My research is different from other palaeontologists working at the Royal Tyrrell Museum. I study part of a living life cycle; organic-walled microfossils like plant spores and pollen, fungal spores, and algae. These microscopic fossils are scooped up with sediment, bathed in acid to dissolve unwanted materials, mounted on slides, and examined closely under a microscope. Thousands of these fossils can fit on a single slide, which means I have more fossil evidence of the past than other kinds of palaeontologists can amass in a lifetime.
As a palynologist, I have discovered more than 500 different species of ancient plants from Dinosaur Provincial Park alone, have named approximately 45 new species, and have collected over 6000 samples from localities around the world. My research into the plant life at the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary, 66 million years ago, provides evidence that plant communities at the time were changing in response to environmental changes.
My newly published book, Triprojectate Pollen Occurrences in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin and the Group’s Global Relationships, is the result of decades of my research. It’s the most definitive, comprehensive look at triprojectate pollen in the world. It brings together research results from numerous localities over a broad geographical area and provides a catalogue of illustrated specimens. The material is placed within an informal classification system developed to handle the large number of described triprojectate species. An extensive literature search has produced a comprehensive list of described taxa from around the world and English descriptions are provided for all the taxa along with figured diagrams. The stratigraphic ranges of the recovered species from Western Canada are documented. Three new genera and 30 new species are described in this publication. A number of holotype specimens previously published from the region are re-illustrated. This book is the first major publication that brings together the dispersed literature on the group and should be of interest to any researcher studying triprojectates.
What are triprojectate pollen and why are they important?
Triprojectate pollen are a group of pollen from angiosperms (flowering plants) that are now extinct. We do not know what they looked like, or what they are related to. The pollen is common in the Late Cretaceous, changes rapidly through time so they are useful for dating, and is mainly restricted to a northern floral province that includes northern China, eastern Russia, northern Japan, Alaska, northern Canada, western North America from Colorado northwards through Canada, Greenland, and northern North Sea Basin.
Copies of the book are available from the Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society.
Telephone Orders: 1-403-823-8899
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Cost is $99.95 plus shipping (CAD)
-Dennis R. Braman, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, Palynology