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Catherine Preece

Postdoctoral Research AssociateC Preece





Research Interests

I am a plant ecologist and my current work focuses on the importance of plant traits in the evolution of agriculture. Through a series of controlled-environment experiments I am investigating how unconscious selection on seed size, and related characteristics, may have played a role in the domestication of grasses and legumes in western Asia. I also have a strong interest in the effects of climate change on plant communities, with previous work including the impacts of winter climate change on sub-arctic vegetation.

oat1                Greenhouse experiment

Career History

2011 – present NERC Post-doctoral Research Associate, University of Sheffield“Origins of agriculture – an ecological perspective on crop domestication”
2007 – 2011  NERC PhD, University of Sheffield‘The impacts of icing events on sub-arctic heathland vegetation’.
2005 – 2006 Undergraduate placement, Imperial College London‘Investigating the mechanisms of secondary succession in terrestrial plants’.
2003 – 2007 BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences with Professional Placement, University of Birmingham







Arctic heath







Preece, C and Phoenix, G.K, (2013) Impact of early and late winter icing events on sub-arctic dwarf shrubs, Plant Biology DOI: 10.1111/plb.12015.

Preece, C and Phoenix, G.K, (2013) ‘Responses of sub-arctic dwarf shrubs to low oxygen and high carbon dioxide conditions’Environmental and Experimental Botany 85: 7-15.

Bokhorst, S, Bjerke, J.W, Tømmervik, H, Preece, C and Phoenix, G.K (2012) ‘Ecosystem response to climatic change: the importance of the cold season’Ambio 41 (Supplement 3)246-255.

Preece, C, Callaghan, T.V and Phoenix, G.K, (2012) ‘Impacts of winter icing events on the growth, phenology and physiology of sub-arctic dwarf shrubs’, Physiologia Plantarum 146(4): 460-472.