Articles | Volume 25, issue 2
J. Micropalaeontol., 25, 97–112, 2006
J. Micropalaeontol., 25, 97–112, 2006

  01 Nov 2006

01 Nov 2006

Celebrating 25 years of advances in micropalaeontology: a review

F. John Gregory1, Howard A. Armstrong2, Ian Boomer3, Rainer Gersonde4, Ian Harding5, Jens O. Herrle6, David Lazarus7, Daniela N. Schmidt8, Joachim Schoenfeld9, and Jeremy R. Young10 F. John Gregory et al.
  • 1PetroStrat Ltd, 33 Royston Road, St Albans, Herts AL1 5NF & Palaeontology Department, NHM, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK (e-mail: )
  • 2Department of Earth Science, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK (e-mail: )
  • 3Stable Isotope & Luminescence Laboratory (SILLA) School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B15 2TT, UK (e-mail: )
  • 4Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar & Marine Research, Postbox 120161, Bremerhaven, Germany (e-mail: )
  • 5School of Ocean & Earth Science, NOC, University of Southampton, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK (e-mail: )
  • 6Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, 1–26 Earth Sciences Building, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E3, Canada (e-mail: )
  • 7Museum für Naturkunde, 10115 Berlin, Germany (e-mail: )
  • 8Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Wills Memorial Building, Bristol BS8 1RJ, UK (e-mail: )
  • 9Leibniz-Institute of Marine Sciences, IFM-GEOMAR, Dienstgebaeude Ostufer, Wischhofstraat 1–3, D–24148 Kiel, Germany (e-mail: )
  • 10Palaeontology Department, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK (e-mail: )


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 . . .