What is going on there???

The building of the palaeobotany group in Münster is currently being renovated. Construction work started in September 1999 and will probably be finished by the end of April 2000, although it is expected that some minor things still need to done during the summer break. The most important part of this operation is the installation of two new laboratories (one for normal chemical work and thin section preparation, the other for HF work), the installation of a new dark room and the renewal of all electric installations.
In January-February 2000 Hans Kerp spent two weeks in the field in Oman to collect more Permian plants. This collecting trip together with Jean Broutin, Sylvie Crasquin-Soleau and Martine Berthelin (all from Paris) was most successful.
At the XVIth International Botanical Congress (Saint Louis, August 1999) Hans Kerp and Michael Krings presented a paper entitled "New views on pteridosperms from the uppermost Carboniferous and Permian". All 4700 participants of this congress received a CD-ROM Botany online coordinated by Alice Bergfeld, Rolf Bergmann and Peter von Sengbusch (Hamburg). Our History of Palaeozoic Forests has been included in the CD version of this internet hypertextbook. 
A recently published short note in Nature on the oldest fossil ascomycetes received broad press coverage (1, 2), including the Frankfurter Allgemeine (June 30, 1999).
In May 1999 Hans Kerp and Hagen Hass gave a keynote lecture on the 26th Annual Meeting of the Arbeitskreis für Paläobotanik und Palynologie in Tübingen. The title was: The Rhynie Chert - the oldest and most completely preserved terrestrial ecosystem. Sunia Lausberg presented a poster on a conifer-dominated Rotliegend flora from Alsenz, Saar-Nahe Basin.
In March 1999 Hans Kerp, Hagen Hass and Véronique Daviero participated in a workshop on the Rhynie Chert at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. The famous fossil site was of course also visited, despite the bad weather conditions.
In March 1999 Hans Kerp presented a colloquium on Rhynie Chert at the Museum für Naturkunde of the Humboldt University in Berlin on the occasion of the 65th Birthday of Prof. Dr. Manfred Barthel.
In January 1999 Hans Kerp gave a public lecture on the Development of Palaeozoic forests for the Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft in Frankfurt am Main. A similar colloquium lecture was given in December 1998 at the Geological Institute of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg.
In January 1999 Prof. Thomas N. Taylor spent a week in Münster for a joint research project on fossil fungi from the Rhynie Chert. The first results of this work have laready been published in Nature (see above). 
In January 1999 Michael Krings left Münster for a one-year post-doc with Prof. Thomas N. Taylor in Lawrence, Kansas. He currently works on Carboniferous cuticles from the United States and on Triassic floras. He received a Feodor Lynen Stipend from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn. Michael will come back to Münster in April 2000.
Two foreign guests were welcomed in Münster in October 1998: Dr. Véronique Daviero (Lyon) and Dr. Serge Naugolnykh (Moscow). Both arrived on October 1st, 1998 for visits of 12 respectively 3 months. They are working on Early Devonian and Permian floras and are funded by the European Community and DAAD. 
In October 1998 Hans Kerp was co-convenor of a palaeobotany symposium at the "Geo-Berlin 98" Congress. One paper was presented: Hans Kerp and Hagen Hass: "Pflanzen und Substrat im Unterdevon: Beispiele aus dem Rhynie Chert, Schottland". 
In September 1998 Hans Kerp was convenor of a palaeobotany symposium at the "Botanikertagung" (Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft) in Bremen. Two papers were presented by the Münster group: Hans Kerp and Hagen Hass: "Der Generationswechsel der frühesten Landpflanzen" and Michael Krings and Hans Kerp: "Fossile Kletterpflanzen - Belege und Überlegungen über ober karbonische Pteridospermen". 
Two papers were presentedin July 1998 at the 5th European Palaeobotanical and Palynological Conference in Cracow (Poland), i.e., Hans Kerp and Hagen Hass: A different view on Early devonian spores - an example from the Rhynie Chert, and Michael Krings: Hairs and glands in Late Carboniferous pteridosperms from Blanzy-Montceau (Central France).
Miss Kate Habgood (Cardiff) stayed five weeks in Münster in May 1998 to study Rhynie Chert coprolites for her Ph.D. research project. This visit was funded by DAAD.
In February 1998 Michael Krings got his Ph.D. on a thesis entitled: " Kutikularanalytische Untersuchungen an Pteridospermen aus dem Stefan (Oberkarbon) von Blanzy-Montceau (Zentralmassiv, Frankreich)". In September 1998 he received a Feodor Lynen-Stipend of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation giving him the opportunity to work one year in Lawrence (KS, U.S.A.) in the institute of our cooperation partner Prof. Thomas N. Taylor.
In January 1998 Hans Kerp and Hagen Hass gave a talk on new data from the Lower Devonian Rhynie Chert with special reference to spores and young gametophytes at a special symposium in Göttingen on the occasion of the 65th birthday of Prof. Dr. Walter Riegel.
In November 1997 Dr. Monique Feist (Montpellier) was in Münster to study Palaeonitella from the Lower Devonian Rhynie Chert. She returned in February 1998 for one week.
