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Department / group: School of Geosciences – Global Change Institute
Google Scholar URL: N/A

Research interests:

With my work, I want to contribute to a better understanding of climate change-induced threats and for the vegetation. My research focuses on stress eco-physiology, and various aspects of primary producers’ responses to the environment, aiming to reveal traits that permit cryptogams to persist in extreme terrestrial habitats, ex. in the Antarctic. My background in investigating fundamental questions in growth, water use and carbon cycling in lichens, mosses and vascular plants coupled with my dedication to enhancing our scientific community through teaching

Career history:

2019-present Lecturer in Physiological Plant Ecology at the School of GeoSciences. University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
2017 – 2019: Postdoctoral research fellow of the Alexander-von Humboldt Foundation at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science in Umeå, Sweden.
2014 – 2017: Lecturer/ Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Plant Ecology and Systematics. University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. A

Active research projects:

Resilience in Antarctic Biota and Ecosystems – Within the NZ funded Antarctic Science platform
Eco-snow Antarctica – NERC funded project (
Tundra vegetation response to recent climate warming – funded by the British Ecological Society

Recent publications:

1. Gutt, J., Isla, E., Xavier, J.C., Adams, B.J., Ahn, I., Cheng, C.H.C., Colesie, C., Cummings V.J., di Prisco, G., Griffiths, H., Hawes, I., Hogg, I., McIntyre, T., Meiners, K.M., Pearce, D.A., Peck, L., Piepenburg D., Reisinger, R.R., Saba G.K., Schloss, I.R., Signori, C.N., Smith, C.R., Vacchi M., Verde, C., Wall, D.H. (2020). Antarctic ecosystems in transition–life between stresses and opportunities. Biological Reviews.

2. Colesie, C., Stangl, Z.R., Hurry, V. (2020). Differences in growth-economics of fast vs. slow growing grass species in response to temperature and nitrogen limitation individually, and in combination. BMC Ecology, 20:63

3. Sancho, L., de los Ríos, A., Pintado, A., Colesie, C., Raggio, J., Ascaso, C., & Green, A. (2020). Himantormia lugubris, an Antarctic endemic on the edge of the lichen symbiosis. Symbiosis, 1-10.

4. Jung, P., Emrich, D., Briegel‐Williams, L., Schermer, M., Weber, L., Baumann, K., Colesie, C., Clerc, P., Lehnert, L.W., Achilles, S., Bendix J., Büdel, B. (2019). Ecophysiology and phylogeny of new terricolous and epiphytic chlorolichens in a fog oasis of the Atacama Desert. Microbiology Open, e894.

5. Mugnai, G., Rossi, F., Felde, V.J.M.N.L., Colesie, C., Büdel, B., Peth, S., Kaplan, A., De Phillips, R. (2018) The potential of the cyanobacterium Leptolyngbya ohadii as inoculum for stabilizing bare sandy substrates. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 127: 318-328