Academic year
Subject Area
Área Científica do Menor
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Plant Diversity (basic notions of Morphology/Biology of the Vascular Plants).

Teaching Methods

Theoretical classes during the 2nd semester of the academic year, with discussion with the students of the subjects. Additional laboratory practical classes about the themes versed in lectures. Extra-classes research activities (groups of 2-3 students) with the final presentation of a report in the form of a scientific paper.

Learning Outcomes

This course aims to prepare the students with a good and up-to-date knowledge of the morphology, structure and function of the pollen and spores and the applications of the Pollen Analysis in Taxonomy, Ecology, Geology, Aerobiology, Medicine, etc. Specific competencies:
1) Fundamental knowledge in the area of Biology;
2) Identification and analysis of the biological matherial and its anomalies;
3) Identification and use of biomarkers;
4) Identification and characterization of palaeolontological matherial;
5) realization of biological reports. 

Work Placement(s)




1. Definition and importance of Palynology.

2. Brief history of Palynology.

3. Morphology, structure and fuction of pollen and spores.

4. Palinotaxonomy.

5. Palinoecology.

6. Aeropalinology.

7. Melissopalinology.

8. Palaeopalinology and Pollen Analysis.

9. Aplications of Palynology in Arqueology and Forensic Sciences.


1. Techniques of preparation of palynomorphs for observation in light and scanning elecron microscopies: Wodehouse technique, spotassium and sodium hydroxides, acetolysis, chlorination, acidulated water, low-frequancy ultra-sounds. Mounting and sealing of LM slides.

2. Pollen and spore analysis of Quaternary peatlands and honeys.

3. Interpretation of pollen diagrams.

4. Identification, with dichotomous keys of Angiosperm and Gymnosperm pollen grains and Pteridophyte spores.

5. Realization of pollen descriptions.

Head Lecturer(s)

António Xavier de Barros e Cunha Pereira Coutinho

Assessment Methods

Research work: 20.0%
Exam: 80.0%


Brown, C. 2008. Palynological Techniques. The American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists Foundation. Dallas, Texas.

Gutiérrez Bustillo, M., Sáenz Laín, C., Aránguez Ruiz, E. & Ordóñez Iriarte, J. M. 2001. Polen atmosférico en la Comunidad de Madrid. Consejeria de Sanidad. Madrid.

Harley, M. M., Morton, C. M. & Blackmore, S. 2000. Pollen and Spores: Morphology and Biology. Whitstable Printers, Whitstable, Kent.

Faegri, K. 1975. Textbook of Pollen Analysis. Blackwell Scientific Publications, London. Scandinavian Univ. Books, Munksgaard.

Pons, A. 1970. Le Pollen. Presses Univ. de France, Paris.

Proctor, M., Yeo, P. & Lack, A. 1996. The Natural History of Pollination. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.

Reille, M. 1990. Leçons de Palynologie et d’Analyse Pollinique. Editions du CNRS, Paris.

Sáenz, C. 1978. Polen y Esporas. H. Blume Ed., Madrid.

Sáenz Lain, C. 2000. Mieles Españolas - Características e identificación mediante análisis del polen. Ediciones Mundi-Prensa, Madrid