Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt

Palaeobotany

Palaeobotany is a lifely discipline nestled between geosciences and biosciences. It deals with the evolution of plant life from its beginnings on the one hand, and pays attention to the strata containing the respective fossils on the other. Fossil plants may be essential in resolving phylogenies of extant taxa in deep time. Plant macro- and microfossils are frequently applied for stratigraphic purposes and may also be important in palaeoecology and facies analysis, especially in the terrestrial realm. Therefore, plant remains should not be underestimated in their importance for the understanding of sedimentary systems and palaeoclimates. With its regard to deep time, research and collections of the Palaeobotanical Section at Frankfurt am Main should be assigned to “Biodiversity and Earth System History”.

Palaeobotanical research at Frankfurt is based on extensive collections in combination with a special library (which is not open to the public) and a little chemical lab specially equipped for treating samples by hydrofluoric acid. The optical instrumentation especially comprises a research microscope LEITZ Metallux 3 and a binocular LEICA MZ16 FA, both equipped for epifluorescence. Furthermore, the head of the section is the responsible scientist for the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) JEOL JSM-6490LV at the “Arthur von Weinberg-Haus” in the Kuhwaldstrasse.

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