Team Shrub

To join “Team Shrub”, contact Isla Myers-Smith! Check out PhD opportunities here.

Current Members

Isla H. Myers-Smith

Chancellor’s Fellow
Global Change Research Group
School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh
113 Crew Building, The King’s Buildings
West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FF
phone: +44 (0) 131 650 7251
email: isla.myers-smith (at)

I study the influence of warming climate on tundra vegetation in northern ecosystems and beyond. One of my areas of expertise is the spread of willows and other shrub species into arctic and alpine tundra.

Gergana Daskalova

Carnegie and NERC E3 DTP PhD Student
School of GeoSciences
University of Edinburgh
Co-Supervision with Maria Dornelas and Anne Bjorkman
email: gndaskalova (at)

Gergana studies land use change as a driver of biodiversity change on local and global scales. She coordinates Coding Club – a peer-to-peer initiative developing skills in statistics and programming.

Mariana García Criado

Principal’s Career Development PhD Scholarship
School of GeoSciences
University of Edinburgh
email: mariana.garcia.criado (at)

Mariana investigates the responses of plant species to climate change in the tundra and savannah biomes. She studies shrub distribution shifts, identifying which traits make species most susceptible to shrubification and what impacts vegetation change is having on tundra biodiversity.

Elise Gallois

NERC E4 DTP PhD Student
School of GeoSciences
University of Edinburgh
email: elise.gallois (at)

Elise studies tundra ecosystem change across microclimates and spatial scales. She is exploring plant growth, phenology and above and below-ground productivity and phenology across tundra landscapes. Elise is a part of the Coding Club Team.

Maude Grenier

Sainsbury (Gatsby Foundation) PhD Student
School of GeoSciences
University of Edinburgh
email: maude.grenier (at)

Maude studies tundra plant phenology and how tundra plant growing seasons are changing in a warming world. Maude is a part of the Coding Club Team.

Joseph Everest

NERC E4 DTP PhD Student
School of GeoSciences
University of Edinburgh
email: joseph.everest (at)

Joseph explores tundra biodiversity change and its drivers across the tundra biome. He is using novel techniques including hyperspectral imaging to characterise functional diversity change across the tundra whilst exploring microclimate and thermophilisation approaches to better attribute such change to its respective drivers. Joe is a part of the Coding Club Team.

Calum Hoad

School of GeoSciences
University of Edinburgh
email: calum.hoad (@)

Calum studies Arctic greening and the influence of snow melt dynamics and permafrost thaw disturbances on greening trends across scales.

Madelaine Anderson

Canadian Airborne Biodiversity Observatory PhD Student
Département de Biologie
Université de Sherbrooke
email: madelaine.anderson (at)

Madelaine studies tundra plant spectral signatures and how they relate to tundra plant phenology, traits and biodiversity.

Diana Jerome

PhD Student
School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh
Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki
email: Diana.Jerome (at)

Diana will study shrub growth, phenology and ecophysiology across the ecotone from the boreal forest to the tundra.

Geerte de Jong

PhD Student (co-supervised)
Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences
University of Gothenburg

Geerte is studying tundra phenology and traits and how they vary across microclimates.

Lea Opitz

Undergrad Dissertation Student

Lea is studying changes in the vegetation of grasslands within the Bavarian Forest National Park due to reinstalled grazing regimes.

Team Shrub Collaborators

Jeff Kerby

Aarhus University
High Latitude Drone Ecology Network

Jeff is collaborating with TeamShrub to understand the scaling of tundra greening patterns and plant phenology over space and time.

Alison Beamish

The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Alison is investigating tundra spectral diversity and tundra biodiversity from remote sensing and ecological perspectives.

Andrew Cunliffe (former PostDoc)

University of Exeter
Global Drone Allometry

Andy is using drone-acquired data to bridge the scale gaps between ground- and space-based observations, to advance understanding of remotely sensed records of tundra vegetation change.

