Daniel Peyrot has been appointed to a new Woodside and Chevron Professorship in Palynology at The University of Western Australia and is also a Lecturer in the subject at the School of Earth and Environment.

‘My research is focused on small organic remains preserved in rocks, collectively called palynomorphs and that includes spores, pollen and the resting cysts of aquatic algae,” he said.

In the context of oil and gas exploration, fossils help to date and correlate rocks that are stored or that generate hydrocarbons, for example, a rock packed with algal remains is much more likely to produce oil than gas.  Fossils also provide useful indications of the age and environment of deposition of the sedimentary rocks that host them.

“I look forward to studying the evolution of this unique hotspot of diversity through time and I will examine the relationships between living communities and their changing environments.

“Palynology can inform on providing solutions to exploration challenges such as horizontal and directional drilling, especially for unconventional targets. We convert the discipline of palynology and all the long Latin names into a language the geologist can understand so they can go out and find oil.