In November 1997 Prof. Thomas N. Taylor (Lawrence, KS, U.S.A.) spent a couple of days in Münster to discuss Rhynie Chert studies.
In September 1997 Hans Kerp visited Paris (Univ. Pierre et Marie Curie) and Orléans (BRGM) to work on cuticle-bearing material from the Upper Stephanian of the Massif Central and on material from Oman.
In September 1997 Prof. Robert Wagner (Córdoba ) visited Münster to work with Sunia Lausberg on a joint publication on the Permian flora of North Greenland. In November 1997 Dr. Serge Naugolnykh (Moscow) spent a week in Münster to contribute to this project. He will soon be back in Münster for another three months to work on Permian floras with Hans Kerp. This research is funded by DAAD.
On 24 September 1997 Hans Kerp and Michael Krings presented a paper on "Climbing and scrambling Upper Carboniferous pteridosperms: evidence from megafossils and cuticles" at the 67th annual meeting of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft in Daun, Germany.
On 7 July 1997 Michael Krings presented a paper on the hair cover of Neuropteris praedentata at the Symposium "Paläobotanische Forschung 100 Jahre nach Freiherr Constantin von Ettingshausen" (= 25th annual meeting of the Arbeitskreis für Paläobotanik und Palynologie) in Graz (Austria). At the same meeting Hans Kerp gave a paper on a newly discovered flora from the Upper Visean of Becke-Oese (northern Sauerland, Germany).
In June 1997 Lars Brinkmann finished his M.Sc. thesis on the geology and biostratigraphy of the eastern-central Dickson Land, Spitzbergen. The major part of his thesis deals with the palynology of the Middle and Upper Devonian in this area.
In May 1997 Anke Grewing finished her M.Sc. thesis on the geology and biostratigraphy of the western-central Dickson Land, Spitzbergen. The major part of her thesis deals with the palynology of the Middle and Upper Devonian in this area.
In April 1997 Dieter Uhl (Tübingen) spent a week in Münster to measure venation patterns of Carboniferous and Permian seed ferns for his Ph.D. research project.
On 22 March 1997 Hans Kerp gave a talk on Reconstructing Carboniferous Forests (Rekonstruktion von Karbonwäldern) for the "Medizinisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft - Naturwiss. Abteilung" in Münster.
In March 1997 Hans Kerp presented a paper at a Linnean Society Meeting in London: "Palaeozoic pteridosperm cuticles: possibilities and limitations".
In February-March 1997 Hans Kerp spent a few weeks in Oman to collect Upper Permian plant fossils in the Huqf area. This research project is carried out within the framework of IGCP 343 Peri-Tethys. This field party was guided by Jack Roger (BRGM, Orléans) and Jean Pierre Platel (BRGM-Aquitaine, Pessac). Other participants included Jean Broutin (mega- and microfloras; Paris), Sylvie Crasquin Soleau (ostracodes; Paris), Alda Nicora (conodonts and invertebrates; Milano) and Andrea Tintori (vertebrates and invertebrates; Milano). Two sedimentologists from Total (Paris) and the Institut Français du Pétrole (Paris) later joined the crew. The trip was most successful and many fossils were collected, including some spectacular plant fossils.
In February 1997 Dianne Edwards (Cardiff, Wales, UK) spent a couple of days on Münster to study Rhynie Chert material, especially the morphology of the stomata of these earliest land plants.
In February 1997 Michael Krings, Hans Kerp and Manfred Barthel (Berlin) visited the University of Lyon-Villeurbanne (France) to study the Zeiller collections from the Stephanian basins of Blanzy-Montceau, Commentry and Autun.
In February 1997 Sunia Lausberg completed her M.Sc. thesis on the Late Permian flora of Midtkap, Frederick E. Hyde Fjord, North Greenland. This is probably the northernmost fossil flora of the world. She worked on new material that had been collected recently by the CASE 2-Expedition.
In February 1997 Hans Kerp visited the Palaeobotany Laboratory in Montpellier where he was a member of the Veronique Daviero's Ph.D. committee. He also gave a colloquium on current research of the Münster Palaeobotany Group, thereby focusing on Early Devonian Rhynie Chert floras and Stephanian cuticles.
In December 1996 Gene Mapes and Gar Rothwell (Athens, OH, USA) visited the Münster Group when they started their European tour to see and discuss some Palaeozoic conifers.
Recents guest include Dr. Karin Zonneveld (Bremen), Dr. Gerard Versteegh (Texel), Dipl.-Geol. Thomas and Karina Schindler (Mainz), Drs. Michiel van Houte and Hanneke Bos (Utrecht), Dipl.-Geol. Christoph Hartkopf-Fröder (Krefeld), Prof. A.K. Shchegolev (Kiew), Dr. Volker Wilde (Frankfurt am Main), Prof. Thomas Litt (Bonn), Dr. Ronny Rößler (Chemnitz), Dr. Aribert Kampe (Berlin), Prof. Manfred Barthel (Berlin), Prof. H.-J. Schweitzer (Bonn), Dr. Erik Tegelaar (Plano, TX) and Dr. Pim F. van Bergen (Utrecht).

© Forschungsstelle für Paläobotanik, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster 
March 2000