Anne Bjorkman (former PostDoc)

University of Gothenburg
Tundra Trait Team

Anne worked with the sTUNDRA Working Group to explore climate as a driver of tundra vegetation change. In particular, Anne explores biogeographic patterns in plant traits and community-weighted trait change over time in tundra plant communities.

Sandra Angers-Blondin

NSERC/CSRNG PhD (2014-2018)

Sandra explored the influence of competition on the growth of shrubs at tundra sites across Canada. She is using a canopy removal experiment and mapping shrub plots to look at the influence of neighbours on the climate sensitivity of individuals, using growth-ring analyses. She also conducts germination experiments to investigate potential biotic constraints to shrubline advance. Sandra was also part of the Coding Club Team.

Haydn Thomas

NERC E3 DTP PhD Student (2014-2018)

Haydn studied the drivers and rates of tundra vegetation change, and the impacts this will have on decomposition rates and carbon cycling. He is combining long-term vegetation monitoring, plant trait data, a litter experiment and a common garden experiment.

Jakob Assmann

NERC E3 DTP PhD Student (2014-2018)
School of Biological Science
The University of Edinburgh
Co-Supervison with Richard Ennos and Ally Phillimore
University of Aarhus

Jakob studied the controls of plant phenology change and tundra greening across spatial scales and the potential importance of local adaptation on plant phenology across latitudinal gradients.

Meagan Grabowski

MSc (2013-2015)
Current: Instructor and Researcher
Yukon University
Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Meagan used dendroecology of boreal shrub species to test the relative importance of three factors in controlling shrub growth: 1) fertilization, 2) hare herbivory, and 3) growing season temperatures.

Shawn Schneidereit

Undergrad Dissertation Student

Shawn studied whether hyperspectral data capture Arctic plant biodiversity comparing in situ measurements and plot-level biodiversity records across tundra vegetation communities. Shawn was a part of the Coding Club Team. He is now studying for a Masters at Humboldt University.

Daniela Gargya

Undergrad Dissertation Student

Daniela studied global datasets of local biodiversity change in comparison with assessments of  human activity. Daniela was a part of the Coding Club Team. She is now studying for an Masters at the University of Freiburg.

Izzy Rich

Undergrad Dissertation Student

Izzy studied land-use change with socioeconomic change in Latvia. was a Team Shrub field assistant in Kluane in 2017 where she took care of the common garden. Izzy was a part of the Coding Club Team.

Cameron Cosgrove

Undergrad Dissertation Student

Cameron studied deforestation in the range of red pandas. He was a Team Shrub field assistant in Kluane in 2017. Cameron was a part of the Coding Club Team. He is now continuing his Canadian adventures at the University of British Columbia in an MSc.

Sam Kellerhals

Undergrad Dissertation Student

Sam quantifying the above-ground carbon stored in Arctic ecosystems and in particular, on Qikiqtaruk. Sam was a part of the Coding Club Team. He has finished a Masters at the University of Amsterdam.

Claudia Meca

Undergrad Dissertation Student

Claudia studied how biodiversity and species traits vary not just across latitudes, but also along different altitudes. Claudia was a part of the Coding Club Team. She is now doing a Masters at Duke University.

Matt Little

Undergrad Dissertation Student

Matt investigated the influence of temperature and elevation on different guilds and species of birds extend. He will be comparing communities in Cusuco National Park, Honduras and in Kluane National Park, Canada. He was a Team Shrub field assistant in Kluane in 2017. Mat is now a PhD student at The University of Iowa.

Joe Boyle

Undergrad Dissertation Student

Joe studied the connection between phenology and growth in the dwarf shrub Salix arctica.  Joe was also the team shrub field assistant for the 2015 field season. He enjoys reading and long walks on the beach (and herbivory protocols…). He is now working on writing up his honours thesis as a manuscript! Joe was a part of the Coding Club Team.

Eleanor Walker

Undergrad Dissertation Student

Eleanor studied how soil moisture and temperature influence rates of decomposition using the teabag index in boreal and tundra ecosystems. Eleanor was also the team shrub field assistant for the 2016 field season. She is also now writing up her honours thesis as a manuscript! Eleanor was a part of the Coding Club Team.

