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Professor Fraser Mitchell

Professor Fraser Mitchell Department of Botany,
School of Natural Sciences,
Trinity College Dublin,
Dublin2, Ireland

Tel: +353 1 8961811


I am a palaeoecologist with research interest in long term environmental change as well as contemporary ecosystems. This has included investigating the impacts of human activity, grazing and climate on temperate forest succession and the drivers of contemporary forest biodiversity as well as investigation of long term climate impacts on peatland ecosystems. The results of this research feed into contemporary conservation management, restoration ecology and climate modelling. Principal funding sources have been EU and Irish government agencies. This has funded research throughout Ireland but also in UK, Spain, Poland, USA and Australia. I have supervised 20 PhD students and mentored thirteen postdoctoral research fellows. I am also national director of the Earth and Natural Sciences Doctoral Studies Programme.

Current Research and Research Opportunities

Current research focuses on long term fire histories and impacts (, carbon sequestration by peatland ecosystems, the impacts of woodland resource usage and Irish forest biodiversity ( A forthcoming research project will focus of the long term dynamics of Scots pine populations. I am part of the Trinity Centre for Biodiversity Research


I am responsible for the following palaeoecology and ecology undergraduate modules:
BY2206 Ecosystem Biology and Global Change
BO3108 Autumn Field Trip
BO3120 Environmental Dynamics
BO3109 Seminars, Tutorials & Workshops
BO3105 Fundamentals of Ecology
BO4106 Seminars, Tutorials & Workshops
Undergraduate Research Projects
MSc Desk Studies and Research Projects

Selected Publications

Mitchell F.J.G., Stefanini, B.S. and Marchant, R. (2013) A catalogue of Irish pollen diagrams. Biology and Environment-Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 113B(1), DOI: 10.3318/BIOE.2013.04

Perrin, P. M. & Mitchell, F. J. G. (2013)   Effects of shade on growth, biomass allocation and leaf morphology in European yew (Taxus baccata L.). European Journal of Forest Research, 132,DOI: 10.1007/s10342-012-0668-8

Charman, D. J., Beilman, D. W., Blaauw, M., Booth, R. K., Brewer, S., Chambers, F. M., Christen, J. A., Gallego-Sala, A., Harrison, S. P., Hughes, P. D. M., Jackson, S. T., Korhola, A., Mauquoy, D., Mitchell, F. J. G., Prentice, I. C., van der Linden, M., De Vleeschouwer, F., Yu, Z. C., Alm, J., Bauer, I. E., Corish, Y. M. C., Garneau, M., Hohl, V., Huang, Y., Karofeld, E., Le Roux, G., Loisel, J., Moschen, R., Nichols, J. E., Nieminen, T. M., MacDonald, G. M., Phadtare, N. R., Rausch, N., Sillasoo, Ü., Swindles, G. T., Tuittila, E. S., Ukonmaanaho, L., Väliranta, M., van Bellen, S., van Geel, B., Vitt, D. H. & Zhao, Y.  2013  Climate-related changes in peatland carbon accumulation during the last millennium. Biogeosciences 10, 929-944.

Coote, L., French, L.J., Moore, K., Mitchell, F.J.G. and Kelly, D.L. (2012) Can forestry plantations support plant species and communities of semi-natural woodland? Forest Ecology and Management, 283, 86-95.

Charman, D. J., Hohl, V., Blundell, A., Mitchell, F.J.G. and Oksanen, P. (2012) A 1000-year reconstruction of summer precipitation from Ireland: calibration of a peat-based palaeoclimate record. Quaternary International, 268, 87-97.

Mitchell, F.J.G. (2011) Exploring vegetation in the fourth dimension. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 26, 45-52.

Perrin, P. M., Mitchell, F. J. G. & Kelly, D. L. (2011). Long-term deer exclusion in yew-wood and oakwood habitats in southwest Ireland: Changes in ground flora and species diversity. Forest Ecology and Management 262, 2328-2337.

Roche, J.R., Mitchell, F.J.G. and Waldren, S. (2009) Plant community ecology of Pinus sylvestris, an extirpated species reintroduced to Ireland. Biodiversity and Conservation, 18, 2185-2203.

Mitchell, F.J.G. (2005) How open were European primeval forests? Hypothesis testing using palaeoecological data. Journal of Ecology, 93, 168-177.

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Last updated 14 September 2017