Staff Spotlight

Dr. Steven R. Manchester

Steven Manchester portraitCurator of Paleobotany
214 Dickinson Hall
Museum Road & Newell Drive
GainesvilleFL 32611



Ph.D. Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1981

Full C.V.

Paleobotany Collection


Concurrent Appointments

Affiliate Professor, Depts of Botany, Geology


Research Interest

I study the phylogenetic and phytogeographic history of various flowering plant families based based on fossil remains of flowers, fruits, pollen, leaves and wood in the range of 20 to 80 million years old. The fossils are collected mainly from Paleocene and Eocene floras of western North America, eastern Asia, and central Europe, as well as Panama and Colombia I have documented the earliest known bananas, kiwi fruits, walnuts, cashews, grapes, and other familiar fruits based on their fossil remains. I enjoy the detective work that is necessary in order to reassemble extinct plant species and genera from their detached fossil organs. This work provides new taxonomic and morphological data for inclusion in phylogenetic and analyses of angiosperms.


Collection Activities

My field work in search of well-preserved fossils takes me to remote parts of Oregon, Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota as well as to Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Russia, China, and Japan.


Courses Taught

BOT 5115 Paleobotany


BOT 5625 Plant Geography


Graduate Students

Amy McClain, 1998-2000 (MS, Botany)

Iju (Judy) Chen, 2001-2009 (PhD, Botany)

Sarah Corbett, 2001-2004 (MS, Botany)

Elizabeth O'Leary 2005-2007 (MS, Botany)

Fabiany Herrera (PhD, Botany/Biology, 2008--)

Greg Stull (Biology 2010--)

Sarah Allen (Biology 2010--)

Paula Mejia (Botany, 2005--)



Dr. Hongshan Wang - Paleobotany & Palynology Collection Manager

Mr. Terry Lott - Lab Manager and Preparator


Representative Publications [See full list]

Manchester, S.R. 2011. Fruits of Ticodendraceae (Fagales) from the Eocene of Europe and North America. International Journal of Plant Sciences. 172 (9): 1179-1187.

Manchester, S.R. Q.-Y. (J.) Xiang, T. M. Kodrul and M. A. Akhmetiev 2009. Leaves of Cornus (Cornaceae) from the Paleocene of North America and Asia confirmed by trichome characters. International Journal of Plant Sciences 170 (1):132–142.

Manchester, S.R, .Z.-D. Chen, A.-M. Lu, K. Uemura. 2009 Eastern Asian endemic seed plant genera and their paleogeographic history throughout the Northern Hemisphere. J. Syst. Evol. 47 (1): 1–42.

Manchester, S.R. 1999. Biogeographical relationships of North American Tertiary floras. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 86: 472-522.