Hermann W. Pfefferkorn

 Hermann W. Pfefferkorn

Professor Emeritus


59-B Hayden Hall


Office Hours

By Appointment

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1968-1969)
  • Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat.) Geology, University of Muenster, Germany (1968)
  • M.S. (Dipl.-Geol.) University of Muenster, Germany (1966)
Research Interests

We are currently living in an interglacial period of an icehouse climate state but in the near future Earth will probably experiencing an icehouse to greenhouse transition. Hermann Pfefferkorn would like to understand the potential changes in plant cover that would occur in different climate realms. To this end he is studying several icehouse to greenhouse transitions that occurred during Carboniferous and Permian times around 300 million years ago. Hermann is studying paleoclimatology, landscape reconstruction, paleoecology, plant taphonomy, and whole plant reconstruction (including plant morphology, anatomy, and taxonomy) for occurrences of plant fossils in localities of Carboniferous and Permian age in North America, China, Peru, and Europe.



Geology Garden >   https://www.pfefferkorngeology.com/geology-garden

Mid-Atlantic Geobiology Symposium >  https://www.pfefferkorngeology.com/geobiology-symposium/

Hayden Memorial Walk >   https://www.pfefferkorngeology.com/hayden-memorial-walk/

Selected Publications
  • Wang, J., Hilton, J., Pfefferkorn, H.W., Wang, S., Zhang, Y., Bek, J., Pšenička, J., Seyfullah, L.J., Dilcher, D., 2021. Ancient noeggerathialean reveals the seed plant sister group diversified alongside the primary seed plant radiation. Proceedings National Academy of Sciences (USA), v. 118, no. 11, http://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2013442118


  • Wang, J., Pfefferkorn, H.W., Opluštil, S., Kerp, H., 2021. Permian “vegetational Pompeii”: A peat-forming in situ preserved forest from the Wuda Coalfield, Inner Mongolia, China – Introduction to a volume of detailed studies. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, v. 294, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2021.104502


  • Pšenička, J., Wang, J., Bek, J., Pfefferkorn, H.W., Opluštil, S., Weiming Z.,Votočková Frojdová, J., Libertín, M., 2021. A zygopterid fern with fertile and vegetative parts in anatomical and compression preservation from the earliest Permian of Inner Mongolia, China. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, v. 294, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2021.104382


  • Schmitz, M.D., Pfefferkorn, H.W., Shen, S.-Z., Wang, J., 2020, A volcanic tuff near the Carboniferous-Permian boundary, Taiyuan Formation, North China: Radioisotopic dating and global correlation. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, v. 294, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2020.104244


  • Opluštil, S., Wang, J., Pfefferkorn, H.W., Pšenička, J., Bek, J., Libertín, M., Wang, J., Wan, M., He, X., Yan, M., Wei, H., Votočková Frojdová, J., 2020. T0 Early Permian coal-forest preserved in situ in volcanic ash bed in the Wuda Coalfield, Inner Mongolia, China. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, v. 294, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2020.104347


  • Liu, L., Pšenička, J., Bek, J., Wan, M., Pfefferkorn, H.W., Wang, J., 2020. A whole calamitacean plant Palaeostachya guanglongii from the Asselian (Permian) Taiyuan Formation in the Wuda Coalfield, Inner Mongolia, China. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, v. 294 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palbo.2020.104245


I have been a co-author of chapters 12 and 13 of the textbook:

  • Martinetto, E., Tschopp, E., Gastaldo, R.A. (eds.), 2020. Nature through Time. Virtual field trips through the nature of the past. Springer Nature Switzerland, 462 p.