Micropaleontology and Palynology Research Laboratory

Natural Resources Canada, Calgary, Alberta
What the facility does

Expertise in extraction, preparation and identification of fossils with a focus on geologically-relevant microfossils

Area(s) of Expertise

The Micropaleontology and Palynology Research Laboratory group specializes in the extraction and identification of organic-walled microfossils (e.g. pollen, spores and microalgal remains) and mineral-based microfossils (e.g. conodonts and foraminifera) from sedimentary rocks. Extraction of microfossils is conducted by a team of skilled technical staff in one of four specialized laboratories across the country (Vancouver, BC - conodonts, Calgary, AB - micropaleontology, Calgary, AB – palynology, Dartmouth, NS - palynology). Identification and analysis of specimens is completed by one of the Geological Survey of Canada’s (GSC) in-house Research Scientists including palynologists, conodont workers, and various post-doctoral research fellows. The laboratory’s sample processing capability and expertise support a wide range of GSC programs and collaborative research in biostratigraphy, depositional history of sedimentary basins, paleoenvironmental reconstructions, environmental assessments and impacts of climate change.

Research Services

Specialized analysis and method development. 

Collaborative projects are treated on a case-by-case basis and selected through a proposal system. Criteria for collaborative projects include that the project is aligned and contributes to advancing laboratory strategic goal and that it is closely aligned with current Geological Survey of Canada program. Collaborative projects are undertaken on a cost-recovery basis.

Sectors of Application
  • Energy (renewable and fossil)
  • Environmental technologies and related services

Specialized lab

Equipment

Function

Palynology lab (Calgary and Dartmouth)

Olympus BX61 motorized, high-powered transmitted light microscope equipped with X-Cite 120PC Q fluorescence module and Olympus DP72 camera (running with Stream Motion software)

Illumination techniques include Brightfield (BF), Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) and epifluorescence.

 

Palynomorph extraction using case-specific methods such as acid digestion, density separation, acetolysis and wet sieving. Microscope slide preparation and microscopy.

Palynology lab (Calgary and Dartmouth)

Zeiss Axio Imager M2 motorized, high powered transmitted light microscope equipped with an Axiocam 305 camera (running with ZEN software)

Illumination techniques include BF, Darkfield (DF), DIC and Phase Contrast (PC).

 

Palynomorph extraction using case-specific methods such as acid digestion, density separation, acetolysis and wet sieving. Microscope slide preparation and microscopy.

Palynology lab (Calgary and Dartmouth)

Olympus BX53 upright, high-powered transmitted light microscope equipped with an Olympus SC50 camera (running with Stream Motion software)

Palynomorph extraction using case-specific methods such as acid digestion, density separation, acetolysis and wet sieving. Microscope slide preparation and microscopy.

Micropaleontology lab (Calgary and Vancouver)

Leica M80 upright stereo microscope (running LASXZ software)

 

Microfossil extraction by acid digestion and/or hand picking. Microslide preparation and microscopy.

Micropaleontology lab (Calgary and Vancouver)

Hitachi Tabletop Scanning Electron Microscope

Microfossil extraction by acid digestion and/or hand picking. Microslide preparation and microscopy.