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Jenny McElwain

School of Biology & Environmental Science

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Biography


Jennifer C McElwain
 is a Professor of Plant Palaeobiology and Palaeoecology  in UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science and member of UCD Earth Institute. She is the director of PEAC (Program for Experimental Atmospheres and Climate) and chair of UCD Rosemount Environmental Research Station's management committee. She has been awarded numerous Irish (SFI, HEA, IRC), European (ERC, Marie Sklodowska Curie) and US (NSF) research grants and currently runs a lab of twelve PhD and Postdoctoral researchers at UCD. Her teaching and research focus on plant evolution from the perspective of the plant fossil record and global climate and atmospheric change.

She received her B.A. in Botany from Trinity College Dublin in
Ireland in 1993 and her PhD in Paleobotany in 1997 from Royal Holloway College, University of London. She was a Natural Environment Research Council Post Doctoral research associate between 1997 and 1998 and a Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow between 1998 and 2000 at the University of Sheffield. McElwain held the position of Assistant Curator of Paleobotany at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago between 2000 and 2003 and later Associate Curator of Paleobotany from 2003 until 2006, when she took up her current position in UCD. She is a Research Associate of the Field Museum and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Northwestern University, USA.

Professional

Honours and Awards

Year: 1996.
Title: University of London Rita Madge Award for Academic Excellence
Year: 1995.
Title: Highly Commended Young Speaker, Annual Palaeontological Association Meeting, Galway, Ireland
Year: 1994.
Title: University of London Webb Scholarship Award
Year: 1993.
Title: Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, Senior Sophistor Prize for best undergraduate honors dissertation thesis

Associations

Association: Geological Society of America , Function/Role:
Association: Palaeontological Association , Function/Role:
Association: Paleontological Society , Function/Role:
Association: Linnean Society of London Paleobotany Specialist Group , Function/Role:
Association: Botanical Society of America , Function/Role:
       

Committees

Committee : National Science Foundation Paleontology and Stratigraphy Panel
Committee : Geology Editorial Board
Committee : External expert: Uppsala University Sweden to fill an Assistant Professorship in Earth Sciences
Committee : Councillor at Large: Science Advisory Council, The Field Museum 2005
Committee : Hinds Scholarship Fund Committee, University of Chicago
Committee : Organizer, 20th Annual Mid Continent Paleobotanical Colloquium, The Field Museum, Chicago
Committee : Member, National Science Foundation sponsored workshop on Deep-Time Paleoclimatology, NSF headquarters in Arlington, VA
Committee : Member, NSF workshop Climatic, Biotic, and Tectonic, Pole-to-Pole Coring Transect of Triassic-Jurassic Pangea, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada

Employment

Employer: Department of Geology, Field Museum, Chicago
Position: Associate Curator Paleobotany
Employer: Department of Geology, Northwestern University, Chicago
Position: Adjunct Associate Professor
Employer: Department of Geology, Northwestern University, Chicago
Position: Adjunct Assistant Professor
Employer: Department of Geology, Field Museum, Chicago
Position: Assistant Curator Paleobotany
Employer: University of Chicago, USA
Position: Lecturer, Committee on Evolutionary Biology
Employer: University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
Position: Leverhulme Postdoctoral Associate
Employer: University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
Position: NERC Postdoctoral Assistant

Education

Year 1993 Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Qualification: BA Subject:
Year 1997 Institution: University College London
Qualification: PhD Subject:
         

Publications

Books

Willis and McElwain (2013) The Evolution of Plants (2nd edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available Online [Details]
Willis, K.J. and McElwain, J.C.; (2002) The Evolution of Plants. Oxford University Press: Oxford. Available Online [Details]

