Palynology Lab

The GeoLab hosts one of the largest and most distinguished palynological laboratories in the world. The lab does not only offer the processing and preparation of recent and fossil pollen samples, but also of other fossil plant material like leaves or needles and microorganisms like dinoflagellates and thus serves the reconstruction of ecosystems in the past and the study of climate change.

We offer the following preparation methods which enable to inspect and count the samples with a microscope:

  • Preparation of dinoflagellate cysts and pollen from rock material and other sediments by using hydrochloric acid and hydrofluoric acid
  • Preparation of pollen by using either hydrofluoric acid or sodium polytungstate solution
  • Preparation of fossil leaf material and/or seeds and needles by using mainly bleach
  • Preparation of diatoms (Bacillariophyta)
  • Preparation of phytoliths
  • Processing of herbarium, honey and pollen pants of bees
  • Extraction of sample materials collected with Vaseline
  • Preparation of foraminifera by washing and sieving                

In addition, ostracods samples can be processed by washing and sieving prior to isotope analyses. The lab has also facilities to decalcify samples with hydrochloric acid prior to the analysis of C and N isotopes and to destruct sample material with HF/HClO4/HNO3 or Aqua Regia for elemental analysis.

There are more methods available, and we can assist in developing new customized methods.