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Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet
Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

Thomas Denk

Senior Curator


Thomas Denk is a senior curator at the department of Palaeobiology. He is a palaeobotanist, and is responsible for the Cenozoic plant collections. Within the frame of various projects, he also collaborates with postdoctoral researchers.

—I am interested in the evolution of land plants in the Northern Hemisphere during the past 90 million years, with a focus on the Cenozoic era. To understand plant evolution and current and past biogeographic patterns, I integrate information from molecular phylogenies and the fossil record. In addition, I investigate the differentiation of terrestrial vegetation through the Cenozoic.

Currently, Thomas Denk is studying the evolution of oak trees in time and space using a combined molecular and morphological/palaeobotanical approach.

— In oaks, together with postdoctoral researcher Dr. Kristel van Zuijlen, we are investigating the temporal and spatial occurrences of leaf shapes in the fossil record and whether they were linked to environmental changes. Besides, within the frame of the postdoctoral project of Dr. Benjamin Adroit, we are exploring the relationship between particular patterns of arthropod damage on leaves and past and modern environments.

Other Professional Roles

  • Subject Editor for the scientific journal GRANA
  • Editorial Board member for Turkish Journal of Botany
  • Editorial Board member for Acta Palaeobotanica

Contact details

Thomas Denk

Senior Curator



Thomas Denk is involved in the following projects:

The Evolution of Distribution Patterns in Flowering Plants

This project will use the fossil record of plant lineages that occurred in temperate regions during large parts of the Cenozoic in order to