Book Chapters

McElwain, J.C., Willis, K.J. and Niklas, K. (2011) 'Long term fluctuations in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration influence plant speciation rate' In: Hodkinson, T., Jones, M., Parnell, J. and Waldren, S (eds). Climate Change and Systematics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: Systematics Association Special Series. [Details]
McElwain, J.C., Willis, K.J, Lupia, R. ; (2005) 'Cretaceous CO2 decline and the radiation and diversification of angiosperms' In: Ehleringer J.R., Cerling T.E., Dearing M.D (eds). A history of atmospheric CO2 and its effect on plants, animals, and ecosystems. New York: Springer. , pp.133-166 [Details]
McElwain, J.C. ; (2001) 'Atmospheric CO2 - Stomata' In: Briggs D.E.G. and Crowther P.R (eds). Palaeobiology II. Oxford: Blackwell Science. , pp.479-480 [Details]
McElwain, J.C.; (2000) 'Evolution of the Atmosphere' In: Singer R (eds). Encyclopedia of Paleontology. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. [Details]
 

Peer Reviewed Journals

McElwain J.C., Yiotis C. and Lawson T. (2015) 'Using modern plant trait relationships between observed and theoretical maximum stomatal conductance and vein density to examine patterns of plant macroevolution'. New Phytologist, . [DOI] [Details]
McElwain J.C., Montanez I., White J.D., Wilson J. and Yiotis C. (2015) 'Was atmospheric CO2 capped at 1000 ppm over the past 300 million years?'. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, . [DOI] [Details]
Porter A.S., Evans-FitzGerald C., McElwain J.C., Yiotis C. and Elliot-Kingston C. (2015) 'How well do you know your growth chambers? Testing for chamber effect using plant traits'. Plant Methods, . [DOI] [Details]
Suhas Shinde1, Ali Behpouri1, Jennifer C. McElwain, Carl K.-Y. Ng (2015) 'Genome-wide transcriptomic analysis of the effects of sub-ambient atmospheric oxygen and elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels on gametophytes of the moss, Physcomitrella patens'. Journal of Experimental Botany, 66 (13):4001-4012. [DOI] [Details]
Margret Steinthorsdottir, Anne-Marie P Tosolini, Jennifer C Mcelwain (2015) 'Evidence for insect and annelid activity across the triassic-jurassic transition of East Greenland'. Palaios, 30 (8):597-607. [DOI] [Details]
J.P. Wilson, J.D. White, W.A. DiMichele, M.T. Hren, C.J. Poulsen, J.C. McElwain, I.P. Montañez (2015) 'Reconstructing extinct plant water use for understanding vegetation-climate feedbacks: Methods, synthesis and a case study using the Paleozoic era medullosan seed ferns The Palaeontological Society Papers'. Special Papers in Palaeontology, 21 :167-195. [Details]
V¿¿ry Z, Mullins E;McElwain JC;Doohan FM (2015) 'The severity of wheat diseases increases when plants and pathogens are acclimatized to elevated carbon dioxide'. Global Change Biology, 21 (7):2661-2669. [DOI] [Details]
Haworth, Matthew, Gallagher, Angela, Sum, Elysia, Hill-Donnelly, Marlene, Steinthorsdottir, Margret, Mcelwain, Jennifer (2014) 'On the reconstruction of plant photosynthetic and stress physiology across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary'. Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences, 23 (3):321-329. [Details]
Kürschner, Wolfram M, Mander, Luke, McElwain, Jennifer C (2014) 'A gymnosperm affinity for Ricciisporites tuberculatus Lundblad: implications for vegetation and environmental reconstructions in the Late Triassic'. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, :1-11. [Details]
