This volume arises from the NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) on 'North African Cretaceous rudist and coral formations and their contributions to carbonate platform development, which was held in Tunisia, on 13-18 May, 2002. It was convened by M. El Hedi Negra (Universite 7 Novembre de Carthage, now Universite de Tunis El Manar, Tunisia) and Eulalia Gili (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain). The aims of the ARW were: (1) to review and critically assess currently available data on rudist/coral formations in North African Cretaceous carbonate platforms, and their correlations, and to integrate these data with other studies around the Mediterranean; (2) to place the findings in a global context, noting both similarities with other regions of platform development as well as local differences, and (3) exploring possible reasons for these; and to help promote the creation of a vibrant peri-Mediterranean collaborative research community, embracing researchers from the entire region, to carry forward this ambitious research programme. Twenty-two presentations (oral and poster) provided both topical reviews (covering rudist evolution, and ecology, mineralogical changes, applications of strontium isotope, and graphic correlation methods, and platform typology) as well as regional syntheses (Tunisian reservoirs, Moroccan platform history, Tunisian platforms and rudist/coral facies, Algerian platforms, and Egyptian platforms). Fifteen of these presentations are expanded here as papers. The workshop was attended by 24 academic staff, 4 geologists from the oil industry, plus several observers and students.