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Gandolfo Nixon, Maria Alejandra

Cornell Academic Staff
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Paleobotany and Plant anatomy, with emphasis on plant evolution and development, origin of angiosperms, Cretaceous and Tertiary floras and paleoclimate of North and South America.

Research Areas research areas

Geographic Focus

research overview

  • My research is focused on Cretaceous and Tertiary floras of North and South America with emphasis on evolution aspects of the flowering plants. I am collaborating with Drs. Crepet and Nixon in the taxonomy of one of the richest paleofloras of Turonian age known as the "Raritan Paleoflora". This paleoflora is characterized by the superb preservation of the plant structure allowing the observation of cell-by-cell details. With my colleagues from Ohio University, Penn State, and Smithsonian Institution (USA) and the Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio (MEF) and the Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina), we are continuing the study of two of the richest Eocene paleofloras of the Southern Hemisphere (The Laguna del Hunco Tufolitas and the Rio Pichileufu floras). I have now expanded my research into two paleofloras of Chubut (La Colonia and Lefipan Formation floras) Patagonia that were deposited during the K/T boundary. I am also working on the digitalization of the Cornell University Plant Anatomy Collection (CUPAC) as part of my research on the development of the Plant Ontology.

other area(s) of concentration/expertise

  • Paleontology


  • Angiosperm diversification
  • Cretaceous and Tertiary floras
  • Paleobotany
  • Plant Anatomy
  • Plant Evolution
  • Plant Morphology
  • Plant Ontology