, 2024 (venue: Centre Céramique) 

  • 9.00 – poster session 
  • 12.00 – lunch break 
  • 13.30 – oral presentations and coffee break 
  • 17.00 – end of day 2 
  • 19.30 – conference dinner 

September 11, 2024 (venue: Centre Céramique) 

  • 10.00 – start of excursion (by coach – assemble at Plein 1992, Centre Céramique; packed lunch and refreshments) 
  • 17.00 – end of meeting 


On September 11, 2024, a coach will take registered participants to the former ENCI quarry, where we shall visit the Gulpen and Maastricht formations, with limited opportunities to sample and collect. Lunch break in the field, to be followed by a visit to the underground galleries with a spectacular Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary section. More details will follow soon.



Oral presentations will be approximately 20 minutes in length (including questions), depending on the number of abstracts submitted; speakers should provide a Power Point file well in advance of their talk. More details will be posted on this conference website soon.


At Centre Céramique space will be available for posters, to be displayed for the duration of the meeting. Posters should not exceed 90 × 120 cm (landscape or portrait). Materials for attaching posters will be available, but please bring personal equipment should you have special requirements. Please also be sure to indicate if you are requesting a poster or an oral presentation when you register; see details below.



The deadline for abstract submission is April 1, 2024. An abstract volume will be compiled and made available to all participants; following the meeting, this will also become accessible as a downloadable PDF. Abstracts should not be longer than four pages (A4 size), including title, author(s), affiliations, main body of text and references. Abstracts should be provided as Microsoft Word format, single spaced, 11 point Times New Roman font, and may include up to two illustrations. Abstracts should be submitted by email to John Jagt (

Registration and payment 

The deadline of final registration is April 1, 2024

: student rate is 200 euro; professionals pay 250 euros.  

The registration fee includes attendance to the meeting, icebreaker reception and conference dinner, plus abstract volume. There will be an additional 50 euros fee for the field trip, to cover coach rental and packed lunch/refreshments.  

Those of you who fill in and submit the pre-registration form will be supplied with detailed information on how to pay for the meeting (bank account etc.)

We look forward to seeing you in Maastricht! 



Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by email:


Please fill in the pre-registration form, before January 8, 2024, if you wish to attend this celebratory meeting.

Travel and accommodations 

Details on flights train and bus/coach services, as well as on hotel accommodation [all participants are expected to take care of their hotel bookings themselves] will follow soon. We are negotiating reduced room rates at one of the hotels.

The 175th anniversary of the Maastrichtian Stage – a celebratory conference

By filling in the form below, you express the wish to attend The 175th anniversary of the Maastrichtian Stage – a celebratory conference at Centre Céramique/Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht, from September 8 to 11, 2024