John J. Skvarla

George Lynn Cross Research Professor, Ultrastructural Morphology

Dr. Skvarla

My research interests are with all aspects of living and fossil pollen grain walls, the covering of the male gametophytes of seed plants. This includes ontogeny, morphology/taxonomy, comparative studies of living and fossil counterparts, pollen wall degradation by physical and biological factors, and the development and refinement of techniques to study pollen with the scanning and transmission electron microscopes. Research is conducted using traditional light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and the more contemporary methods of freeze-fracturing, cytochemical electron microscopy, and computerized image analysis.

Living taxa of primary interest are the angiosperm monocot families Cannaceae, Strelitziaceae and Poaceae, and the dicot families Leguminosae, Onagraceae and Asteraceae. Fossil pollen groups of interest are: Triprojecticites, a fossil assemblage without modern counterparts and which is helpful in defining the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary; Pandaniidites, with counterparts in the living screw-pine pine family (Pandanaceae); and a group containing diverse forms like Corsinipollenites and Diporites, with relationships to the living evening-primrose (Onagraceae).

Selected Publications

For more information about this program, email the Department or Dr. John Skvarla.

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