Palynology & Environmental Archaeology Research Lab




We analyze pollen and spores (reproductive cells from plants that are often well preserved in sediment due to their strong “skeleton” comprised of sporopollenin) to develop a record of past vegetation. Anaerobic environments such as lakes and bogs are often best for pollen preservation, but we also recover pollen from other environments such as rock shelters and some open-air sites.

Many trees produce pollen that can be carried long distances over wind; the pollen of these plants reflect a regional signal of vegetation. Some small flowers indicate produce fewer pollen grains that are not wind distributed and can reflect a more local vegetation signature. Pollen records can also provide information about human land use changes, especially when collected in proximity to archaeological sites.

Honey Analysis


We analyze pollen from honey to determine botanical source(s) for honey. Melissopalynology is often used to substantiate honey source claims, verify the geographic origin of honey, and help beekeepers understand how their bees are using local landscapes.

Paleofire Reconstruction

Sedimentary Charcoal

We analyze charcoal in sedimentary records to provide a record of fire in the past. These records best reflect past wildfire when collected from a lake with simple hydrology, but other sites may also be useful. Microscopic charcoal can provide a more regional signal of fire, while macroscopic charcoal is used to reconstruct local fire regimes and individual fire events.

Prior to collecting and submitting samples, please contact us for a free consultation to develop a research strategy that addresses your objectives.


Dr. Angie Perrotti

At PEARL, we are palynology experts. We work with everyone from government agencies, to private companies, to individual beekeepers, to provide a comprehensive pollen profile of your samples. Whether your project is ensuring compliance with NEPA or NHPA, tracking changing bee forage throughout time, or sourcing your honey, we can help. At PEARL, we prioritize your schedule and proudly have a record of meeting project completion estimates 100% of the time.


Let us know how we can help: