Brian J. Axsmith
Department of Biology
University of South Alabama
LSCB 124
Mobile, AL 36688

I am an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of South Alabama in Mobile where I teach Morphology of Vascular Plants, Taxonomy of Flowering Plants, and Evolutionary Biology. I am originally from southeastern Pennsylvania, and became interested in Mesozoic plant fossils as a result of finding them as an undergraduate student near my hometown in the Newark Basin. This inspired me to pursue paleobotany professionally, and I earned my Ph.D under the direction of Thomas and Edith Taylor at the University of Kansas. I am interested in nearly all aspects of early Mesozoic paleobotany, but I focus mainly on the conifers. Since taking my current position in Mobile, I have jumped way up the geological column and am working on Pliocene floras from the Citronelle Formation. However, I continue to work on Mesozoic fossils whenever possible. In the accompanying picture, I have just driven an empty tomato paste can into a Pleistocene fossil plant layer along the Mobile River in order to collect sediments for optical luminescence dating (the sediments must remain in the dark for this procedure).