This contribution marks the achievements made in the past decades by a group of mainly Egyptian palynologists. The data generated covers a long-time span from the Precambrian to the Holocene of Egypt. Previously published results are devoted primarily to the study of many exploration wells and outcrop sections. Comprehensive studies were carried out on a range of palynomorph groups including spores and pollen, algae and prasinophytes, dinoflagellate cysts, acritarchs, scolecodonts, chitinozoans, and other miscellaneous forms as well as palynofacies. Particular attention is given to the history of palaeopalynology. This study has identified three main phases. The results of the first phase were limited, as the knowledge of palynology in Egypt was poorly known from 1959 until 1979. Between 1980 and 2000, which represents the second or shaping phase, an intensive study of surface and subsurface material was carried out. The third phase (2000 until now) provides the academic and commercial expansion of palynological research in Egypt, where palynology can have immediate application in petroleum exploration studies. In the first phase, the application of palynology was seriously hampered by the limited extent of the published data. Only 27 works emerged by the end of 1979. A considerable acceleration was noted in the second phase when palynological research was established in many national institutions and started to play a considerable role in petroleum exploration. Beyond academia, some of the operating oil companies started to set up palynological laboratories and staff as part of biostratigraphy teams. These included, for example, GPC, Khalda Petroleum Company with a focus on the north Western Desert, and GUPCO with a focus on the Gulf of Suez, and most of the results obtained were incorporated with the internal data on the well files. During the period 2000–2009, especially when palynofacies studies were incorporated, the progress and the direction of palynological research changed. This allowed for a more accurate reconstruction of the depositional process and eventually a palaeobiogeographical history mainly for the Cretaceous, which is an important target for hydrocarbon exploration in Egypt. From 2010 onwards, the number of publications has clearly grown and reached 23 publications in 2020. Such a high pace of development seems to have been at the expense of basic research comprising taxonomy and biostratigraphy, something that might negatively impact the quality of research and also researchers, especially early career researchers. The change brought about through this phase by integrating organic geochemistry, sedimentology, and other disciplines may, however, have left a positive impact, principally in terms of international collaborations and expansion of palynological applications beyond the standard academic cluster. Important highlights and outputs, and prospective forthcoming developments and recommendations pertaining to Egyptian palynology generally (and in each phase) are discussed.

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