Montgomery Research at Fossil Conference

New findings link ancient fossils to modern plants! Dr. Boglarka Erdei, Research Fellow at Montgomery and Chief Museologist at the Hungarian Natural History Museum, discussed her findings at the 10th Conference of the North American Paleontological Convention in Gainesville this week.

Photo of Dr. Boglarka Erdei presentingDr. Erdei’s work, done in close collaboration with Michael Calonje, MBC Cycad Biologist, and Nicolas Espinosa, an NSF-supported undergraduate intern (FIU), compared an Eocene cycad fossil from Panama with the living plant collections at Montgomery, in order to determine its nearest modern relatives. Careful microscopic examination of the leaf surface, using digital measurements and statistical analysis, indicates that the fossil is a Zamia, with a close affinity to Zamia from the Caribbean.

This research has found shows a new way that the modern living cycads at Montgomery can help advance the understanding of ancient plants!

The Gifford Arboretum Lecture is part of the CETroB lecture series and was brought to you with the support of the City of Coral Gables and the Kelly Foundation.