Henry Thomas

The Ecology of Carboniferous Peat Swamps

During the Carboniferous period, roughly 310 million years ago, humid, swampy forests covered the global tropics. These forests, which are the source of today’s coal deposits, harbored a great diversity of strange and unusual plants. The Phillips Coal Ball Collection is a dataset that tallies plant remains preserved in limestone nodules in coal, offering an unprecedented look into the diversity of these forest communities. I will be helping to digitize this dataset and run paleoecological analyses, comparing plant communities between different coals to uncover a cohesive picture of floral change across space and time.

Message to Sponsor

Thank you very much for supporting me! This opportunity will help this dataset be digitized more quickly, so it can be accessed and used freely by researchers all over the world, and give me further training in ecological statistics and manuscript writing. As someone pursuing a career in paleontology, this will be very valuable for me. Thank you!!!
  • Major: Integrative Biology
  • Mentor: Cynthia Looy, Integrative Biology