Williford, Kenneth H, Grice, Kliti, Holman, Alexander, McElwain, Jennifer C (2014) 'An organic record of terrestrial ecosystem collapse and recovery at the Triassicâ¿¿Jurassic boundary in East Greenland'. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 127 :251-263. [Details]
Elliott-Kingston, C, Haworth, M, McElwain, JC (2014) 'Damage structures in leaf epidermis and cuticle as an indicator of elevated atmospheric sulphur dioxide in early Mesozoic floras'. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, . [Details]
Haworth, M. and Elliott-Kingston, C. and Gallagher, A. and Fitzgerald, A. and McElwain, J. C. (2012) 'Sulphur dioxide fumigation effects on stomatal density and index of non-resistant plants: Implications for the stomatal palaeo- CO2 proxy method'. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 182 :44-54. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
McElwain, J. C. (2013) 'Ginkgo The Tree That Time Forgot'. Science, 340 (6134):812-813. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Mander, L. and Kurschner, W. M. and McElwain, J. C. (2013) 'Palynostratigraphy and vegetation history of the Triassic-Jurassic transition in East Greenland'. Journal of the Geological Society, 170 (1):37-46. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Haworth, M. and Elliott-Kingston, C. and McElwain, J. C. (2013) 'Co-ordination of physiological and morphological responses of stomata to elevated CO2 in vascular plants'. Oecologia, 171 (1):71-82. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Bacon, KL,Belcher, CM,Haworth, M,McElwain, JC (2013) 'Increased Atmospheric SO2 Detected from Changes in Leaf Physiognomy across the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary Interval of East Greenland'. PLoS ONE, 8 . [DOI] [Details]
Steinthorsdottir, M., Woodward, F. I., Surlyk, F., McElwain, J. C. (2012) 'Deep-time evidence of a link between elevated CO2 concentrations and perturbations in the hydrological cycle via drop in plant transpiration'. Geology, 40 (9):815-818. Available Online [Details]
Mander, L,Wesseln, CJ,McElwain, JC,Punyasena, SW (2012) 'Tracking Taphonomic Regimes Using Chemical and Mechanical Damage of Pollen and Spores: An Example from the Triassic-Jurassic Mass Extinction'. PLoS ONE, 7 . [DOI] [Details]
Bacon, K.L., Belcher, C.M., Hesselbo, S.P. and McElwain, J.C.; (2011) 'The Triassic-Jurassic boundary carbon-isotope excursions expressed in taxonomically identified leaf cuticles'. Palaios, 26 (8):461-469. [DOI] [Details]
McElwain, J.C. (2011) 'Ferns: a xylem success story'. New Phytologist, 192 (22):307-310. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Haworth, M., Elliott-Kingston, C. and McElwain, J.C. (2011) 'The stomatal CO2 proxy does not saturate at high atmospheric CO2 concentrations: evidence from stomatal index responses of Araucariaceae conifers'. Oecologia, 167 (1):11-19. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Steinthorsdottir, M., Bacon, K.L., Popa, M.E., Bochner, L. and McElwain, J.C.; (2011) 'Bennettitalean leaf cuticle fragments (here Anomozamites and Pterophyllum) can be used interchangeably in stomatal frequency-based palaeo-CO2 reconstructions'. Palaeontology, 54 (4):867-882. [DOI] [Details]
Haworth, M., Fitzgerald, A., McElwain, J. C. (2011) 'Cycads show no stomatal-density and index response to elevated carbon dioxide and subambient oxygen'. Australian Journal of Botany, 59 (7):629-638. Available Online [Details]
Steinthorsdottir, M., Jeram, A. J., McElwain, J. C. (2011) 'Extremely elevated CO2 concentrations at the Triassic/Jurassic boundary'. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 308 (3-4):418-432. Available Online [Details]
