Dr. phil. habil. Friðgeir Grímsson

Senior Scientist
Erdgeschoß, Zimmer 3
t: +43 (0)1 4277-540 10
m: fridgeir.grimsson@univie.ac.at

© Grimsson



  • Palynology
  • Paleopalynology
  • Botany
  • Paleobotany
  • Paleophytogeography

My research interests comprise plant evolution, vegetation differentiation, and climate development in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres during the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic. I use evidence from the macrofossil record (mostly leaves) and from the record of dispersed pollen and spores to resolve the origin, diversification, and dispersal of plant lineages, to trace past distribution and biogeographic patterns of various plant groups and major plant functional groups, to reconstruct regional and large-scale vegetation changes, and, eventually, to evaluate past climate situations and possible climate changes during the past ca. 100 million years. Key areas of my research have been the Arctic and Subarctic regions and mid-latitude regions in Asia, North America and Europe. My current area of focus is Western and Central Europe, the Mediterranean region, and the African continent.



  • Department of Paleontology, University of Vienna, Austria
  • Department of Paleobiology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm
  • Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt, Germany
  • Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
  • Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, USA
  • Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Department of Plant Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
  • Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Departments of Botany and Geology & Geophysics, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA
  • Naturalis Biodiversity Center, National Herbarium of the Netherlands, Leiden
  • Don Harrington Discovery Center, 1200 Streit Drive, Amarillo, TX, 79106, USA

 Curriculum Vitae

Derzeitige Anstellung

  • 2021– Senior Scientist, Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University of Vienna, Austria.


  • 2015 Venia Docendi (Priv.-Doz.)/Doctor Habilitatus (Dr. habil.) in Paleontology/Paleobotany. University of Vienna, Austria. Thesis: Unravelling Upper Cretaceous and Cainozoic vegetation patterns from Northern Hemispheric palynofloras.
  • 2007 Doctor of Philosophy (Dr. phil.) in Geology/Paleobotany. University of Iceland, Reykjavík. Thesis: The Miocene floras of Iceland: origin and evolution of fossil floras from north-west and western Iceland, 15 to 6 Ma.
  • 2002 Master of Science (MS) in Geology/Paleobotany. University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Thesis: The Hreðavatn Member of the Hreðavatn-Stafholt Formation and its fossil flora.
  • 1999 Bachelor of Science (BS) in Geology/Paleobotany. University of Iceland, Reykjavík. Thesis: Þrimilsdalur: an ancient flora in an aesthetic valley.

Wissenschaftliche Laufbahn

  • 2018–2021 Research scientist, senior postdoctoral position, Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University of Vienna, Austria
  • 2013–2014 Assistant Professor, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavík
  • 2010–2018 Research scientist, senior postdoctoral position, Department of Paleontology, University of Vienna, Austria
  • 2007–2009 Research scientist, postdoctoral position, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavík
  • 2002–2009 Lecturer, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavík
  • 2002–2007 Teacher, Menntaskólinn við Sund (Secondary School, College), Reykjavík


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Pan, A. D., Jacobs, B. F., Bush, R. T., de la Estrella, M., Grímsson, F., Herendeen, P. S., van der Burgt, X. M., & Currano, E. D. (2023). First evidence of a monodominant (Englerodendron, Amherstieae, Detarioideae, Leguminosae) tropical moist forest from the early Miocene (21.73 Ma) of Ethiopia. PLoS ONE, 18(1 January), [e0279491]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0279491


Geier, C., Bouchal, J. M., Wappler, T., & Grimsson, F. (2022). Linking fossil angiosperm flowers and insects using in-situ and adhered pollen. in S. McLoughlin (Hrsg.), 11th European Palaeobotany and Palynology Conference: Abstracts, Program, and Proceedings [O.052].

Wuttke, M., Poschmann, M. J., Bouchal, J. M., Geier, C., Ulrich, S., Grimsson, F., & Wappler, T. (2022). Pollen-feeding in a late Oligocene giant pelobatid tadpole from Lake Enspel (Westerwald Mountains, Germany). in Datz-Symposium & 30th International Workshop on Plant Taphonony: Program, Abstracts, Information (S. 31).


Wedmann, S., Hörnschemeyer, T., Engel, M. S., Zetter, R., & Grimsson, F. (2021). The last meal of an Eocene pollen-feeding fly. Current Biology, 31(9), 2020-2026. [E4]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2021.02.025

Grimsson, F., Ulrich, S., Coiro, M., Graham, S. A., Jacobs, B. F., Currano, E. D., Xafis, A., & Zetter, R. (2021). Hagenia from the early Miocene of Ethiopia: Evidence for possible niche evolution? Ecology and Evolution, 11(10), 5164-5186. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7408

Grimsson, F., Denk, T., & Zetter, R. (2021). Cenozoic Vegetation and Phytogeography of the Sub-arctic North Atlantic. in E. Panagiotakopulu, & J. P. Sadler (Hrsg.), Biogeography in the Sub‐Arctic: The Past and Future of North Atlantic Biota (1 Aufl., S. 29-49). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118561461.ch2

Grimsson, F., Ulrich, S., Zetter, R., Hörnschemeyer, T., Engel, M. S., & Wedmann, S. (2021). How to extract and analyze pollen from internal organs and exoskeletons of fossil insects? STAR Protocols, 2(4), 1-19. [100923]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xpro.2021.100923

Pokorny, R., Fialová, V., Grimsson, F., & Koutecky, V. (2021). Mineral Resources in Iceland: Coal mining. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.


Xafis, A., Wolfgring, E., Nagel, D., & Grimsson, F. (2020). The ever-browsing Deinotheriidae (Mammalia, Proboscidea): Did climate change affect conservative herbivory during the Miocene?. 59. Beitrag in 64th Palaeontological Association Annual Meeting, Oxford, Großbritannien / Vereinigtes Königreich.

Huang, H., Morley, R., Licht, A., Dupont-Nivet, G., Grimsson, F., Zetter, R., Westerweel, J., Win, Z., Aung, D. W., & Hoorn, C. (2020). Eocene palms from central Myanmar in a South-East Asian and global perspective: evidence from the palynological record. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 194(2), 177-206. https://doi.org/10.1093/botlinnean/boaa038

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