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Research in Paleobotany

Man excavating fossilOur research in paleobotany aims to determine and quantify possible changes in flora diversity through the Miocene transitional and terrestrial formations in the Panama Canal area. By looking at palynomorphs, plant macrofossils, fossil wood and fruits, we aim to characterize those floristic changes in Neotropical forests at different scales and in response to climatic change. Other research objectives include using fossil leaf morphology as an environmental proxy to reconstruct the climatic conditions that prevailed during the Miocene. Our research program involves different paleobotanical techniques including palynology, taxonomy and systematics of plant macrofossil (leaves and seeds).

Pencil on ground near fossilsThe results of our research will provide new insights about the environmental and floristic conditions of tropical latitudes during the Middle-Late Cenozoic and the floristic composition of Panamanian Paleoflora.

Primary Research Contacts

Dr. Carlos Jaramillo | PI
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Dr. Steven Manchester
Florida Museum of Natural History