Haworth, M., Elliott-Kingston, C., McElwain, J. C. (2011) 'Stomatal control as a driver of plant evolution'. Journal of Experimental Botany, 62 (8):2419-2423. Available Online [Details]
Bacon, K. L., Belcher, C. M., Hesselbo, S. P., McElwain, J. C. (2011) 'THE TRIASSIC-JURASSIC BOUNDARY CARBON-ISOTOPE EXCURSIONS EXPRESSED IN TAXONOMICALLY IDENTIFIED LEAF CUTICLES'. Palaios, 26 (7-8):461-469. Available Online [Details]
Barclay, R.S., McElwain, J.C. and Sageman, B.B.; (2010) 'Carbon sequestration activated by a volcanic CO2 pulse during oceanic anoxic event 2'. Nature Geoscience, 3 :205-208. [DOI] [Details]
Haworth, M., Gallagher, A., Elliott-Kingston, C., Rashi, A., Marandola, D., McElwain, J.C.; (2010) 'Stomatal index responses of Agrostis canina to CO2 and sulphur dioxide: implications for palaeo-[Co2] using the stomatal proxy'. New Phytologist, 188 (3):845-855. [Details]
Haworth, M., Heath, J. and McElwain, J.C.; (2010) 'Differences in the response sensitivity of stomatal index to atmospheric CO2 among four genera of Cupressaceae conifers'. Annals of Botany, 105 (3):411-418. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Belcher, C. M., Yearsley, J. M., Hadden, R. M., McElwain, J. C., Rein, G. (2010) 'Baseline intrinsic flammability of Earth's ecosystems estimated from paleoatmospheric oxygen over the past 350 million years'. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107 (52):22448-22453. Available Online [Details]
Taylor, C.T. and McElwain, J.C.; (2010) 'Ancient Atmospheres and the Evolution of Oxygen Sensing Via the Hypoxia-Inducible Factor in Metazoans'. Physiology, 25 (5):272-279. [DOI] [Details]
Belcher, C.M., Yearsley, J.M., Hadden, R.M., McElwain, J.C. and Rein, G.; (2010) 'Baseline intrinsic flammability of Earth's ecosystems estimated from paleoatmospheric oxygen over the past 350 million years'. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107 (52):22448-22453. [DOI] [Details]
Mander, L., Kuerschner, W.M., McElwain J.C.; (2010) 'An explanation for conflicting records of Triassic-Jurassic plant diversity'. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107 (35):15351-15356. [Details]
McElwain, J.C., Wagner, P.J. and Hesselbo, S.P.; (2009) 'Fossil Plant Relative Abundances Indicate Sudden Loss of Late Triassic Biodiversity in East Greenland'. Science, 324 (5934):1554-1556. [DOI] [Details]
Popa, M.E. and McElwain, J.C. ; (2009) 'Bipinnate Ptilozamites nilssonii from Jameson Land and new considerations on the genera Ptilozamites Nathorst 1878 and Ctenozamites Nathorst 1886'. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 153 :386-393. [Details]
Haworth, D. and McElwain, J.C.; (2009) 'Reply to the comment on Hot, dry, wet, cold or toxic? Revisiting the ecological significance of leaf cuticular micromorphology by M. Haworth and J.C. McElwain [Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 262 (2008) 79-90]'. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 273 (1-2):209-211. [DOI] [Details]
Punyasena, S.W., Eshel, G. and McElwain, J.C.; (2008) 'The influence of climate on the spatial patterning of Neotropical plant families'. Journal of Biogeography, 35 (1):117-130. [DOI] [Details]
Belcher, C.M. and McElwain, J.C.; (2008) 'Limits on Combustion in Low O2 Redefine Paleoatmospheric Predictions for the Mesozoic'. Science, 321 (5893):1197-1200. [DOI] [Details]
Haworth, M., McElwain, J., ; (2008) 'Hot, dry, wet, cold or toxic? Revisiting the ecological significance of leaf and cuticular micromorphology'. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 262 (1-2):79-90. [Details]
