- Plant evolution
- Paleontological exploration
My research focuses on the evolutionary origin of Neotropical rainforests. I integrate paleobotanical and neobotanical studies of plant diversity, morphology, and ecology to understand the origin of angiosperm plant lineages. I am also interested in the paleobiogeographic and paleoclimatic history of the Cenozoic, especially in the Neotropics, North America, and Europe.
My work at the Chicago Botanic Garden is the study of mesofossils from the Early Cretaceous (100-120 millions years old) of Mongolia and China. I seek to improve knowledge about the timing of events in seed plant composition and evolution for this period of time. I am very interested in the study of fossil gymnosperms such as Pinaceae, Cupressaceae, and other extinct groups of seed plants.
Herrera F., G. Shi, P. Knopf, A.B. Leslie, N. Ichinnorov, M. Takahashi, P.R. Crane, and P.S, Herendeen. 2017. Cupressaceae Conifers from the Early Cretaceous of Mongolia. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 178(1): 19–41.
Shi, G., Herrera, F., Herendeen, P.S., Leslie, A.B., Ichinnorov, N., Takahashi., and Crane, P.R., In press. Leaves of Podozamites and Pseudotorellia from the Early Cretaceous of Mongolia: stomatal patterns and implications for relationships. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.
Herrera F., A.B. Leslie, G. Shi, P. Knopf, N. Ichinnorov, M. Takahashi, P.R. Crane, and P.S, Herendeen. 2016. New Fossil Pinaceae from the Early Cretaceous of Mongolia. Botany 94: 885–915.
Shi, G., Leslie, A.B., Herendeen, P.S., Herrera, F., Ichinnorov, N., Takahashi, M., Knopf, P. and Crane, P.R., 2016. Early Cretaceous Umkomasia from Mongolia: implications for homology of corystosperm cupules. New Phytologist 210: 1418–1429
Herrera, F., Shi, G., Leslie, A. B., Knopf, P., Ichinnorov, N., Takahashi, M., Crane, P. R. & Herendeen, P. S. (2015). A New Voltzian Seed Cone from the Early Cretaceous of Mongolia and Its Implications for the Evolution of Ancient Conifers. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 176(8): 791-809.
Herrera, F., SR. Manchester, R. Koll, and C. Jaramillo. 2014. Fruits of Oreomunnea (Juglandaceae) in the Early Miocene of Panama. In W. D. Stevens, Olga Martha Montiel, and Peter H. Raven [eds.], Paleobotany and Biogeography, A Festschrift for Alan Graham in His 80th Year, 124-133. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, Missouri.
Herrera, F., SR. Manchester, and C. Jaramillo. 2012. Permineralized fruits from the late Eocene of Panama give clues of the composition of forests established early in the uplift of Central America. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 175, 10–24.
Herrera, F., SR. Manchester, SB. Hoot, K. Wefferling, MR. Carvalho, and C. Jaramillo. 2011. Phytogeographic Implications of Fossils Endocarps of Menispermaceae from the Paleocene of Colombia. American Journal of Botany, 98(12), 2004–2017.
Herrera, F., SR. Manchester, C. Jaramillo, B. MacFadden, and SA. da Silva-Caminha. 2010. Phytogeographic History and Phylogeny of the Humiriaceae, International Journal of Plant Sciences, 171(4): 392–408.
Wing, S.L., Herrera, F., Jaramillo, C., Gomez, C., Wilf, P., and Labandeira, C.C. 2009. Late Paleocene fossils from the Cerrejón Formation, Colombia, are the earliest record of Neotropical Rainforest. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 106: 18627-18632.
Head, J., Bloch, J. Hasting, A., Bourque, J., Cadena, E., Herrera, F, Polly, P.D., and Jaramillo, C. 2009. Giant Boine Snake From A Paleocene Neotropical Rainforest Indicates Hotter Past Equatorial Temperatures. Nature, 457: 715-718.