Arabella Kennard

Undergrad Dissertation Student

Arabella studied the link between soil moisture and tundra greenness using drone imagery derived digital surface models and maps of the greenness of the tundra.

Santeri Lehtonen

Undergrad Dissertation Student
Field assistant 2015 and 2016
Lab manager 2015-2016

Santeri explored phenology change and tundra greening on Qikiqtaruk for his honours dissertation, and worked as a laboratory manager & field assistant in 2015 – 2016.

Benjamin Marquis

MSc Student (committee member)
Département de biologie
Université de Sherbrooke

Benjamin studied the climate sensitivity of tree growth at treeline in Southern Quebec. He is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.

Damien Georges

Programmer/Data scientist

Damien worked with satellite imagery (NDVI), climate and species occurrence, abundance and growth data to test the correspondence between on-the-ground and remotely-sensed measures of tundra productivity.

Clara Flintrop

Field Research Assistant 2014

Clara was the team shrub field assistant for the 2014 field season in the Yukon Territory. She has now finished her PhD at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany.

Louise Beveridge

Field Research Assistant 2013

Louise was the team shrub field assistant for the 2013 field season. In addition, she explored the prevalence of publicly accessible data in the global change ecology literature. She has now finished her PhD at the University of Leeds.

Alex Lowe

Undergrad Dissertation Student

Alex explored community-weighted specific leaf area change on Qikiqtaruk and sites around the Western Arctic.

Sigrid Schøler Nielsen (PhD), Aarhus University

Clara Morrissette-Boileau (MSc), Université Laval

Margrete Aakjær Christiansen (MSc), Aarhus University


Shrub Hub – I am involved with international collaborations with researchers working at sites around the tundra biome. We work to synthesize tundra vegetation change and in particular to quantify tundra shrub dynamics.

sTUNDRA – I lead a working group at the iDiv German Synthesis Centre for Biodiversity Science, involving over 30 scientists from Europe and North America. We are exploring how tundra plant communities and their trait distributions are changing in response to warming, and testing the correspondence of satellite and in situ observations of tundra greening.

sChange -I participate in a working group funded by both the iDiv German Synthesis Centre for Biodiversity Science and the Canadian Institute for Ecology and Evolution. We are investigating how biodiversity has changed in recent decades across both marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

Some of my many awesome collaborators

Sarah Elmendorf, NEON – Sarah and I are co-coordinators of the Tundra Scaling Working Group funded by the German Synthesis Centre for Biodiversity Science (sDiv). The goal of the working group is to integrate on-the-ground vegetation surveys and dendroecological data with satellite imagery to ask whether wide-spread ‘greening’ observed in climatically sensitive tundra ecosystems reflects increased shrub growth caused by warming.

Signe Normand, Aarhus University – Signe, her research group and I are collaborating to understand range shifts and tundra biodiversity change and resulting functional change across the tundra biome.

Mark Vellend, Université de Sherbrooke – Mark, his research group and I are collaborating to look at the climate sensitivity of tree species along elevational gradients in Southern Quebec and with a group of collaborators to explore local-scale changes in plant species richness at sites around the world.

Gabriela Schaepman-Strub, University of Zurich – Gabriela and her research group and I are collaborating to explore tundra albedo with the High Latitude Drone Ecology Network.

Sonja Wipf and Christian Rixen, WSL-SLF – Sonja, Christian and I and other collaborators are interested in investigating biodiversity changes in species richness, composition and plant traits in tundra ecosystems.

Hugues Lantuit, AWI – Hugues, his research group and I work together in the field and are exploring permafrost-vegetation dynamics on Qikiqtaruk, Yukon.

Virve Ravolainen, Norwegian Polar Institute – Virve and I are working with others to develop shrub monitoring protocols for tundra ecosystems.

Blog – Summer 2014

Field Research Blog – Summer 2013