Punyasena, SW,Mayle, FE,McElwain, JC; (2008) 'Quantitative estimates of glacial and Holocene temperature and precipitation change in lowland Amazonian Bolivia'. Geology, 36 :667-670. [DOI] [Details]
Royer, D. L., McElwain, J. C., Adams, J. M., Wilf, P., ; (2008) 'Sensitivity of leaf size and shape to climate within Acer rubrum and Quercus kelloggii'. New Phytologist, 179 (3):808-817. [Details]
Kouwenberg, L.L.R., Hines, R., and McElwain, J.C.; (2007) 'A new transfer technique to extract and process thin and fragmented cuticle using polyester overlays'. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 145 (3-4):243-248. [Details]
McElwain, J.C. and Punyasena, S.; (2007) 'Mass extinction events and the plant fossil record'. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 22 (10):548-557. [Details]
McElwain, J.C., Popa, M.E., Hesselbo, S.P., Haworth, M. and Surlyk, F.; (2007) 'Macroecological responses of terrestrial vegetation to climate and atmospheric change across the Triassic/Jurassic boundary in East Greenland'. Paleobiology, 33 (4):547-573. [Details]
Kouwenberg, L.L.R., Kurschner, W.M. and McElwain, J.C. ; (2007) 'Stomatal frequency change over altitudinal gradients: Prospects for paleoaltimetry'. Paleoaltimetry: Geochemical and Thermodynamic Approaches, 66 :215-241. [Details]
Barclay, R., McElwain, J.C., Dilcher, D. and Sageman, B.; (2007) 'The Cuticle Database:Developing an interactive tool for taxonomic and paleoenvironmental study of the fossil cuticle record'. Courier Forschung Institut Senckenburg, 258 :35-59. [Details]
Kouwenberg, LLR, Hines, RR, McElwain, JC, ; (2007) 'A new transfer technique to extract and process thin and fragmented fossil cuticle using polyester overlays'. REV PALAEOBOT PALYNO, 145 :243-248. [Details]
Kouwenberg, L.R., Kurschner, W.M. and McElwain, J.C.; (2007) 'Stomatal frequency change over altitudinal gradients: Prospects for paleoaltimetry'. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, 66 :215-241. [Details]
McElwain, J.C., Wade-Murphy, J. and Hesselbo, S. P.; (2005) 'Changes in carbon dioxide during an oceanic anoxic event linked to intrusion into Gondwana coals'. NATURE, :479-482. [Details]
McElwain, J.C. ; (2004) 'Climate-independent paleoaltimetry using stomatal density in fossil leaves as a proxy for CO2 partial pressure'. GEOLOGY, 32 (12):1017-1021. [Details]
Hesselbo, S.P., Morgans-Bell, H.S., McElwain, J.C., McAllister Rees, P., Robinson, S.A.; (2003) 'A carbon-cycle perturbation in the Middle Jurassic and accompanying changes in the terrestrial paleoenvironment'. JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY, 111 :259-276. [Details]
McElwain, J.C., Beerling, DJ & Woodward, FI ; (1999) 'Fossil plants and global warming at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary'. SCIENCE, 285 :1386-1390. [Details]
Beerling, DJ, McElwain, JC & Osborne, CP; (1998) 'Stomatal responses of the 'living fossil' Ginkgo biloba L. to changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations'. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY, 49 (326):1603-1607. [Details]
McElwain, JC & Chaloner, WG ; (1995) 'Stomatal density and index of fossil plants track atmospheric carbon dioxide in the palaeozoic'. ANNALS OF BOTANY, 76 :389-395. [Details]
McElwain, JC, Mitchell, FJG, & Jones, MB ; (1995) 'Relationship of stomatal density and index of Salix cinerea to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations of the Holocene'. THE HOLOCENE, 5 (2):216-219. [Details]

