Mihai's Paleobotany Chronicles


In this Paleobotany web site can be found images and short descriptions of fossil plants from Romania, and from other countries. The material described and illustrated here was worked since 1990 in Romania or elsewhere, and it belongs to: 1. the personal collection, 2. collections that I have built up together with co-workers, and 3. collections built up by other workers, that I have personally revised, or worked for the first time. The material is represented by compressions or permineralizations curated as hand specimens, peels, thin sections, biological slides, and as micropaleontological preparations, in the Paleobotany Laboratory at the University of Bucharest, or in other laboratories.

The illustrated paleobotanical material here may not be always the most representative material for the discussed species, because the best preserved material may be currently in press, or it has been already published. For avoiding copyright issues, the illustrations of this website represent material different to that published, excepting the cases when the publishers gave their consent for posting online the photos.

I have uploaded the Paleobotany Chronicles on my domain due to the fact that in our Department we encounter frequent technical problems with our server, in spite of great, unpaid work undertaken by some of my motivated and dedicated colleagues. These problems occur due to financial difficulties faced generally by the state funded higher education in Romania. I have chosen to maintain my own web site, in this way remaining independent of any technical problems occurring beyond my wish. I had difficulties in choosing the web site's name, thinking first of Paleobotany Atlas, Mihai's Paleobotany Atlas, Paleobotany Notes, Paleobotany Resources, Paleobotany Chronicles, Aspects of Paleobotany, and finally ending with Mihai's Paleobotany Chronicles, which makes it more distinctive, although maybe less academic as a title.

The web site is updated regularly with new fossil plant taxa. Feel free to use any information of this web site for no commercial purposes, and when indicating its source. Using the information of this website for teaching is also welcome. For multiplying the teaching material that includes images of this website, a permission is required. Any feedback from the visitors of the Paleobotany Chronicles is more than welcome.

I have a series of preferred software packages. This web site I created with Dreamweaver MX, a great web design tool that is friendly enough for a naive web designer like me. I use Windows Vista OS on my machines. Image processing was undertaken with the Corel Draw ver. 11 suite, Corel Draw for vectorial images, and Photopaint for bitmap images. For image management I use Irfan View. Endnote ver. X3is my favorite reference manager, that I use in a modified configuration for recording both references and fossil plant taxa. Other software that heavily I use is MS Outlook 2007. Outlook also permits me to sync my laptop with my cell phone. I also use MS Word, Excel, Access, when I do not terrorize my students with MS Powerpoint, and Suunto Dive Manager 1.6 for scuba diving management and simulations.

As for the IT gear, I rely heavily on my workhorses, two Acer desktop stations, one Fujitsu-Siemens laptop and my gem, an ultraportable Lenovo Thinkpad X61s. I use intensively a Canoscan N670U flatbed scanner, and my beloved Lexmark E120 printer. Photos were taken with my digital camera, a Canon Powershot S3IS, an excellent camera for field and for laboratory work, with an amazing, key feature: the supermacro. Other photos were taken with Panasonic cameras, DMC-FZ18K and DMC-L10. DMC-L10 is a particular camera, with excellent lenses to which I added an Olympus Zuiko 35mm macro lens. Older photos were taken with my old Canon Digital Elph S110 or with Praktica M5, and Fed classical film cameras. Micrographs were taken with a Nikon transmitted light microscope, and a Nikon digital camera from the Sedimentology Laboratory, University of Bucharest. In my lab I use an Axioscope A1 Carl Zeiss microsope, with transmitted light and fluorescence capability, a Carl Zeiss Stemi 2000-C dissecting miscrosope, both of them with Canon A640 digital cameras, for image processing with Carl Zeiss Axiovision modular software. The modules of this software include Extended Focus and Archive Asset, extremely useful for increased field depth and for associating images with text. SEM photos were done in Utrecht, Gainesville FL, and Stockholm. Underwater photographs were taken with my Sealife Reef Master classical film camera.

I thank a lot to all my friends who helped for accomplishing this web site. Mr. Sorin Marius Buica, a real computer wizard, helped me a lot with technical advice regarding web design issues, internet and intranet tools, and hardware aspects. Mr. Anthony Martin and Mrs. Andreea Martin, excellent computer scientists, helped a lot with advice in choosing the internet host for this web site. I also thank a lot my graduate or undergraduate students who currently work with me in the Paleobotany Laboratory, within the Group for Paleobotanical Research at my home university.

Mihai E. Popa