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The Symposium coincides with the development of the Natural History Museum’s Deep Time exhibit, a major overhaul of the National Fossil Hall, which is scheduled to open to the public in June 2019.
A dominant trend in paleobotany over the last several decades has been the dramatic expansion of a critically evaluated angiosperm fossil record and increased appreciation of its relevance for understanding major patterns in angiosperm evolution.
In contrast, conifer clades with large diameter branches bearing large cones never evolve fleshy tissues for biotic dispersal, but instead produce large dry seeds that animals pluck out of the cones.
Because conifers combine rich living diversity with an extensive fossil record, they represent an ideal group in which to apply a variety of phylogenetic and comparative methods to deep-time evolutionary studies.
The picture that has emerged is rich with new insights, and has revealed a pattern that is broadly consistent with evidence from the molecular phylogenetics of living plants.
(Read More) On April 21, 2008, the USGS officially announced the pursuit of an aggressive schedule to provide users with no charge electronic access to any Landsat scene held in the USGS-managed national archive of global scenes dating back to Landsat 1, launched in 1972.
Present-day plant diversity is remarkably rich and varied.
It fully occupies those of us working in the United States National Herbarium and the United States Botanic Garden.
The fossil record has proven essential in understanding the origins of modern conifer cones from fertile shoot systems in Paleozoic ancestors, and cones remain a promising system in which to incorporate paleobotanical data into macroevolutionary studies.
In particular, advances in comparative methods using dated phylogenetic trees may provide answers to persistent problems in conifer cone evolution, such as the origin of simplified and fleshy seed cone morphologies like the “berries” of yews.
He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and a Member of the German Academy Leopoldina.