Palynology refers to the study of fossil pollen, and those who are in this field are known as palynologists.

The first stage of studying fossil pollen involves taking a sample from a place where pollen settles out of the air, undisturbed, through millennia. Lake bottoms and peat bogs have proven to be the best places for this type of preservation. Cores are therefore taken from these areas, the pollen is extracted and then mounted on slides for analysis.

The next stage involves microscope work which will help in the identification of the different grains and the estimation of how many different species are present.

Isotope dating methods are used to determine the time at which the grains where shed.

Finally, based on the data collected one must infer the nature of the vegetation produced from the pollen.