Articles | Volume 25, issue 2
01 Nov 2006
 | 01 Nov 2006

Celebrating 25 years of advances in micropalaeontology: a review

F. John Gregory, Howard A. Armstrong, Ian Boomer, Rainer Gersonde, Ian Harding, Jens O. Herrle, David Lazarus, Daniela N. Schmidt, Joachim Schoenfeld, and Jeremy R. Young


To commemorate the publication of the 25th Volume of the Journal of Micropalaeontology, the first issue of which came out in 1982, this celebratory review article was commissioned. Officers of each TMS Group (Ostracod, Foraminifera, Palynology, Nannofossil, Microvertebrate and Silicofossil) were requested to reflect over the last 25 years and assess the major advances and innovations in each of their disciplines. It is obvious from the presentations that all Groups report that research has moved on from the basic, but essential descriptive phase, i.e. taxonomy and establishing biostratigraphies, to the utilization of new technologies and application to issues of the day such as climate change and global warming. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that the foundation of micropalaeontology is observation and the building block for all these new and exciting innovations and developments is still good taxonomy. Briefly, the most obvious conclusion that can be drawn from this review is that micropalaeontology as a science is in relatively good health, but we have to ensure that the reported advancements will sustain and progress our discipline. There is one issue that has not really been highlighted in these contributions – we need to make sure that there are enough people being trained in micropalaeontology to maintain development. The last 25 years has seen a dramatic decrease in the number of post-graduate MSc courses in micropalaeontology. For example, in the UK, in the 1980s and early 1990s there were five specific MSc courses to choose . . .