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Ginkgo cordilobata from the Jurassic of Afghanistan. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy of leaf cuticles from Ginkgo and various other fossil plants has revealed chemical similarities that largely match the phylogenetic relationships inferred for these plants. FTIR represents an exciting new tool that may help elucidate the evolutionary affinities of many fossil plants that lack living relatives. Photo by Stephen McLoughlin.

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Vajda, V. et al., Molecular signatures of fossil leaves provide unexpected new evidence for extinct plant relationships. Nat. Ecol. Evol. 1, 1093-1099 (2017).

Patrick Goymer

Chief Editor, Nature Ecology & Evolution

Patrick joined Nature Publishing Group in 2005 as an Assistant Editor at Nature Reviews Genetics and Nature Reviews Cancer. In 2008 he moved to Nature, where he served as Senior Editor covering ecology and evolution, before becoming Chief Editor of Nature Ecology & Evolution in 2016. He has handled primary manuscripts and review articles across the entire breadth of ecology and evolution, as well as advising and writing for other sections of Nature. Patrick has a degree in genetics from the University of Cambridge, did his DPhil in experimental evolution at the University of Oxford, and did postdoctoral work on evolutionary and ecological genetics at University College London in association with Imperial College London at Silwood Park.