October 10, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Hermsen Presents at Two Paleobotanical Conferences

Dr. Elizabeth Hermsen

Dr. Elizabeth Hermsen

By Heather Willard
PACE Writer Environmental and Plant Biology

Dr. Elizabeth Hermsen, Assistant Professor of Environmental & Plant Biology, braved freezing temperatures to go to two conferences last May—the Midcontinent Paleobotanical Colloquium and the Paleontological Research Institution Summer Symposium.

She studies fossil water clovers of the genus Marsileaceae, reassessing the fossil records and describing new material from the Green River formation in the Colorado and Utah area.

The 33rd Northeast Midcontinent Paleobotanical Colloquium was a small meeting that met at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and included a field trip to see the Gilboa Devonian forest and other locations in the Catskills. The Paleontological Research Institution Summer Symposium also met in Ithaca. At the Gilboa Forest the botanists saw fossils of tree stumps.

“They were big trees, so we were gathering around looking at the fossils, and it was May and it snowed on us,” Hermsen said.

Hermsen is studying the differences of the fossil records, as there are many things that have been mistaken for this type of fern and very few records for the actual aquatic fern.

“This green river material was the only material that hadn’t been reported and looked like it was valid from the few different places it had been collected,” she said.


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