Last fall, I got a plaque at the WRI-
Now engaged in research proj-
15 meeting at Évora, Portugal, “in
ects with colleagues in India,
recognition of my contributions
France, Spain and Germany. One
over the years” to the Water/Rock
project is to document the old-
Interaction Group. At Évora I was
est record of the sweet potato
invited to come to Japan, and that’s
family. With a colleague in India I
where I traveled in March, lec-
am working on the origin of the
turing on the physics of mineral
morning glory family (Convol-
replacement at Tohoku University,
vulaceae) which is distributed
at Sendai. It was the fifth anniversary of the tsunami that
worldwide and has been a matter of debate. The fossil
devastated the coast in the vicinity of Sendai, and I visited
record from the late Eocene sediments of North Amer-
three fishing villages that had been wiped out and that are
ica argues for a Laurasian origin that is in contrast to
under reconstruction. After Japan, my wife and I travelled
a molecular phylogenetic study that favors an East
to Spain every spring. While in Madrid we took part in the
Gondwana origin. Here we report on fossil leaves of Ipo-
celebration of the 50th anniversary of IU’s Study Abroad
moea from the late Paleocene of India that support the
Program, along with current and previous students and
current molecular phylogenetic conclusions of an East
directors of the program, with the permanent Madrid staff,
Gondwana origin for Convolvulaceae. This then puts
with quite a few IU alumni who live and work in Spain, and
the origin of a major branch of flowering plants (Con-
with deans Zaret and Sideli and IU president McRobbie who
volulales) in southeast Asia at about 75 million years BP
came from Bloomington for the party. Also in Madrid, and
rather than in the Americas at about 50 million years
as I do every year, I checked the status of the beautiful,
ago. five-story-high Jardín
Vertical, see photo. At
the end of my stay, in
early July, I gave the key-
note lecture at the annual
meeting, in Oviedo, of
the Spanish Society for
Mineralogy. I had been
asked to uncover the blind
spot geochemists have
– without knowing they
have it – regarding the
Also as part of my search for early flowering plants, I am
working with a team of researchers from France, Spain
and Germany on fossils collected in northeast Spain
from Lower Cretaceous sediments. This is an aquatic
plant and has two growth forms. It is complete with
fruits (+seeds).

I am trying to rebuild again a teaching and research
collection for Paleobotany. In 1990 much of the IU col-
lection was moved to the Florida Museum of Natural
History. Now I am looking for help to rebuild the IU Pa-
leobotany Collection.

nature and mechanism
of replacement. The
meeting closed with a
fieldtrip to the Respina
Talc Mine in northern
León, where dolostones and patches of dolomitic zebra
veins are replaced by talc.

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