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Baghai-Riding speaks at First Tuesdays

Dr. Nina L. Baghai-Riding, professor of biology and environmental science
at Delta State, was the featured guest speaker May 5 for First Tuesdays at
the Mississippi Museum of Natural Sciences in Jackson.

Baghai-Riding spoke about her work with palynological research, focusing on
a local fossil flora. She informed the audience as to how palynomorphs —
pollen and spores— can be used to date sediments, give an understanding of
past ecosystems, as well as show flora diversity.

Baghai-Riding also discussed the palynomorphs from the Upper Cretaceous
McNairy Member of the Ripley Formation from Alcorn and Tippah counties in
northeastern Mississippi.

To date, she has identified over 150 different species from this member.

“Palynomorphs from this unit signified that the McNairy member represents a
deltaic environment and possessed a subtropical to warm temperate climate,”
said Riding.

The McNairy unit extends into Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and
Alabama, and is well known for its heavy minerals and being an outstanding
aquifer unit.

In attendance were David Dockery, Mississippi State Paleontologist; Michael
Bograd, a state geologist; and Heather Sullivan, herbarium curator at the
Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.

Baghai-Riding advises environmental science and general biology majors. For
more information, contact her at nbaghai@deltastate.edu or 662-846-4797.