The Natural History Museum of the University of Florence, founded in 1775 by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo, is one of the oldest scientific museum in the world. With this third volume on the collections of the Geology and Paleontology Section, Firenze University Press continues its series dedicated to the six Sections of the Museum. The first part of the volume shows a detailed and fascinating descriptions of the history of this museum section's collections, the contribution of scholars who from the 17th century endeavoured to expand and study the Florentine geological-paleontological collections, and the importance of the collections to the development of modern geological-paleontological thinking. The second part describes and documents the collections, that are presented in geo-chronological order, divided into the Invertebrate, Vertebrate, Paleobotanical and Geological collections. In the last part are presented the most important activities and research projects, based on this important cultural heritage, carried out by the paleontologists of the University of Florence.
Simonetta Monechi is Full Professor of Paleontology at the University of Florence. Her studies focuses on the analysis of fossil calcareous phytoplankton for paleoecological, paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic reconstructions of the Mesozoic and Paleogene. She is involved in studies of the interactions between geological events and biological crises, earth's climatic changes of the past and modern time. She has participated in various oceanographic expeditions as part of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). She is involved in several international committees and commissions (International Commission on Stratigraphy-ICS).