Palaeozoic plant systematics

Current projects

[image: Neuropteris flexuosa Sternberg, from the upper Westphalian of the Radstock Coalfield, Avon.]

Neuropteris flexuosa Sternberg, from the upper Westphalian of the Radstock Coalfield, Avon. Fragment of a medullosalean frond.

[image: Lobatopteris micromiltonii (Corsin) Wagner. Fragment of frond of a marattialean fern]

Lobatopteris micromiltonii (Corsin) Wagner. Fragment of frond of a marattialean fern, from the late Westphalian of the South Wales Coalfield.

  • Medullosales.
    This was a major group of seed-plants of the late Carboniferous tropical wetlands. As well as representing a significant proportion of the biomass of this ancient wetland vegetation, they were remarkable in having produced the largest-known seeds, sometimes more than 11 cm long. They were also sensitive to environmental change and so a very useful plant group for understanding changing habitats. Work includes studies on the morphology, epidermal anatomy and biochemistry of the plants, and is being done in collaboration with colleagues from Cape Breton University (Sydney, Nova Scotia), the Natural History Museum (London), the Czech Geological Survey (Prague) and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Sofia).
  • Marattiales.
    This was an important group of tree-ferns in these wetlands. This is combining morphological studies with studies on the spores that they produced, to revise the systematics of these plants. The project involves collaboration with an extensive network of specialists from the Field Museum (Chicago), Cape Breton University (Sydney, Nova Scotia), the Czech Academy of Sciences (Prague) and the West Bohemian Museum (Plsen).

Past projects in this research area

The Section (together with colleagues from the Natural History Museum and Birmingham University) have recently revised the systematics of the Carboniferous seed-plant Eremopteris.

  • National Museum Cardiff

    [image: National Museum Cardiff]

    Discover art, natural history and geology. With a busy programme of exhibitions and events, we have something to amaze everyone, whatever your interest – and admission is free!

  • St Fagans National History Museum

    [image: St Fagans]

    St Fagans is one of Europe's foremost open-air museums and Wales's most popular heritage attraction.

  • Big Pit National Coal Museum

    [image: Big Pit]

    Big Pit is a real coal mine and one of Britain's leading mining museums. With facilities to educate and entertain all ages, Big Pit is an exciting and informative day out.

  • National Wool Museum

    [image: National Wool Museum]

    Located in the historic former Cambrian Mills, the Museum is a special place with a spellbinding story to tell.

  • National Roman Legion Museum

    [image: National Roman Legion Museum]

    In AD 75, the Romans built a fortress at Caerleon that would guard the region for over 200 years. Today at the National Roman Legion Museum you can learn what made the Romans a formidable force and how life wouldn't be the same without them.

  • National Slate Museum

    [image: National Slate Museum]

    The National Slate Museum offers a day full of enjoyment and education in a dramatically beautiful landscape on the shores of Llyn Padarn.

  • National Waterfront Museum

    [image: National Waterfront Museum]

    The National Waterfront Museum at Swansea tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years.

  • Rhagor: Explore our collections

    Rhagor (Welsh for ‘more’) offers unprecedented access to the amazing stories that lie behind our collections.