Pollen researcher in a pollen library

Pollen researcher in a pollen library

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Credit: PHILIPPE PSAILA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pollen researcher with shelves of pollen plates in a pollen library. The library holds many different types of pollen, which can be compared with unknown pollens to aid identification. This technique, part of the discipline of palynology, is widely used in forensic science, palaeontology and anthropology. Identifying pollen found on a corpse or other crime scene item can provide information on the item's history. Studying pollen in sediments and soil samples allows the plant life in an area in the past to be known, and pollen studies have been used to accurately date the development of agriculture. Photographed at the University of Montpellier, France.

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