Slide preparation

The BGS Biostratigraphy Laboratories are part of a broader capability in palaeontology in BGS, which also includes extensive collections of macrofossils and microfossils.

Our two laboratories constitute essential sample preparation facilities in palynology and micropalaeontology. The current laboratories moved to a new location at Keyworth in 2003, but before then palynological and micropalaeontological preparation facilities were operational in Keyworth and at other sites for more than 40 years. In that time, more than 250 000 palynological and micropalaeontological samples have passed through the laboratories. Many of them are from the UK and a significant proportion is from overseas; the majority are well located, both geographically and stratigraphically.

Low power photomicrograph

Many of the samples prepared in the BGS Biostratigraphy Laboratories have served the national capability needs of the Geological Survey by providing evidence for the age and correlation of sedimentary successions to assist mapping. This remains an important role for biostratigraphers and for the sample preparation facilities that underpin their work, but increasingly that role has diversified into other research areas. Areas of work that the laboratories have contributed to recently include:

  • hydrocarbons exploration and development
  • building and civil engineering works
  • forensic geoscience
  • geoarchaeology
  • climate change and biodiversity
  • geohazard assessment

Clients and collaborators include national and international oil and gas companies; building and environmental engineering consultancies; university researchers and the British Antarctic Survey.


Please contact Dr Jan Hennissen for further information