Marie C Henniges

Marie C Henniges

Profile Display Name:
Marie C Henniges
E-mail Address:
Start Year

2018 (Cohort 5)

Research interests:

Mathematical statistics
Species distribution models

Hobbies and interests:

PhD Project
PhD Title
Uncovering how interactions between genome size, macronutrients and land use change contribute to shaping species distributions and ecology of the UK flora
Research Theme
Biodiversity and Ecology
Primary Supervisor

Ilia J Leitch

Primary Institution
Royal Botanic Gardens, KEW
Secondary Supervisor

Andrew Leitch

Secondary Institution
Additional supervisor(s)
Alexandre Antonelli (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew),
Richard Nichols (Queen Mary University of London),
Rob Knell (Queen Mary University of London),

Genome size (GS) has been shown to impact almost every aspect of a plant’s life, from physiology to niche requirements and entire life-history strategies. These associations have sparked a growing interest in GS as a predictive value in questions relating to changing climate and biodiversity loss. The emergence of techniques for precise evaluation of genome structure along with a wealth of comprehensive databases on plant traits and niche requirements, biodiversity and species distributions over time, especially for the UK, offer an exciting framework for the integration of GS into advanced ecological models. In this project, we will attempt this integrative endeavour using a threefold approach: (1) Worldwide biodiversity data (PREDICTS) will be used to assess the relevance of correlation between niche requirements, life strategy and GS for future diversity developments in the UK. (2) Documented historic changes in land use, climate and plant distributions across the UK will be evaluated for the predictive potential of GS in this context with the ultimate aim of GS inclusion in powerful predictive vegetation models. (3) The relevance of plant GS in networks of nutrient flow, biomass production and microbial community assembly will be explored in experimentally controlled and natural systems.

Policy Impact
Background Reading

Training courses
  • Molecular Phylogenetics, hosted by University of Cambridge. April 2019
DTP Activities

Social Links
University Departmental Website:
Personal Website:

Stay informed

Click here to subscribe to our RSS newsletter by email.

Find Us

University College London is the administrative lead.

Pearson Building, UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

Follow us on Twitter