Other Journals

Kouwenberg L.L.R., McElwain,J.C., Kürschner, W.M., Wagner, F. Beerling, D.J., Mayle, F.E , Visscher, H.; (2003) 'Stomatal frequency adjustment of four conifer species to historical changes in atmospheric CO2' American Journal of Botany 90 (4) . [Details]
McElwain, J.C. ; (2002) 'Is the greenhouse theory a fallacy: A paleontological paradox' PALAIOS 17 (5) :417-418. [Details]
McElwain, J.C, Beerling, DJ & Mayle, FE; (2002) 'Evidence for a decline in atmospheric CO2 concentration during the Younger Dryas stadial: A comparison with Antarctic ice core records' Journal of Quaternary Science 17 (1) :21-29. [Details]
McElwain, JC ; (1998) 'Past carbon dioxide levels and proxy indicators' The Globe 41 :9-10. [Details]
McElwain, JC ; (1998) 'Do fossil plants signal palaeo-atmospheric CO2 concentration in the geological past?' Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 353 :83-96. [Details]
Chaloner, WG & McElwain, JC; (1997) 'The fossil record and global climate change' Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 95 :73-82. [Details]
McElwain, JC & Chaloner, WG ; (1996) 'The fossil cuticle as a skeletal record of environmental change' Palaios 11 (4) :376-388. [Details]

Conference Publications

McElwain, J.C. and Wagner, P.; (2006) Invited Talk. Rarity increases extinction risk at the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction boundary 8th European Paleobotany Palynology Conference Prague, Czeck Republic, [Details]
McElwain, J.C.; (2006) Invited Talk. Tracking long term carbon cycle dynamics, mass extinctions and catastrophes using fossil plant stomatal frequency Biology of Transpiration Snowbird, Utah, USA, [Details]
McElwain, J.C.; (2006) Keynote address. Reconstructing ancient atmospheric composition - a review based on the last 20 years and the future for stomatal-based research 7th European Paleobotany Palynology Conference Prague, Czeck Republic, , 06-SEP-06 - 11-SEP-06 [Details]
McElwain, J.C., Popa, M.E., Hesselbo, S.P., Surlyk, F.; (2006) Stability, collapse and recovery of terrestrial ecosystems in east Greenland across the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction boundary Advances in Paleobotany Gainsville, Florida, USA, , 12-MAR-06 - 15-MAR-06 [Details]
McElwain, J.C., Popa, M.E., Hesselbo, S.P., Surlyk, F.; (2006) Stability, collapse and recovery of terrestrial ecosystems in east Greenland across the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction boundary Geological Society of America Annual Meeting and Exposition Philadelphia, USA, , 22-OCT-06 - 25-OCT-06 [Details]
McElwain, J.C.; (2005) New record of atmospheric carbon dioxide indicates that the toarcian oceanic anoxic event (~183 ma) was triggered by intrusion of Gondwanan coals by Karoo and Ferrar dolerites Earth System Processes 2 Calgary, [Details]
McElwain, J.C. ; (2005) Macroecological responses of vegetation to a four-fold increase in atmospheric co2 across the triassic-jurassic mass extinction boundary Earth System Processes 2 Calgary, [Details]
McElwain, J.C. ; (2004) Is there a particular threshold of CO2 change (rise or fall) which has contributed to major ecosystem reorganization in the plant fossil record? Comparisons and contrasts between three Mesozoic intervals, the Triassic-Jurassic boundary (~200ma), Toarcian (~178 ma) and Cenomanian-turonian (~94 ma) International Organization of Paleobotany VII Bariloche, Argentina, [Details]
Punyasena, S.W., Eshel, G., McElwain, J.C. ; (2004) Climate and modern neotropical plant distributions: macroecological and paleoecological implications * Denver, [Details]
Fortwenglar, M., Sageman, B., McElwain, J.C., and Kenig, F.; (2004) Integrated paleobiological and geochemical assessment of carbon cycle perturbations and climate change during cenomanian-turonian oae ii, north America * Denver, [Details]
Sageman, B., Arthur, M. A., Kenig, F., Laurin, J., McElwain, J.C., Meyers, S.R.; (2004) The Cenomanian-Turonian Boundary Event: Linkage of High-Resolution Terrestrial and Marine Records of a Major Climate Perturbation During Peak Greenhouse Conditions * San Fransisco, [Details]
McElwain, J.C.; (2003) New paleobotanical, lithological and isotopic data from T-J strata, Kap Stewart Formation, Jameson Land , East Greenland GAC 2003 Vancouver, Canada, [Details]
McElwain, J.C.; (2002) A novel CO2 partial pressure based method of estimating paleoelevation from fossil plants Geological Society of America annual meeting Denver, Colorado, [Details]
McElwain, J. C.; (2002) Do atmospheric CO2 changes influence plant macroecology and macroevolution? MPC 2002 Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainsville, Florida, [Details]
McElwain, J. C.; (2001) A novel climate-independent method for estimating paleo-elevation from fossil plants Botanical Society of America Albuquerque, [Details]
McElwain; (2001) Fossil floral dynamics and environmental change across the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction boundary NAPC 2001 Berkeley, [Details]
McElwain, J. C.; (2000) Fossil plants indicate super-greenhouse conditions at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary GEO 2000 Manchester, England, [Details]
McElwain, J. C.; (2000) Fossil plant and environmental change during Mesozoic flood basalt event 6th International Organization of Palaeobotany Conference Quinquandao, China, [Details]
McElwain, J. C.; (2000) Fossil plant and environmental change during Mesozoic flood basalt and oceanic anoxic events GSA 2000 Reno, [Details]
McElwain, J. C.; (2000) Fossil plants have a tale to tell during faunal extinction boundaries Mid Continent Paleobotany Colloquium 2000 North Carolina, USA, [Details]
McElwain, J. C.; (1998) The application of modern plant ecophysiological responses to reconstruct atmospheric CO2 and temperature fluctuations during the Younger Dryas of Atlantic Canada Annual Conference of the Royal Geographical Society Leicester, UK, [Details]
McElwain, J. C.; (1998) Terrestrial evidence for an increase in atmospheric CO2 at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary 5th European Palaeobotanical and Palynological conference Cracow, Poland, [Details]
McElwain, J. C.; (1997) Reconstructing palaeo-atmospheric CO2 levels using fossil plants European Palaeontological Society 'Palaeoclimate' Meeting Vienna, Austria, [Details]
McElwain, J.C.; (1997) Stomatal density and index of fossil plants track atmospheric carbon dioxide in the palaeozoic Linnean Society, Palaeobotany Specialist Meeting 'Palaeoclimate and Palaeo-atmospheres' London, [Details]
McElwain, J. C.; (1995) Palaeozoic CO2 fluctuations as detected from fossil stomatal parameters Palaeontological Association Meeting University of Galway, Ireland, [Details]
   

