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​Assembling the Southeast Asian flora: different dispersal scenarios in relation to different plate tectonic reconstructions

Published on: 01-Apr-2019

Event Type: Seminar
Event Date: 1 April 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Venue: Teaching room 3 (N1.1-B2-01d), NTU
Speaker: Dr. Bob Morley

About the speaker:

Bob Morley graduated from Hull University with a PhD in Quaternary palynology of the Sunda region a long time ago. After spending 16 years with an international geological consultancy company and two years at the British Geological Survey he established the consultancy ‘Palynova’, now in its 27th year, which specialises in high resolution sequence biostratigraphic evaluations of Southeast Asian basins.

He has published over 120 papers on Southeast Asian geology and biogeography, and also a book ‘Origin and Evolution of Tropical Rain Forests’ (John Wiley 2000). With a biostratigraphic database from over 300 wells from our region all uniformly interpreted in terms of climate driven depositional cycles, he is currently looking on the one hand at novel ways to examine the chronostratigraphy of the area, and on the other to use the fossil pollen record to help clarify the mode of origin and the pattern of development of the Southeast Asian flora.
 
About the event:

The ultra-diverse flora of the Southeast Asian region has become established largely as a result of immigration following different phases of plate tectonic collision during the Cenozoic.

However, trying to piece together the details of the tectonic events that led to the different plate tectonic and palaeoclimatic scenarios that facilitated the different phases of floristic immigration into the region leaves many unanswered questions. There are major issues regarding the timing of plate collisions, the positions of plates and microplates through time, the areas of origin of the main clades and the timing of floral and faunal dispersals.

This discussion builds on the palaeoclimatic maps and dispersal events proposed recently by Morley (2018) firstly by examining dispersals from Africa via the Indian plate, emphasising the fossil record of Dipterocarpaceae, and secondly by recording the history of upland Sundaland floras over time, from the pollen record of gymnosperms and temperate angiosperms from over 200 petroleum exploration wells from across the region.

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