USGS NAU Macrobotanical Laboratory
Paleoecological, stratigraphic, archaeological, and modern
ecological studies often require identification of small plant parts. The
USGS-NAU Macrobotanical Laboratory is a collaboration between the NAU
Quaternary Sciences Program and the USGS Southwestern Biological Research Center.
The laboratory also serves as an archive for fossil packrat middens and other
types of fossil plant deposits. Many of the laboratories macrobotanical
reference specimens can be viewed online in the Macrobotanical Digital Library.
The laboratory maintains several research collections such
as its macrobotanical comparative collection. This collection contains over
2500 specimens of seeds, leaves, fruits, flowers, and twigs of identified plant
species. The collection is primarily focused on the plant species of the
Colorado Plateau, desert and Mediterranean California, the Great Lakes region,
and the Middle East. These collections are used to support ongoing research
projects in all of these areas by NAU faculty and students as well as USGS
A separate collection of pollen mounted on microscope slides
from these regions is also maintained. The laboratory also maintains fossil
materials from past studies of packrat and rock hyrax midden studies. There are
currently about 400 midden deposits under curation.
Director: Kenneth L. Cole, Ph.D.
Lab Phone: 928/556-7466 ext. 247
Phone: 928/556-7466 ext. 230