Editorial

Haworth, M,Elliott-Kingston, C,McElwain, JC; (2011) Stomatal control as a driver of plant evolution. Editorial [DOI] [Details]
Haworth, M,McElwain, JC; (2009) Reply to the comment on Hot, dry, wet, cold or toxic? Revisiting the ecological significance of leaf cuticular micromorphology by M. Haworth and JC McElwain [Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 262 (2008) 79-90]. Editorial [DOI] [Details]
                         

Book Reviews

McElwain, JC (2013) Ginkgo The Tree That Time Forgot. Book Reviews [DOI] [Details]
                                     

Annotations

McElwain, J.C.; (2001) Short review entries and expanded definitions of; Palaeobotany; C3, C4, CAM; Leaf physiognomy, Atmospheric composition; CO2 variations; Carbon sinks and sources; Oxygen variations; Stomatal analysis. In: Matthews, J.A.(ed) The Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Environmental Change. London: Annotations [Details]
               

Research

Research Interests

My research interfaces between geological and biological sciences and is mainly focused on exploring macroecological and evolutionary responses of plants to long term climatic and atmospheric change. I am particularly interested in understanding and documenting plant community responses in the plant fossil record to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Intervals of past global change can serve as import analogs with which we can improve our predictions of how broad-scale ecological interactions and plant communities may respond to future carbon dioxide-induced global warming. I have been working extensively on documenting plant community responses across mass extinction boundaries in the fossil record, including the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction event (200 million years ago) when over 50% of invertebrate fauna went extinct and the Cenomanian-Turonian oceanic anoxoic event, which was an interval of major climatic and atmospheric upheaval in the Cretaceous period around 90 million years ago. Much of my research has also focused on developing tools with which we can reconstruct past environmental changes, including the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide in ancient atmospheres and paleoelevation (the elevation of past land surfaces) using fossil plants.

