Mihai's Paleobotany Chronicles

Paleobotany in Romania
This is a fantastic field of research, as Romania has an oppulent paleobotanical heritage ranging from Late Paleozoic (Late Devonian) to Quaternary. Paleozoic tracheophytes include Late Devonian, Late Carboniferous and Permian compressions and permineralizations. Mesozoic tracheophytes span the entire Jurassic period, with an exceptional diversity and preservation for the Lower Jurassic deposits, as well as almost the entire Cretaceous period (Aptian, Albian, Cenomanian, Turonian, and Senonian), permineralized or compressed. Neozoic tracheophytes include Late Eocene-Oligocene, Miocene and Pliocene representatives, permineralized and compressed, while the Quaternary is also rich in fossil plant material.

Fossil plants in Romania:


The Neogene (Miocene & Pliocene) flora of Romania is one of the richest paleofloras of Europe. It has been worked since the XIXth Century.
The Petrosani Basin, together with other Oligocene sedimentary areas, preserves a rich, coal generating flora.
Few important Cretaceous plant occurrences, such as those from Poiana Rusca, Babadag or Rucar, bear a beautiful flora.
The Early Jurassic plants in the South Carpathians are very diverse and well preserved, both as compressions and as permineralizations. The Apuseni Mountains follow. Middle Jurassic floras are rare, with drifted material, while Late Jurassic plants are even rarer.
The best Late Paleozoic floras are confined to the South Carpathians, while the Apuseni Mountains bear a modest permineralized assemblage.
A small Devonian flora was recorded from the South Carpathians, within slightly metamorphosed deposits.

Other Romanian paleobotanical aspects:

Paleobotanical research from the XIXth and XXth Centuries are introduced, with a Paleozoic and Mesozoic bias.
A general list of Romanian titles in Paleobotany, Paleoalgology, Palynology is presented.
Paleobotanical heritage values are extremely important for Romania. Samples and SSSIs are introduced.
At the University of Bucharest, within the Faculty of Geology and Geophysics, a group of Paleobotany Research was organized, focusing on Paleobotany and Palynology.
More information about the structure and creation of this web site.
Paleobotany updates and more.
Paleobotany in North America
In 2001 and 2002, I worked as a post-doc with Professor David L. Dilcher in his excellent laboratory, at the University of Florida, in Gainesville FL, as a Senior Fulbright Fellow. For eight months, I had the privilege to work in a wonderful environment, with fantastic people and their first-class equipment, focusing on the Cretaceous conifers of the Dakota Formation, a famous continental formation in the USA.

Paleobotany in Greenland
2002 was an important year for me because, among quite a few fortunate experiences, I reached Jameson Land (NE Greenland), as part of the expedition led by Dr. Jennifer McElwain. This expedition was funded by the National Geographic Society. Jameson Land is a classic area for Mesozoic Paleobotany because of Thomas M. Harris' works in the first half of the 20th Century. This monograph in seven volumes, together with that on the Middle Jurassic Yorkshire flora, represents the foundation of modern Mesophytic Paleobotany in Europe, and in the world. The second Greenland trip was organized in 2004.

The Dilcher-Popa field laboratory
This is a private, joint project of Mihai E. Popa & David L. Dilcher, representing a field facility for research, education and recreation in Bigar, Almaj Mountains, South Carpathians, Iron Gates Natural Park respectivelly.

The IGCP 469 meeting in Bucharest
The IGCP 469 project entitled "Variscan terrestrial biotas and palaeoenvironments" includes a meeting in Bucharest, hosted by the Faculty of Geology and Geophysics, University of Bucharest. This meeting was held in October 2005.

The 8th IGCP 506 meeting in Bucharest
The IGCP 506 project entitled "Marine and non-marine Jurassic" has its 8th meeting in Bucahrest

Useful formulars
Formulars can be widely used for paleobotanical purposes, in order to ease the data flow, and to standardize the data handling with respect to hand specimens or taxa.

The Research Center for Coal Geology and Environmental Sciences
The Center is based in the University of Bucharest and it focuses on Coal, Paleobotany, Palynology and Geology.

Ecoter Project
"Early Jurassic terrestrial ecosystems of Romania" (Ecoter) is a research grant funded by CNCSIS (grant no. 978, PNII-Ideas framework, for 2007-2010). This project deals with the reconstruction of the Hettangian-Sinemurian terrestrial ecosystems in the Romanian Carpathians, and it has a strong paleobotany dimension.

Paleoclim Project
"The geological diversity of the Upper Paleozoic deposits in Romania and the relation with climate global change", is a research grant funded by ANCS (grant no. 3050, PNII-Partnership framework, 2007-2010), and it also deals a lot with Paleobotany.