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Jean-Pierre Suc
Speranta-Maria Popescu
Adele Bertini
Martin J. Head
Philip L. Gibbard
Filomena Diniz


Professor Dr. Waldo H. Zagwijn passed away on 26 June, 2018, in his ninetieth year. His thesis research (Zagwijn, 1960) stimulated palynological investigations into the Pliocene and early Quaternary, and caused a fundamental shift in our understanding of the transition from the warm and relatively stable climate of the late Neogene to the extreme glacial–interglacial oscillations of the early Quaternary. Distinct in several aspects from the usual methodologies of that time, Zagwijn’s approach can be summarized as: • focusing on establishing the botanical identification of pollen grains, following the guiding approach of his supervisor F. Florschütz, using botanical nomenclature to highlight these identifications and clarify relationships between botany and the earlier artificial pollen nomenclature; • comprehensive and persistent attention to plant macroremains (fruits, seeds, etc.; Zagwijn, 1990) as a mean of integrating classical palaeobotany with modern palynology; • palaeoenvironmental interpretations informed by a deep understanding of modern plant ecology and associations; • leading investigations in the field, and paying special attention to stratigraphic correlations between (onshore and offshore) boreholes and exposed sections in quarries, using a range of available proxies including heavy mineral analysis. Waldo H. Zagwijn was a visionary in realizing how modern palynology can be used for vegetational and climatic reconstructions in the Neogene, and indeed as far back as Paleogene times

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Suc, J.-P., Popescu, S.-M., Bertini, A., Head, M. J., Gibbard, P. L., & Diniz, F. (2018). THE PIONEERING CONTRIBUTIONS AND LEGACY OF WALDO H. ZAGWIJN (1928–2018) . Alpine and Mediterranean Quaternary, 31(1), iii-viii.