Research Projects

Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Impact of climate change on plant populations and the implications for European grassland ecology
Start Date / End Date : 01-APR-14 / 30-SEP-15
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : OXYEVOL Atmospheric Oxygen as a driver of Plant Evolution over the past 400 million years
Start Date / End Date : 01-FEB-12 / 31-JAN-17
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Supplement to R12786
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAR-12 / 01-MAR-17
Sponsor : US National Science Foundation (NSF)
Title : COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH-Earth Life Transitions: Integrated data-model analysis of CO2-climate-vegetation feedbacks in a dynamic icehouse
Start Date / End Date : 01-JAN-14 / 31-DEC-18
Sponsor : Teagasc
Title : Can increased plant diversity in agronomic swards improve adaptation to drought
Start Date / End Date : 01-FEB-12 / 31-JAN-16
Sponsor : EC Framework (FP7)
Title : Atmospheric oxygen as a driver of plant evolution over the past 400 million years (OXYEVOL)
Start Date / End Date : 01-FEB-12 / 01-FEB-17
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Predicting biome-level vegetation responses to future global change: Implications for future flood risk
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAR-12 / 28-FEB-18
Sponsor : Higher Education Authority (HEA)
Title : PRTLI 5: ESI-PhD-ENS - Split Accounts School of BES
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAR-11 / 28-FEB-16
Sponsor : US National Science Foundation (NSF)
Title : Accomplishment-Based Renewal: Testing Hypothesized CO2 Forcing of Climate, Glaciation, and Biotic Change During the End Carboniferous
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAR-11 / 01-DEC-11
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Differences in representation among fossil leaves, pollen and spores explains conflicting records of Triassic¿Jurassic plant diversity.
Start Date / End Date : 17-MAY-10 / 16-NOV-11
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Sudden onset of high CO2 concentrations at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary based on four independently calibrated stomatal proxy records from East Greenland and N Ireland
Start Date / End Date : 17-MAY-10 / 16-NOV-11
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Evolution of stomatal function
Start Date / End Date : 17-MAY-10 / 16-NOV-11
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Tropical Arctic: The Science and Art of Lost Landscapes
Start Date / End Date : 03-AUG-09 / 31-JAN-11
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : The 8th Symposium of IGCP (International Geoscience Programme) on marine and non-marine Jurassic, Bucharest, Presentation: Investigation of fossil leaf widths across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary (200 million years ago) and implications for climate
Start Date / End Date : 03-AUG-09 / 31-JAN-11
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Atmospheric oxygen as a driver of plant evolution
Start Date / End Date : 03-AUG-09 / 31-JAN-11
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Reconstructing ancient atmospheric composition with living fossils
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUN-08 / 31-MAY-12
Sponsor : Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET)
Title : Evolution of stomatal function
Start Date / End Date : 11-SEP-07 / 10-AUG-10
Sponsor : European Commission FP6
Title : Biodiversity dynamics at the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction event (200 million years ago): a novel approach to studying ecosystem responses to global climate change (MASSEXTINCT)
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-06 / 30-SEP-10
 

Current Postgraduate Students

Michelle Murray, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Amanda Porter, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Eamon Haughey, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor

Teaching

Teaching Philosophy

I contribute to the following modules:

BIOL 10090 Biology, Organisms & Environment

BIOL 10070 Biology of the Modern World

BIOL 40110

BOTN 40200

BIOL 10030 Cell & Plant Biology