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Plant-Climate Interactions

Our research group is interested in the interactions between plants and climate from the scale of individual stomata on the leaf surface and how they respond to atmospheric carbon dioxide to whole biome level feedbacks between vegetation and climate, particularly forested ecosystems, and how they can ‘force’ climate through the hydrological and carbon cycles.

The group investigates how plants are both influenced by and can modulate climate change at different temporal scales. Our research includes timescales of millions of years where we use fossil plants to reconstruct past atmospheric composition and investigate Earth system processes to century and decadal timeframes which are relevant to contemporary global change where we focus on herbarium collections, field expeditions and controlled environment experimentation. We have a particular interest in mass extinction events in the fossil record, the development and application of novel paleo-proxy methods using fossil plants including proxies for atmospheric composition, functional leaf traits and paleoaltimetry. We hope that our research endeavours will ultimately lead to a better understanding of how the Earth’s vegetation will respond to and influence future anthropogenic global change.

  • Nature Geoscience
  • Nature Geoscience
  • Evolution of Plants

Research Team

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