Event Detail


The Fossils of Liaoning: A New View of Early Ecosystems

Damien Leloup
Wednesday, 21 May 2014
1/F, Duke of Windsor Building, 15 Hennessy Road, Wanchai (please note that this building is 5 minutes from Admiralty MTR or Pacific Place, next to the HK Police HQ)

The Royal Geographical Society is pleased to welcome Mr Damien Leloup to lecture on "The Fossils of Liaoning: A New View of Early Ecosystems". In 2004, a farmer from Yixian County, Liaoning Province, discovered a stone in the shape of a vertebra. After some 130 million years under ground, a complete specimen of a Jinzhousaurus was soon found, followed by some 20,000 other fossils shedding light on a complete early ecosystem. In light of the importance of the discovery, the Chinese Government, in partnership with overseas experts, built a museum and quarry site where the fossils had been found.

Mr Damien Leloup, a French archaeologist, has been there since 2006 as the General Manager of the park. In this lecture, Mr Leloup discusses the importance of the extraordinary fossil finds, while also reflecting on his experiences as the only non-Chinese head of a major mainland Chinese government project.

The Liaoning Fossil & Geology Park opened its doors in 2008, and now displays one of the world’s finest collections of local and international fossils. More than a museum, the Park runs the only operational fossil quarry in China, where scientists, students and tourists alike can come to look for dinosaurs and other fossils, directly with the researchers. The museum also has a casting workshop, a fossil restoration laboratory and a protected natural park with a lake and over 10,000 trees, thus the first green museum in China. It aims at revolutionising local environmental protection rules. The park is unique in that displays 125 million years old sturgeon fish fossils, only metres away from where sturgeons swim in the park’s lake.

Mr Leloup’s talk discusses his unusual experiences as a foreigner in the tightly Chinese-Government controlled scientific field, as well as all the key dinosaur and other fossils discoveries that have been made over the past eight years in Northern China. He also discusses the different approaches between foreign and local ideas of environmental protection, as well as the future of the museum itself.

Mr Damien Leloup hails from France and was educated at the University of Jussieu, Paris and the University of Lille, with degrees in History of Art, Archeology and Geology. Prior to his role as General Manager of the Liaoning Fossil & Geology Park, leading team of 60 specialists, he worked for the Wyoming Dinosaur Center as a Project Manager, supervising a fossil dig site. He worked previously at the European Space Agency as a Surveyor and Photographer, travelling to remote locations to study and photograph projects linking satellite use with human activities, and for The Harbour Oceanographic Institute, Florida. He is the author of on “Sustainable Development and Endangered Species”, published in 2006.

Members and their guests are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$150 for Members and HK$200 for guests and others.

Royal Geographical Society-Hong Kong
Adventure & Expedition Lecture Series Sponsor


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