Krystyna Pożaryska (1914-1989)

Stanisław Geroch, Barbara Olszewska


Profesor Krystyna Pożaryska, an emintent Polish micropaleontologist, diedon21 October, 1989. She completed her studies at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the Warsaw University in 1937. She worked with the Department of Geology and Palaeontology of the same University in years 1937 - 1939 and 1945 - 1953, then in Polish Academy of Sciences until her retirement in 1984. Krystyna Pożaryska began her scientific work with studies on Pleistocene of Poland, but since 1954 she worked on palaeontology, especially on the foraminifers of the Cretaceous and Palaeogene strata in the Polish Lowlands. She published 134 scientific papers, including monographs, publications on general problems of science, and popularization. Her achievements confirmed the significant position of Polish micropaleontology, so firmly established by Józef Grzybowski at the end of the last century. Many pioneering papers by Krystyna Pożaryska dealt with foraminifers in the Upper Cretaceous of the Polish Lowlands. She studied guide foraminifers, presented in a paper from 1954, and published an extensive monograph “Lagenidae du Crétacé supérieur de Pologne” (1957). She defined Cretaceous/Palaeogene boundary in the non-Carpathian part of Poland on the grounds of foraminifers (‘The Cretaceous — Tertiary boundary in Poland and adjacent areas” — 1966; ‘The Upper Cretaceous and the Lower Palaeogene in Central Poland” — 1967). Many papers by Krystyna Pożaryska deal with Paleocene fonnanifers. Especially important is her monongraph from 1965 “Foraminifera and biostratigraphy of the Danian and Montian in Poland”. It includes the description and analysis of the foraminiferal assemblage in the Paleocene of the non-Carpathian area of Poland, its comparison with equivalent faunas worldwide, and the discussion of the stratigraphical value, paleogeography, ecology, and migration of these faunas. Here belongs also the monograph “Foraminiferida from the Paleocene of Polish Carpathians (Babica Clays)” from 1974, written together with J. Szczechura. The rich foraminiferal assemblage includes elements known from the sediments of the Tethys Ocean and from the sediments of epicontinental seas, as the site of deposition of the Babica Clays was situated at the contact of the Carpathian geosyncline and the epicontinental basin of Central Poland. A team of authors (J. Salaj, K. Pożaryska, J. Szczechura) studied the paleontology of the hypostratotype of marine Paleocene in the Tethyan province. This study, “Foraminiferida, zonation and subdivision of the Paleocene of Tunisia” was published in 1976. At the last paeriod of her scientific activity, since 1968, Krystyna Pożaryska studied stratigraphy and foraminiferal ecology and paleogeography of Paleogene. She travelled during that period to Asia, North and Central America. She established cooperation with specialists overseas, and compiled comparative collections on the relevant subjects from all key localities. This enabled her to study Paleocene palaeogeographical provinces. She has discovered Paleogene microfaunas that were earlier unknown in Poland, the most important of them being the Priabonian one. This studies served to establish a closer correlation between the stratigraphy and palaeogeography of the west - and east - European basins. These studies were related to her leadership in the Polish group of the IGCP Project 124 The North-West European Tertiary Basin". The most important papers by Krystyna Pożaryska published in this period of her career include: “Les organismes planktoniques de l’Eocene supérieur de Siemień, Pologne Orientale” (1967, together with S. Locker), “Upper Eocene Foraminifera of East Poland and their paleogeographical meaning” (1977), “Differences between the late Eocene foraminiferal faunas in Western and Eastern Europe” (1978), “Foraminifera and Calcareous Nannoplankton of Middle Oligocene on the Polish Lowlands” (1978), “Priabonian foraminifers of the Polish Lowlands” (1984, together with E. Odrzywolska- Bieńkowa). Krystyna Pożaryska was involved in the teaching activity at the Geology Faculty of the Warsaw University. She was actively interested in the work of her younger colleagues, sharing her rich experience and suggesting interesting problems for research. She used her contacts with international Krystyna Pożaryska will remain in our memories as a wise and noble woman, full o f passion to science, profound knowledge and generosity.

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