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Antonietta Knetge

Antonietta Barbara Knetge joined the Botany Department in September 2022 as part of the four-year project, TERRAFORM, funded by the ERC. Antonietta is a deep-time palaeobotanist and she obtained her BSc Hons from University College Cork with a dissertation focusing on pioneer flora of Lower Carboniferous Kiltorcan, Ireland. Her earlier work analysed Quaternary macrofossil diversity and quantification in Northern Italy and Greece, alongside charcoal identification to determine fire dynamics (University of Bern, 2021).
“My interest in deep-time palaeobotany and systematics is centred around how much there is yet to learn and understand about palaeo-life. I often find palaeobotany is generally disregarded when discussing disciplines which can contribute to earth system studies today. Therefore, it is my aim to contribute to the advancement in this area of research and to integrate a comprehensive approach of deep-time biospheres to all audiences, scientific and non”.

PhD Project:

TERRAFORM is a project exploring and determining biosphere impacts on the Earth system over geological time. Respectively, the research will assess how plant trait evolution ‘terraformed’ the Earth, specifically its hydrological, nutrient, and carbon cycles. Antonietta’s research will focus on Mesozoic flora palaeo-traits for Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous case studies, alongside ecosystem process modelling. This will be achieved via the newly developed paleo-BIOME BGC, rendering terrestrial ecosystem dynamics and simulating plant physiological processes in response to their palaeoenvironment.

Jennifer McElwain (TCD)
Bernard Gomez (University Claude Bernard)
Joseph White (Baylor University)