Saturday, December 7, 2019

Research Spotlight on virtual collections

Opening paragraph of the post on virtual collections.

I have co-authored a new blog post on virtual collections for the iDigBio Research Spotlight series. You can read it here:

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

DEAL: Overview of angiosperm phylogeny

Florissantia calyx & Langeria leaf, Eocene, U.S.A.
(Photos by Kevmin, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA; images modified.)

I have posted a new angiosperm page on Digital Encyclopedia of Ancient Life: Overview of Angiosperm Phylogeny. Learn about the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification system (APG IV), the eight major groups of angiosperms, and the differences between monocots and eudicots. The page includes many figures, including fossils from the major angiosperm groups!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

New DEAL page on botanical terminology

The Parthenon (Credit: Tim Bekaert, via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain. Imaged cropped.)

A new page on Greek & Latin in botanical terminology has been added to the Digital Encyclopedia of Ancient Life. The page has two sections. The first describes how to make plurals of scientific terms that have Greek and Latin endings. The second deals with botanical terminology. Specifically, it describes how learning some prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms commonly used in botanical terms can be helpful in remembering and figuring out the terms and their definitions. Many of these combining forms originate from Greek, less frequently from Latin. This page is based on handouts that I originally created when teaching undergraduate structural botany in order to help students master the extensive vocabulary.

Read the page here:

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

DEAL: New page on fruit types

Fruit capsules from modern angiosperms (from DEAL)

A new page has been added to the Digital Atlas of Ancient Life: Fruits! Learn about the different types of fruits and their corresponding floral structures. Find the page here:

Monday, September 30, 2019

Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Phoenix

Cultivated passionflower, L.H. Bailey Conservatory (Cornell University)

I attended the Geological Society of America Meeting (GSA 2019) in Phoenix, Arizona, from September 21st to September 25th. Highlights included the Paleontological Society Short Course on Quantitative Methods in Phylogenetic Paleobiology, which I attended in order to brush up on my phylogenetics skills (thanks to the organizers for a fantastic workshop); an open house hosted by Friends of Paleobotany at the Arizona State University Biocollections (again, thanks to the organizers!); and the Paleobotany and Terrestrial Ecosystems discipline section on Wednesday morning, during which I gave my presentation.

My presentation this year was entitled "Passionflower-like seeds (Passifloroidesperma) from the Pliocene Gray Fossil Site of eastern North America and their biogeographic implications." (The abstract is here.) I hope to follow it up with a publication soon.

Monday, September 9, 2019

DEAL updates

Diagram showing a cell engulfing the a cyanobacterium, the ancestor of the chloroplast.

I have posted a two new land plant pages to the Digital Encyclopedia of Ancient Life! One of the pages describes the flowering plant life cycle and the evolution of the embryo sac (female gametophyte or megagametophyte) in angiosperms. The other discusses the origin of land plants, including theory and fossil evidence. To read more, follow these links:

Angiosperm life cycle

Origin of land plants

Monday, July 22, 2019

New paper: Patagonian fossil Azolla

Azolla, cultivated, greenhouse

I am pleased to announce to publication of a new paper on fossil Azolla, now available online early at International Journal of Plant Sciences (free access). The full citation is: 

Hermsen, E.J., N.A. Jud, F. De Benedetti, and M.A. Gandolfo. 2019. Azolla sporophytes and spores from the Late Cretaceous and Paleocene of Patagonia, Argentina. International Journal of Plant Sciences.

Update (August 21, 2019): This final version of this paper with page numbers is now online as part of the Rothwell Celebration in the September 2019 issue of International Journal of Plant Sciences.