Palynology collections

The Museum’s fossil spore and pollen collections are particularly valuable for dating rocks, reconstructing past environments and studying climate change.

The most important palaeopalynology collections held by the Museum are listed below. 

  • Former BP collection localities.
    Former British Petroleum collection

    The former British Petroleum collection includes around 78,000 palynological slides from 3,800 wells and outcrops worldwide. A Google Earth layer locating all well locations for the collection is available.

  • John Williams.
    John Williams Index of Palaeopalynology (JWIP)

    The JWIP is a unique and valuable card index of palaeopalynology. The database is searchable by title, author, taxa, geographical location and geological age.

  • Cyconephelium compactum, palynomorph.
    Duxbury (1983) collection

    Stanley Duxbury's collection of dinoflagellate cysts, collected from rocks formed during the Cretaceous period in the Isle of Wight. The original slides have been reimaged using state of the art imaging faciltiles, including Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM).

  • Artemisia, from the palynology collection.
    Modern pollen and spore collection

    Previously part of the botany department collections, the modern pollen and spore collection includes approximately 12,000 glass slides, each with labelled examples of pollen and/or spores from key extant (living) northwest European flora.

Find out more

Palynomorphs, Oligosphaeridium and Chlamydophorella nyei. Palynomorphs

Find out more about these valuable microfossils and how they can help us date rocks, find hydrocarbons and study climate change.